continued On several of the warmer days, the players have been practicing in the elementary school’s parking lots, catching fly balls and tossing long throws. The back parking lot is large enough for a full-size infield, he said.
To gain access earlier to the game field at the elementary school, Warrensburg baseball players have spent a session or two shovelling snow off the field. They’ve shoveled holes several feet wide down to the turf, and these spots absorb the sunlight and re-radiate heat into the snow cover to speed up the snow-melting process, Reynolds said.
“We expect that our team’s shoveling gets us onto the field a week to 10 days earlier,” he said. “The players do this as an annual ritual, and the kids look forward to it.”
Reynolds noted that his team is working hard in practice to make up for the talented players lost to graduation in 2013, and the absence of veteran catcher Nick Perrone, who had to quit because of a torn ACL in one of his knees — stemming from a basketball injury earlier this year.
“Our team’s prospects are really up in the air because we lost some real offense and tough defense,” Reynolds said. “Hopefully, we’ll be competitive.”
About 12 miles north in Chestertown, the North Warren ball players are also dealing with snow-covered ballfields. As of April 4, the baseball field had about 5 inches of snow and a sheet of ice on top of the turf, North Warren baseball coach Josh Gifford said Sunday.
“We’re hoping that with the rain we’re supposed to get later this week, the fields open up a little bit,” he said.
Meanwhile, the school’s ball teams have been practicing in the school gym, hitting off a pitching machine in batting cages, as well as throwing the ball around.
Gifford noted that North Warren’s baseball team was to have its first game April 9 against Heatly High School on their field near Troy, where snow has been melting far earlier.
“Regardless of the snow, and not practicing on our field, we’ll be prepared,” he predicted, adding that the team members have been lifting weights and conditioning with diligence. “Our students have put a lot of hard work into getting ready this season.”