2021 Labor Day Classic Tournament
September 4th-6th 2021
Robert Gallucci | Director of Marketing & Digital Content
Firecracker Sports kicked off their fall tournament series this past holiday weekend with the 7th annual Labor Day Classic. This year there were 25 teams across the three divisions (13/14u, 15/16u and 17/18u) playing at five venues in Rhode Island.
Day 1, Saturday
I started my tournament with the 9:00 am game at Cumberland High School between Ocean State Outlaws 15U Showcase Navy and Nor’Easters 16U. A complete defensive duel saw the 1-0 game go in favor of Ocean State Outlaws in eight innings, an exciting way to start the day full of action. Nor’Easters’ pitcher Braydon Gray (2023) registered a no hitter in 4.2 innings pitched with 11 strikeouts and four walks. Our scouts saw his dominance, adding that he has good height and build, stays tall on his back leg through his motion and sets from the belt. Knocking in the go ahead run for Outlaws in the top of the eighth was Carson Dupras (2024) as he registered an infield sacrifice to provide the first run of the game.
Ocean State Outlaws stayed to play game two at Cumberland against Providence Sports and Leadership. This match up had far more fireworks at the plate than the previous game. PSL’s Erison Mieses shown in this game with a two-run homer and a one run double to the wall in left sparking the PSL offense into life as they defeated Ocean State Outlaws 12-2. Mieses garnered the attention of both college coaches and MLB scouts with them noting his powerful, max effort swing. Light load and great hands at the plate.
I moved on the Rhode Island College and the fantastic Pontarelli Field in Providence, RI for the final two games of my day 1. There I saw the third game of the day between NCL Post 36 Post 59 and 603 Bandits in the 2:30 slot (17/18u Division). This game would end with 603 Bandits on top 7-0. Bandits’ pitcher Tyler Sprince (2022) threw a gem going the complete game, seven innings, allowing just two hits and ringing up 15 strikeouts. Our scouts told us that he pounded the zone with a side arm technique, off putting batters. He has an active fastball and good depth on the slider. At the plate, Ben Rose (2022) went 2-3 with a double, triple and scored two runs. He was stated as possessing good pop, squares up the barrel well, gap to gap hitter with good wheels.
The final game of the day saw New England Ravens take on the Ocean State Makos to round of the day of action in the 15/16u Division. A lower scoring affair had the Ravens with a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth and the game ending after due to time limit. The Raven would score two runs after a hard-hit ball off the bat of Levi Burdon (2024) got through the left side of the infield and would bring two runners around to score and walk off the game 3-2.
Day 2, Sunday
The second day of the Labor Day Classic started at Bill Beck Field on the campus of University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI. The first game there was 10:00 am start showcasing the battle of the prospects as NE Prospects took on the US 9 Prospects (17/18u Division). US 9 would edge out the victory by a score line of 8-7. The seventh inning saw fireworks from both teams after entering the inning in a tied game at five runs each. The first run for US 9 would come off a double to right field by Anthony Triado (2023). He along with another teammate would then be brought home off a two-out triple to left from Zach Drewry (2022) to give US 9 an 8-5 lead going into the bottom half of the seventh. NE prospects would fight back, scoring two and coming within one run of tying the game. A triple from Ryder Pieczarka (2023) brought in the first and he would later score on a passed ball. Unfortunately for NE, it was too little too late and the game would end there at 8-7.
Game two at URI was between Warwick Travel and Shoreline Breakers. Warwick got out to a hot start, taking an early lead before Breakers righted the ship. Shoreline would end up talking the game 7-3 when the dust had settled. Ryan Duffy (2022) put on a solid performance on the mound for the Breakers, throwing the complete seven inning game, allowing six hits, three runs and striking out five batters.
After URI, I shifted focus to Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI. There the final two games were a 17/18u pool game and the championship for the 13/14u Division.
The 2:30 pool play game pitted JM Baseball 18u against Dirtbags NY Titanium. JM proved to be too volatile at the plate for Dirtbags to handle as they took the game 10-5. A tight game, tied at 3-3 going into the sixth inning it looked like the Dirtbags edged ahead after knocking in two runs to head to the bottom half with a 5-3 lead. However, six walks, a few wild pitches would bring around seven runs for JM and hand them a 10-5 victory at the time limit.
The 13/14u championship game was set for 4:45 pm first pitch and pinned Northeast Reds up against Nor’Easters 14U to take it all in the division. Nor’Easters’ pitcher Caleb Allen (2024) gave a dominant performance on the mound, going the full five innings, allowing just one hit and striking out nine batters. The game was capped off in the bottom of the 5th inning as Trey Becker (2025) hit a single through the left side to walk off the game 8-0 due to mercy. The MVP Award for the 13/14u division went to middle infielder Phil Lombardi (2025).
Day 3, Monday
Final day of the Labor Day Classic was solely Playoffs and Championships. The first match up of the day was between West Hartford Thunder and Ocean State Outlaws 15U Showcase Navy for the 15/16u championship. The Thunder shut down the Outlaws offense in route to a 5-0 victory to take the title. Ryan Smith (2023) threw the complete game, seven innings for the Thunder, registering nine strikeouts while allowing six hits and walking one. The MVP Award for the 15/16u division went to shortstop James Fagnant (2024).
The first 17/18u semi-final of the day saw US 9 Prospects take on JM Baseball 18u. JM would take the game and advance to the final with a 5-1 win. The game was tied at one run apiece before JM scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and twice more in the sixth to take a 5-1 lead to the seventh were they held US 9 quiet. JM pitcher Alec Peruzzi (2022) threw 126 pitches in seven innings to go the distance, tallying 11 strikeouts and allowing five hits with one run. Brycen Tetler (2022) went 3-3 at the plate amassing one single and two triples, bringing in one RBI and scoring one run to help spark the JM offense.
The second semi final to see who would challenge JM in the championship game was between Ocean State Titans/NE Baseball and the Braintree Bandits. Another exciting semifinal was capped of with a Titans 3-1 victory to propel them to the championship. Ocean State started well, scoring one run in each of the first three innings to take the 3-0 lead. The Bandits would answer back with a run of their own in the fifth but couldn’t muster more and the Titans would hold onto their 3-1 margin. Y. Hernandez threw seven complete innings for the Titans, giving up just two hits and one run whilst ringing up eight strikeouts and walking three batters.
The final game of the 2021 Labor Day Classic tournament saw the talented teams of JM Baseball 18u do battle with the Ocean State Titans/NE Baseball. The title went to the Titans after a thrilling game ended 4-7 in their favor. Both teams scored in the second inning while Ocean State took two in the third to take the 3-1 lead. JM answered right back after tallying two runs in the top of the fourth to level things at three runs each. The fifth inning saw both teams notch one more run to make things 4-4. The bottom of the sixth held three runs for the Titans, the fist coming off an error, but the exclamation point came after Anthony Fernandez (2022) tattooed the ball over the right field fence for a two-run homer. His notes from the scouts listed him as having top speed, a good arm and a very solid outfielder. This game Ocean State the 7-4 lead they would end the game with to take the championship. Along with Fernandez’s offensive performance, teammate Jeremy Urena provided two hits as he went 2-3 with a run scored. The MVP Award for the 17-18u division went to the previously mentioned Anthony Fernandez.
This weekend was a fantastic way to kick off our Fall 2021 season. We want to thank all the coaches, parents and players that came out and participated in this year’s tournament and made it such a competitive and enjoyable event. To the college, high school and town facility staffs that prepared us such great venues for the weekend to host this top talent we would like to thank you sincerely. Finally, the college coaches and MLB scouts that came to evaluate these prospects and make the experience that much more fulfilling, we thank you and look forward to seeing you again soon.
We will next be in action up north in Manchester, NH for the third annual Granite State Fall Brawl from September 17th-19th. We are excited for our next tournament and hope to see a lot of familiar faces there.