The local youth baseball leagues kicked off their 2020 seasons on Monday. Despite heavy rains, both the Lake Cumberland Cal Ripken League and the Burnside Little League got games in on their Opening Days.
The Cal Ripken League had two games scheduled, but only got in one game. The Major League game, that are usually played on the Ward Correll Sports Complex's Hinkle Field, was moved to the artificial turfed infield of the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital Field. The Dodgers defeated the White Sox 15-5 in the Cal Ripken season opener.
The Dodgers' Ben Hampton, Chase Farmer, Gage Gregory, Eyan Phelps, and Levi Stykes, all collected two hits each. The White Sox's hits came from Chase Easterly and Tyler Miller. The Dodgers' Ben Hampton had the pitching win, while Chase Farmer slammed a triple and Eyan Phelps collected two RBIs.
"It was exiting to see the first game get played with all the time and energy it has taken to get this season underway and the uncertainty surrounding the season," Lake Cumberland Cal Ripken League President Jason White stated. "Almost surprising that it's actually happening and a little nervousness considering all the restrictions we are going by. It is worth the effort to see all the smiles on the players' faces."
At the same time, Burnside Little League was making history by live streaming their first-ever baseball game. The historic Burnside Little League, which opened up its 59th season, was recognized as the first little league charter in the nation to live stream their baseball games.
The Burnside Little League games were broadcast live on their Facebook page on Monday evening in a split screen format to give the viewers different angles of the Cole Park baseball field. Burnside Little League, which is the second oldest charter in the state, had to get a special exemption from the national Little League organization to live stream their games.
"This year has really been a challenge to get the season started with everything going on," stated Burnside Little League President Danny Bray. "The kids were excited to get to play and be outside, and our parents have been really supportive of the changes and safeguards were have had to put in place."
"The one thing we really wanted to do was to live stream our games, which wasn't allowed by the league prior to the Coronavirus," Bray stated. "We had to get special permission from Little League to live stream our games. The response from live streaming out games has been overwhelming. A lot of grandparents and parents who might work late shifts will now get to watch the games on our website. We even had people half across the country watching the games."
In the Burnside Little League Opening Day, the Rockies edged out the Cardinals 8-5, and the Indians were leading the White Sox 4-1 when the game was rained out in the bottom of the opening inning.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.