Middle school baseball team hits grand slam with donated gear

- A team of middle school baseball players hit a grand-slam today when they scored some new gear for the upcoming season.  The sports equipment company partnered Mizuno with Dick's Sporting Goods to donate $5,000 worth of bats, balls, and gloves to the mount holly middle school baseball team.

The team’s reaction in a word:  “Sweet”

“We think it's so important to make sure that our athletes have the gear that they need to help them play better have fun, build sportsmanship,” Harper Cornell, PR Manager for Mizuno.

Justin Moore is the head coach of the Mount Holly Middle School baseball team and the school’s Athletic Director.  He says the cost for equipment can be overwhelming for both staff and parents, especially at a low-income school

“As athletic director, I see that in every sport that we have and so I try to do everything we can to provide our students with equipment that they need,” said Moore.  “That’s very important and I know that they enjoy getting new stuff.”

And many of the sixteen students on the team were very surprised.

“When they pulled the bats out, all I could think was ‘dinger nation,’ [going] all around the bases, just jogging them all around,” said excited eight-grader Cameron Setzer.

Mizuno employees also helped the kids get their gloves steamed, which loosens up the leather making it much easier to catch.

“It's really good because you don't have to spend as much time as you normally would breaking in the glove,” said Dayton Richardson.  “They could use do it right here in the store.”

While they’re obviously leaving Dick’s Sporting Goods with some great new gear, they’re also walking out with so much more.

“At the end of the day yes it is a ball glove in their hands but there so many life lessons that come from playing sports,” said Cornell.

Those life lessons are about things like leadership, setting and achieving goals, and teamwork, all things coach Moore is happy the kids can continue to learn thanks to efforts like this.

“[For] a lot of these guys, this is something good for them that they need,” he said.

The team will take to the field in their new gear for their first game this year on March 24.

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