Four Western U.S. teams will meet in regional tournament
YAKIMA, Wash. — Four collegiate club baseball teams will come to Yakima County Stadium in mid-May for the Northern Pacific Regional Tournament.
The three-day event, May 14-16, will feature club teams from Gonzaga, Utah State and Oregon, as well as one yet-to-be-determined team. The tournament winner will advance to the eight-team National Club Baseball Association World Series in Pittsburg, Kansas, later next month.
“This is another opportunity that presented itself, and we’re pleased to be hosting the tournament,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “Club baseball continues to grow at universities around the country, and I think this will be a good opportunity for people to come out and enjoy a few games.”
The NCBA was founded in 2000 with 34 inaugural teams. In 2020, 300 colleges had club baseball teams spanning 44 states. Club baseball teams are student-run organizations with no ties to the school’s athletic departments, and student officers handle all day-to-day logistics
Stadium attendance will be limited to comply with local and state guidelines, Garretson said.
“Capacity will be at 700 spectators if Yakima County remains in Phase 3 (of the state’s reopening plan), and we can limit stadium capacity to 200 total people if we fall back to Phase 2,” he added. “In either case, we’ll maintain social distancing and safety for everyone.”
Face coverings will be required for anyone when not in their seats, Garretson said. There will be no charge for admission; parking will be behind the stadium so as not to interfere with the Yakima County Vaccination Clinic currently operating at State Fair Park.
Two games will be played Friday, May 14, beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s schedule will feature three games beginning at 10 a.m., and the championship game will start at 9 a.m. Sunday. A second championship game will immediately follow the first game on Sunday, if necessary.
The tournament will also serve as a training session for new Pippins staff as the team prepares to return to West Coast League play on Friday, June 4.
“After a year with no operations, we’re taking advantage of every opportunity to prepare for Opening Night and getting Pippins Baseball back on the field,” he said.