Chris Hatcher speaks at annual Pitt-Greenville Hot Stove Banquet

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GREENVILLE, NC -- Baseball season is just around the corner and Tuesday night, baseball was celebrated at the 29th annual Pitt-Greenville Hot Hot Stove Banquet.

The annual event recognizes outstanding baseball achievements by players, coaches and supporters of the game right here in Eastern North Carolina.

Brian Fields and Michael Vaughn, coaches for the North State Little League World Series team were named Volunteer Coaches of the Year, ECU baseball sophomore Bryant Packard was named Amateur Player of the Year and Ryan Mills of North Pitt was chosen as the winner of the Outstanding Individual Contributor Award.

Oakland Athletics pitcher and Kinston native Chris Hatcher was the guest speaker. He's one of more than two dozen current major league players from the state of North Carolina and says it's always great to come back home.

"I still live locally during my offseason," said Hatcher. "Seeing familiar faces and talking baseball with local folks I grew up around, it brings it full circle coming to things when I was little."