LONG BEACH — For what is believed to be the first time since March, organized youth sports have returned to the Long Beach Peninsula.

On July 11, the Ilwaco Babe Ruth baseball team took to the field at newly renovated Tinker Field in Long Beach for a pair of games against Warrenton and Astoria, winning both games in shutouts. Saturday’s games are the first for what the Ilwaco baseball program hopes is a busy month of baseball, with eight more games scheduled to be played through Aug. 1.

In its first game on Saturday, Ilwaco shutout Warrenton 13-0 in five innings. Offensively, the team was led by the heart of its order — Cannon Johnson, Kaemon Sawa and Kaeden Lyster — who combined for seven hits and eight RBIs. Sawa knocked in four RBIs on a single, double and triple, while Lyster notched a double and drove in three runs. Lyster also closed out the game on the mound for Ilwaco, pitching three scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. Jacob Rogers started the game for Ilwaco, pitching two shutout innings and striking out a pair.

Ilwaco’s dominance on the mound continued in its second game, as two pitchers combined to throw a five-hit shutout in a 3-0 seven inning win. Sawa was on the bump for the first four innings, striking out six Astoria batters. Dean Helvey pitched the final three innings for Ilwaco, giving up just one hit and striking out one. Johnson and Lyster had an RBI apiece at the plate.

The next scheduled day of games for Ilwaco’s high school team is this Saturday, July 18, at CMH Field in Astoria. The team’s first game is set for 11:30 a.m. against Astoria, and first pitch for its second game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. against Tillamook.

Social distancing rules and safety measures will be in effect during game days in Ilwaco and Astoria. Health measures taken include requiring: fans to wait until 15 minutes prior to the start of the game to enter the facility; fans and teams to leave promptly after their games and vacate the area so the next teams can arrive; no more than 100 people are allowed at the facility at a time; players and coaches must wear masks when in the dugout; and social distancing rules must be adhered to, as set by the host teams.

Fall sports start delayed

Meanwhile, the Daily World in Aberdeen reported that the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announced on July 8 a delay to the 2020 fall sports season, with football practices now scheduled to begin on Sept. 5 and all other fall sports on Sept. 7.

The WIAA Executive Board stated in a press release that fall sports events that the new starting dates “allow for contests to begin as early as Sept. 18.”

On July 21, the board will meet to “review other options” for fall prep sports and will make a further announcement on July 22.

“That might be a devastating announcement,” said Aberdeen High School athletic director John Crabb, who stated he believes the prep football season “is on the line” after the WIAA’s recently imposed schedule changes.

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