Wood bats are out but baseball action is still on this weekend for the Trail Invitational Tournament.
Due to last-minute changes to the lineup of teams, the usual wood bat designated tournament will now simply be a round-robin affair between three squads.
The Trail AA Orioles, the Trail Sr. Orioles and the AAA Northeast 49ers will offer a sampling of three levels of local baseball.
Action begins tonight with the AA squad taking on the 49ers at 7 p.m. at Butler Park.
Games continue Saturday at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday’s schedule has games at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
While the two Oriole squads are very familiar with the home confines of Butler Park, the 49ers will be making their first visit to Butler Park since 2012.
“It’s been a while,” said manager Connor Parker.
Nevertheless, he said his team is eager to get in a full slate of weekend games.
“We play about three games a week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so this will be a lot (of games).”
However, he added with a fairly balanced lineup it’s an opportunity to give everyone some playing time and work on some basics.
“We have pretty stiff competition in our league,” he said, adding there isn’t much time to perfect different fundamentals during league play.
“We’ll be able to work on everything.”
The 49ers play in the highly-competitive Spokane American Legion AAA, which features four Spokane teams including the Northstars who are coached by Jim Wasem, who spent several years coaching in Trail as well as during the 1995 Babe Ruth World Series.
The 49ers, who are hovering around .500 10 games into their AAA season, are comprised of players from the region around Chewelah, which, Parker pointed out, gives them a much smaller talent pool than their Spokane rivals.
Nevertheless, he said his team battles every game and is looking forward to testing their skills against the Sr. Orioles as well as the AA squad.
See schedule in Scoreboard Page 11.