Sports Zone, Springfield

Youth movement: Drifters treat youth leagues, provide support to Kidsports

SPRINGFIELD – Many kids grow up with the desire to play sports. No matter what the sport is, the opportunity to compete is something no child should be denied. Recently, the Springfield Drifters partnered with Kidsports – a nonprofit that focuses on equal opportunities for children in sports – for an event during their Friday night game against the Cowlitz Black Bears.

“The Drifters owners have been huge supporters of Kidsports for years and years,” said Nate Baldwin, Kidsports associate executive director. “In things like merchandise, and even just assistance with projects. They’re always there when we need them, and it’s nice to have an opportunity to bring our families out here … It’s fun to see so many people out here, I think we had a couple hundred people, so that’s great.”

As a part of their partnership, Baldwin also had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch of the game. Despite his experience coaching baseball, the feeling for Baldwin was stressful.

“I’ve never done that before; I was more nervous than I should’ve been. I was just hoping to get one over the plate and not make him chase it to the back stop so… thank goodness,” Baldwin said. “It’s funny, I coach a lot of baseball yet that made me super nervous, but we got through it.”

KALLIE HANSEL-TENNES / THE CHRONICLE. Baldwin throws out the first pitch at Friday’s game.

Given Kidsports is a nonprofit youth sports program, there can be problems compensating the staff as much as they’d like to. According to Baldwin, partnering with the Drifters for this event relieved some pressure on that end. 

“What’s really awesome about this is, for our coaches especially, is that most of our coaches volunteer all of their time and all of their energy to give their kids a chance to play sports, and there aren’t a lot of ways we can pay them,” Baldwin said. “So when we have partners like this who give them those inside opportunities to come take advantage of things like this – a night at the ballpark for no charge – I mean that’s amazing.”

While a free game is always fun, it’s just a bit sweeter with a win. The Drifters were able to pull that off for the kids, defeating Cowlitz 9-5. 

The Drifters went on to sweep Cowlitz in the series – only the second series-sweep in club history – to move to 6-9 overall on the season.

Springfield faces Corvallis six times in six days, with games on Friday and Sunday at Hamlin. 

Corvallis, 13-1 this season, has won the West Coast League championship seven straight times dating to 2016, and will be the toughest test for the Drifters so far this season.


Tuesday, June 11
■ Bend 6, Drifters 3
Wednesday, June 12
■ Bend 12, Drifters 3
Thursday, June 13
■ Bend 9, Drifters 3
Friday, June 14
■ Drifters 9, Cowlitz 5
Saturday, June 15
■ Drifters 4, Cowlitz 2
Sunday, June 16
■ Drifters 8, Cowlitz 6

Thursday, June 20
■ Drifters at Corvallis, 6:35 p.m.
Friday, June 21
■ Corvallis at Drifters, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday, June 22
■ Drifters at Corvallis, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, June 23
■ Corvallis at Drifters, 4:05 p.m.
Tuesday, June 25
■ Drifters at Walla Walla, 6:35 p.m.
Wednesday, June 26
■ Drifters at Walla Walla, 6:35 p.m.
Thursday, June 27
■ Drifters at Walla Walla, 6:35 p.m.


Tuesday, June 11
Bend 6, Springfield 3
(Games at Vince Genna Stadium, Bend)

Drifters     100002000 –  3   8  0
Bend      00120300x –  6 14  0

WP–Z.Reynolds. LP–K.Larsen
Springfield: 2B–E.Maris. RBI–A.Guana, A.Gebhard. SF–A.Guana, A.Gebhard. SB–B.Stinnett, A.Gebhard. Team LOB–9.
Bend: 2B–C.Calnon, E.Saunders, T.Johnson, B.Ott. HBP–K.Karpstein. RBI–C.Calnon, J.Miller (2), L.Reece, T.Johnson. SF–J.Miller. SB–C.Calnon (2), E.Saunders, A.Cazorla. Team LOB–7.

Wednesday, June 12
Bend 12, Springfield 3

Drifters     010000002 –  3  6  3
Bend   20100810x – 12 15  2

WP–T.Wood. LP–B.Dotson
Springfield: 2B–M.Tsoukalas. HBP–A.Guana. RBI–C.Mullens, G.Cooper (2). SF–G.Cooper. SB–E.Kennel, J.Wood, G.Bruce. Team LOB–5.
Bend: 2B–E.Admunson, J.Miller. 3B–J.Wakefield. HBP–E.Saunders. RBI–J.Wakefield, B.Duroff (2), E.Saunders, E.Admunson, R.Christiansen, J.Miller (2), T.Peterson. SB–J.Wakefield. Team LOB–9.

Thursday, June 13
Bend 9, Springfield 3

Drifters     101000001 –  3  9  0
Bend     00310140x –  9 14  1

WP–A.Harbour. LP–T.Langworthy
Springfield: HBP–B.Stinnett, K.Kinzie, R.Dykstra. RBI–K.Kinzie, A.Guana (2). SF–A.Guana. SB–K.Kinzie (2), G.Cooper, A.Guana (2). Team LOB–9.
Bend: 2B–D.Carter. HBP–A.Cazorla. HR–T.Silva. RBI–J.Wakefield, K.Karpstein, A.Cazorla (2), T.Silva (3), A.Guidara. SF–J.Wakefield, A.Cazorla. SB–J.Wakefield, C.Calnon, K.Karpstein, A.Guidara (2). Team LOB–12.

Friday, June 14
Springfield 9, Cowlitz 5

Cowlitz   020000003 –  5 11  0

Drifters   04000005x –  9 10  0

WP–K.Starr. LP–C.Brushe
Cowlitz: 2B–J.Nevarez, S.DeCello, S.Bowen. HBP–B.Sexton. RBI–A.Allanson, D.Schlaegel. CS–S.DeCello. Team LOB–12.
Springfield: 2B–E.Buckly. HBP–A.Guana, D.Woodcook, G.Bruce. HR–A.Guana. RBI: B.Stinnett (3), K.Kinzie, G.Cooper, A.Guana (2), D.Woodcook, E.Buckly. SF–A.Guana. CS–D.Woodcook. SB–G.Bruce. Team LOB–10.

Saturday, June 15
Springfield 4, Cowlitz 2

Cowlitz       100000010 – 2  5  2
Drifters   20001010x –  4  8  2

WP–B.Baltus. LP–Z.Swanson
Cowlitz: 2B–A.Allanson. HBP–S.DeCello. RBI–A.Allanson. CS–A.Allanson. SB–S.DeCello. Team LOB–9.
Springfield: 2B–A.Guana, D.Woodcook. HBP–D.Woodcook. RBI–A.Guana, D.Woodcook (3). SF–D.Woodcook. CS–R.Dykstra. SB–G.Bruce, G.Cooper, R.Dykstra. Team LOB–9.

Sunday, June 16
Springfield 8, Cowlitz 6

Cowlitz   031100100 –  6  8  3
Drifters   21000140x –  8 10  1

WP–T.Manyo. LP–K.Hammer
Cowlitz: 3B–W.Anderson. HBP–S.DeCello. RBI–J.Nevarez, R.Kelly, R.Hall. SF–R.Hall. CS–R.Kelly. SB–J.Nevarez, S.DeCello, R.Hall. Team LOB–8.
Springfield: 2B–K.Kinzie, A.Miller. HBP–G.Cooper. HR–A.Miller. RBI–A.Guana, E.Kennel (2), A.Miller (4). SF: A.Guana. SB– B.Stinnett, G.Cooper, E.Kennel. Team LOB–6.



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