Ripken Park kicks off 10-week tournament series in the heat wave - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Ripken Park kicks off 10-week tournament series in the heat wave

 MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Ripken Park management prepares more than 500 teams taking part in the park's 10-week tournament series for the heat wave. 

Ripken managers are making sure players know what they are in for before they walk out on the field.

"I think the hottest I've ever played in, is like 104 [degrees] maybe," Evan Flynn said. 

Evan Flynn has been playing baseball in the south carolina heat since he was six years old. Flynn says as long as he has some water, and a wet towel to cool off with, he's good but the majority of the 60 teams coming in this weekend, won't know what it's like to play through a heat wave.

"People aren't used to the climate down here, we get so many teams from the north and mid-west that are shocked by the high heat and humidity," Matt Ensworth explained. 

Matt Ensworth, assistant general manager of the park, says they start warning teams early.

"We've sent out those emails already, told them be prepared for the heat, one of the nice things we do for all of the players and the coaches, we provide water and Gatorade in the dugouts," Ensworth said. 

Players and coaches aren't the only ones they are concerned about.

"Parents definitely warn their kids about it, but they don't look out for themselves when they are down here," Ensworth said

Ensworth says he often sees parents hydrating their kids out on the fields and later sees those same parents taken down by the heat.

"Before each tournament, we have a parents meeting actually right here in Griffith field, where we are actually telling them giving them a heads up about the high heat, the temperature, and we just want to make sure they are staying hydrated as long as the players," Ensworth explained. 

While looking out for players, coaches, parents, fans, and umpires, Ensworth says they know the warning signs to look for.

"That's an emergency right there, we need to get them into our first aid room, we got to put ice packs on their bodies, cool them down, give them some fluids, and in severe cases we got to call 911," Ensworth said. 

Throughout every game, Ensworth says there will be announcements reminding people on and off the fields to keep hydrated and make trips into the air conditioning as often as possible.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.
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