GENEVA — Just when all hope for baseball in Geneva this summer looked lost, the SnowCats were born.
The SnowCats began their 24-game Interstate Collegiate Baseball League schedule earlier this week with a 15-1 thrashing of the Diamond Pro Canes Green. Recent Geneva High graduate Nick Franceschi finished the game at first base and singled in his initial ICBL at-bat.
The SnowCats’ debut at McDonough Park is Sunday, part of a busy weekend in Geneva. McDonough Park hosts four games Saturday and four more Sunday, and will continue to host eight weekend games until the ICBL’s Rochester Division schedule ends in mid-August.
The SnowCats take on the Orioles in a doubleheader that starts at 10 a.m. Sunday. However, per COVID-19 regulations in place for the league, only two spectators per player are allowed to enter the grounds. The general public is not allowed to attend games at this time.
The Rochester Division’s weekday games are being played at the town of Penfield complex.
Bob Ohmann, who owns the Geneva Red Wings of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, McDonough Park’s normal summer tenant, said earlier this week he is excited to see live baseball in Geneva this summer.
Most of the players in the Rochester Division hail from the area, although there is some Pennsylvania talent sprinkled into the mix.
Ohmann, who leases the park from the city, said he has worked with the Department of Public Works to ensure Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 protocols for sports competition are followed. Other restrictions include:
• Wearing a face mask inside the park at all times. Players do not have to wear them on the field of play, but should be wearing them in the dugout.
• Social distancing is mandated. Ohmann said 6-foot markers have been placed inside the park to allow fans to seat themselves properly.
Ohmann said Red Wings staffers will mandate that all players, coaches, umpires and fans sign a COVID-19 contract reinforcing that all protocols are followed.
Earlier this week Ohmann said he had not yet made a decision on whether the concession stand would open. If it does, he said there will be a limited amount of items.