Playing the waiting game

Nate Parsons and Nate Parsons

Mother Nature hasn’t been too kind to the BG baseball team.

Eight games have been canceled so far this season, including the six games prior to Wednesday’s game against Findlay.

In baseball, it’s usually expected that a couple games here and there will be canceled because of weather, but usually not to this extent.

“There’s no doubt this is probably getting right up there as one of the worst years as far as cancellations, especially consecutive game cancellations,” said BG coach Danny Schmitz.

“I think everyone is frustrated with Mother Nature. To have six straight games canceled, that gets old in a hurry. We were hoping she would be a little bit kinder to us, especially since we’re getting to the latter part of March,” he said.

The team is very disappointed so many games – which won’t be rescheduled – have been canceled, as it was on a hot streak before the layoff.

“We’ve been hot,” senior captain Nick Cantrell said. “Our bats have been really hot. We’ve been pitching really well and playing defense really well.”

“When you’re playing well, you just want to get right back out there and keep playing while you’re hot because that’s when you can go on a good run,” he said.

To keep the players focused, the team has shorter practices and even a fun activity or two.

On Tuesday, Schmitz surprised the team by cutting practice short and taking them all bowling.

We tried to break things up and get away from the monotony and repetitiveness of practicing and playing indoors, Schmitz said.

“It kept the morale of the team up and got us ready to go for [Wednesday],” pitcher Brett Browning said. “It was fun.”

When weather is an issue and games are in doubt, the team practices at Perry Field House.

The team usually takes batting practice, does bullpen work and infielders and outfielders are hit grounders and fly balls.

If the team doesn’t have a game the next day, it usually participates in what is called a “cage game,” according to Cantrell. The pitchers get in the batting cage with the batters, and it sort of acts like a simulated game, he said.

The team also utilizes the FieldTurf at Doyt Perry Stadium.

After a short layoff, the Falcons (8-7) finally got to take the field on Wednesday and pick up right where they left off with their first home win of the season.

The players were certainly happy to get away from the confines of Perry Field House and back onto the field.

“It was great being outside on our home field and being able to get a win,” Browning said. “It was nice to get the rust out and get ready for Northern Illinois [this weekend].”

“It was awesome to get outside,” Cantrell said. “It was our first home game and we had a good number of fans come out even though it was a little chilly. It was good to go out and get a win, and maybe the fans will keep coming out if we keep playing well. I was pretty pumped and I think the team was, too.”

The Falcons plan on opening their Mid-American Conference season this weekend with a home series against Northern Illinois. But with rain/snow in the forecast, this weekend’s series could just be yet another victim of Mother Nature.

BG BASEBALL’S FORECAST:

2008 Season

Total number of games played: 15

Number of games played in Ohio (due to weather): 1

Games canceled so far: 8

Games remaining: 35

Next game: Northern Illinois visits Warren Stellar Field this afternoon at 3 p.m., weather permitting. The three-game weekend series will be BG’s first conference games of the young season.