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Hustlers, Marion Bobcats to play in Snappy Tomato College Classic

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LEXINGTON, Ky.- The Lexington Hustlers announced that it will take on the Marion Bobcats in the first-ever Snappy Tomato College Baseball Classic, to be held in Elizabethtown this June 13.

The Hustlers, the newest member of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, will take on the Bobcats, an Ohio Valley League franchise, for the first time.

The game is scheduled for Monday, June 13 at 6:00pm, and is to be played at John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown.

The Marion Bobcats (established 2008) are a member of the brand-new Ohio Valley Summer Collegiate Baseball League. The Bobcats, Owensboro Oilers, Fulton Railroaders and Tradewater Pirates, all formerly of the KIT League, will be playing in the new league in 2011.

While both organizations are relatively new, they have equally impressive baseball tradition. The Hustlers are named after the original Lexington Hustlers of the 1940s, a semi-pro all African-American team that became the first team to integrate, welcoming Bobby Flynn, a white player, to their team in 1947. Bobby Flynn just so happens to be the father of Doug Flynn, a Lexington native to won a Gold Glove in the big leagues and was a part of Cincinnati's 'Big Red Machine.'

Marion has been home to several standout players including Dago Perryman, who, while playing for Texarkana, became the first player to play a different position in each inning of a game in the history of organized baseball. Floyd “Rip” Wheeler is also a Marion native, and pitched for Marion High School and other teams in the Hopkins-Webster Coal Mine League before signing and reaching the major leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wheeler, who also pitched for Chicago Cubs, was respected as an iron man-type pitcher, having pitched both ends of several double headers.

The Hustlers and the Bobcats hope to continue this tradition as a way to open their respective seasons and pique the interest of college baseball fans all over the state of Kentucky.

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