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Shelby County’s 14-year-old Babe Ruth all-star baseball team hasn’t had much practice time, but is hoping it can come together quickly.
“We’ve only had a week to get them ready, we’ve been kind of pushing it every day to get ready for State,” Mitchell Tinsley, who along with Matt Buresh is one of the team’s head coaches, said Monday.
Shelby County begins play in the 2013 East Kentucky Babe Ruth State Tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday night against Russell County at Veterans Park in Lexington.
If the 14-year-olds win they will play District 4 champ South Lexington at 6 p.m. Friday night. If they lose their first game they’ll play at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The entire bracket can be viewed at http://www.eastkybrl.com/2013/states/14/st14.htm.
“We are a very athletic team, a very skilled team,” Tinsley said. “A majority of the kids on the team have been together the last three years.”
The squad is comprised of Ben Wisely, Austin Yaroma, Dominic Lawson, Lucas Tackett, Tanner Brown, Taylor Crawford, Mitchell Stivers, Will Hisle, Jacob Sheeley, Austin Jennings, Dylan McIntyer, Stu Jo Meredith and Matthew Hershberger.
Wisely is Shelby County’s No. 1 pitcher, Tinsley said, before adding, “We’ve got a lot of arms, and good quality arms, to be able to throw in the state tournament.”
At the plate Yaroma and Wisely set the table for Shelby County’s offense.
“We have lot of speed at the top of our lineup with Yaroma and Wisely,” Tinsley said. “[Then] we’ve got a good mixture of speed and power in the middle of our lineup with Dominic Lawson, Jacob Sheeley and Mitchell Stivers.
“We’ve got a lot of speed up and down this lineup, and speed in the outfield with Tanner Brown, Lucas Tackett and Stu Jo Meredith.”
Last year Shelby County’s 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team, which included several players on this 14-year-old squad, went 1-2 at State.
“Overall we’re an excellent defensive team,” Tinsley said. “We jell really well on the defensive side of the ball. Offense-wise we’ve got the type of hitters to be able to compete with anybody in the state I believe.”