From the first pitch crossing home plate to the home run hit by the home team, Tuesday’s first Baseball After Hours event, co-hosted by Meridian Community College and Citizens National Bank, brought more than 500 people to Scaggs Field for a late afternoon and evening combination of baseball action and family fun.
The double-header with MCC Eagles vs. East Central Community College’s Warriors also offered a way for community residents to see the campus first-hand.
MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner said in seeking opportunities to connect members of the community with the many good things happening on campus, the idea of Baseball After Hours came to be. “This event went exceptionally well,” Huebner said about Baseball After Hours. “With Citizens National Bank as our first co-host, we accomplished our goal of highlighting important community partnerships and thanking the employees that make those relationships possible.”
Archie McDonnell, Citizens National Bank chief executive officer, who threw the first pitch as the event began, echoed Dr. Huebner adding that hosting the Baseball After Hours was a good idea in many ways.
“The No. 1 reason is we always had a great partnership with MCC. They’re a community college. We’re a community bank,” McDonnell said.
McDonnell said when Dr. Huebner mentioned the idea of Baseball After Hours to him, “I thought it would be so much fun for our people to come out here and spend the afternoon and night like this together.”
He added, “we’ve been looking forward to this. It is awesome.”
As he greeted colleagues and community residents, MCC alumnus (Class of 2003) and Citizens National Bank commercial lender banker Russell Huntley said he enjoyed the games and returning to campus. “It’s always good to come back and support the College,” he said.
Others agreed. “It’s a whole lot easier for them to play with the crowd of people who are here for this event,” said Jimmy Files, dad of Eagle pitcher Luke Files. Jimmy and his wife Amy were among the many family members who were at Baseball After Hours which also hosted a ceremony honoring sophomores at their last home game.
Eagle pitcher Luke Wallner’s parents were pleased with Baseball After Hours, too. “This is a nice event. We’ve gotten some good crowds before, but this one had a great turnout,” said his mom Maggie Wallner. The event also allowed meeting friends. MCC employees Pam and Michael Thompson visited with a high school classmate that they had not seen since their high school days.
McDonnell added, “It’s good all the way around. Get a free hotdog and a free pass into the game and visit our community college. It can’t get any better than this.”