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Southmoreland baseball team plans fundraisers

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Southmoreland baseball team is having success on the diamond in the season's early going continuing its steady improvement with a 4-1 record as of Monday.

It hasn't hurt to be able to have players participate in offseason programs funded in part by efforts of the Southmoreland Baseball Parents Organization, which for the second straight year will sponsor a golf outing. This year's event is set for May 4 at Timber Ridge Golf Club in Mt. Pleasant.

“We're just hoping that the golfers that we had last year spread the word and they come back again this year and bring their friends,” said Marty Ridenour, president of the Southmoreland Baseball Parents Organization. “It was successful (in 2013). For being the first time ever, it went very well. The golfers I spoke with seemed to enjoy it and are interested in returning.”

Ridenour added last year's event brought in 16 foursomes.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. with contests starting at 8:30 a.m. and tee time at 10 a.m.

There also will be various contests such as a 50/50 and a hole-in-one with a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas.

Dinner and awards will follow 18 holes of golf.

The team also is selling tickets to various Pirate games to earn the chance to play at PNC Park. The Scotties are scheduled to play at the home of the Buccos at 9 a.m. Sunday against Valley.

Tickets are being sold to a May 25 game against the Washington Nationals and Aug. 29 and Aug. 31 games against the Cincinnati Reds.

“We're pushing it, we're trying to get the information into the schools and to the parents,” Ridenour said. “We're looking for any business or organization that may be interested in taking a group.”

If a group does not like those three dates, it can call the Pirates for tickets for another game and the Southmoreland baseball program will receive credit.

“It's the thrill of a lifetime,” Ridenour said of the team's opportunity to play at a major league ballpark. “The boys that have played (in past years) still, it's a big thrill to play on that field. It's a big thrill for the parents. We love it too.”

The organization also continues to sell Southmoreland baseball T-shirts.

Ridenour, whose son Max is a junior outfielder-pitcher, stresses the importance of fundraisers for a program at a smaller high school like Southmoreland.

“It's not like a larger school where the kids play one sport,” he said. “These boys play different sports, some of them maybe play three sports and it stretches things quite tight when it comes to fundraising. What we've tried to do is raise money for equipment and clinics.”

The fundraisers resulted in players participating in an offseason clinic at Seton Hill University and a program at the Timeout Batting Cages in Uniontown.

“We were able to participate with some contribution from the parents, but parents didn't have to pay it all,” Ridenour said. “That's what we're trying to do, take the burden off the parents and get the boys some extra training that the school can't provide.”

For more information or to register for the golf tournament, call 724-757-5772 or register online at www.southmoreandbaseballfundraiser.com.

For information on the ticket sales, see any Southmoreland player or call 724-547-8446.

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101.

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