Rainouts during the baseball season

Phil Zoppi – Sports Writer

Southern Connecticut’s baseball team were supposed to play their two doubleheaders this weekend, but all four games had to be postponed due to rain.

Southern’s head baseball coach, Tim Shea, wanted to try and get the games in this weekend, but knew it was a smart idea to postpone them.

“Nobody likes rainouts,” said Shea. “With these teams coming from so far way,  it’s going to be difficult to fit it into the schedule now, but we’ll try.  Today was the right decision.  You want to try and play, but it didn’t make sense to play this weekend.”

The Owls were scheduled to face off against Saint Anselm and Saint Michael’s College.  

These schools have long distances to travel so everyone involved thought it would not be a good idea to not risk wasting an expensive bus trip if there was doubt about the games being played.

Saint Anselm is located in New Hampshire and Saint Michael’s is in Vermont.  

On the other hand, Baseball is different from other sports when it comes to weather cancellations.  Sports like football, soccer and lacrosse do not get cancelled as much as baseball due to inclement weather.

According to AccuWeather, there was research conducted that said the month of April accounts for 37 percent of all rainouts during the Major League Baseball season.  The MLB has the ability to reschedule rainouts because their season is so long, but that’s not the case for college baseball.

The college baseball season is packed into three months while the MLB season is much longer, lasting six months.  With April being the month that brings the most rain, it complicates college baseball schedules for coaches and players, as April commences the start of the season.  

Most other sports do not have problems like this because they play through the rain and bad weather.  Some people have asked why baseball cannot do the same, and there’s a multitude of reasons why that is.

Shea identified a few of these issues.

“You’re throwing a baseball to a batter and that can be dangerous in terms of slipping around,” said Shea when referring to why baseball cannot be played in the rain. “It takes good conditions to be able to play our sport.  You have injuries as well when you’re trying to play with improper field conditions.”

The main difference that makes baseball harder to play in during the rain, is the fact that baseball is played on dirt.

There is a reason that only the infield is covered during rain delays and not the outfield.  If the dirt is wet, that can cause players to get their cleats caught in the dirt, which could result in injury.

When these games are cancelled due to bad field conditions there are ramifications. The starting pitcher now has to wait an extended period of time to pitch when he was preparing to pitch that day.

This threw off the Southern baseball team during their postponed doubleheaders, as now there has to be extra steps taken to get the starters who were supposed to start on a certain day, ready for the next game.  

“Rainouts can throw off your rotation,” said Shea. “For example Harper and Bremer were going to start [against Saint Anselm College] and now they’re not pitching, so they’re going to be well over their time. We’ll get them some bullpen work before their next start.”

Shea said he hopes Southern can make up their games against Saint Anselm and Saint Michael’s, but is not sure they will be able to.

The Owls next game is scheduled to be a doubleheader against Merrimack College on April 9.  

Photo Credit: Edgar Ayala – Sports Editor


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