New Richmond Baseball Club has a successful 2014 season
The New Richmond Baseball Club has wrapped up its summer season with several championships and strong numbers in its in-house programs.
More than 550 youth from the New Richmond area community compete in two levels of baseball opportunities. One is a developmentally focused in-house league. There are also opportunities in a competitive traveling league.
Parent volunteers are relied upon to coach, manage teams, and perform administrative tasks. Beginning in pre-kindergarten, T-ball players spend the season learning basic skills that will help them grow as they progress through levels of the club. By first grade, these children begin to experience live pitching as the volunteer parent coaches pitch throughout the Coach Pitch Season.
In grade two, young boys and girls find the focus shifts to batting and fielding. This season, the NRBC implemented pitching machines and regular practices for the Minor League program. In the first half of the season, players were hitting pitches from these machines and developing their fielding skills. Batters gained confidence and fielders learned how to position themselves to make correct plays. The second half of the Minors season was marked by more competitive league matchups.
The Minor league season ended in July with the year-end tournament where teams were seeded based on their record throughout the year and played in a single-elimination bracket tournament. The Diamondbacks won the Minor League championship.
The fifth graders begin playing a similar schedule with the added competitive level of traveling to play in both Somerset and Osceola against their fifth and sixth grade teams. Throughout the season volunteer coaches organize and execute practice plans specifically designed to develop self-identified needs of the team. The Major League season concluded with a year-end tournament hosted by Somerset. The New Richmond burnt orange team played in the championship against the New Richmond white team, with burnt orange winning the championship.
The final step in the in-house program is with the seventh and eighth grade Babe Ruth teams. The NRBC Babe Ruth program plays in the Western Wisconsin Baseball League. This league consists of teams from River Falls, Hudson, Somerset and New Richmond. Their year-end tournament was hosted by New Richmond this season and the New Richmond Babe Ruth Black team earned second place.
The other division of the New Richmond Baseball Club is the traveling program. Players go through a tryout in order to be named to one of the traveling teams. The traveling teams are coached by volunteers within the organization, divided by grade level and players must be age appropriate by May 1 of the year they play. A tournament-only U9 team is created to introduce third graders currently playing in the Minor League to the traveling experience. They play in two to three tournaments and no league play within the Metro Baseball League.
The NRBC plays in the Metro Baseball League, which is the largest independent youth baseball league in the country. This season, the NRBC played in the U10AA, U11AA, U12AA, U13AA and U14AA leagues, where teams play in New Richmond but also travel to play Metro Minnesota teams throughout the summer. Additionally, the NRBC added a U16AA team this season. These boys played in the Junior American Legion league in the past.
Traveling teams are seeded into three different tiers at the end of their season based on their league record. The top seeds are placed into tier one. New Richmond teams proved quite successful in the MBL, producing the U11AA Tier One champions, the U12AA Tier Three champions, and the U16AA champions.
Additionally, traveling teams may earn a bid to compete in the State Baseball Tournament with successful tournament showings earlier in the season. The NRBC Summer Classic offers bids to first and second place teams for these tournaments. The New Richmond U13AA team placed fourth at the state tournament this year.
Dates for all players interested in trying out for the next season of NRBC traveling ball will be posted on the NRBC website: www.nrbaseballclub.com.