Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustangs play, Saturday

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Keith Haraguchi of the Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustang White Sox follows his long ball on a pitched batting practice, Tuesday at the Lihu‘e County Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Taj Yoshimori of the Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustang White Sox watches his ball drop, Tuesday during bunt practice at the Lihu‘e County Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustang Astros’ player fields a throw, Tuesday against the backdrop of LBL Bronco division players practicing at the Lihu‘e County Park.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustang Astros player lines up his catch, Tuesday during practice at the Lihu‘e County Park.

LIHU‘E — “They’ve got their (face) masks in their pockets,” said Roger Sebastian, one of the coaches for the Lihu‘e Baseball League Mustang Astros, Tuesday during baseball practice at the Lihu‘e County Park. “We’ve got hand sanitizers and cleaners on the tables, and everybody, including parents, had to sign waivers on the new rules.”

Earlier, before any of the players hit the field, a coach prepared the playing area by spraying disinfectant.

“We’ve only been out here for a week,” Sebastian said. “Sometimes, the boys have a hard time understanding us through the face masks, but they’re excited about playing, again. After two months of electronics, this is good.”

The Lihu‘e Astros will be taking the field, Saturday as the LBL opens its Mustang division play, taking on the White Sox when the first pitch goes off starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Mustang field in the Lihu‘e County Park.

“We’re starting slow,” said LBL president Bradley Chiba. “We’re only playing the Mustang field because of the social distancing requirements for the teams and spectators. The dugouts will be extended to the first bleachers for social distancing. Spectators can find whatever space is available and spread into the outfield — again, with social distancing and face masks. We’re staying with the light schedule for at least the first month to see how everything goes.”

The first contest will feature the LBL Mustang Yankees taking on the LBL Mustang Pirates, starting at 10 a.m.

Despite the new health and safety guidelines put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the players and parents relished the experience of being outdoors, again.

“They love it,” one parent said from behind the face mask. “After two months of being shut in the house, they are excited about being outdoors, again.”

Chiba said the Bronco division will start play, Tuesday afternoon at the Lihu‘e County Park.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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