BREWSTER – North Central Washington Babe Ruth League baseball play wrapped up recently.

Play began in mid-May, said Roy Baker, commissioner.

Oroville, Tonasket, Okanogan, Brewster, Liberty Bell, Lake Roosevelt and two teams from Omak played each other.

“It has been a great time for the younger players just coming up from Cal Ripken to learn what the larger diamond is like,” said Baker. “It also has helped the younger high school players develop their skills, maybe play positions that they didn’t in high school, and for everyone to take a shot at pitching and get more swings in.”

Baker, who has been league president for several years and took on the commissioner post this season, said the league is promoted as a development opportunity for youngsters to have fun and improve their skills.

“When I was trying to get teams to commit to this season, we had a number of towns say they didn’t think they would have enough players for a team - Oroville, Okanogan and Lake Roosevelt,” he said. “They ended up being able to field teams and participate.

“Really appreciate all the coaches, organizers, players and parents do to make it happen. It makes a big difference in the level of play in the high school teams; there aren’t any middle school baseball seasons, so this fills that and in some respects almost a JV season for some high schools.”

He said it’s important to give baseball players an option between Cal Ripken and high school play.

Baker said it’s been a challenge to get games in during the last couple years, with COVID and an oddball, out-of-sync school sports season in spring 2021.

“This year we found it challenging because of all the other spring sport options that compete with the time frame that hasn’t been as big of an issue in years gone by,” he said. “Definitely tough to get it all in. Frankly, this year with the success of football in some of the local schools, we not only have summer basketball vying for time, but also summer football.”

Brewster will host north Washington state Babe Ruth tournaments July 5-10 for the 13U, 13-15 and 16-18 age groups.

He said he expects a Farmers 15U team and a Famers 18U team will go on to regional play, “and we are hopeful that an additional Brewster team will make regionals.”

The 13-15 regionals are in Kelso on July 23-29, while the 16-18 regionals are in Klamath Falls, Ore., on July 18-22.

Farmers baseball continues to grow, with a 15U team coached by Bret Alumbaugh from Liberty Bell and Zack Meyer from Okanogan, with Baker assisting, and an 18U team coached by Dan Vassar and Tory Wulf. Charles Miller and Jake Townsend coach the Farmers 13U team, while Daniel Gebbers coaches the Farmers 12 and 10U teams.

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