Monona, Cottage Grove and McFarland Home Talent League baseball players will have to wait until June 7 to begin the Sunday League season.
A news release on the www.hometalent.org website announced the delayed start of the season this week due to the threat of the coronavirus. Games were originally scheduled to begin April 26.
“What we suggest to our teams is check with your municipality or school district to see if and when your field may be available,” said the release written by the league’s executive board. “Discuss the possibility among your players what is their desire if the season has to be delayed past a June start. Be aware, even if we can start playing games, there may be limits on attendance and sanctions on food and beverage sales. Discuss how long the season should be for both league games and play-offs.”
The release added that the board will monitor the situation and communicate with other Wisconsin amateur baseball leagues to find out what they plan to do. Safety to players and fans will be a major priority.
“We ask your patience as we study the impact of something we have never seen before,” the release said. “This is not a Wisconsin health problem, a U.S. health problem, but it is a worldwide health problem and a pandemic.”
In the Eastern section, the Monona Braves, which has made the playoffs in consecutive seasons for better than two decades, are hoping for another return to the postseason.
In 2019, Monona finished in second place at 11-5, one game behind first-place Sun Prairie.
The Braves won the Eastern Section semifinal game 3-1 over Montello but lost 7-5 to Sun Prairie in the final.
Cottage Grove is hoping to improve on last season’s 7-9 record after a see-saw year in 2019.
The Firemen lost their first three games, won their next three, but lost another three in row to fall to 3-6.
Cottage Grove won four of its final seven games but couldn’t keep with the frontrunners in the Eastern Section and ended up in sixth place.
McFarland ended its 2019 season with a 5-11 record and tied Utica for seventh place in the Southeast Section.
The Muskies began the season with a 3-4 record, but lost seven in a row to fall out of playoff contention.
The team ended the year on a positive note with a doubleheader sweep over Waterloo. It’s not known if there will be a Thursday night league season. Last year, Cottage Grove evening team reached the semifinal game but lost at Cross Plains 4-0.