Eli Hill Foundation hosts inaugural Eli Hill Invitational Baseball Tournament

Mar. 27—CORBIN — The Eli Hill Foundation, in cooperation with the Corbin High School Baseball Team, hosted the inaugural Eli Hill Invitational Baseball Tournament this past weekend.

Eli Hill was an 8-year-old Corbin student who tragically passed away in March of 2023 following an accident at home while playing basketball.

The Invitational occurred just over a year after Eli's passing.

The tournament was held on Friday and Saturday, and it featured teams from the southern Kentucky area.

Eli's parents, Ashley Hill and Adam Hill, founded the Eli Hill foundation in June 2023 to honor his memory.

According to Ashley Hill, the foundation seeks to help those in need in the spirit of their son Eli.

She said, "We don't want people to remember him for his passing...When we started, we didn't know what we wanted to do but show Eli's light to those in need in our community...We want to help as many people as we can.

"We can't believe how much support the community has given us," Ashley continued.

For the tournament, that support was shown through generous donations for a raffle that would continue to support the foundation.

Top prizes included $1818, a Blackstone Grill, Red's tickets, two pairs of Beats Headphones, and more.

At the tournament, a ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Adam Hill with Eli's sister Allie Hill.

Additionally, the Hills were joined by members of Drake Southerland's family, another young Corbin student who tragically passed away due to car accident in February.

Drake's two brothers Cameron Southerland and Josh McWhorter also threw a first pitch along with the Hills.

Ashley Hill made it a point to honor Southerland, noting that they deserved the support of the community as well.

The Eli Hill Foundation also has established the Eli Hill Teammate of the Year Award.

The award is distributed to the player on each major sports team for Corbin Schools that the coach deems to be the best teammate.

Ashley Hill noted of the award, "The coach selects the player that best reflects Eli...It is not the player with the most talent or even the best player...; it is about who helps their teammates the most."

The recipient is awarded $1018 and is asked to spend the additional $18 (representing Eli's uniform number) on a good deed in honor of Eli.

Though final figures were not available at press time, Ashley Hill estimated that several thousand dollars were raised by the tournament.

In a follow-up interview, Hill also noted that four Corbin High School seniors were given special permission by the KHSAA (Kentucky High School Athletic Association) to all wear the number 18 in the final game of the Tournament, another homage to Eli's number.

She also added that, following that final game, Corbin students in the crowd were invited to take to the field and run the bases and meet the members of the Corbin High School baseball team.

Four teams participated in the tournament: Corbin, Somerset, Estill County, and South Warren.

After each game, one player from each team was awarded a "player of the game" award.

Those awards were given out as follows:

Game 1 Winners: Somerset: Cayden Cimala; Corbin: Cam Estep

Game 2 Winners: Estill County: Kenyon Hix; South Warren: Austin Allen

Game 3 Winners: South Warren: Griffin Rardin; Corbin: Mikey Neal

Game 4 Winners: Somerset: Connor Roberts; South Warren: Camden Page

Game 5 Winners: Somerset: Griffin Loy; Estill County: Jax Niece

Game 6 Winners: Estill Co.: Tyler Brewer; Corbin: Hunter Todd