The San Diego Barona Stars and the AM Ford Trail Orioles will get it on tonight and Tuesday after management confirmed Friday that the team was on its way.
The Stars manager/owner Mickey Deutschman was reportedly cleared for travel on Friday after a health ailment forced the team to cancel a scheduled four-game weekend set.
“We were going to play them over the weekend, starting tonight (Friday), but our other non-league games before the tournament fell through,” Deutschman told the East County Sports.
“That meant we would have four days off before the Kamloops Tournament, which would have been expensive for us to just sit there.
“Fortunately, the folks with the Trail Orioles were nice enough to move the games to accommodate us. That just goes to show you the type of hospitality you find in Canada.”
The Orioles will have their work cut out for them, as the semi-pro team won another trip to the National Baseball Congress World Series last week, going undefeated in the Western Regional Playdowns, and are perennial favourites at the GFI.
“For us to win our pitchers need to throw strikes and keep the ball down, we need to play solid defense and score some runs,” said the Orioles’ Jim Maniago. “It sounds simple but we haven’t put it together this year. If we limit the amount of runs we give away we’ll give ourselves a chance.”
Following the Trail series, the Stars will play three round-robin games to open the 40th annual Kamloops International Baseball Tournament.
The Stars open play against the Thurston County Senators on Thursday. The other preliminary ball games are against the national power Seattle Studs, then the Kelowna Jays before “money round” play over the weekend.
The Orioles are 2-8 in Pacific International League play and will seek to defend their Western Canadian title in Winnipeg in August.
Game times at Butler Park are 7 p.m. tonight and Tuesday.