REEDSPORT — The plan was to go to practice like normal.
But the news was coming quick and instead of heading to the field to finish off the second week of practice, the Reedsport baseball team, along with all high school teams across the state, learned that the upcoming spring sports season has been suspended at least through March 31 due to the spread of the coronavirus.
“(Coach) said well OSAA says that baseball is postponed so there is no practice or any activities that are allowed and I’m like, wow, that’s really crappy,” said Reedsport senior pitcher Dallas McGill.
While all spring sports are mourning the loss of the start of the season — and hoping it does not lead to the cancellation of the entire season — for Reedsport baseball, this year was supposed to be the continuation of a successful run of play.
Over the last three seasons the Brave have amassed a 70-8 record, including a trip to the state finals three years ago. Reedsport has also won 45-straight league games stretching back four seasons. Entering this year, the team is ranked No. 4 in the Class 2A-1A coaches’ poll.
“I’ve coached this group a lot of years and it’s a bummer for them. They love the game of baseball and they look forward to this all year long,” said head coach Jason Lavigne.
Throughout the next two weeks the Oregon School Activities Association is planning to monitor the situation and see if spring sports can return come April 1.
Reedsport has had four games suspended so far including the opener against Oakland and a tournament at Umpqua Valley Christian that matched the team up against Glide (ranked No. 11), UVC (No. 2) and North Douglas (No. 8).
“All of those games would have helped with our ranking and our RPI and everything because ... all those teams are probably going to be ranked top 10, top 16 so that would help our ranking a lot,” said McGill. “But now, since we can’t got to it, I’m hoping maybe we’ll be able to schedule some games between our league games which would help.”
After that tournament the Brave were planning on a trip to California for another annual tournament at Redding, one the Brave won last year. In all those games, Reedsport was hoping to play top-teams as they played eight games in seven days.
“We had a tough schedule and I thought it was great for them to get them ready,” said Lavigne, who noted the team has seven pitchers that he is ready to throw on the mound. “Get my freshman out there throwing. What I was telling them was, you’ve got all-staters and all-leaguers behind you, just throw the ball over the plate. Defense will be pretty solid, I wasn’t worried about that.”
With Lavigne now unable to work with his team during the suspension of the season, the Reedsport players are looking to find ways to keep ready with the hopes that the start of the season is just around the corner.
“I’ll just probably play catch with my friends at a park or something and we’ll hit some whiffle balls or something,” said McGill.