Semoball

Capaha Field to come alive with baseball action

Charleston Fighting Squirrel pitcher Luke Nichols delivers a pitch during the 2019 summer season. He will earn the start for the season-opener today in the Covid-19 Baseball Showcase at Capaha Field.
Standard Democrat file

Major League Baseball ownership and its players continue a standoff as to whether professional baseball will ever be played this summer, while the Prospect League recently put the kibosh on the 2020 Cape Catfish season. However, fear not baseball fans, Capaha Field will be filled with the sounds of baseball being played over the next four days.

The Covid-19 Baseball Showcase sponsored by the Charleston Fighting Squirrels will take place today through Sunday and there will be no shortage of ball being played.

“There will be six games each day,” Fighting Squirrel manager Michael Minner explained. “Everybody plays one game each day until Sunday, then the top four teams advance.”

Teams from Southern Illinois (SI Stix) to Missouri such as the Perfectos (Wayne County area), a couple of Farmington-area teams (Mo Outlaws South and Orioles), and Southeast Missouri-based programs (Fighting Squirrels, Bulls, Tropics, and Cape Titans) will all take the field at various times beginning at 9 a.m.

The 19-under Fighting Squirrels have not played a game as of yet this summer, so when they face the Missouri Bulls 18-under squad today at 6 p.m., Minner isn’t positive what he’ll see from his group, but he feels confident the fans will get their money’s worth.

“We feel like the baseball is going to be pretty good,” Minner said. “It should be highly competitive. There are probably a lot of good arms.”

One of those “good arms” is Fighting Squirrel starter, Luke Nichols.

The Bell City pitcher will get the start today against the Bulls.

“He’s a fastball, curveball, (and) change-up guy,” Minner said. “He throws a lot of strikes. He has good velocity and he’s going to work at a fast pace.”

Nichols’ “fast pace” will have an impact on the fans, the opposition, and even his teammates.

“He’ll keep the defense on their toes,” Minner said, “and make our defense make plays.”

Sunday will serve as a “championship day,” with the top four teams playing in semifinals and a title game to follow (see schedule below).

The time limit for each game is two hours and there will be no infield taken prior to each game, so the tournament will maintain a fast pace, as well.

Here is the schedule for the event:

Pool A: Squirrels 19u, Bulls 18u, Mo Outlaws South, and Tropics 19u

Pool B: Bulls 15u, Squirrels 18u, Orioles 17u, and Cape Titans

Pool C: Bulls 16u, Perfectos, SI Stix, Orioles 18u

THURSDAY

9 a.m. - SI Stix vs. Orioles 18u

11:15 a.m. - Bulls 16u vs. Perfectos

1:30 p.m. - Bulls 15u vs. Squirrels 18u

3:45 p.m. - Orioles 17u vs. Cape Titans

6 p.m. - Squirrels 19u vs. Bulls 18u

8:15 p.m. - Mo Outlaws vs. Tropics 19u

FRIDAY

9 a.m. - Bulls 15u vs. Cape Titans

11:15 p.m. - Squirrels 18u vs. Orioles 17u

1:30 p.m. - Squirrels 19u vs. Tropics 19u

3:45 p.m. - Bulls 18u vs. Mo Outlaws

6 p.m. - Bulls 16u vs. Orioles 18u

8:15 p.m. - Perfectos vs. SI Stix

SATURDAY

9 a.m. - Bulls 18u vs. Tropics 19u

11:15 a.m. - Squirrels 19u vs. Mo Outlaws

1:30 p.m. - Perfectos vs. Orioles 18u

3:45 p.m. - Bulls 16u vs. SI Stix

6 p.m. - Bulls 15u vs. Orioles 17u

8:15 p.m. - Squirrels 18u vs. Cape Titans

SUNDAY

10 a.m. - Pool A winner vs. Pool B winner

12:15 p.m. - Pool C winner vs. Wild Card

2:30 p.m. - Championship

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