One, long hot day for the boys of summer
story by Jessica Blomquist • photos by Greg Sullivan
The Morgan County High School baseball summer league participated in a fundraiser on Tuesday, June 3, to raise money for expenses for the three tournaments they are participating in this month.
The fundraiser was a 100 Inning Game, where teams played 100 innings at Tracy Brown Field starting at 5 p.m. The way the game was played, each batter started with a full count, three balls and two strikes, against a pitching machine. This helped the game to move quicker.
The idea for a 100-inning game came from Varsity Coach Brandon Patch who had previously organized one while coaching in Jackson County. Assistant Coach Matt Montgomery had participated in a 100-inning game as a player at Cartersville High School. The coaches began planning MCHS’s first ever 100 Inning Game toward the end of the regular season.
Each player was asked to raise a goal amount in sponsorships from friends, family, neighbors, and church acquaintances. Sponsors could pledge a certain amount per inning, for instance 50 cents per inning resulting in $50 for the entire game, or a flat fee.
“We asked that every kid raise $200,” said Patch. “And every player was able to do that and then some. One kid almost raised $500 all by himself.”
The money will be used to pay for tournament entry fees, travel expenses, jerseys, baseballs and other costs of playing this summer.
The varsity and junior varsity teams were each divided in half and combined to make two teams consisting of both JV and varsity players with 12 players on one team and 13 on the other.
“It’s fun because they get to cut up with each other,” said Patch. “It’s a little inner rivalry.”
The two sides, the red team and the gray team, started playing at 5 p.m. on Tuesday while a group of around 75 to 100 supporters, mostly parents and some other students, watched from the stands. There was no cost to attend the game.
In addition to raising money for the league, the game allowed a peek at next year’s team.
“It serves another purpose,” said Patch. “It gives parents and others a chance to get a look at next year’s team.”
At the end of the game, after 100 innings, the red team proved victorious with a score of 19 to 12.
Although, the total amount of money raised is unknown, Patch counts the fundraiser a success. With every player collecting at least $200, the team raised a minimum of $5,000.
“Every kid reached their goal of how much to raise and more importantly, we worked on our baseball skills,” said Patch.
The summer league will attend three tournaments in June. They recently participated in the McEachern Wooden Bat Classic last weekend. This weekend, the teams will travel to Oconee County to compete in the North Oconee Summer Shootout, from Thursday through Sunday, and will go to Rome for a third tournament the following weekend.