The outfields were mowed, the chalk lined the infields and the grills were working overtime in the concession stands.
It could only mean baseball is back in action at McMinnville Civic Center.
Two leagues, the 9-10-year-old boys junior league and 11-12-year-old boys senior league, got underway on Monday night to kick off baseball season in Warren County.
Pioneer Pediatric Rays pitcher Dylan Ward threw the first pitch of the season, as the Rays and the Southern Standard Mets were the first on Hoover and Millraney Field for junior league action.
The Mets came away with a hard-fought 5-2 win, powered by Brooks Helton. Helton pitched four innings to pick up the win and also starred at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Gaines Mayfield, Josiah Jackson, Benjamin Clark and Blake Delong also had hits for the Mets.
Ward took the loss for the Rays, pitching three innings. Ward, who tripled, and Parker Dixon had the only hits for the Rays.
In the second game, Brent’s Computer Cubs picked up a 16-0 blowout win over the McBride’s Window Cleaning Cardinals. Jaeden Pyburn and Hunter Adams combined to throw a no-hitter, shutting down the Cardinals’ bats.
Pyburn also led the Cubs at the plate, going 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Brandon Hennessee added two hits and three RBIs for the Cubs, while Adams and Japeth Gilley added one hit.
The Cardinals tried three different pitchers against the Cardinals, sending Lane Jones, Layne Murphy and Adrian Tejas to the mound. The trio combined for 13 walks
Jayme Jennings was the star of the first night of senior league action on the Dottie West Field. Jennings hit the league’s first home run on opening night and pitched three innings as his Hall’s Backhoe Dodgers defeated the Turner Auto Salvage Cubs 13-6.
Jennings’ second at-bat was memorable, as he crushed a pitch over the fence. It was part of a 2-for-3 performance for Jennings, who added three RBIs.
Alex Steiner and Grant Hitchcock also had big nights for the Dodgers, as each finished with three hits. Steiner drove in five runs, with Hitchcock coming in three times on hits by Steiner. Peyton Norris and Logan Dyer had two hits apiece for the Dodgers, while Cole Estes finished with a single.
Newport took the loss for Cubs, pitching four innings. Caleb Johnson and Dylan Madison had two hits apiece for the Cubs, while Gavin Harper and Austin Miller chipped in one hit each.
In the night cap at Dottie West field, Cameron Shaw stole the spotlight with a game-winning, bases-loaded triple to give the First National Phillies a 5-4 win over the Custom Collision Yankees.
Shaw’s three-run triple came in the fifth inning of a game which had exceeded the time limit. Shaw came up in a pressure situation with his team trailing 4-2, but his triple bounced off the fence and gave the Phillies an opening-night, walk-off win.
Tyler Steele picked up the win on the mound for the Phillies, pitching the fifth inning after Jesse Jones and Chance Hobbs had pitched two innings each. Hobbs, Blake Brumley and Harrison Wood all had singles for the Phillies.
Trey Cantrell took the loss for the Yankees, pitching all five innings and giving up five runs. Chancellor Rockwell had given the Yankees a short-lived lead in the top of the fifth with a two-run double. Noah Campbell and Paxton Butler had the only other hits for the Yankees.
Rain washed away the second night of baseball action in Warren County as Tuesday’s games were postponed. Games are scheduled to continue tomorrow night, with games beginning at 5:30 p.m. in junior league and 6 p.m. in senior league.