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Reds unveil high school baseball/softball event

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 19:02:11-05

The only baseball or softball game you could’ve played Thursday afternoon would’ve been inside.

Thankfully, the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy provided a glimpse of spring, albeit indoors on a snowy day around the city.

The fifth annual Skyline Chili Reds Futures High School Showcase, presented by Cincinnati Children’s Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, features 47 games to be played from April 2 (Opening Day) to April 30 (Closing Day). This year also marks the debut of area softball teams including Anderson, Lebanon, Mason, Princeton, Walnut Hills and Withrow.

This is the largest field in event history with 92 teams playing a total of 47 games. The event started in 2012 with 50 teams playing 25 games.

CLICK HERE for photos from Thursday's event.

Opening Day ceremonies will include seven games at the Urban Youth Academy scheduled from noon to 7:30 p.m. (six baseball and one softball).

Many of the 47 games will be played at the region’s top baseball venues including the Urban Youth Academy, University of Cincinnati’s Marge Schott Stadium, Xavier University’s Hayden Field, Prasco Park in Mason, Midland Baseball Complex in Batavia, Wright State University’s Nischwitz Stadium and the newly renovated MLB Cincinnati Meinken All-Star Field in Covington.

Closing Day on April 30 includes six baseball games and two softball games at the Urban Youth Academy.

Dozens of coaches, athletic directors and Reds officials were in attendance at Thursday’s event.

Moeller coach Tim Held says what In-Game Sports owner and event organizer Tom Gamble does with the showcase is second to none.

“Since we play at 5 o’clock and we are not Friday night under the lights and different times like that where football and basketball just lends itself to have bigger crowds – to have an event like this that shows these kids that all the hard work and everything they put into their sport – to get recognition is just huge,” Held said. “…I am just happy it’s part of what we do here in Cincinnati.”

A Greater Catholic League South division doubleheader April 13 at the University of Cincinnati features Elder versus La Salle at 5 p.m., followed by Moeller versus St. Xavier at 7:30 p.m.

Moeller, the reigning Division I state champion, is ranked No. 9 nationally by USA Today in the preseason rankings.

Another heavily anticipated matchup will be the Lebanon softball team against Mason at 10 a.m., on April 30 at the Urban Youth Academy.

Lebanon coach Brian Kindell and Mason coach Liann Muff were in attendance Thursday. Both teams have played each other several times in recent years including four times in the regionals. The teams also scrimmage each other each season.

Lebanon (33-1 in 2015) was the Division I state runner-up last season.

“We schedule Lebanon every year,” Muff said. “Coach Kindell and I are of the same mindset. We make the strongest non-conference schedule we can in order to get ready for the postseason.”

Kindell said the teams had originally scheduled to play April 28 but moved the game in order to be in the showcase.

“It’s exciting,” Kindell said.

Tickets for the Reds Futures High School Showcase games are $5 and are good for all games on that day. Each ticket includes a voucher good for a free View Level ticket to one of several 2016 Reds home games and also includes a coupon for one free Skyline Chili Cheese Coney.

Advance tickets can be purchased at each of the participating schools and will also be available on game days at each of the ballparks.

All high school players and coaches from participating teams will be invited to Great American Ball Park on Sunday, April 24 (Reds vs. Cubs, 1:10 p.m.) and will be recognized on the field during pregame ceremonies.

An estimated 1,800 individuals participated in the “March to the Majors” parade around the field in 2015.

OPENING DAY

Saturday, April 2

(at Reds Urban Youth Academy)

BASEBALL

Field #1 (Stadium Field)

CHCA vs. Northwest, 4 p.m.

Hughes vs. Norwood, 7 p.m.

Field #2

Clark Montessori vs. Deer Park, 2 p.m.

Aiken vs. Riverview East, 5 p.m.

Field #3

Finneytown vs. Roger Bacon, noon.

Bellevue vs. Scott, 3 p.m.

SOFTBALL

Field #4

Princeton vs. Withrow, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, April 5

(at Indian Hill High School)

Bethel-Tate vs. Indian Hill, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 7

(at Ryle High School)

Bishop Brossart vs. Ryle, 5 p.m.

(at Midland Field)

Amelia vs. Glen Este, 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 9

(at Meinken Field, Covington)

Highlands vs. McNicholas, 4 p.m.

Anderson vs. Conner, 7 p.m.

(at Harrison High School)

Harrison vs. Oak Hills, 7 p.m.

(at Lawrenceburg High School)

Lawrenceburg vs. Ross, 7 p.m.

Monday, April 11

(at Dixie Heights High School)

Cooper vs. Simon Kenton, 3 p.m.

Covington Catholic vs. Dixie Heights, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, April 12

(at Wright State University)

Northmont vs. Wayne, 4:30 p.m.

Miamisburg vs. Springboro, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13

(at University of Cincinnati)

Elder vs. La Salle, 5 p.m.

Moeller vs. St. Xavier, 7:30 p.m.

(at Wright State University)

Bellbrook vs. Franklin, 4:30 p.m.

Beavercreek vs. Centerville, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 14

(at Prasco Park, Mason)

Legacy Field

Mariemont vs. Wyoming, 4:30 p.m.

Prasco Park

Cincinnati Christian vs. Summit, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 14

(at Xavier University)

Loveland vs. Turpin, 5 p.m.

Friday, April 15

(at Prasco Park, Mason)

Legacy Field

Colerain vs. Lakota East, 5 p.m.

Prasco Park

Lakota West vs. Mason, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 16

(at Prasco Park, Mason)

Legacy Field

Lebanon vs. Middletown, noon.

Kings vs. Sycamore, 2:30 p.m.

Prasco Park

Badin vs. St. Xavier, 1 p.m.

Monday, April 18

(at Meinken Field, Covington)

Dayton vs. Walton-Verona, 4:30 p.m.

Holy Cross vs. Newport Catholic, 7 p.m.

(at Princeton High School)

Fairfield vs. Princeton, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, April 19

(at Edgewood High School)

Edgewood vs. Hamilton, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20

(at Midland Field)

Batavia vs. Goshen, 4:30 p.m.

Blanchester vs. CNE, 7 p.m.

Friday, April 22

(at Bishop Fenwick High School)

Bishop Fenwick vs Alter, 5 p.m.

Monday, April 25

(at Meinken Field, Covington)

Calvary Christian vs. Ludlow, 4:30 p.m.

Holmes vs. St. Henry, 7 p.m.

CLOSING DAY

Saturday, April 30

(at Reds Urban Youth Academy)

Field #1 (Stadium Field)

Beechwood vs. Campbell County, 4:30 p.m.

Lakota East vs. Walnut Hills, 7:30 p.m.

Field #2

New Richmond vs. Reading, 11:30 a.m.

Madeira vs. Taylor, 2:30 p.m.

Field #3

Purcell Marian vs. Shroder Paideia, 1 p.m.

Milford vs. Withrow, 4 p.m.

SOFTBALL

Field #4

Lebanon vs. Mason, 10 a.m.

Anderson vs. Walnut Hills, 1 p.m.