Piedmont baseball team praised for thinking of opponent during pre-game prayer

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- A team of young baseball players from Davidson County, Archdale and Randolph County are getting a tip of the cap from parents and coaches from across the nation.

It’s because the 12-and-under Carolina Hustle team took a moment before a game this week to pray for an opponent who had lost his home in a tornado the day before.

The baseball teams are from all over the U.S. but in Cooperstown, New York for a national tournament.

“We always pray before the game no matter where we're at and this prayer just happened to be for them they were hit pretty hard,” said Todd Smith, head coach of the team.

Smith said he learned just before the game with a team from Illinois that a player had lost his home while he was on the trip.

Players like Carter Bass, 12, said he’s glad his coach told the team about their opponents’ troubles before the game.

“Our coach told us about it and as soon as he said it we really got kind of emotional because it could have happened to any of us,” said Bass.

Parents on the other team were moved by what they saw especially after learning words were said for that player who lost his home.

“Your team displayed a type of sportsmanship that is rarely seen, and this is unquestionably my favorite picture from this trip,” said Jeff McDonald, an Illinois parent who shared a picture of the 11 players, three coaches and several family members gathered together for the prayer.

His Facebook post has been shared more than 100 times and the photo liked more than 800 times.

The comments applauding the team from the Piedmont keep piling up as well.

Players said the pre-game prayer is as part of the game as a glove or a bat.

“We pray because we want God to be with us every game and we want everyone to stay healthy and not be injured during the game,” said Jake Carrick, 11, of Lexington.

But for one game there was another reason for the team to ask for a blessing.

“It’s sad that it happened and we just prayed for him,” said Austin Leonard.