TAMWORTH baseballer Brock Ridgewell will be pitching for another National U16s Championship medal at Blacktown next week.
Ridgewell headed down to Sydney early this morning for two days of training with the NSW Country side ahead of the championship start on Monday.
It will be the 15-year-old’s third time representing NSW Country at the nationals.
He went with the U14s to Perth in 2012 and then Melbourne last year with the U16s.
They brought home bronze.
Ridgewell is only one of a handful of players backing up from that side.
“We’ve got six from last year out of the 20, so fairly different,” Ridgewell said.
It was a fairly rigorous process to make the final side and Ridgewell has been travelling down to Sydney or Newcastle virtually every second weekend since last August for trials and then training.
The squad also played in B Division at the senior Country Championships.
“We won it,” Ridgewell said.
“We’re the first (NSW Country) team to do it.”
The year before they won just the one game.
“That was the first game they’d ever won there,” he said.
He said they are probably a bit stronger in the batting this year.
They’re not short on pitchers either. Pretty much the whole team can pitch.
Ridgewell will be one of their main pitchers. He closed out down at the Country Championships.
As well as the travel for training, Ridgewell has also been playing in the Sydney-based State U16s competition with the Marlins, which is a combined Newcastle/Central Coast side.
It finished just before Christmas with Ridgwell’s side runners-up.
All bar three of the players are part of the NSW Country side.
They start their nationals campaign against state rivals NSW metro.
“It should be pretty good,” Ridgewell said.
“We’ve played four trial games as a full squad against them and won two and lost two.”
Ridgewell is one of three Tamworth players that selected in NSW Country teams for nationals this year.
Emily Castles has been named in the NSW U15s girls side and John Warren the open men’s.
o Any local business that can help out with sponsorship for Ridgewell would be grately appreciated.