Lake County Little League concludes successful season

BALDWIN — A successful Lake County 4-H Little League season has ended and officials can’t wait to start the next one.

Coaches, parents and players capped off the season Friday at Hollister Park with a celebration event that included a game between the youth and their parents.

One of the parents and league officials was Harold Nichols.

“We’re going to do the older kids, travel league first, both of our travel league teams, against the coaches and parents,” Nichols said during the event. “Then it’s coaches and parents from the Little league and T-Ball combined.”

The league offered three levels with T-Ball, Coach-Pitch and Little League travel.

The Mollohan team lost 13-10 to Scottville to close the regular season last Thursday. Michael Mollohan, Dexter Hossler and Lavonte Palmer pitched for the Baldwin team.

Nichols estimated around 100 individuals participated.

Seth Hopkins, of the county Extension 4-H office, said the older team, 11-12 year-olds, may have some rescheduled games.

“There was some talk of a tournament but I haven’t heard anything on that,” he said. “This is definitely the end of the year. We’ve had a good season. We had over 80 kids this year, which is excellent. If you start to do the math, we engaged them at least two days a week for the last two months. So it was quite a few hours of participation this year.”

Looking ahead, Hopkins said surveys will go out to get feedback from parents and the community.

“We’re looking to improve the program,” he said. “We’re looking to get more participation and get things working smoother as a machine, get our uniforms ordered even earlier if possible, get pictures distributed. We’ve done really good on those. I’m really happy.

“This year, the board has really stepped up. It’s our second year of having the board. They’re the ones that does all the management basically of the program. 4-H is doing all the administrative components. I have to give them kudos for doing such a great job. They’re making it run good. Our sponsorship went up from past years. That’s good to see. That helps with the program all around.”

Hopkins, in the 17 years he’s been working with the program, said it’s the first time he’s seen two Baldwin Little League teams.

“We had good T-Ball number, that’s where it starts,” Hopkins said. “We would like to get a softball team together. This year we had a coach interested in coaching but we didn’t have the numbers there.”

Hopkins said the league has reached out to the Luther Little League for an end-of-the-year tournament.

“They’ve been involved in a different league,” Hopkins noted. “I’m glad to say our numbers are up.”

Hopkins said with a Lake County Foundation grant, he’s looking to purchase more gear in the offseason

“We had a pitching machine out for a number of practices this year,” he said. “That really helps.”