Ahead of schedule, West De Pere's Hampton to play for Booyah this summer

The 18-year-old pitcher will be one of the youngest players in the collegiate league.
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 23:52:54-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- Life takes you on unexpected journeys, and Ben Hampton's journey happened to lead him just miles from where he grew up.

The recent West De Pere graduate and West Virginia baseball commit will play for the Green Bay Booyah this summer. There, he'll play against some of the top college players in the nation.

Hampton is one of only four high school seniors currently on a Northwoods League roster.

"In high school ball this was nowhere close to my plan," the 18-year-old laughed.

He said he decided to play for the Booyah after his summer program at WVU was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hampton said choosing Green Bay was a no-brainer because of the location.

The 2019 All-State pitcher said he's looking at this as a head start to his college career.

"I'm hoping to get as much out of the players, learning from them and seeing what they do and help me out with what to expect in college," he said. "I'm hoping to get everything I can out of the coaches with everything mechanical wise, everything I can to become a better pitcher. And learn from the guys on how to be a better person and college athlete."

Hampton said he's not yet sure how many innings he'll get this summer, but his manager said he does plan to take him along slowly.

"He's talented," Tom Carty, now in his second year as the Booyah's manager, said. "But I think as a manager I'm going to guide him slowly and smoothly to not let him get too rattled early and ease into it."

It's a difficult transition to make, especially after losing his senior season to the pandemic.

"The practices are a lot more difficult, a lot longer," Hampton said. "Definitely a big difference from high school baseball."

But, Hampton is hoping to contribute for his hometown team.

"I'll do everything I can to prove myself and I just hope that I get the opportunities to play and prove myself to (Carty) and the rest of the players."

The Booyah will open their season on Wednesday at Capital Credit Union Park.