Inclement weather impacting local baseball

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NATCHEZ — It isn’t always a beautiful day for baseball, and the Miss-Lou is learning that the hard way.

Local high schools have been forced to cancel games and have been driven inside for practices recently and local coaches are becoming increasingly frustrated with the early season struggles to get outside.

“This really hurts our timing and stuff because there is so much timing in baseball,” Cathedral High School head coach Craig Beesley said. “We had good weather for the most part in January and February, but now it is starting to get cold and wet and the weather is really throwing us off.”

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Cathedral, Adams County Christian School, Trinity Episcopal Day School, Natchez High and Monterey all cancelled their games scheduled for Tuesday, and games scheduled for later this week are looking bleak with rain forecasted through Thursday.

“It’s been difficult the past few years since I’ve been at Vidalia, but we’ve gotten accustomed to it,” Vidalia head coach Kale Davis said. “We know there are going to be rainouts and cold issues, but we just try to make the most of it. We do what we can on the days when we can get out.”

Other area coaches are doing the same thing, and are getting creative when they are forced indoors.

“My staff and I had to put our heads together to come up with an inside plan,” Natchez High head coach Dan Smith said. “I’ve been around the game so long that I’ve got a lot of drills to work both infielders and outfielders inside and we can also do soft-toss indoors.”

At ACCS, head coach Richy Spears is praying for a day to get his kids on the field.

“It hasn’t even been a week out of basketball, and we’ve had our first two games rained out,” Spears said. “It is all about just getting out there and getting reps in.”

All coaches are sensing the anticipation from their teams of wanting to take the field, but are having to corral them back in to work on the little things, like the mental side of the game.

“We do a lot of mental stuff, like going through certain defensive situations,” Davis said.

Beesley echoed the same approach.

“You just try to keep kids mentally prepared for everything,” he said. “We run into bad weather in early spring, and hopefully we can make it through this week.”

Spears said his concern was keeping his team focused, especially indoors.

“It is good to go in the gym once or twice, but after a while it gets kind of old,” Spears said. “Hitting wiffle balls and stuff like that can only last so long.”