Baylor, Shriners Hospital for Children partner up for day of baseball

WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Baylor baseball team is in the midst of nine days between games, and they used some of that time to learn more about their temporary teammates that they gained Saturday.

The Bears welcomed in more than 225 athletes from the Little League Challenger Division.

"Everyone gets to bat two times through," Baylor redshirt sophomore outfielder Ryan Bertelsman said. "Whenever the other team is fielding, we throw with them, we get to talk with them, and we get to cheer them around the bases. It's been a blast."

"What we're supposed to do is do everything we can to make sure help them as many times as we can, and as much as we can," Baylor head baseball coach Steve Rodriguez said. "Being able to team up with them in this event is a small thing for us, but I think it's a big thing for some of these kids. Being able to work with Shriners Hospital for Children is one of the greatest things I think we've done."

The 10th annual event in partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children was originally scheduled to take place at Baylor Ballpark, but the weather forced those plans to be moved to the Allison Indoor Facility.

The young athletes with physical or developmental challenges were able to play alongside Waco's Division I collegiate baseball players all morning and afternoon.

"It is awesome that we can do this," Bertelsman said. "So many people pour into us. Just a day like this where we can pour into others is a blessing. We love doing it, we enjoy doing it, (and) hopefully we can continue doing it every single year."

"You can see it in their smiles throughout the day not only in our guys, but the kids from the Challenger League," Rodriguez said. "They're really excited, happy, full of love and love being out here."

Baylor will play in the Shriners Baseball Classic in 2020 in Houston along with Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and LSU, and another SEC team yet to be announced.