Eager to return to the field, area baseball players seek coveted spots on Commonwealth Games squad

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SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — After missing the entire spring sports season because of COVID-19, a handful of high school baseball players from the area are hoping to compete later this summer in front of college coaches and professional scouts.

First, they’re showing off their talent on the field this week, even if that field happens to be at a football stadium.

Over 20 high school players showed up for workouts Wednesday afternoon in Salem, looking to make the West Region team for the Virginia Commonwealth Games.

The rain forced the tryouts to be moved from Haley Toyota Field to Salem Stadium.

“The thing we got to look for here is that a lot of these guys haven’t done as much as they normally do this time of year because of no spring baseball,” West team head coach Rodney Spradlin said. “But a lot of these guys have probably been working pretty good.”

With the tournament a month away, coaches are looking for the best 16 athletes to represent the area.

“The eye-test, as soon as they walk into the stadium, what do they look like,” Spradlin said. “Everybody can get into the weight room and do stuff at home and seeing all this stuff on Twitter where people have been working with milk jugs and building their own squat racks. I’m sure all these guys have done something. It’s just the throwing and the hitting part. How much of that have they done. I know some guys played last weekend and I know some guys have been playing for a couple of weeks. We’re going to see what they got here and and take that into account.”

Tryouts continued Wednesday at Bank of the James Stadium in Lynchburg. The Virginia Commonwealth Games will take place on the campus of Liberty University next month.

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