A couple weather-induced postponements in last year’s inaugural varsity baseball meeting between Genoa and Perrysburg at Toledo’s Fifth Third Field didn’t do a thing to deter the two successful programs from setting up another clash in 2009.
The Comets (8-2, 2-0 Suburban Lakes League) will face the defending Northern Lakes League and Division I district champion Yellow Jackets Saturday May 2 at 7 p.m. in the home of the Toledo Mud Hens.
Admission is free to the public, and second year Comets coach Dan Thompson, who both arranged both contests with Jackets coach Dave Hall, hopes that will lure out far more than the 200 spectators who witnessed Perrysburg’s last-inning win in 2008.
“I think it’s a great thing. It’s free to the public and a great chance for high school fans and youth players to see two good teams play on a pro field,” Thompson said. “It would be neat to see more of the high school fans down there to see the kids play.”
Last spring the original date for the game was rained out, then rescheduled for Mother’s Day afternoon, but rained out again and then finally the contest was played on the third try.
Thompson attributed the lower than expected attendance figure to the postponements and hopes Mother Nature is willing to cooperate for the sake of youth baseball.
“We’re definitely hoping to get a bigger turnout this year,” Thompson said.
As for the game itself, Thompson should expect another great battle with the Jackets, who feature stars Tyler Dimmerling, Blake Schmenk and others.
Thompson has all but three players from last year’s experience back to take in more of the well manicured terrain within the confines of arguably the finest ballpark in all of minor league baseball.
“Last year the kids just loved it, and really enjoyed it,” he said. “They get to sit in the dugouts and field groundballs on such a nice infield.”
Thompson recalled then sophomore J.J. Adkins, who got to make his first varsity start as a pitcher on a true professional mound, “I remember he told me afterward that ‘this is the greatest day of my baseball life’.
“The experience creates memories for the kids that will last a lifetime.”
Adkins, seniors Zack Apel, Beau Lamb, Troy Espinoza and Callan Dialoruck, juniors Connor Wendt and Matt Bassitt and sophomore Seth Dufendock are all returning to create more memories.
The game between the Comets and the Jackets is the brainchild of Thompson, a teacher in the Perrysburg school system, and Hall.
Another area school has a date with Fifth Third on deck, as well.
Oak Harbor is scheduled to face Port Clinton Tuesday May 5 at 7 p.m. at the stadium.
The Rockets varsity program is earning the privilege by selling ticket vouchers for Mud Hens games good for any 2009 regular season field level seat for $10.