Young Salmon Arm sluggers ready to play ball

Salmon Arm Blue’s Brody Paton slides to home plate at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)Salmon Arm Blue’s Brody Paton slides to home plate at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Orange’s Jakob Ringham pitches at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)Salmon Arm Orange’s Jakob Ringham pitches at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Blue’s Pete Foulger quickly dodges an errant pitch at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)Salmon Arm Blue’s Pete Foulger quickly dodges an errant pitch at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Orange’s Landyn Gouger swings at a pitch at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)Salmon Arm Orange’s Landyn Gouger swings at a pitch at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Blue’s Ben Perkins runs to second base where Salmon Arm Orange’s Mya Bickle awaits at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)Salmon Arm Blue’s Ben Perkins runs to second base where Salmon Arm Orange’s Mya Bickle awaits at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Blue’s Tanner Mayes mid-pitch at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)Salmon Arm Blue’s Tanner Mayes mid-pitch at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Blue's Brody Paton slides to home plate at Klahani Park on June 8, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)

It was cloudy, with the occasional ray of sun or raindrop, in the early evening on June 8 at Klahani Park.

From two baseball diamonds could be heard the dings of successfully swung baseball bats and the thuds of baseballs hitting gloves.

On one diamond, Salmon Arm’s 13 and under AA team was practising, in hopes their tentative games on June 19 in Kamloops and on the 26th in Salmon Arm will be permitted by public health orders.

On the other diamond, 13 and under co-ed recreational teams Salmon Arm Blue and Salmon Arm Orange were preparing to play ball.

Ravonne Foulger, Salmon Arm Blue’s assistant coach and director of the 13 and under division, stepped off the field to talk.

She said it was challenging to prepare for this year’s Salmon Arm Minor Baseball Association (SAMBA) season.

There was a lot of back and forth with BC Minor Baseball about what the season would look like and what rules would need to be in place, said Foulger.

On the field, Foulger said the teams were all working on all the fundamentals of baseball at practices: throwing, catching and hitting.

The first division that kids start pitching in is the 11U division. The 13U division is the first one where they can steal bases and lead off the bags.

There is still a heavy emphasis on pitching practice in the 13U division — especially this year — since some players missed their second year of 11U pitching practice due to last year’s canceled season.

Foulger explained that SAMBA is trying hard to promote girls in baseball and have more girls stay in baseball in the older divisions. While she said there are lots of girls in the younger divisions, as it stands right now, there are only two girls in 13U.

SAMBA had plans to host some girls-only baseball clinics but unfortunately weren’t able to due to COVID-19 restrictions on mixing age cohorts.

The 13U division is playing their second games this week, and players couldn’t be more excited. At every practice before games became allowed, Foulger said players on her team would ask, “Why don’t we get to play games? When do we get to play games?”

As Foulger walked away, someone shouted “Jerseys tucked, let’s go!”

It was Salmon Arm Blue’s head coach. Not long after, another night of local baseball action began.

Read more: In photos: Young Salmon Arm baseballers play first games of season

Read more: Photos: Salmon Arm minor baseball swings back into action


@roman_reports
zachary.roman@saobserver.net

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