CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Youth baseball teams whose game was interrupted last week when numerous shots rang out finished their game Tuesday at Joe Riley Park.
The Charleston RiverDogs announced last week it would invite the youth teams – featuring nine and ten-year-olds from the North Charleston Recreation Royals and Angels – to complete their game ahead of Tuesday’s matchup.
The was interrupted when two groups of what witnesses described as a group of fighting teenagers fired dozens of gunshots nearby on April 25. While no injuries were reported, some cars parked at the field were struck by stray bullets.
Video that was sent to News 2 showed the players and coaches running off the field and ducking for cover amid the repeated sound of gunfire.
“We were by the truck and bullets started flying past us. We started running, dropped everything and saw bullets everywhere,” says Sarah Stanfield, who plays for the North Charleston Recreation Yankees.
Team members from both the RiverDogs and competing team interacted with the children in the dugout and on the field Tuesday evening and RiverDogs Director of Community Outreach, Chris Singleton, spoke to the children during a post-game picnic.
Parents like Blake Ferguson say it’s been difficult watching his son recover from the incident, but being able to watch him play again is bringing joy back into baseball.
“He wants to play for the RiverDogs and for the Braves. I don’t think this is going to hinder him from playing sports,” says Ferguson.
“The 15U softball team that was practicing at the park during the incident will also be in attendance,” the RiverDogs team announced.
In addition, the Charleston RiverDogs will donate two tickets to every youth baseball and softball player within the North Charleston Recreation Department system.
“Our message is that one the RiverDogs and Major League Baseball are here for you and want to support our local community and you know just for the kids that were involved just that you know we’re here for you and baseball is a game of fun,” says Garret Randall, Assistant General Manager for the RiverDogs.
Players say being at The Joe reminds them that they still have love for the game.
“Softball is something that I want to continue for as long as I can because that’s the only thing that is keeping me going right now,” says Stanfield.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or arrests in the shooting.