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More summer-collegiate leagues to launch play

FCSLSome summer-collegiate news: The Florida Collegiate Summer League announced it will play a 30-game season with 10 squads beginning June 29, while the Midwest Collegiate League has added another squad and will play all its games in Northwest Indiana.

For the FCSL, most of the games will be played in DeLand, Sanford and Leesburg, though two additional home sites could be added to the mix. Right now the league has been cleared to play in Seminole, Lake, Orange, and Volusia counties. The decision means 400 college baseball players will see some amount of play this summer in the FCSL. Players will begin a two-week preseason beginning June 15, with Opening Night set for June 29.

Some things about the league’s announcement needs explaining. First, we’re not talking about 10 teams scattered around 10 markets: two Leesburg teams, the incumbent Leesburg Lightning and the new Leesburg Storm, will both play out of Pat Thomas Stadium and both be coached by Pat Billings. The play will be tightly controlled, with pitchers on strict pitch counts and expanded rosters in play.

And, of course, no fans will be allowed in the stands as of now, though league officials now hold out hope they may be allowed in the future.

After the Bloomington Bobcats decided to take a one-year hiatus from the league due to the travel burden, the Midwest Collegiate League has MCL Minutemen as a substitute the season. Yes, it’s a last-minute addition, and yes, the team won’t be around too long.

“We’re thrilled to add the Minutemen to the Midwest Collegiate League for this season,” Commissioner Don Popravak said. “During such unprecedented times, we’re embracing the new challenge of putting together a temporary team on a moment’s notice. The Minutemen organization will create opportunities for numerous ballplayers to play close to home this summer, providing a valuable resource to those players whose spring and summer seasons have been cut short or cancelled due to COVID-19.”

The Prospect LeagueWestern Canadian Baseball LeagueMINK LeagueGreat Lakes Summer Collegiate LeaguePerfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, New York Collegiate Baseball League, Ohio Valley LeagueNew England Collegiate Baseball League, Cape Cod League and the Valley Baseball League have canceled the 2020 season. The Expedition LeagueCoastal Plain LeagueFutures Collegiate Baseball League, West Coast League and the Texas Collegiate League have announced delays to the 2020 summer-collegiate season, while the Northwoods League announced play on a regional basis. We expect these leagues to announce their 2020 plans between now and June 3.

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