By Michael Rich
Buckeye Valley catcher Leo Wells made it through two rounds of tryouts in July and was invited to join the 17U Ohio Valley Region Team for USA baseball at a camp from August 21-23 in Cary, North Carolina.
Wells, who was the starting catcher for the Buckeye Valley baseball team last season, found out about the invite via email.
“It’s great, it’s great,” he said. “It shows all the work that (I) did is finally paying off.”
“It’s fantastic,” Buckeye Valley baseball coach Adam Hall said. “The kid does nothing but put in hard work, day in, day out. He does extra workouts with our coaching staff … and now he’s starting to see the benefits of that extra work.”
The first tryout was a batting practice and throw simulation and the second was a scrimmage — both held at Don Edwards Park in Newark. Wells was invited to participate in the first tryout and then, based on his performance, was selected to participate in the second.
“At first we just did some evaluations,” he said, “so we did some batting practice and throws, then we played an actual game and then they evaluated us. It was pretty hard because these are all very good ballplayers.”
Wells said he didn’t know any of his Ohio Valley region teammates — mainly players from Kentucky and Michigan.
“His goal is to get on to that 17U national team,” Hall said. “This is the process that he has to take in order to get there.”
Wells, a sophomore on last year’s Barons squad, was All-Conference Honorable Mention for the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Red Division last season.
The Barons finished second in the conference with a 13-13 overall record and an 8-6 record in conference.
Michael Rich can be found on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.