RiverDogs host youth baseball teams after Pepperhill shooting

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 10:27 PM EDT|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 4:13 AM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston Recreation League players for the Angels and Royals took to the field at The Joe Tuesday night.

The RiverDogs invited the teams to finish playing their game that was interrupted by gunfire at Pepperhill Park about a week earlier.

The RiverDogs also invited the 15U Yankees softball team to the event. The girls team was practicing and leaving the parking lot at the time of the shooting.

The kids met the RiverDogs players who signed autographs for them and took pictures with them. Then the families and kids had a picnic before their coaches threw out the first pitches of the game later in the evening.

Blake Ferguson first spoke to Live 5 News the night of the shooting, and says, now to see his son pitching on the mound in the Joe is amazing and is giving his kid so much confidence.

“He’s so excited. It’s his first night back on the mound so he’s ready. This is a great way for them to face their fears and jump right into it in an exciting way that the traumatic event that they had just the other day doesn’t even register because they’re so excited to be here,” Ferguson said.

William Shealy is the father of the pitcher on the Angels. He says it’s amazing to see the support of the RiverDogs and the community in general.

He hopes there are more events like this in general to offer kids cool opportunities to pursue what they love locally.

“The enthusiasm was almost magical for them. My son has been chomping at the bit for the opportunity to play at this field. It’s local, we bring him to games here, and all the other kids same deal. They were jumping for joy, smiles across ear to ear,” Shealy said.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. sent a video message that was played on the video board at The Joe. In addition, Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals participated in a Zoom call with members of the three teams.

While most families agree they are not ready to return to Pepperhill Park, they say this event is important to keeping their kids excited about the sport they love.

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