Pios college summer baseball squad splits two-fer, and a COVID-19 update on a Tuesday…..

Good Tuesday morning.

We bring you our daily report this morning on the Western Nebraska Pioneers of the college summer baseball Expedition League, featuring Valleyite Spencer Marenco.

The team is off today after splitting a doubleheader last night on the road in Hastings, NE, against the host Sodbusters. The Pioneers fell in the opener 6-3 then rebounded nicely for an 11-4 victory in the nightcap in the two games, which were both seven-inning affairs as opposed to the regular nine innings that league games usually are contested in. Marenco, a 2019 Mount Si High School grad from North Bend, played in the opener and went 0-4. He did not play in the nightcap.

Marenco, who played this spring at Yakima Valley Community College as a freshman there, has played in three of the team’s five games thus far, hitting .250 with a double and four RBI’s, about what you might expect for a player that, like all of his teammates, hasn’t played in three months following the sudden cancellation of the college baseball season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But he seems to be getting back in form, and we’re told is also enjoying himself back there, so good things we think are around the corner for him and his team, which finished their opening stretch of games 3-2. As noted, the Pioneers are off today but will be back home tomorrow in Gering, NE, which is outside of Scottsbluff in the western part of Nebraska, and Oregon Trail Park to be specific, playing the South Dakota-based Pierre Trappers, who Western Nebraska took two of three games from to open the season this past weekend, including a 23-5 blowout last Saturday which saw Marenco walk four times and score two runs in addition to getting a hit in his Pioneer debut.

The Pios and Trappers get at it tomorrow at 5:30 our time and you can catch live audio webstreams either through TuneIn (search KOZY-FM) or Mixlr (search Pierre Trappers) and support your local athlete as he represents his Valley well back there in the high plains of Nebraska.

Also this morning:

Arizona COVID restrictions to impact youth sports
It looks like things are starting to turn the wrong direction for youth sports again on the COVID-19 front. Arizona, a state that had been wide open for youth tournaments and what not, now has pretty much shut those down until at least the end of July, after Gov. Doug Ducey announced an order yesterday requiring gyms and bars to close as of last night and also limiting gatherings outdoors to no more than 50, which would still allow games with no fans, but tournaments involving out-of-state teams probably would not be very workable in such restrictions. The state, like most which have opened up following the initial stages of the pandemic, is dealing with a significant increase in cases of the disease.

Idaho reportedly is dealing with similar issues and that could ultimately impact that state’s reopening, which as you know has been beneficial to Seattle-area youth baseball and softball teams, with a number of them having traveled to the state in the past month to play games.

As for the Arizona ban, the ban has forced a move in one major summer basketball tournament, and that likely will end up resulting in that event’s cancellation.

So it very much appears that parents and young athletes are going to again have to keep an eye on the latest on the restrictions moving forward. Locally, it was announced last night the Snoqualmie Valley and Falls Little Leagues had jointly canceled a proposed summer schedule on account of the continued restrictions in King County. And as you know, officials in Ellensburg put a halt to all baseball tournaments for the remainder of the summer after this past weekend’s event drew a large number of people, more than was allowed under the current phase three restrictions of Washington state’s restart plan that Kittitas County is under. So games may be at a premium all summer for young athletes in all sports as this pandemic continues.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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