Snowflakes were swirling the in air and the temperature dipped to near 30 degrees but the excitement was also palpable as the Penn Yan Youth Baseball and Softball League held its opening day for the 2019 season.
Festivities began with the traditional parade that starts at the tennis courts near the boat launch on Water Street, travels up Keuka Street, and ends at the ballpark on Elm Street. Players who range in age from 4 to 12 were accompanied by their coaches for the event and were greeted by a cheering crowd of parents as they neared the facility. Members of the Penn Yan Varsity Softball and Baseball teams also greeted and high-fived players as they entered the field for the opening ceremony.
The teams and coaches lined the perimeter of the infield as league president Keith Prather took the microphone to kick off the season. Afterward, Prather was thankful for the support from many throughout the community.
“I am very proud of the many volunteers who make Penn Yan Youth Baseball and Softball a huge success,” he said. “I am also appreciative of the community of Penn Yan and the many businesses that sponsor our teams.”
Prather was also pleased with how the celebration went.
“It was a wonderful day despite the weather with the parade, high school baseball and softball teams supporting us, a few exhibition games that persevered, and our annual cash raffle fundraiser to kick off the season,” he said.
Four teams were willing and able to feature some action on the field. The blue and orange softball teams, sponsored by Seneca Farms, squared off in a 3 inning exhibition match. Leah Prather pitched for the orange team and Madison and Morgan Breuer pitched for the blue team. The teams have a good blend of young and more experienced players this year and the focus will be on the development of all facets of the game. Penn Yan teams will play each other and town teams from Naples, Prattsburgh, and Hammondsport.
“Last year we had one team and this year we have two,” Prather explained. “We are excited to see more girls in the program and hope they will enjoy it and continue playing as they move on to modified and high school.”
Baseball also has two teams at the 11-12-year-old level this season. Dailey Electric and Moose, likewise played a three-inning game with Dailey coming out on top, 4-1. Colin Alexander scored two of the runs from the leadoff spot while Connor Andersen smacked a double. Tony Sciallo earned the win on the mound. Moose leadoff hitter Spencer Jensen scored their lone run leading off the first inning when Eli Raplee knocked him in with a single. Logan Miller and Raplee pitched for Moose.
The teams will play each other and town teams from Naples, Prattsburgh, Bath, and Marcus Whitman during the season.