The chance to get coaching tips from one of the elite teams in college baseball was too good to pass up for members of the Warren County Middle School baseball team.
The Pioneers spent most of last week in Oxford, Miss., at a baseball camp conducted at Ole Miss, one of the final four teams in the College World Series this year. Ole Miss finished with a 48-21 record and tied for third place in the World Series at Omaha, Neb.
Sixteen of the 18 players on the WCMS roster made the trip, leaving last Sunday and returning around midnight last Thursday. The camp focused on hitting and players had the unique opportunity to learn from Ole Miss head coach and hitting guru Mike Bianco.
“It was very important for us to go to a school like that where they have enjoyed so much success,” said WCMS coach David Martin. “It’s a way to validate the things we are teaching right here. It’s one thing for the kids to hear it from us. But when they go to Ole Miss and hear the same things from those coaches they understand we are teaching them the right way to do it.”
Martin and the WCMS team have made three straight trips to the conference championship game and brought the title home last year. The Pioneers will be looking to make it two straight titles when they return with a solid core of players this year.
To help bolster the program, the team has played a busy summer schedule and compiled a 17-5 record. The Pioneers have faced all-star teams from around the state and fared well.
“Facing tougher competition has helped because mentally we know we can compete with those teams and beat those teams,” said Martin. “It was a great summer for the kids and the Ole Miss camp wrapped it up.”
While at camp, the players got to stay in the Ole Miss dorms, use the Ole Miss indoor practice facility, and play at Swayze Field, home of the Rebels. Players woke up early and were on the ball field by 9 a.m. each day.
Coach Martin said players will get a break until a strength and conditioning program begins in the fall.