The Piedmont Pride baseball team is set to send 12 players and two coaches to serve the Lord during a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. The team will be led by Pride Head Coach Joe Hudak, who will be taking his fourth Pride team and eighth team overall. The team will play a total of four games on the trip against different local teams, including a game against Major League star Robinson Cano’s fathers’ academy team. The Pride will share their testimonies after each game.
While the games against the local DR teams are enjoyable, the main purpose of the trip is the mission work. The team will visit, a school for underprivileged kids, two orphanages, and two sugar cane villages. “Last year I had a life changing experience on the trip. It really helped me see how well I have it here back home.” John Brocklebank stated. Brocklebank will be heading back for his second trip to the DR, and will be a sophomore at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
Richard de la Cruz, an outfielder for The Pride this year, is a native of the DR, and will be headed home to see his family. “My family has been wanting to come see me play for a while, but was never able to because of the expenses to get everyone over to the states. I am super excited for them to be able to watch me play the game I love.” De la Cruz came over to play his senior year of baseball in the United States and will be going into his junior year at Belmont Abbey, a division two university in Belmont, North Carolina.
Josh Baker played for The Pride last summer and wasn’t able to go on the trip last summer. “I saw all the pictures and videos from the trip last year and heard the stories some of the guys told, and that is one of the main reasons I came back to play for The Pride this year, so I would have an opportunity to go and serve the Lord” said Baker. “I look forward to seeing the joy on some of the children faces”
Coach Hudak is excited about his eighth mission trip to the Dominican. “These trips are the highlight of the summer”, he explained. “They never get old. We go to the Dominican Republic thinking we are going
to minister to them, but in all reality they are the ones who minister to us.” Coach Hudak had this to say about what the players will learn on the trip. “When they (the players) go there and see how little the people have, but yet how happy they are, I think they get a new appreciation for what’s really important in life. It’s very cool to see how the guys grow in their faith on the trip.”
The team will fly out the morning of Wednesday, July 4th and be gone a week down serving and return Wednesday, July 11th. Coach Hudak’s daughter Logan will again travel with the team and serve as team photographer. She will be taking pictures daily, and posting them at http://pridebaseball.smugmug.com. You can also follow the Pride on their website, http://pridebaseball.net. A total of 16 people will be going on the trip and all thoughts and prayers are welcome.