March 07, 2014
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The Upstate Octane little league baseball team.​

For years, youth in Simpsonville, S.C. have been playing behind the BI-LO located off Woodruff Road thanks to a very special diamond in the rough. Baseball diamond, that is.

Tucked directly behind store no. 5057 is a vacant baseball field that little league teams throughout the community use as a practice field during the week. The field was once owned by BI-LO, but has since been donated to a local church. One team, the Upstate Octane, made up of 10 boys, 11 years old and younger, have been using the practice field for the past four years, even hosting numerous cleanup and maintenance days with other teams to improve the quality of the field they share.

This year, the BI-LO Greenville East District has teamed up to adopt the Upstate Octane, sponsoring them to help cover the cost of team equipment, supplies and travel expenses. The team plays in local United States Specialty Sports Association(USSSA) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) tournaments in Upstate South Carolina and the surrounding areas.

“We have a passion for this team, in that we have been watching them practice behind store no. 5057 for the last four years,” said District Director Tommy Brown. “We’re proud to support an organization that helps them to understand the importance of teamwork and life skills that will translate into every facet of their lives.”

The team’s coach, Jason Watson, said the team is scheduled to play in up to 18 tournaments this year, as well as dozens of regular games, and entry and other costs come to $1,200 per player.

“We can’t thank BI-LO enough for allowing us to use the field for the past four years, and now for sponsoring the team so that our young players can continue to play the sport they love,” said Coach Watson.

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