There was a large crowd on hand Friday night for Ellsworth Community College Head Baseball Coach Travis Akre's second annual Lead-Off Dinner at Highland Golf Club. Attendees enjoyed a meal, met this year's ECC baseball team, honored longtime Ellsworth baseball coaching legend Marty Dittmer, and enjoyed a keynote address from Bill Krejci, current General Manager of the USA National Team.
Krejci is the former head baseball coach and athletic director at Southwestern Community College. He has been involved in USA baseball since 1996, and has had the pleasure of coaching 15 major league baseball players including Minnesota's Joe Mauer, Washington's Bryce Harper, and Baltimore's J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado.
Coach Akre introduced the ECC baseball coaching staff, previewed the upcoming season, and urged baseball supporters to follow the team on the ECC athletic website via the Game Changer. He thanked all those in attendance (which included many former Panther baseball players) for their support and said he hopes to continue the Lead-Off Dinner tradition next year.
A silent auction was held to raise additional funds for the Martin Dittmer (baseball) Scholarship. Items included signed, authenticated Muhammad Ali boxing gloves along with signed photos and other sports memorabilia.
"I am extremely please with how the event turned out," commented Akre. "There was a great energy throughout the night. I truly thank all who attended. The continued support for our program makes it an honor to lead this program."