By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
The Inland Northwest Men’s Baseball League, located in the Spokane area, started their 2020 season on Saturday, June 20th with games in the 32-over division and followed the next day with the 18-over players taking off. Their 45-over division won’t start until mid-July, as they are still working on their schedule while trying to get a field with lights since they play on Wednesday nights after everyone gets off work.
“We’re excited about this year because we have eight teams in our 18+ division, five in our 32+ and three teams in our 45-over division,” said League President Bret Fink. “We moved our games to nearby Idaho just to play this year until Washington fields are available so guys are travailing up to 65 miles at times just to play games. That adds up to 200 miles for the guys coming from tri-cities and a few players coming from Seattle, which is 465 miles to play also. When baseball is going, some people, me included don’t matter how far we have to go we will play!!!”
Bret was good enough to supply us with a summary of the weekend action. He also supplied us with a quick overview of what the league is doing to stay compliant with state virus regulations.
“They do suggest spreading out for social distancing, and we do of course, but its back to pretty much normal baseball,” said Bret. “We did have the players sign a waiver for Covi-19 plans and mandated guidelines. The umpires are not wearing masks so for the most part it is the same old baseball as it was before the Covid19.”
Following is Bret’s summary, in his words, from their first weekend games of 2020:
“We started Saturday with the five teams in the 32-over division. All games went off without a hitch and got some good double-headers in for each team. A few teams were short-handed on players because of graduations and people being out of town but they all made a day out of it and there were smiles and hits and home runs and strikeouts all day.
The Cubs and Chukars squared off with the Cubs winning the first game 15-6, thanks to a home run by Art Reyes for the Cubs, and a Chukars home run and triple for Kurt Pavlat, the Chukars manager. The Chukars took game two, 6-5 as both teams split.
The Spokane Hawks defeated the INW Iron Pigs 9-4 on Saturday at Timberlake High School. The Hawks scored one run in the first inning and two runs in the second. Clay Hilton started for the Pigs and pitched a complete game in a losing effort. He faced 34 batters, giving up nine runs on 10 hits, six of which were earned. Clay also surrendered one walk and struck out four.
The Hawks did the most damage late in the game, scoring six runs in the last two frames on seven hits. The Iron pigs scored two runs in the third inning, one in the fourth and another in the seventh.
The Iron Pigs were led by Kevin Richey who went 2 for 3, two runs scored and an RBI. They also had hits from Overbay, Hilton, Elliot, Santos, Gunter and Barnhart.
Beau Morehouse started the game for the Hawks, pitching four innings and facing 24 batters. Beau gave up three runs, two of which were earned on six hits. He also recorded five strikeouts in the contest.
Kevin Lammerding came in for two innings of work and recorded the victory, allowing zero runs on two hits and a strikeout. Pat Martin finished up the seventh inning for the Hawks.
The Hawks were led by Chris Baker and Josh McCoy at the plate, going 2 for 3 each, both having hit a double while McCoy recorded an RBI. Mark Wasmund also went 2 for 2 with three RBI’s recorded.
The Spokane Angels defeated the Spokane Hawks 5-1 Saturday afternoon in the late game of a three-game set. Starr, for the Angels, pitched a complete game win giving up only one unearned run on four hits. He also recorded 10 Strikeouts.
Al Garza was the Hawks lone star going 2 for 2 with a double.
The Angels were led by Coffield, Mortloal and Smith at the plate, all going 2 for 3. while Nisbet went 1 for 3 and had two RBI’s in the contest.
Chris Boyd started for the Hawks, and though he pitched a complete game was given the loss. He gave up five runs, all earned on 10 hits, but also recorded seven strikeouts.
The Angels played really well in their second game of the day and kept the Hawks guessing all day long.
Our 18+ season started on Sunday the 21st with a little confusion and fields not being available because of an American Legion tourney and one field’s sprinklers broke and flooded the field. Two teams did not get any games as their field was flooded and no other field was available.
In the games that were able to be played the Reds defeated the Mariners 13-6 in a single nine inning game while the Astros hung on for a one-run victory over the Tigers, 4-3. It was a very competitive game, back and forth all game, that included great pitching from both teams. The Astros won it in the ninth to take the win with a bases loaded walk to end the game.
The Padres and Cardinals split a double header. The scores weren’t available at this printing.