• August 29, 2014

A hit with kids

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:55 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

Jimmy David was nervous when it was his turn at bat Monday evening at City Park.

The 9-year-old baseball player has played the sport for two years and was swinging for the Cove Marlins in a game against the Lampasas Indians that night.

“It’s easier since I’ve been playing for some time,” he said.

He was eyeing a home run.

“I was thinking of my anger and putting it towards the ball,” Jimmy said. “I was ready to hit the ball and trying to hit it out of the park.”

Jimmy was just one child on more than a dozen teams who stepped to the plate for the Texas Teenage Baseball tournament at City Park this week. Final games are scheduled for 5:30 tonight.

Randall Rhodes, the Cove Marlins head coach, said his young players practiced hard and were having fun at the tournament.

“I think they are doing pretty good,” he said. “It’s more competitive to have more teams. It means a lot to play here and builds up the baseball area for Copperas Cove.”

Aside from several Cove teams, others competed from Holland, Salado, Jarrell, Temple and Lampasas.

Having the tournament in Cove brings some money into the community, but it also teaches the players a lesson, too, said Travis Stofferahn, Cove Padres head coach.

“I think it helps them know that there is baseball outside of Copperas Cove, and there are different levels and abilities,” Stofferahn said.

Caleb Welch, 10, a center-fielder, has played baseball for five years.

“I like batting,” he said. “It can get difficult because we don’t know how other teams play.”

Welch said he’s been practicing for the tournament for two months and perfecting his batting swing.

“It was difficult but I got through,” he said.

Back at the plate, Jimmy smacked the ball past first base and made it all the way to third with the help of his teammates.

“I was thinking that I would make it home and how it felt good,” Jimmy said, referring to his thoughts as he stood on third base.

Although Jimmy, who plays first base, did not hit the ball out of the park, he did slide into home plate to score for his team.

“I’m just happy we get to play in Cove,” he said. “It feels easier because we are on the same field.”

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