With nine consecutive cancelled games due to poor field conditions and indoors-only practices before an away-game season opener, the St. Mary’s men’s baseball team remains in an inconvenient setback with the start of Spring 2010.
While being scheduled to face Randolph-Macon College at home for a doubleheader on Feb. 6, the Seahawks were forced to take the bench when the snowstorm that struck the College in early Feb. covered the Hawk’s Nest infield. While a disappointing setback to the season, the team was able to reschedule a single, nine-inning home game with the Yellow Jackets for Mar. 25.
“We obviously want to play, but the time off has given our guys a chance to better condition themselves for the season,” said sophomore Luke Trout, a red-shirt freshman catcher on the team. “None of us like having to practice inside, but it’s our only option and we try to make the best of the situation.”
The conflicts did not end, however, as the following game against Christopher Newport for Feb. 10 was cancelled, followed by the cancellation of two double-headers against the City College of New York during Valentine’s Day weekend. The cancellation was followed by another dropped doubleheader scheduled for the Hawk’s Nest against Wilkes University on Feb. 20, delaying the Seahawk’s season-opener by nine games.
“We are all ready to play and eager for that opening game,” said senior Jacen Killebrew, a captain and center-fielder for the Seahawks. “We train all fall and winter to get ready for those opening games and then to just have them cancelled, it’s really a punch in the stomach.”
“I can’t wait to play out on the field,” said Coach Lew Jenkins, entering his 16th season with Seahawks Baseball.
“I can’t wait to get outside as much as they can’t.”
While not a home-game season-opener, the Seahawks played for the first time against Salisbury University on Feb. 27 in conference action. Despite strong plays by senior second-baseman Lyle Kralle and junior right-fielder Bobby Corton, St. Mary’s suffered a 4-0 shutout against the Sea Gulls, followed by 4-3 and 5-1 losses that led the Seahawks to a 0-3 spread at the start of the season.
Despite the delayed start and an unsuccessful first weekend of play, the team ended the losing streak with a 4-3 conference win against Stevenson University on Mar. 5. However, the win was followed by two conference losses to Stevenson in away-game action, 2-1 and 7-2 defeats that left the Seahawks with an overall 1-5 record.
While certainly a struggled beginning, the team still has high hopes for the remaining conference season. “Our team works hard,” said Jenkins. “I am very pleased with them, and they give 100 percent of what they are able to give in tough situations.”
“We have the talent to win the CAC championship,” said Trout. “We just need to focus, play with intensity, and play with heart.”
The Seahawks play next this weekend and Mar. 10 against Cazenovia College for non-conference, home-game action, followed by a Mar. 14 non-conference game at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.