FILE—Young guests participate in field activities during a Yakima Valley Pippins game against Walla Walla Sweets on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, at the Yakima County Stadium in Yakima, Wash.

As the Yakima Valley Pippins prepare for the return of West Coast League baseball this summer, the team is now looking for host families to provide room and board for the college-age players.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is looking for more host families than usual with the goal of not having to place multiple players in too many local households.

“Our hosts generally love having more than one player each summer, and we’re certainly hoping to do that again this year, but we also want to ensure our host family households and the players are as safe as possible as we continue to navigate changes necessitated by COVID,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said in a team release.

The Pippins have around 40 players signed to play this summer, though not all of them are likely to show up for various reasons, such as injury or summer school, Garretson said.

The West Coast League and member teams will abide by local and state guidelines to keep players, coaches, host families and fans as safe as possible during the pandemic, Garretson said.

Families interested in hosting a player can apply at bit.ly/PippinsHostFamily. For more information about the program, email info@pippinsbaseball.com or call 509-575-4487.