Baseball Season Being Washed Away

Ariel Lewis

Oberlin baseball has set their expectations high coming off the team’s record-breaking 2010 season. The Yeomen, who boast a squad heavy in senior talent, look to qualify for the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in history — that is, if they ever get a chance to play.

Now well into their seventh week of the 2011 season, the team has yet to hit the field for competition due to inclement weather. Most recently, the Yeomen’s March 15 match-up against Bluffton University was postponed to March 17 as the result of a downpour. Similarly, the team’s opening weekend — a doubleheader against Transylvania University set for March 5 — and two Sunday games slated for the March 13 were canceled due to rain and snow, respectively.

Senior tri-captain and pitcher Brady Campion voiced the team’s frustration regarding the weather. “The most disappointing aspect of canceled games is that we start practicing in February with an expectation of playing in six weeks,” he said. “Then, six weeks later, when we’re ready to hit the ground running, we have to stall until the weather finally clears up. And instead of playing, we have to practice more.”

The weather has affected the Yeomen’s practice schedule as well. The team has been forced indoors, which limits the variety of drills and exercises at their disposal. “You can only do so much indoors to enhance how you as an individual can improve. This pertains especially to fielding; indoors, neither infielders or outfielders can get any kind of live reads off metal bats, which is the most important aspect of making great plays in the field,” said senior outfielder Ben Kauder. “I think for the most part the team has done a pretty decent job not letting the cancellation of games affect practices in a negative way,” he added.

Oberlin will get a much-needed dose of sunshine over spring break, when the team heads to Arizona to compete in the Greater Phoenix Invitational against foes Middlebury College, Thomas College, Gustavus Adolphus College and Williams College. Before traveling south, however, Oberlin has four local games scheduled, starting with the rescheduled contest against Bluffton.

The Yeomen’s standards remain high heading (finally) into competition. “Playing our first game outside will allow us to see where we are at defensively and improve from there. The expectations for the team are very high and anything less than a winning record will be a disappointment,” Kauder said.

“I think Charlie Sheen put it best: ‘winning’,” Campion added.