Youth baseball beginning to resume across central North Carolina

Coronavirus

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Phase Two meant the start of many youth baseball leagues. Tournaments all around central North Carolina are expected to follow.

“We are ready to go,” parent Michael Dunlob said.

Players and their parents filled DPC Baseball Academy in Clayton Wednesday evening hoping for a scrimmage. Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, instead they practiced in the batting cages.

“I grew up, I’m a big Boston Red Socks fan. Grew up about 45 minutes outside of Fenway. My dad used to take me to the games all the time, growing up as a kid, and it’s just been something near and dear to my heart,” Dunlob said.

He’s passed that love of the baseball onto his two sons.

“We’ve been practicing and practicing and practicing. Fortunately, DPC has been open so our boys have been able to play a lot,” Dunlob said.

But playing against one another is different than playing with a team. Donald Bennett has been coaching, albeit virtually.

“We’ve been doing practices through Zoom calls so we can do demonstrations and so forth,” he explained.

Starting back up has also presented some challenges.

Bennett said it may change what games or tournaments his team competes in — specifically the ones that involve overnight stays.

“At a hotel, you have a lot of people coming in and out every day, and I don’t want to put anyone in a bad position,” he said.

Another challenge has been finding a baseball field to play on. Many local towns and cities still have their facilities closed. That puts private fields, like DPC’s, in high demand.

DPC Baseball Academy plans to hold its first tournament June 6 and 7.

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