Local prep baseball players spent Father's Day teaching baseball

BY RYAN YOUNG | JUNE 17, 2013 5:00 AM

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Two local baseball teams didn’t get to spend Father’s Day with their families this year. Instead, they spent it teaching other kids the game they love at the first Battle of the Bases Father-Son Camp.

City High and Regina don’t get to play each other very often, even though their campuses are just under a mile apart. They understand that it’s pretty special when the two teams do meet.

“I’ve wanted to play a game against City High for years and years now, but I could never get anything transpired,” Regina baseball coach Andy Gahan said. “So when Brian [Mitchell] got the job, he bought into it.”

Both teams knew they wanted to promote the contest as more than just a cross-town rivalry when they were finally scheduled to play each other. The squads decided to put the game on a Sunday in an effort to get a better atmosphere.

“It makes this game so much more special for the kids,” City High baseball coach Brian Mitchell said. “It helps us to stay focused on this game, instead of just throwing it in the middle of the week.”

The idea for the camp came to coach Gahan after watching a similar camp at the University of Iowa. That the event landed on Father’s Day, the coaches said, is just a fortunate coincidence.

There were more than 30 kids who participated in the camp during the day. They got to work with players and coaches from both schools, along with their fathers — a fitting happenstance that matched nicely with the holiday.

“I think that the kids and parents really got a lot out of it,” Mitchell said. “All in all, we had great support from both schools to really make the camp fun.”

Kids rotated through stations with their fathers during the camp, working on a different skill set each time. Players and coaches from each school were at each station teaching not just the kids but the parents, too.

Parents and coaches agree that the whole process was a great experience.

“It’s always fun working with the little kids. They love working with us, and it’s just a good time,” City High second baseman Mitch Wieland said. “It was a good experience but a little weird having to play Regina later.”

City High then faced off with Regina in a one-game showdown to end the day. Regina jumped to an early 3-0 lead, but the Little Hawks responded with 6 unanswered runs to gain a late-game advantage. City High was too much for Regina, besting the cross-town rival 7-5.

The victory moved the Little Hawks to 11-7 on the year, while Regina dropped to 12-7.

“This was one of those games that we told our selves we couldn’t lose,” Wieland said. “It’s always good to beat Regina.”

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