Batters have to combat the weather as well, they're not just free to pepper the outfield with easy line drives."Hitters, in the other regard, anytime they make contact, you feel it in the hands," VanScyoc said. "It's difficult all the way around."Adding to the struggle is newer equipment that isn't designed to withstand sub-freezing temperatures. "It seems like the bats and the ball don't bounce as much in the colder weather," VanScyoc said. "These bats aren't supposed to be used below 50 degrees."As the season progresses, VanScyoc realizes his squad may run into some trouble finding enough arms for enough innings.
Neoga coach Ted Kerner said this thought has crossed his mind as well, but he's employed a strategy that will help his team overcome a game-heavy schedule."I'm all for playing everyday," he said. "When you're playing six or seven games (a week), you need to start preparing JV guys to pitch. We were working 18 on the mound in preseason practice."Kerner said he's fortunate to have enough bodies to play a sizable JV schedule, a luxury other area coaches like VanScyoc don't have, allowing younger players to develop and get ready for varsity action.
That way, when the time does come when the Indians are strapped for a pitcher, they have plenty of arms they can call on."We just got done with this long stretch, and I used 10 or 11 pitchers," Kerner said. "Three or four were freshmen. You've got to be ready when you do get backed up in games, you have to have enough guys to cover it."Only time will tell how the weather will alter coaching plans and pitching arms in the long run. Then again, the cancellations may not be finished. Neoga has been forced to cancel seven games already, and weather forecasts are calling for thunderstorms all the way through Thursday.With the potential for a fresh new set of make up games on the horizon, Kerner's entire team may have to chip in on the mound.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at email@example.com