With the sports world on pause due to coronavirus concerns, Ephrata's Post 429 Legion baseball team has joined the ranks of local organizations waiting for new developments and a return to regularly scheduled activities.
In a message sent to department chairmen over the weekend, the National American Legion Baseball Committee suggested the suspension of all baseball activities while restrictions from local, state and federal governments are in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're just not doing anything until we hear more from them," Ephrata head coach Derek Sipe said Monday.
Baseball activities in include team meetings, tryouts and practices. Sipe said Ephrata's pre-season activities ramp up around late April, when the team looks to fill its final six to eight roster spots.
"Typically, I use a lot of the high school season to see the players," Sipe said, "and find out who needs a place to play and where we can use them."
Monday, the PIAA announced that it would continue to delay the start of high school baseball season, and all high school spring sports, due to Gov. Tom Wolf extending the closing of Pennsylvania schools through at least April 6.
A member of the Lebanon County League, Ephrata is scheduled to open its American Legion season during Memorial Day weekend. The team's nonleague games, including a June 20-21 round robin tournament at War Memorial Field against teams from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland, could be canceled if the schedule needs reconfigured.
"Those are the type of things that that could be pushed aside first," Sipe said.
Ephrata is also scheduled to host the 2020 Region 4 tournament as it did last year when it advanced to the championship game.
Sipe has communicated with some of the players set to play in the 2020 season. Players born on or after Jan. 1, 2001 are eligible.
"A lot of the ones I've been talking to," he said, "have been the college players whose seasons were cut short."
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