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Baseball skills camp to be held in Vidalia

VIDALIA — Local baseball players will have a chance to learn from professional baseball coaches at the Vidalia Sports Complex on Saturday for a baseball skills camp.

The skills camp is separated into two groups: one group for ages 8-to-13 year olds from 9 a.m. to noon and one group for ages 14-to-18 year olds from 2 to 5 p.m. James O. Covington, the camp director, said the event is split into two groups due to capacity reasons and experience level.

Raymond Laval, Henry Thomas and Jeff Southall are hosting Saturday’s skills camp to teach local baseball players the professional way of hitting, fielding and pitching. Laval is a collegiate cross checker for the Atlanta Braves, Thomas is a minor league coaching instructor for the Texas Rangers and Southall is an associate area scout for the Braves.

“It is a great opportunity for the Miss-Lou to have Laval, a former LSU head coach, for the camp and other professional scouts to assist and oversee,” Covington said.

Laval was the head coach for the LSU Tigers baseball team from 2002-2006 and helped guide the Tigers to two College World Series berths, two NCAA Super Regional titles, one SEC title and two SEC division championships.

Thomas was LSU’s recruiting coordinator and hitting instructor from 2000-2006 and the Tigers led the SEC in hits, runs scored and RBIs when Thomas was the hitting instructor.

Southall was an assistant coach for the Tigers in 1989 when LSU finished third in the 1989 College World Series behind Texas and Wichita State. Southall said he is excited to be part of the camp.

“We want to teach the game the professional way and help grow the game,” Southall said. “Even if it’s one kid at a time.”

The cost of the camp is $75 per player and walk-ups are welcome.