Little Takes Game To Next Level For Union County American Legion Team

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Sam Little is a confident baseball player and that is good news for the Union County American Legion Baseball team.

Little was a standout player in high school at Piedmont and that led to a chance to play baseball for Point University in Georgia. Little logged time with the Skyhawks junior varsity team this past spring and that experience is paying off for Post 535.

Union County is currently 10-0 on the year and Little is batting .321 with three RBIs and eight runs scored.

“My first year playing college baseball was fun and it was a great learning experience,” Little said. “Then when you come back and play this kind of baseball (with Union County) you get a little more confident. The main thing is I am a lot more confident.”

Union County American Legion Baseball team head coach Alan Mitchell is pleased with the play of Little 10 games into the season.

“Sam is an infielder for us and he can also play some outfield for us,” Mitchell said. “Sam has great hands. Sam is a guy where we can put in anywhere in the infield. He can go from first to third and he plays all the positions extremely well. He also gives us some speed on the bases. Sam is another guy that is fun to watch.”

Mitchell said Little is a different player after having a year of college baseball under his belt.

“You can see the maturity that he has gone through, and that is a big help for our team,” Mitchell said.

Little said gap between high school baseball and college baseball is big.

“The pace of the game is a lot faster,” Little said. “The consequences are a lot greater. You have to compete more on the field to win and you have to compete to earn a job to get on the field.”

Little said the early season success for Union County can be attributed to the fact that the entire roster is focused on the team winning.

“It’s fun, and it is a lot easier to play around guys that are this good,” Little said. “It is less tense. This is the way the game is supposed to be played, being out here and having fun. You just play free.”

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at