Meridian Star

August 25, 2013

New youth baseball league looks to teach

Sarah Moomaw
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Spring and summer youth baseball leagues have ended, but another season opens this week.

    The first annual Causeyville Youth Baseball league will kick off a new season Monday night at 6 p.m. at the Crestwood baseball fields.

    The league is for kids ages 5 through 10, divided into two age groups – coach pitch and kid pitch.

    League president Pete Aniel said the league is more of a fundamental teaching tool than an "in it to win it" setup.  

    "It's kind of like an instructional kind of league," he said. "They are still going to do the competitive thing, play for a trophy, the whole nine yards of a regular baseball season. The coaches are all dedicated and make sure the kids learn what's going to be kind of expect of them, what to look for when they move up into the respective leagues."

    Aniel got together with Michael Vaughn to start a program that would teach the fundamentals of pitching and hitting to make the transition between age groups more smooth come the Spring 2014 season.

    "They don't know what expect and everything," he said. "This league is basically trying to teach these kids and give these kids a look at what it's going to be like in the spring."

    The biggest difference between the two age group is obvious: who's pitching.

    In coach pitch, the player's coaches know each kids strike zone and have the precision to throw a hittable pitch. But when the kids over on the mound, it's a whole new ball game.

    "They aren't use to a kid pitching to them and the kid isn't use to pitching to a batter," Aniel said. "It's really a big change for both of them."

    The league is designed to focus on the adjustments and learning process to ease the transition and give participants the upper hand when competitive ball returns next year.

    "The kids that didn't participate in this league, really will be lost,” Aniel said. “They won't know how to react, what to expect.”