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Play ball! Safely at six batting cages

Boca Raton Little League will help pay for changes to six batting cages to prevent injuries at Sugar Sand and Patch Reef parks.

Renovations will eliminate side support poles that could cause ricochets from batted balls. “The problem is acute, as during our season we had over a dozen incidents reported from coaches,” League president Alec Schultz wrote Melissa Dawson, facilities manager for the parks’ overseer.

In two cases, “the players were injured to the point of being unable to play that day,” Schultz wrote.

Little League contributed $12,000 toward the upgrades. The $325,000 cost for upgrading cages in both parks was approved Monday by the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District.

The vendor, Gulfstream Athletic Supply, also will replace the netting, and turf only at the Sugar Sand quad cages. Sugar Sand quad cages will be widened from 12 to 14 feet.

Work is expected to start in July at Sugar Sand’s quad cages, move to Patch Reef and return to Sugar Sand’s dual cages, according to plans.

The changes are expected to be finished by late August, Dawson said.

Boca Raton Little League had close to 600 players in the spring season, said Karleen DeClemente, administrator. Their registration is May through August. Baseball season starts in October, but the League has pre-season practice, she said.

By Marci Shatzman

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