Summer baseball is in full swing, and one local team is looking and working toward the future of the sport at Myrtle.
The Myrtle Blackhawks U9 team were organized four years ago by Tim Maharrey and Robert Gordon with the hopes of keeping the kids together on the same traveling team.
“We wanted to keep all of our kids in Union County,” Maharrey said. “They all go to school together and play together, so we thought why not start this and keep them together. So far they’ve done real well.”
Along with assistant coaches Wesley Bishop and Mitch Cook, the Blackhawks were first a coach pitch team, moving up to kid pitch this year. Ranked 19th in the state, they were the only team from the county playing in last weekend’s USSSA State Tournament at the New Albany Sportsplex.
“Last year they would get blown out in coach pitch, now they’re only losing by one or two runs,” Maharrey explained of his team’s improvement. “They got their first win a couple weeks ago, and they were really happy about it.”
The experience of playing USSSA ball shows when the Blackhawks return to play in the county league, as a win Monday night would give them their fifth straight county title. The success of the youth will help in the future, as Gordon is looking to these athletes as the future of his high school team.
“When you see these traveling teams, a lot of them are from all different schools. That’s good to build relationships with other schools, but we were thinking about the long haul of this,” Gordon explained. “Over the years, through the years, it’s going to make them better, so we decided to keep them together, build with what we have and build for the future of Myrtle.”
Be sure to pick up this Friday’s New Albany Gazette to see not only the Blackhawks, but every little league team in Union County in the little league special section.