Members of the Otsego Raptors U14 team pose with several of their fathers and grandfathers after winning the I-94 Tournament on Father’s Day. (Photo provided)

Otsego travel baseball team celebrates Father’s Day in style

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Jamie Dentler and his son Jayden were on their way to the first day of a two-day travel baseball tournament in Portage on Saturday, June 20, when the conversation turned to Father’s Day.
“We were talking and Jayden said, ‘Dad, for your Father’s Day gift, I’m going to play out of my mind in this tournament,’” Dentler said. “So I looked at him and said, ‘I’ll take it.’”
The younger Dentler came through on his vow … and apparently he wasn’t the only member of the U14 Otsego Raptors to have that idea.
Jayden Dentler went 2-for-3 against the Hitters Edge Tigers in the title game of the I-94 Tournament on Sunday, June 21, to help lift the Raptors to the 5-1 victory.
“Our guys were able to put everything together at this tournament,” said Jamie Dentler, who serves as head coach for the Raptors. “I’ve coached a lot of these guys since they started playing baseball, and this was the best I’ve seen a lot of them play. It was so much fun to watch.”
Winning a tournament on Father’s Day is becoming something of a tradition for the Raptors, who have now hoisted a championship trophy two of the past three Father’s Days.
“For whatever reason, we always seem to play pretty well on this weekend,” Jamie Dentler said. “It was funny, because some of the dads were even talking about it before the tournament started. It’s definitely a great Father’s Day gift to receive.”
In the title game, the Raptors scored single runs in the first, third and fifth innings before tacking on two more in the top of the seventh to go up 5-0. The Hitters Edge Tigers attempted a rally in the bottom of the seventh but could do no better than one run against Otsego hurler Sid Ferry, who went the distance for the win.
“Our pitching was outstanding all weekend,” Jamie Dentler said. “Our pitchers gave up seven combined runs in our five games. That’s a pretty big accomplishment.”
Going hand-in-hand with that strong pitching was some solid defensive play.
“Defense has been our strong suit from the beginning and that was the case again in this tournament,” Jamie Dentler said. “We didn’t commit any errors in the championship game, which was huge.
“In our last tournament, we made it to the finals but then committed seven errors and lost. That was very much unlike us. So I was glad to see us bounce back on the defensive side of things in this tournament.”
Offensively, Addison Atwater went 3-for-3 to join Jayden Dentler with multiple hits.

For full story, pick up a copy of the June 29 issue of The Union Enterprise or subscribe to the e-edition.

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