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Minor League All-star teams start district play next week

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By Todd Martin

9-year-olds

Troy Kuhl is in his first year coaching the All-stars at the park, but he couldn't be more excited about his 9-year-old team.

"I think we have a really good chance this year," he said. "We're a very talented team, and we have a lot of really good players. The biggest challenge for us will be figuring out which nine players to put on the field because we have so many good players."

The team will begin play at 8 p.m. on July 10 against Spencer County in the first round of the district tournament at Scott County. The championship game of the double elimination tournament is scheduled for Saturday, July 12, at 3 p.m., with a second game if necessary on Sunday, July 13, at 2 p.m.

Kuhl said his team will rely on bats and speed to push them through.

"I think we're going to be a good hitting team," he said. "We have some speed, and hopefully we can have pitchers that throw strikes."

Kuhl said that getting that speed on base will be a big key.

"We're definitely going to run the bases," he said. "We want to force the other team to make plays. We're going to have a lot of fun out there."

Since 9-year-old All-stars are the youngest, it's hard to know what the competition will be like.

"We don't know what they have, but I'm sure the other teams will be good, and we'll have to play good baseball to beat them," Kuhl said.

10-year-olds

Dwayne Dillow said he thought his team started slow in the district last year, so this year he's found the remedy.

The 10-year-old All-star team will play in a tournament at home this weekend on the softball fields at the back of Clear Creek Park to warm up before heading to the district in Spencer County.

"Last year I thought as 9-year-olds we started kind of slow, but after we got used to playing together we scored about 75 runs in our last six games," head coach Dillow said. "So we wanted to try to get a few games in before the district so we can work out that slow start first."

Dillow said he thinks if the players play up to their abilities he thinks they can go all the way.

"The sky's the limit for this team," he said. "It's a little step up from last year, but we're deep at every position and this is one of the better hitting teams I've been around. And defensively, we have good pitchers and catchers."

After the showing their ability at the plate last year, Dillow said this team's best asset is the way they swing the sticks.

"Hitting, definitely, will be out strength," Dillow said. "But at practice we are moving kids in different positions and they're fitting right in and taking to the spots. We can put kids anywhere and they're fitting in just like they've been playing it."

The team will open district play on July 9 at 6:30 p.m. against Scott County. The championship game of the double elimination tournament will be Sunday, July 13, at 2 p.m., with a second game, if necessary, following at 5 p.m.