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Local team prepares for season

It could be the chance of a lifetime for area baseball players.
The Erwin Yankees adult baseball team are at the batting cages and approaching the 2014 season with high expectations.
“We’ve been getting together and practicing,” Yankees head coach Andy Slagle said. “We’ve been getting together. Hitting, doing drills … everything’s been moving along.”
Slagle’s squad is the newly-formed version of the Unicoi Raiders – a three-time league champion of the Greene County Adult Baseball League.
However, 2014 brings change to the guys from Unicoi County.
“We’re joining the Southern Appalachia Baseball League,” Slagle explained. “The league president ran leagues down in the Myrtle Beach area and has a lot of experience in this field. We’re excited about what the future holds.”
The league is currently comprised of two Tennessee teams, the Yankees and a team based out of Kingsport, while the others are from the Virginia area.
“Everything is a go,” Slagle said. “We’ll be looking to start the preseason in mid-May and the season should start near the end of the month.”
The league is looking to set up shop in northeast Tennessee, Slagle explained.
“They’re looking for teams in the area and I know the interest is there,” he added. “There’s always people looking to continue to play baseball and don’t want to go the slow-pitch softball route.”
While dabbling in games across the states, plans are underway to compete against other national adult baseball teams and the winner of the Southern Appalachian league would have the opportunity to play in a World Series-like tournament to be held in South Carolina. The tentative location for the tournament would be TicketReturn.Com Field – home of the minor league affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball team.