Perfect afternoon for SHYL Baseball showcase –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Though Mother Nature seemed to have other ideas, the Southern Hills Youth League was finally able to hold their annual baseball All-Star Games and festivities on Sunday, July 30 at the West Union Rec Park. After being rained out twice, the event nearly saw a third cancellation due to the weather but through the hard work of some dedicated volunteers, the four fields at the Rec Park were in tip-top shape by Sunday afternoon.
Four differents SHYL All-Star Games took place on Sunday- 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U, with players representing West Union, North Adams, Peebles, Manchester, Ripley, Whiteoak, and Lynchburg, which meant that players from the same regular season teams could face one another on opposing sides in the All-Star contest.
Fans filled the areas around all the fields to watch their own “All-Stars” perform as the weather cooperated with an almost “no clouds in the sky” sun-kissed afternoon.
Besides the game themselves, a lot of attention was centered on the field where the Home Run Derby was taking place. Just like their big-league counterparts, these Knothole heroes took their turn at swinging for the fences in a friendly long-ball competition. Most of these young sluggers had been off for about three weeks now since their tournaments had ended, so the dingers were a little tough to come by, but Manchester’s Leland Horner went deep nine times to win the 10U Derby, while Manchester’s Josiah Kennedy took the 8U title. The 12U winner was Peebles’ Hunter Newkirk and the 14U champion was Jacob Gross from Whiteoak. The emcee duties at the Derby were ably handled by C103 Radio’s Brad Rolfe, who also introduced all of the assembled All-Stars before play began, giving each their own little moment in the sun.
At the conclusion of each All-Star game, the players were awarded medals and left with a day full of great baseball memories.