ISU baseball team hosts Riley tryouts

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
March 7, 2011

Local youth baseball players will have the opportunity to see how college baseball players practice first-hand.

The Riley Recreation League will conduct baseball and softball tryouts at Indiana State's new indoor baseball facility on March 12. The recently opened facility will afford Riley baseball an opportunity to use a larger facility designed specifically for baseball use. ISU head coach Rick Heller will be on hand with assistant coach Brian Smiley and several Sycamore players to help conduct the tryouts and offer tips and advice to the young players.

Smiley offered Riley officials the free use of the facility for the tryouts. Previously the Riley Rec. League conducted tryouts in a smaller elementary school gym, which forced them to spread tryouts out over the course of two separate weekends.

"Brian found out about the situation from a parent of one of their players," head coach Rick Heller said. "He was able to set up a meeting with the Riley board and felt that the facility [at ISU] would be perfect for the Riley tryout day."

"The benefits to the league will be having the ability to conduct tryouts in one day." Riley board president Dave Friedrich said. "We're going to take advantage of the larger size and configuration of the new indoor facility and feel it's going to be a lot more efficient for us."

The resources of the facility will also provide the players with a better opportunity to simulate game settings as they can hit and throw in similar game conditions. The players will have an opportunity to engage in a unique experience playing in an environment that they normally don't have the chance to, according to Friedrich.

"The kids are going to have a lot of fun," Heller said. "They're going to have the opportunity to be exposed to Indiana State players and coaches while going through the normal tryout day."

Each of the children will also be getting a free ticket to Indiana State's game against Western Michigan at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.

The tryouts also provide an opportunity for Indiana State baseball players to interact with the children as mentors.

"Our players are going to be on hand to sign autographs and talk with each of the kids. It's a great way for our players to give the kids advice, and help out the community," Heller added. "We're hoping to build some support for our program and get people excited about ISU baseball."

The Riley Recreation League serves players ranging in age from 7-16 in baseball and softball. Registration for tryouts is still available and more information about times and age groups can be found online at http://www.eteamz.com/RileyRec/. The ISU indoor baseball facility which will host the tryouts is located on the corner of First and Eagle streets.

Writer: Scott Campbell, Indiana State University, media relations assistant, at 812-237-3773 or rcampbell10@indstate.edu.