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Local players help lead Red Sox into 17U World Series

July 19, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

Baseball extends beyond the high school season for many youth players and coaches, and that includes those who are members of the Mid-Atlantic Red Sox.

Headed by Clear Spring coach Mark Shives, who’s in his first year as head coach of the summer team, the Red Sox have had a successful summer and will conclude it beginning Wednesday at the IMPACT 17U World Series in Cary, N.C.

The Red Sox roster features several Tri-State youngsters, including Dylan and Logan Appel (Clear Spring), Ryan Butts (Williamsport), Andrew Yacyk (North Hagerstown), Jason Lombardozzi (Chambersburg) and Matt MacMahon (Mercersburg Academy).

“It’s been fun coaching kids in which to start to prepare them for the college level,” said Shives. “Statistics aren’t the big thing. It’s more a showcase of baseball. It’s about being seen by scouts.”

The Red Sox won a tournament in Pittsburgh earlier this summer and are coming off an 18U title at the Richmond (Va.) national championships.

“Division I scouts are all over the place at these tournaments,” said Shives. “The players are seeing nothing but Division I-caliber pitching.”

The Red Sox began 13 years ago, formed by Alan Haines, who teaches physical education at Boonsboro Middle School and coached at one time with Gene Kerns at Hagerstown Community College.

“Baseball has been a love and as a parent I had the fortune of sons playing college ball and this was something I did to give back to the game,” said Haines, who serves as the Red Sox’s general manager.

Shives said the area players are having good summers.

“Logan and Andrew have been solid all summer,” he said. “Ryan has done a great job of catching and the relief pitchers like to pitch to him. Lombardozzi has played short and second base and has been great.”

At the Richmond tournament, players used wooden bats and Butts connected on his first home run.

The Red Sox will also play a fall schedule and Haines said he would have a “‘prospects team” added in the fall, to be coached by former South Hagerstown assistant Danny Fowler.

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