Meridian Star

June 28, 2013

Running with the big kids

Tony Tsoukalas
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Six-year-old Phil Hardin player Jacob Wooten is the smallest player on the Subway team –– he's  also one of their biggest impact players.

    “He's a natural,” Gary Gibson said of Wooten. “He's got some learning to do, but he just has natural instincts. He's a good ball player, good kid; we have some really good kids on this team.”

    Wooten, who has been playing baseball since he was 4 years old, joined the league after making the All-Stars in the under-6 league. Though coaches urged the Wootens to bump Jacob up a level this summer, no one would have guessed how much of an impact he would make on the team.

    “We wanted to get him prepared for when he plays in seven and 8-year-old league next year,” Jacob's mother Gina Wooten said. “I thought he'd have some catching up to do, but he's hanging in there –– you really can't tell the difference.”

    In Subway's second game of the year, Gibson switched Wooten from the outfield to the pitcher position.

    The moved payed off immediately, as he was able to get a glove on sharply hit balls up the middle, taking away hits from his opponents.

    Thursday, Wooten was right back at it, helping Subway to a 20-5 win over Structural Steel while playing the pitcher position all five innings.

    The win improved Subway to 5-2 on the season, and Gibson said his team is finally coming together and playing its best ball.

    “We made the plays this game,” Subway head coach Gary Gibson said. “We  hit the ball as good as anybody. This has been our best game of the year.

    “We just have a really good team. I'm just telling them to make sure they watch the ball in when they field it, but mainly just have a good time. This is a kid's game, we just want to have a good time.”