Wood bats likely for local tournaments

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
When the Marin County Athletic League voted unanimously this week to use wood bats for the rest of the season, they hoped non-league opponents would ditch their aluminum bats when they played against them.
And it appears that will happen during the eight-team Adam Westcott Tournament at Casa Grande from April 5-7 and the six-team West Sonoma County Tournament at El Molino from April 5-8.
MCAL teams Redwood and Drake will play at the Westcott. Novato and San Marin will play at El Molino.
The MCLA voted to use wood bats after Marin Catholic pitcher Gunnar Sandberg was hit in the head by a line drive off a metal bat on March 11. Sandberg is in critical but stable condition at Marin General Hospital.
Casa Grande coach Paul Maytorena said his team’s tournament would have wood bats. Redwood coach Stefan Wever and Drake coach Adam Farb have offered to supply wood bats. Casa Grande alum and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jonny Gomes has also offered to donate bats.
Sonoma, Cardinal Newman, Rancho Cotate, Antioch and Eureka will also play at the tournament.
“The response has been great,” Maytorena said. “Everyone has been really supportive.”
El Molino coach Rick Tacla was optimistic Saturday that the West Sonoma County Tournament would also be an wood-bat event, but he was still in the process of contacting coaches from participating schools.
Novato coach Bob Scheppler has offered to supply bats for the tournament, which will include Elsie Allen, Fortuna and Arcata.
“I can’t force the issue, but I’m going to ask the coaches to use wood bats,” Tacla said.
Tacla plans to pass the hat during the tournament with donations going to a fund to help pay for Sandberg’s medical expenses.