Youth Baseball

Youth baseball teams to take swings against cancer

2013-05-24T18:00:00Z 2013-05-24T18:47:42Z Youth baseball teams to take swings against cancerJohn Burbridge, (219) 933-3371

HIGHLAND | Jacob Kosiara has come to know that there is more to life than just baseball.

Last summer, he was the manager for the Lansing Redbirds, which advanced to the Senior Babe Ruth World Series in Weimar, Tex. It was a first for the program, but coincided with another first as Kosiara's wife, Laura, gave birth to the couple's first child, Jacob Jr., forcing Kosiara to return to the region in the middle of the tournament.

With the Kosiaras due to have another child in November, and an illness in the family, time constraints have forced Kosiara — who also has a new job — to resign from his coaching duties with the Redbirds.

But he hasn't walked away from baseball.

"When you coach guys who are 16 to 18 years old, they're pretty much set in their ways," Kosiara said. "With these guys, it's a little different. We've been training since November. It's nice to teach the game a little more again, and they've been coming along real well."

Kosiara now manages the Morris Elite Baseball 11U team — one of two 11U teams as part of a five-team program started by Chicago Cub draft pick Bobby Morris, who played nine years in affiliated professional baseball and now is a coach and instructor.

As of last week, Kosiara's 11U Morris team was 17-5. Earlier this month, the team won a tournament in La Porte, qualifying it to the BPA World Series.

On Sunday, the team will take on the Indiana Warriors in a doubleheader at the Lakes of Four Seasons baseball fields. Both teams have created a Hit-a-Thon to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

"It's simple. For each pledge a player got, it will be one dollar for every single, two dollars for every double, three for every triple and four dollars for a home run the player hits during the doubleheader," Kosiara said. "We hope to raise $1,000 to $1,500.

"We want this team to be involved in community service. And I'm sure most of our boys have someone or know of someone who has been affected by the disease."

The first game is at 11 a.m. and the second is at 1:30 p.m. The fields are located at 1048 N. Lakeshore Drive, adjacent to the LOFS Golf Course Pro Shop. Those attending the game should enter through the LOFS security gate off East 109th Avenue.

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