16U baseball tournament welcomes fans to Bowling Green Ballpark
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - After limiting attendance to just parents, the Pastime 16U National Baseball Tournament was open to the general public at Bowling Green Ballpark. The tournament runs from July 1-5 with fans allowed to attend Friday-Sunday.
“It feels great,” Eric Leach, the Hot Rods General Manager, and COO said. “We had the excitement about today being able to open to the general public for the first time ever. It’s just nice to see some of our season ticket holders actually come out to take in some 16U baseball.”
The tournament will continue throughout the holiday weekend with five games slated for Saturday and four games on Sunday.
Baseball is back man,” Leach said. “That’s a great feeling, it puts a smile on my face knowing that the Hot Rods aren’t going to play, at least we have some out here.”
For the parents and fans in attendance, seeing their kids play, and taking part in the experience of going to a baseball game was a small taste of getting back to normal.
“It’s really good with the major league not playing yet,” Pat Condon said. “There’s not a lot of activities families can do together. Everything’s not open yet but you can all go see a baseball game and enjoy it.”
Parents were happy to see their kids back on the diamond and competing in a game they love.
“It’s about time,” Candon said. “Kids were cooped for a long time and it’s fun to get out here and watch them play. We love to go watch them play, travel all around, and let them have fun and be kids.”
For the players, while having fans in the stands is nice, they’re more focused on getting to play with their teammates.
“It’s nice to be back,” said Cayden Silvester, a member of Extreme Elite. “Just going out and playing ball, it’s what we grew up doing.”
“It’s the best feeling in the world to be back after being in quarantine and then you get back out on the field,” said Connor Lindsey of Extreme Elite. “The fans are great but you just zone in with your brothers on the field all day.”
Silvester and Lindsey said it’s special getting to play on the Fourth of July since many professional players have played on that date in the past.
“It‘s nice to be back on the field and play on a famous holiday that usually other people are playing on two,” Silvester said.
“Just following the footsteps of the pros,” Lindsey said. “You’re just following in their image trying to get to where they are and there’s nothing like it.”
Bowling Green Ballpark will be hosting another Pastime tournament in two weeks. The entire tournament is expected to be open to fans.
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