The Gig Harbor Tides will have a special venue for the team’s marquee matchup against South Kitsap this year — Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium, home of the Triple A Tacoma Rainiers.
Gig Harbor High School athletic director Bob Werner had been in touch with the Rainiers last year, but couldn’t make anything happen. This year, it all came together.
Gig Harbor High baseball is teaming up with Gig Harbor Little League to sell 1,000 Rainiers tickets, and in exchange, will be able to use the field on Friday, March 27 for its game against South Kitsap. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Admission will be free for kids and high school students, and the price for adults will either be $6 or free; a decision hasn’t been made yet.
"We’re just trying to make it a fun experience," Werner said. "It’s obviously going to be a great game. The games against South are always just really good games. We’re trying to make it fun for the kids. We’re working with South, getting pictures of every kid, getting their walk-up music."
All the players will have their headshots and names up on the jumbo screen in left field. Werner is hoping for a big community turnout. Every baseball player is expected to sell five tickets.
Gig Harbor Little League will sell the rest of the tickets. The benefit for the little leaguers is twofold: Gig Harbor Little League will be recognized by the Rainiers during Tacoma’s May 31 game, and will get to go on the field and run around the bases. Secondly, ticket sales are a fundraiser; a portion of every ticket sale will go directly to Gig Harbor Little League.
The March 27 game between the high schools will be "Gig Harbor Day." Picking Peninsula High School as the opponent was also a consideration, but Werner said it takes some luster off the matchup since it’s not a league game.
"When we play Peninsula, it’s usually right on the other side of league games," Werner said. "Typically, neither team throws their No. 1 pitchers. We’d like to find a way to do it with Peninsula. It’d be perfect if we were in the same league with Peninsula. That’d be a marquee game."
Nevertheless, a matchup against South Kitsap should be a good indicator for how good the Tides are this season.
"They’re clearly the team to beat," Werner said of the Wolves. "They’re one of the top teams in the state. It’s a great program and it should be a great game."