Baseball will be back this summer at Elmer Kelley Stadium as the Madisonville Miners are putting the finishing touches for the upcoming season.

The Miners are still looking for a few more host families and sponsors, but have announced a new manager as the first pitch draws closer.

“We hired Josh Merrill as our new head coach after Jacob Hudson resigned last week,” said Tricia Noel of the Hopkins County Tourism Commission. “We’re very excited to have him aboard, he came with very high recommendations.”

Merrill is the assistant coach at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kansas.

The Miners have also completed their roster.

“At this time, we have eight players that need to be housed,” Noel said. “Our deadline is a couple weeks away so we can get the contact information to the players and their families. We ask host families to — of course — provide room and board. The players need a bedroom, bathroom, laundry facilities and internet is a plus since some of the guys take online summer classes. We don’t require host families to provide meals, but any snacks or meals they give the players during the season is always appreciated.”

Noel also said that they are still looking for gameday sponsors for the season.

“We have a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities,” Noel said. “We’re offering outfield banners, gameday sponsorships and in-game promotions. Anyone who’s interested can call the Hopkins County Tourism office and ask for Sarah Spencer, who handles our sponsorships.”

The Miners and the rest of the Ohio Valley League are currently looking into COVID-19 protocols for the 2021 season.

“The league will be meeting in a couple of weeks to finalize COVID guidelines that will be enforced league-wide,” Noel said. “Of course COVID guidelines change on a weekly basis and as of now, all spectators and players in the dugout will have to wear a mask.”

Those interested in being a host family or for a sponsorship opportunity with the Miners can call 270-821-4171. The first pitch of the Miners 2021 season will be thrown on Friday, June 4 at Franklin and their first home game is the following evening against Dubois County.

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