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Baseball is back in Isanti.
The Isanti Redbirds received approval to open the 2020 Town Ball season just days before a game scheduled for Sunday, June 14, against Coon Rapids at Redbird Field.
The guidelines set by the Minnesota Baseball Association required teams to receive approval by a city administrator, school board official or administrator of a private field as well as proof of insurance for the field before receiving the go-ahead to play ball.
“We didn’t know if we would be able to play until Friday afternoon,” Isanti manager Steve Allen said. “That’s when we got the approval of the city of Isanti to move forward. Then we sent that to the Minnesota Baseball Association to get their approval. I was constantly sending emails and texts to our guys to tell them where things stood. It’s a good thing I’m retired.”
Isanti made Allen’s work worthwhile by scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning of a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Coon Rapids. Dan Hamann’s bases-loaded single eventually scored three runs thanks in part to a wild throw, and Wyatt Kerkes added a sacrifice fly to the fence in left that scored what proved to be the winning run.
“I thought our guys deserved [the win],” Allen said. “We’ve had good turnout at practices, and we’ve gotten good leadership from our veteran players.”
Isanti treated the game as it would an exhibition contest, getting every player at the game into the contest while using five different pitchers – none for more than three innings.
“We were able to put a lot of guys in situations where they had to perform,” Allen said.
Meanwhile the crowd was asked to use social distancing to create separation in the stands as well as in lawn chairs down each line. And multiple bottles of hand sanitizer were available at the concession stand, which was closed.
For the most up-to-date game schedule, visit the team's website.