GF Kilowatts gear up the 2021 season start

Jess Gorman
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune

This Sunday, May 16, marks another exciting start to summer - the first game of the Kilowatts baseball season. The team fought hard last season and into the 2020 playoffs, keeping fans at the edge of their seats until the bitter end. This year is set to be even more promising for the maturing team. “This season may be a strong step forward in bridging the divide in years of experience and the youth of our great mix of local players,” said Coach Mike Ritcher. 

The first official practices start this coming Wednesday but many of the players have been able to begin sharpening their skills early this season. The new Field House (complete with indoor batting cages) has been helping Kilowatts and local YME programs keep muscle memory acute and players regularly conditioned, while the chills of a wintery spring were lingering outside. 

The Field House itself will see an open house event on the hometown opening game day, May 19, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The big game starts at 7:30pm. Many players are either planting their fields or finishing up college finals which makes organized practices tricky at the season's start. The Field House and its 24-hour-access has allowed a level of flexibility that makes the team highly adapted going into this and future seasons with Richter hoping we will see the payoff in the teams hitting. “I've been hearing many of the guys are working on their long toss and catching already also,” added the Coach. 

Richter says fans can expect to see a few new faces in the Kilowatt dugout with the team headcount looking like a healthy 26 players. The finalized team roster will make itself clear after the season opener. Some of the possible new faces may be finishing out the local YME baseball season, making for a late start with the Kilowatts team to honor the focus needed on each. “It may be up to three or so weeks before you see the new guys active,” explained Richter.  

In preparation for the upcoming 17 game season the team will start training on cutoffs and base work as well as working in the Field House together. “It can take 3 to 4 games before a player gets their timing back but hopefully access to the batting cages will shorten that time span,” said Ritcher who is striving to get two organized practices scheduled this week before the Sunday game. Once the season is underway the team will hold one regular practice a week on top of balancing 1-3 games every 7 days until July 25 when the playoff schedule will take shape. 

With so much positive change for the 2021 season, the players only saw it fitting to spruce up their unity with a new team jersey which will be seen in the upcoming games. The team's first home game on May 19 will unveil something interesting for every local baseball fan, new players, new gear, new facilities and new memories of what could be a season no one will forget.