Recreation Authority youth baseball and softball prepare for opening ceremonies

Published 4:48 pm Friday, February 24, 2017

The Bainbridge youth recreation baseball league is getting off to a big start this year, pairing with the Bainbridge Bearcat varsity baseball team to have opening ceremonies before the Bainbridge vs. Brookwood game on March 6.

The roughly 530 children signed up for youth baseball will take part in the first ever-joint Bearcat-Recreational Authority opening ceremony.

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“We’re awful excited to host that on our campus,” said Bainbridge head coach Brian McCorkle. “We take great pride in BHS and our facilities and our campus and look forward to anytime we can have kids on our campus and show it off.” 

“It’s a beautiful facility and a beautiful field to take pictures and that type of thinking,” said Joey Lee, Youth Director for Bainbridge Recreation Authority.

The youth players will begin their ceremonies at 5:30 with both the varsity baseball and softball teams there.

With both varsity teams represented, this type of event could lead to some players sticking with the sport as they grow older.

“I think it gives the youth of Decatur County something to look forward to,” said Coach McCorkle. “Maybe one day they’ll become a Bearcat and play in these facilities.”

After the opening ceremonies, the youth baseball league will return to Bill Reynolds Sports Park for the remainder of their season. There have been some changes however.

The youth baseball teams will see some upgrades in their jerseys and hats. According Joey Lee, the uniforms are dry fit and their hats have been upgraded.

The safety features of the park have also been upgraded. A $50,000 upgrade to the netting system, which protects spectators, has been added, and the authority will background check and assign lanyards to coaches to mark who is allowed in the dugout area for the children’s safety.

Also, the 7-8-year old age groups will go back to machine pitch instead of coach pitch for boy’s baseball.  Softball teams above the 7-8-year old age groups will learn to pitch this year instead of use pitching machines like past years.

“The last few years there haven’t been any teams that play coach pitch all-stars, so our all-star team has to make big adjustments and have to relearn how to hit,” said Lee. “I kind of like the coach pitch better because I think its more of a natural transition to kid pitch at 9-10.”