The Saskota Baseball League is off and running for the 2020 season playing the first scheduled games on Thursday, July 2.
The league will consist of the same nine teams as last year and each team will play a shortened schedule of 10 games. The league start had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thursday night’s action saw eight of the nine teams play their season openers. Last year’s champions, the Carnduff Astos, had the bye.
League President Kelby Trimble of Carnduff had been facing the prospect of no season at all, saying, “I’m glad there is going to be some baseball.”
Thurday’s games saw Redvers A’s win 7-1 over the Oxbow Chiefs. Carlyle Cardinals held off the Estevan Fireballs 11- 9, entertaining the fans in a close one. Estevan Wolves took out the Arcola Threshers 11 – 6 in Estevan, and a pitching duel in Kipling saw the Royals hold off the Kenosee Cubs 1-0. Burke Lyons pitched the shut-out in the home opener.
Three games were scheduled for Friday night with only one game being played. The Estevan Matchup will go as a double header at a later date and the defending champs, the Astros will host the Kenosee Cubs on Sunday for their league opener.
Carlyle Cardinals made it a 2–0 start to the season, spoiling Arcola’s home opener in the league’s second night of action.
Fans will see few noticeable changes to the games. The province’s physical distancing rules will be in effect for the players while in the dugouts and spectators will be asked to follow physical distancing protocol as well. There will be no meeting prior to the first pitch between teams and teams will not shake hands at game’s end. They will make a gesture from their benches at the completion of the game in a display of sportsmanship.
Also there is lots of room in the ballpark for fans and it is an event any one can go and safely practice physical distancing.
Provisions have been put in place to sanitize baseballs, all balls leaving the fenced area of the diamond will be sanitized when returned to the playing field before being put back into play. As well, players are not allowed to bring sunflower seeds, etc. and asked to not spit to keep each other and fans safe.
The game umpire is the field boss at all times and the teams are asked to adhere to all recommendations that the Saskatchewan Baseball Association has put forth to make sure that the season is a success.
The baseball season has been a constant in the southeast area of Saskatchewan dating back to the late 1800’s and now under the pandemic, provides great entertainment that is easy on the pocketbook for anyone looking for an outing. Just remember to keep an eye on the ball.
Check the Saskota Baseball league website for all the games times, standings and scores.