By Matt Noonan
There will be some baseball to watch and follow this summer in New England.
As noted in yesterday’s announcement, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) is planning to play a 39-game schedule, beginning Thursday, July 2, and ending Wednesday, August 19.
Six of the league’s seven teams will be competing this summer while the Pittsfield Suns will focus its attention on preparing to play next summer, according to Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle.
“Our team owners and operators put a tremendous amount of work into positioning our ballparks to open as safely as possible in order to provide fans with our unique brand of baseball and entertainment,” said Joe Paolucci, who is the FCBL’s commissioner, said in a statement. “We’re excited to get going.”
The 2020 season, which happens to be the league’s tenth year, will begin with a pair of match-ups taking place in Connecticut and New Hampshire on Thursday, July 2. The Nashua Silver Knights will entertain the North Shore Navigators while the defending champion Worcester Bravehearts will visit the New Britain Bees.
No games will take place in Massachusetts until Tuesday, July 7, due to the state’s reopening. The third phase of the state’s reopening, which is currently scheduled for Monday, July 6, would allow for games and tournaments to occur. Four of the league’s six teams are based in Massachusetts.
Once the regular season concludes, the league’s top two teams will compete in a best-of-three series to decide a champion. The championship series should conclude at the latest by Saturday, August 22, according to Paolucci.
Every team will play at least 18 home games while Nashua and New Britain will host 21 contests as the Connecticut and New Hampshire reopening plans are slightly different than Massachusetts.
According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, fans will be allowed to attend games this summer but do not expect a sellout crowd due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.