Almost 2 years ago, I sat in the stands at West Warwick’s McCarthy Field and watched an epic baseball game. North Cumberland Middle School versus Wickford Middle School – two incredible baseball teams, both nearly unbeatable all season long in 2019. Both teams absolutely stacked with baseball talent up and down the lineup, on the mound, behind the plate, defensively, running the bases, and at the dish hitting. Fans roared on every pitch, every play, every hit, every out the entire 7 inning game. Down 3-0 going into the bottom of the 7th, North Cumberland pushed 2 runs in to ratchet up the intensity to insanity before Wickford sealed the game and the victory. Final score, Wickford Middle School 3, North Cumberland 2. Wickford Middle School was the 2019 RI State Champions and have remained the champs for nearly 2 years running. There was no 2020 season due to Covid-19 safety concerns. 2 years is a long time, but there is hope for baseball in 2021.
With the release of the 2021 Rhode Island High School Varsity Baseball schedule this week (www.riil.org), I decided to reach out to the RIPCOA or Rhode Island Principals Committee on Athletics. RIPCOA manages the schedules and sports for Rhode Island Middle School student athletes. In years passed, I have relied on their website for game updates, schedules, team fields, and scores. Through their website, I was able to connect with a representative of RIPCOA and ask about the 2021 season and when it may start. I did receive a response back with the message, “the current plan is to play baseball at some point this school year. We are still waiting for guidance from the Department of Health but the belief is we will be able to play. What that will look like schedule-wise, I do not know at this moment.”
If and when the Rhode Island Department of Health allows for Rhode Island Middle School baseball to commence, I will be sure to report it here and on my social media pages. The RIPCOA website shows standings, upcoming games, and field locations. There may be spectator restrictions, so it is best to contact your local Middle School for guidance on attending games. Until there is more news to report, I strongly urge players stay sharp, practice indoors or with friends, and be ready to take the field when the time comes!!!