They’re team-mates in the Bendigo Baseball Association, but Lachlan Jack, Billy Parsons and Darcy Harrison are preparing to face each other and Australia’s best at the upcoming under-14 national championships.
The three 13-year-old Scots Baseball Club members came through a tough selection process to be given their state caps for the first time.
Jack and Parsons will play for Victoria Blue, while Harrison is in Victoria White’s squad for the Canberra championships.
“This has never happened before,” the boys’ club, Bendigo representative and Bendigo Bank Academy of Sport coach Kenan Jack said of three Bendigo players being selected for state under-age teams.
“I reckon they’ll do really well, excellent, actually.”
Harrison almost didn’t put his hat in the ring for selection when trials began in October, believing he wasn’t good enough.
However, he’s now thankful he allowed himself to be convinced.
“I wasn’t going to try out and I had a couple of people who thought I could do it, so I tried out,” Harrison said.
The Victoria White team is aimed largely at developing promising players and Harrison will move from his usual positions of catcher and third baseman to pitcher and first baseman after encouragement from his state coaches.
Lachlan Jack will also play pitcher and first base, his usual positions, for the Blue team.
The big hitter is hoping to be part of the winning team at the championships but thinks “it should be tough”.
Parsons was an emergency for the under-14s last year and is aiming to make the most of his selection as a pitcher and left-fieldsman.
BBAS baseball head coach Terry Smith said the talented trio had trained hard to earn their spots on the Victorian teams.
Selections involved travelling to Melbourne up to three times per week for training, practice matches and a camp.
The boys also play juniors in the city competition – Parsons and Harrison for Preston’s under-14s and Jack for Essendon’s under-16s.
“We are very pleased for the boys, they have all worked very hard for this opportunity,” Smith said.
“Lachlan and Billy have started to realise some of their prodigious talent, while Darcy has developed much quicker than we anticipated.
“Their selection is significant for our program, and gives us the confidence we are moving in the right direction for our athletes.
“I must also commend the parents of the boys, who have sacrificed much time and money to get them to training sessions in Melbourne, and games every weekend.”
Both Victorian teams will play nine matches in Canberra from January 11 to 20, including against each other in the second-last round, before the medal matches.