‘Halfmoon Melee’ packed with teams

Halfmoon's Dylan Ethier, left, receives congratulations from teammate Liam Conroy after Ethier scored in a 10U National tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)Halfmoon's Dylan Ethier, left, receives congratulations from teammate Liam Conroy after Ethier scored in a 10U National tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

HALFMOON — One shy of three dozen teams took place in the town’s July 21-24 youth travel baseball tournament, the crown jewel of the summer season for the Halfmoon Baseball League organization.  

“This is our feature tournament,” league president Mike Conroy said.

The “Halfmoon Melee” has been that way for several years now. Each summer, Conroy said, the tournament seems to grow a little bit more.

“It’s funny, we barely had to advertise for it this year,” said Conroy, who added only a few older squads needed to be recruited to round out this year’s fields. “Everybody else, they came to us first. The credit for that goes to Dave Voce, who has been doing the tournament for all these years and does such a great job with it. He has every detail of it down to a science.”

Halfmoon's Ethan Reisinger collects a hit in a 10U National tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

Halfmoon’s Ethan Reisinger collects a hit in a 10U National tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

Of the 35 teams that competed, eight were from Halfmoon. The organization had one team compete at the 14U level, a pair played in 12U brackets, two played at 10U and three squads took part in 8U action.

“We generally try to keep the tournament [brackets] to having three, four pool games for each age group,” Conroy said. “In certain age groups, we broke play into two pools so we [wouldn’t] have too many teams needing to all play each other.”

Teams from all around New York competed in the tournament, plus squads from Vermont. Other local teams playing in the tournament included Amsterdam, Clifton Park and Guilderland.

Halfmoon's Chris Bedard throws a pitch during a 10U American tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

Halfmoon’s Chris Bedard throws a pitch during a 10U American tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

Most of the tournament’s games were played this year at the Halfmoon Town Park. Some games were also played at the sports complex off Woodin Road, while several games were played in North Colonie to account for the expansion of the tournament.

Conroy said the town of Halfmoon deserves a lot of credit for the tournament’s growth and success.

“We get so much support,” Conroy said.

The plan, Conroy said, is to keep the “Melee” moving forward.

“We’re trying not to expand it too much — too far — to keep it manageable, but we [don’t] want to say ‘No’ to teams, either,” Conroy said.

Halfmoon's Mikey Barkevich follows through after a hit during a 10U National tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

Halfmoon’s Mikey Barkevich follows through after a hit during a 10U National tournament game during the 2016 Halfmoon Melee baseball tournament Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Halfmoon. (Michael Kelly/Gazette Sportswriter)

COMING UP

Tryouts for Halfmoon’s fall travel teams are scheduled for early August. For information and to register, head to www.halfmoonbaseball.com.

About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.