Helping Young Baseball Players Beat the Heat

ASHLAND, Pa. -- The hot weather isn't making it easy for some young athletes to practice baseball outdoors in Schuylkill County.

Two Ashland Little League teams are now in their district All-Stars, hoping to make it to the Little League World Series, so practice and elimination games are a must.

At the Ashland Little League Complex in Schuylkill County, these young athletes take to the fields to test their talent.

These practices are extremely important as both the 11-year-old and 12-year-old baseball teams are in their district's All-Star elimination games leading up to the Little World Series in Lycoming County.

“There's districts all across the state,” said coach Chris Groody. “And each individual district has tournaments that narrow it down to eventually goes to the winner that would go to Williamsport.”

Despite a heat wave bringing temperatures feeling like it's in the triple digits, coaches say those games are still on.

So they're doing everything they can to make sure these youngster don't get overheated.

“Plenty of water breaks, lots of water breaks, keep them in the shade as much as possible,” said coach Tim Herring. “We switch out catchers every two innings if we need to, pitchers, whatever we need to do beat the heat.”

“I get a cooling towel and put it on my neck,” said player Zachary Marcinowski.

“It's harder if you don't have water or anything, but just to stay hydrated is all you need to do,” said player Gavin Mentzer.

Parents say one thing that's really helped is holding practices later in the evening.

“The sun is starting to go down now, so normally we practice at 5:30, tonight starting a 6:30 is a big help,” said parent Heather McGraw.

“Practicing later at night, obviously, 7 o'clock practices as opposed to earlier in the evening when the sun heats down, and again just keep them hydrated,” said Groody.

And that practice appears to be paying off.

Both of Ashland's All-Star teams are undefeated.

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