Thirteen-year-old Westchester resident Ben McKendall was selected to play in several Goodwill Series baseball tournaments in Australia last month.
McKendall, an Orville Wright Middle School student, is one of 12 players selected for the Goodwill team from participants at the Major League Baseball’s Youth Baseball Academy in Compton.
McKendall, a pitcher who coaches said can play most positions, played Little League baseball in the Del Rey American Little League. In his final Little League season this year, he led the Cardinals to the league and Tournament of Champions district championships and helped the league all-star team earn a district championship, coaches said.
Among his Little League accomplishments were hitting a league-leading 14 home runs, batting for an average higher than .750, and pitching a league championship game in which he recorded all 18 outs by strikeout, coaches said.
The Goodwill team was scheduled to play a series of games in Adelaide and Perth against Australia’s best teams, as well as visiting teams from China.
Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Baseball Academy is part of Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Initiative and was designed to increase the recreational and developmental skills of those eight through 17.
The academy features baseball and softball instruction for boys and girls, as well as clinics and classroom instruction on related activities such as coaching, umpiring, scouting, sports photography and groundskeeping.