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Batter up: Tecolotes prepare for upcoming season

The team had been benched for over a year due to the coronavirus.
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 9:21 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - After a shortened and then cancelled 2020 season, the Tecolotes baseball team will take the field this year, but still with COVID-19 precautions in place.

Back to the ballpark, and soon the Tecos will cross that chalk once again.

”It’s kind of hard for everybody,” said Paulo Orlando. “This year is kind of a short season, but very happy to be here and play baseball again.”

Outfielder Paulo Orlando signed with the Tecos last July, around the same time the Mexican baseball league cancelled the remainder of the season.

But now, he’s more than ready to step up to the plate.

”Be happy to be closer to family, so hopefully it’ll be normal again and be happy to play baseball, too.”

Orlando is also hoping to make the playoffs, something city officials echoed throughout a press conference they held Tuesday to address the upcoming season.

Good news for the team is that the playoffs have been extended to include two additional teams to advance.

Bad news is that the season has been shortened, with a late start in May rather than April.

Even with the pandemic seemingly slowing down, uni-trade stadium will limit its capacity to about 50%, allowing 3,500 fans spaced out.

Masks are required, and temperatures will be checked at the gate.

Season ticket holders have first dibs, and then individual tickets will be sold once their seats are chosen.

”We’re ready to go,” said Cuitlahuac Rodriguez, Tecos general manager. “We’ve been waiting for this for over a year. Thank god with the help of the city and medical community, we have the first fully vaccinated team in the Mexican league.”

The Tecos will play 66 games this year, split between Nuevo Laredo and Laredo.

”I’m beyond honored to welcome the Tecolotes back to the gateway city,” said Mayor Pete Saenz. “Viva los Tecolotes!”

Opening day in Nuevo Laredo will be May 21st and opening day in Laredo will be May 22nd.

Right now the team is traveling back and forth between the two cities for spring training.

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