Submitted (From left) Macon County Junior High seventh-graders Nolan Kelley, Hayes Polston, Eli Mercer and Braylon Flowers competed for Upper Cumberland Baseball in the Cooperstown Dreams Tournament, which was held from June 16-20 at Cooperstown Dreams Park in Cooperstown, New York.

Submitted

(From left) Macon County Junior High seventh-graders Nolan Kelley, Hayes Polston, Eli Mercer and Braylon Flowers competed for Upper Cumberland Baseball in the Cooperstown Dreams Tournament, which was held from June 16-20 at Cooperstown Dreams Park in Cooperstown, New York.

COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK -- Four seventh-grade baseball players from Macon County Junior High competed in the Cooperstown Dreams Tournament, which was held from June 16-20 at Cooperstown Dreams Park.

The foursome -- Noah Kelley, Hayes Polston, Eli Mercer and Braylon Flowers -- competed with the Upper Cumberland Baseball (UCB) 12-and-under squad, which is based out of Carthage and also includes players from DeKalb County, Smith County and one player from the Nashville area.

It was Flowers' second year with the UCB squad, though Kelley, Mercer and Polston have played with UCB for three seasons.

UCB rallied for five runs in the top of the sixth inning of its pool-play opener, an 11-10 win over the Park Sharon (North Carolina) Nationals on June 16.

Flowers -- who plays shortstop, third base and in the outfield -- singled and scored on Mercer's single in the sixth inning, and Polston -- a second baseman -- drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Mercer -- a third baseman and outfielder -- had three singles, scored a run and drove in two runs in the contest.

UCB followed that with three wins on June 17 -- a 14-1 victory over the T.C. Thunder (Utah), an 18-2 win over the Anthony Wayne (Ohio) Generals and a 17-0 victory over the Sharon Springs (Georgia) Spartans.

In the win over the Thunder, Kelley -- an outfielder -- singled twice and scored two runs, while Flowers singled twice, scored two runs and drove in a run. Mercer also singled and drove in a run.

Mercer drove in two more runs in the rout of Anthony Wayne, while Flowers singled and scored two runs. Polston singled and scored a run, and Kelley also crossed the plate.

Mercer allowed two unearned runs in 2/3 of an inning of relief, and Kelley came on to toss 11/3 innings of no-hit baseball, walking one batter while striking out one.

Flowers and Polston combined for 21/3 innings of scoreless relief in the win over Sharon Springs, allowing just one hit while combining for five strikeouts.

At the plate, Flowers singled, doubled, drew a walk, scored two runs and drove in two runs. Kelley singled in a run, and Mercer singled twice, scored a run and drove in two.

On June 18, UCB concluded pool play by rolling to an 18-6 win over the Zionsville (Indiana) Baseball Club before suffering a 16-3 loss to the Chino Hills (California) Thunder, which eventually advanced to the semifinal round.

In the win over Zionsville, Flowers hit a two-run home run in the second inning. He finished with two hits, scored twice and drove in three runs.

Mercer doubled, scored a run and drove in a run.

Chino Hills erupted for five runs in the first inning, added three in the third and exploded for eight more in the fourth.

Kelley's single was one of only four hits for UCB in the loss.

UCB opened bracket play with a 14-8 win over the Pleasant Hill (California) Hawks on June 19.

Kelley pitched three innings of one-hit baseball, allowing three earned runs while issuing two base on balls and striking out two.

Flowers allowed an earned run on three hits in his inning of relief.

At the plate, Flowers singled twice and scored a run, and both Polston and Mercer also drove in runs.

However, UCB was eliminated with a 14-5 loss to the MBA Utah Braves later on June 19, falling in the round of 32.

The Braves scored multiple runs in four different innings.

Mercer hit two solo home runs in the finale.

The Braves went on to win four more games and claim the tournament title, capturing a 10-6 win over Hooks Baseball (Texas) in last Thursday evening's championship game. The Braves captured a 9-4 win over Chino Hills in the semifinals.

UCB -- which is coached by Jerry Wayne Gammon -- ended its season with a 21-13 record.

The players toured the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum while in Cooperstown.

A fifth Macon County Junior High seventh-grader, Soup Woodard, is competing in Cooperstown with the Gallatin-based Wave Baseball squad in a similar tournament this week at Cooperstown Dreams Park.