Weather challenges local teams
Most high school athletes admit they would rather just go out and play the game instead of practicing.
With the wet weather so far this spring, that has been the situation for the local baseball and softball teams.
The Gloversville softball team played seven games in seven days last week. the week started with a doubleheader at the Mudville Tournament on Sunday due to a rain out of Saturday’s games. The Huskies followed that up with league games against Hudson Falls, Queensbury, Scotia-Glenville, Broadalbin-Perth and Johnstown with the only break coming on Tuesday with a rain out.
“With all the rain outs, we are playing game after game after game and not getting time to practice and work on our weaknesses,” Gloversville softball coach Bruce Bump said after Friday’s game against Broadalbin-Perth. “We are kind of backed up, and we have another game tomorrow night with Johnstown, again without a practice.”
The Gloversville baseball team also has felt the pinch of either being relegated to practice in the gym or just playing games.
“The frustrating part is that we haven’t been on our field only a couple of times for practice; only for games,” Huskies coach Mike DeMagistris said “We haven’t been able to train for anything in practice. The only way we have been able to train for anything is on the playing field in a game. It is frustrating because we have made some mistakes the past couple of games that have cost us the win.”
Pitching also is a concern for teams.
“We have nine guys who are capable of pitching,” DeMagistris said. “We are on a six-day dynamic throwing program, so our arms are healthy right now. But we do a good job of keeping our pitch counts down. If we see a guy’s pitch count getting up there, we will take him out. Some people don’t understand that. I have seen some pitchers go 120, 130, 140 pitches in a game. I don’t believe in that. I believe in trying to keep the pitch counts under 100 because these are young arms. some of these guys want to go on and pitch in college. We chart the pitching at every level. We have been questioned for taking some guys out. If a guy gets up over 90 pitches in this weather, that is too many. We do a pretty good job. If we have a kid throwing a no-hitter we will watch it, but we will not leave a kid out there to dry.”
When the Huskies have been on the practice field, DeMagistris said it has sometimes been difficult to keep focused.
“The first day we were out there, we had a defensive practice but the guys wanted to swing the bats,” he said. “We had to tell them we had enough swings in the gym, we needed to work on the defensive things that hurt us. It is frustrating because we can talk them through it in a game but it is one thing to talk them through it and [another to] put them through it in a practice situation. We have to learn from our mistakes. There is a category in baseball called errors. I will not get real frustrated with a guy who makes a physical error, it is the mental errors that drive coaches crazy and we are making some mental errors right now.”
The Broadalbin-Perth Patriots have been road warriors so far this season.
“We have been able to keep up with the schedule, but we have not been able to play a home game yet,” Broadalbin-Perth baseball coach Dan Simonds said. “Our field is still under water. Every game we have played has been on the road. It has been challenging. We ended up going up to Hudson Falls twice.”
Simonds said the Patriots have stayed fundamentally sharp with indoor practices.
“Not being on the field is tough but you can work on the fundamentals inside and that is what we have been doing,” he said. “We are making sure we are fundamentally sound so that when we come outside we can put those fundamentals to work. You can’t win with fundamental mistakes.”
The Patriots are 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the Foothills Council, while Gloversville is 3-4 overall and 1-3 against league competition.
“We are four games into the league and the magic number is seven [wins], and we need to get there,” DeMagistris said. “We feel we have a pretty good baseball team, but we need to get into a rhythm. We have one nice day and then it rains for two days. You can’t get into a rhythm by going from playing a game to going back in the gym. Even though we have a large gym, you can not create in that gym the things that happen out here on the field.
Right now it is early enough that I think we can get all our league baseball and softball games in,” DeMagistris said. “It is the non-league games, like the tournament, that are in jeopardy.”
The Gloversville Tournament was postponed from April 12 and 13 to last Friday and Saturday. Friday’s games were again postponed due to wet field conditions, but opening round games were played Saturday. The championship and consolation games will be played at a time yet to be determined.