The North Vancouver Island Baseball League season kicks off a week earlier than usual when the Port McNeill Rangers host the Port Hardy Cubs at 5 p.m. this Saturday at Hyde Creek Ballpark.
In recent years the season has started in May and run through the third week of July. This summer, the schedule will also be extended at the other end, with the league playoffs set for the weekend of July 28-29.
The league also includes the two-time defending league champion Hyde Creek Hillbillies. Each team will play 10 league games and then be seeded for the playoffs. All regular-season and playoff games take place at Hyde Creek Ballpark, located behind the Esso station and the fire hall just off Highway 19.
Another highlight of the season will be the annual Sointula Invitational Tournament, held at the community ballfield on May long weekend. Featuring full concession, children’s playground, beer garden and oyster feed, the event is a fundraiser for the Sointula Recreation Association.