Youth baseball/softball planning for potential season

Jaxon DeFabis fires to the plate for Keizer Little League in the 50/70 13-U state tournament last summer (File).

Even though the OSAA canceled the spring season for prep sports due to the coronavirus, youth baseball and softball are still holding out some hope.

“My board is still very much in favor of having a season still,” said Keizer Little League President Ryan Siegel. “I am talking with our District 7 staff and other league presidents about our options as a district in whole.”

“We’re going to do whatever we can to have a season, it’s just going to look a lot different,” added McNary Youth Baseball president Bo Lane.

In March, the MYB board of directors made the decision to suspend all league activities until April 29. But after Oregon Gov. Brown Kate Brown closed schools for the remainder of the school year on April 8, MYB made the decision to cancel their T-ball and Double-A programs for this season.

“Without access to school fields, our hands were tied, and so were the programs that we partner with,” Lane said.

As for the rest of their JBO program — which includes minors, juniors, seniors, as well as their softball teams — MYB is still waiting for decisions to be made at the district level. 

The MYB softball program is a part of Valley League Softball while the baseball programs transitioned to Clackamas County Junior Baseball Association (CCJBA) for the 2020 season. 

Misty Gendharr, the president of CCJBA, said in a Facebook post that she believes that the organization will have a start date in May, but it remains to be seen how it will look.

Lane believes that they could still play anywhere between 12 and 18 regular season games and then have tournament play in late-July or early-August. 

“Everything is still up in the air. But one thing’s for sure, we want to make something work,” Lane said. “It’s heartbreaking for the kids right now that they don’t get to play the game that they love.”

KLL, on the other hand, made the decision in mid-March to postpone all activities until May 11 — which was the recommendation from Little League International. But even after the OSAA decided to cancel the season, Siegel and the KLL board is still looking at May 11 as a plausible return date.  

“One of the most popular options right now is to have an extended season, possibly going into late June early to mid-July, especially for the younger divisions that are not involved with the All-Stars tournament,” Siegel said. “Plans as of now is that we are still looking at May 11th to start but that could very well change. A lot of other leagues rely on school fields to play games on and if those aren’t available other options will have to be pursued.”

However, KLL’s plan will depend on how Little League International decides to move forward and if there will be a Little League World Series or not. 

“Our biggest hold up right now is waiting to hear what Little League International plans on doing with the Little League World Series,” Siegel said. “Their decision will help us figure out our season.”