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The strong-armed Joshua Wilhide tossed some impressive innings at the recently held USA Baseball Champions Cup held in North Carolina. Photo Contributed

Joshua Wilhide Wins Gold Medal As Part Of USA Team Baseball Champions Cup

CARY, N.C.- Joshua Wilhide wears his recently won gold medal with pride. The freshman at Bob Jones earned his medal as part of the Team Southeast Stars which won the Champions Cup in the 14U division of the Team USA Baseball event held in Cary, N.C.

Wilhide was among 200-plus elite players selected for the multi-day gathering in which members of the Team USA Baseball coaching staff evaluated each player’s individual talents and game tournament. Each region of teams, made up of 18 players each, played a pool of games advancing to the championship round.

“The experience was really fun and all the players were very good,” said Wilhide. “I feel good about my play and proud of my gold medal that includes the Team USA Baseball logo.”

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound 14-year old helped the SE Stars to a perfect 5-0 record including a 3-1 victory against the NW Stars in the championship battle.

In game one, Wilhide was the starting pitcher tossing 2-2/3-innings in the team’s 13-7 win. While on the mound the hard-throwing, right-handed fastball was clocked at a personal best 83-miles per hour. He gave up just three hits in his time on the mound.

In game two, he played catcher for three innings and showcased his versatile true skills with a unique double play to end the game in a 10-4 win. With runners at first and third and one out, the batter struck out on a ball in the dirt, which Wilhide blocked. The ball bounded up into the air upon his perfect block behind the plate giving the runner on third a chance to race to home plate. Upon the runner sliding into the plate, Wilhide seized the ball out of its flight and dove in mid-air to make the tag on the runner to complete an unusual game-ending double play.

In the third game while playing third base, again Wilhide ended the game snatching a line drive up and over his right shoulder in the squad’s 5-1 victory. In the semi-final fourth game, he made two strong plays from third base in a 2-0 win and advancement to the title contest.

In the championship game, Wilhide was at third for three innings and was then throw in as a relief pitcher in the sixth inning where he faced the bases loaded and one out.

“That was a very stressful time for me, but I pitched well to close out the game,” said Wilhide.

Stepping onto pitcher’s mound he struck out the first batter and added a fly out to end the inning. In the seventh, he ended the game for the third time in five outings with a strikeout preserving a 3-1 win.

“I feel I played well in all areas of the game especially in the field,” added Wilhide. “My play at third was really good as I had a half-dozen balls hit to me with no errors. At bat, I had three walks in seven appearances.”

In each game coaches rotated the players at their different positions.

“I’m glad to be a part of all this as I learned at this level of competition you have to really work hard,” said Wilhide.

The young athlete is now awaiting official word if he will be chosen to participate in the PBR Alabama/Mississippi Border Battle scheduled to take place Oct. 29-30 at Northeast Mississippi Community College in Boonville, Miss. Each state will provide 14-player squads in each of the 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026 classes. The event will feature a showcase style workout followed by two games in each class division.

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