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HomeSports ( July 8, 2020 )

Minor League Baseball Latest To Feel Impact Of Coronavirus

By Tom Robinson

Minor League Baseball made official what was already painfully obvious last week when it announced the cancellation of the entire 2020 season.

All 160 farm teams that support Major League Baseball have been shut down for the first time ever. The current minor league system was formed in time for the 1902 season and had remained active through two World Wars and in every season since.

"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played," Minor League Baseball president and chief executive officer Pat O'Connor said in a press release. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the top farm team of the New York Yankees, were scheduled to host the Triple-A All-Star Game this summer. The RailRiders are members of the International League, which had been active every season since 1884.

While the shutdown for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic cost the RailRiders an exciting major event, it came at a dangerous time for the future of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies of the Double-A Eastern League.

Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball have been in difficult negotiations about the possible reduction of a significant number of teams from the minor-league system.

Binghamton is one of the cities considered to be in jeopardy of losing a franchise.

Small cities in New York State and Pennsylvania could feel a hit with the New York-Penn League, a half-season low Class A league also vulnerable.

WEEK IN REVIEW

Jake Decker got the final four outs for the save Wednesday when Steel reduced the number of unbeaten teams in the Baseball U Pennsylvania Collegiate Summer League from three to two by defeating Gray, 4-1, at Keystone College's Christy Mathewson Field.

Decker, a Blue Ridge graduate who now plays at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, struck out two and walked one. He did not allow a hit.

Derek Stento, another Blue Ridge graduate, is also part of the Steel team, which was tied for first place with Orange at 4-0 going into Sunday's action. The catcher from East Stroudsburg University is 1-for-3 with a double on the season.

Gray is 1-1.

R.J. Kuruts, from Forest City and St. John Fisher, was the starting and losing pitcher against Steel. He gave up three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two in 2 1/3 innings.

Ethan Hitchcock, a pitcher from Montrose and Keystone, is part of the Vegas team that is 1-3. He allowed a run in one inning of relief in his only appearance during a June 28 doubleheader loss.

Vegas got its first win June 30 by beating winless Black, 6-4.

Nick Warriner, from Montrose and Herkimer County Community College, came off the bench to go 1-for-1 for Black.

Warriner is 2-for-3 with two walks on the season. He went 0-for-1, but drew two walks while playing in one of two games of a June 28 doubleheader loss to Orange.

In high school basketball, former Mountain View boys' head coach Jeff Gregory was hired June 29 as the new head girls' coach at Pittston Area High School.

Gregory coached Mountain View in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons. He spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach at Pittston Area.

LOOKING AHEAD

Five Susquehanna County high school teams will change enrollment classifications for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association collects male and female enrollment data every two years and adjusts the classifications in each sport accordingly.

Montrose, the largest school in the county, will be moving up from Class A to 2A in boys' soccer, which has four classifications. The Meteors will also go from 2A to 3A in baseball, which has six classes.

Forest City drops from Class 2A to A in boys' basketball.

In softball, Montrose moves down from Class 3A to 2A and Mountain View goes from 2A to A.

TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com or followed on Twitter at @tomjrobinson.

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Athlete in the Spotlight

By Tom Robinson

Chalice Guyette stepped on the track for the first time as a seventh-grader and quickly received confirmation of just how fast she was.

Guyette used her speed to perform on her own as a sprinter and combined it with other athletic skills while competing with teammates in other sports.

Following a high school career that combined lofty individual accomplishments on the track with being part of team success on other stages, Guyette is the latest Susquehanna County Transcript Spotlight Athlete of the Month.

When the coronavirus (COVID-19) shut down high school sports before the spring of Guyette's senior year, it put an end to her state medal pursuit.

The rest of Guyette's career, however, was filled with achievements.

Guyette finished one spot out of the state final and a guaranteed state medal in the 100-meter dash as a junior when she placed ninth at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Track and Field Championships.

During her junior year, Guyette was part of unbeaten Lackawanna League divisional championship teams in soccer and track and field. She was a starter on that 2018 soccer team that won a District 2 Class A championship and advanced to the state quarterfinals.

"Our team just played really well together," Guyette said. "We never had any drama on the team."

Guyette was on the soccer team for three years and a starter her last two. She was selected for the UNICO Cup Senior All-Star Classic, but had to sit out because of an injury.

In basketball, Guyette was a four-year team member who made some starts as a sophomore and then started throughout her last two seasons.

Guyette was part of a very young, but talented team in her final high school season. The Lady Meteors went 10-2 in Lackawanna League Division 4 to finish second of seven teams.

A veteran of three varsity sports and state competition in her other two, Guyette tried to provide guidance to her younger teammates.

"You have to coach them mentally," Guyette said. "Coach does the physical stuff, but then you try to help them with their anger if they lose their temper."

In track, Guyette was a six-time District 2 Class 2A medalist as a sprinter. She placed fourth in the 100-meter dash as a freshman, then second the next two years. She was third in the 200 all three years.

Throughout high school, Guyette spent summers attending camps in preparation for all three sports.

Now, she will turn her concentration to sprinting on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II level at West Chester University. As a recruited team member, Guyette will have a chance to earn athletic scholarship money during her career at the school where she will study marine science.

Chalice, who resides in Brackney, is the daughter of Christopher Guyette and Chandice Trudeuax.

EDITOR'S NOTE: During the shutdown of sports for the coronavirus, the Susquehanna County Transcript is taking this time to take a closer look at some of the county's top athletes who have not previously been featured in this space.

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