THE BLITZ: Mary Persons at BufordTimes sports video
West Hall pitcher Charlie Cochran is getting to go on the trip of a lifetime, as far as baseball goes.
Cochran, along with his travel baseball team — Team Elite 17U Prime — are headed to New York later this week to begin play in the 2016 New York Met Ball Classic. The Classic is hosted and sponsored by the New York Mets and Major League Baseball.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Cochran said. “I feel very blessed and honored to be invited and get to go do it. I’m very excited to do it.”
Cochran said the event, which will last from Thursday-Sunday in the Big Apple, will be extremely competitive with six of the top travel teams in the nation competing for the title.
Headquartered in Winder, Team Elite Prime won the tournament in back-to-back seasons in 2013-14.
Cochran and his teammates will kickoff the event with the last game of the day on Thursday, a 3 p.m. start. On Friday, they’ll start at noon. The first two days will be played on the campus of the New York Institute of Technology.
The tournament will move to Citi Field, home of the Mets, on Saturday. Team Elite Prime will play at 9 a.m. On Sunday, the championship will be played at 3 p.m. The consolation games will be played at 9 a.m. and noon on Sunday.
The event will be attended by college and pro scouts from around the nation. Of the players from the 2013 competition, 50 were drafted by MLB clubs the following year with eight going in the top two rounds.
Cochran said he’s one of the very few players on Team Elite Prime who hasn’t committed to play at the next level. Two of his teammates are headed to Vanderbilt, two more to LSU, three to Georgia, two to Auburn, one to Ole Miss and one to Clemson.
Cochran, who is an upcoming senior for the Spartans, is trying to figure out where he wants to go play in college, but he’s working on going to Georgia Southern.
For now, he’s relishing the thought of being able to step foot and play on the big league field.
“It’s definitely going to be one of the coolest things I can do as a high school player,” Cochran said. “Not many people have the opportunity to do this and that’s why I want to do it. It’ll definitely be one of the highlights of playing baseball my whole life.”