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July 3, 2012

Huntingdon’s Odom to play in Valley League All-Star Game

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon catcher Joseph Odom was named to the North roster for the Valley League's All-Star Game and will also compete in the Home Run Derby this weekend.

The Valley League's North-South All-Star rosters were released on Tuesday. Odom is one of 60 players invited to play in Sunday's All-Star Game at Front Royal's Bing Crosby Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. Eastern. The Home Run Derby will be held before the game.

"This is the type of young man we're talking about. When I called him Tuesday morning to congratulate him, he was just leaving the weight room," Huntingdon head baseball coach D.J. Conville said. "He works hard and he stays humble and that helps breed success."

Odom, a rising junior at Huntingdon, has been playing for the Winchester Royals in the wood-bat league since the start of June. Founded in 1923, the Valley League is a member of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball and has produced more than 1,000 professional baseball players.

The Royals lead both divisions of the Valley League with a 19-9 record and have seven players in the All-Star Game. Odom's selection comes one day after he was named the Valley League Player of the Week for the North division.

During the week, Odom led the league in hits, runs, home runs and total bases and helped the Royals to a 5-2 record. The Vestavia Hills native batted .448 with 13 hits, nine RBIs, four home runs, four doubles and a 1.000 slugging percentage.

Through 25 games, Odom is batting .343 with a league-leading nine home runs, 26 RBIs, 22 runs, six doubles and a .667 slugging percentage on 35 hits. In addition to leading the league in homers, Odom is third in RBIs and fourth in slugging percentage and runs scored. He's also tied for the lead in runners picked off with three.

"He told me going in that he wasn't going to set crazy expectations for himself. The main thing he wanted to do was go play and gain experience," Conville said. "I think it's great for him to gain experience and exposure this summer. I think the success he is having is just added motivation to keep working hard and keep performing."