PDT Sports Editor
WHEELERSBURG — In the aftermath of Wheelersburg’s first state championship since 1996, the Pirates were given a triumphant welcome home and many pats on the back. Perhaps the biggest honor to ‘Burg’s title will come July 31 when the Cincinnati Reds will have the champions on the field for a pregame ceremony at Great American Ball Park.
The Pirates defeated Lima Central Catholic 1-0 to be the only Division III team in 2012 to end their season with a win. All types of perks come with being state champions, but being honored by a professional baseball team is one that has Wheelersburg coach Michael Estep and his players excited.
“It’s a grat honor, no doubt about that, Estep said. “I think it is very exciting and I know the players and the community are very excited about the idea too.”
According to Estep, more than 150 tickets have already been purchased by members of the community. The game, which will be against the San Diego Padres, will have many players from Wheelersburg Little League in attendance.
“This gives a unique experience to the players in our Little League system to go see something different that day as well,” Estep said.
Having a Reds front office legend right down the road certainly didn’t harm the Pirates’ chances of visiting baseball’s first professional team either.
“With Mr. Gene Bennett in our backyard just having to put in a call was helpful,” Estep said.
First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. in Cincinnati. Tickets are available through Reds.com or 877-647-REDS.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.