While playing at Safeco Field is dream come true for high school baseball players, they will have to make do with Gesa Stadium in Pasco this coming spring for the 2018 Class 3A and 4A state baseball tournaments.
The Seattle Mariners will be hosting the Minnesota Twins the weekend of the state championships, and the WIAA subcommittee recommended that the tournaments be moved to Pasco, which hosted the tournaments in 2012-14 and 2016.
Mid-Columbia baseball fans got to watch Kamiakin beat Eastside Catholic 3-2 in the 2012 Class 3A title game at Gesa Stadium.
Since Gesa Stadium is established as the first facility behind Safeco Field, no further action is needed by the board for approval.
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“We have had it there in years past, and the community really supports it,” WIAA Sports and Activities Information Director Casey Johnson said. “It’s a more intimate venue (3,654 capacity), the fans are closer and it’s a great place to play. In the Pacific Northwest, you never know what the weather will be like, but we have good luck with the weather on the east side in the spring.”
The WIAA has changed the way wrestlers will weigh in for matches.
When they step on the scale, wrestlers now will wear a school-issued uniform, minus the headgear and shoes. There will be no weight allowance given for the uniforms.
The new guidelines also apply to the weight management weigh-in that dictates how much weight a wrestler can cut during the season.
“In the past, the guys could just wear their underwear and girls a sports bra and shorts,” WIAA Assistant Executive Director John Miller said. “It was not a good scenario to put officials in who were weighing both sexes. Before, there had to be a private setting for each sex. There’s no necessity to have it behind closed doors anymore.”
Miller said that wrestlers who have competed at the national level will be used to the change.
Southridge coach Steve Isley said the rule will not affect his wrestlers.
“Our kids who wrestle club, they have required that for a long time,” he said. “The uniforms themselves are two-tenths of a pound; it’s really nothing.”