Moments before a snow squall enveloped the Howell High School baseball field, Howell co-coach Mike Weatherly joked about the conditions.
“It looks like it’s Christmas,” he said, laughing.
If so, the Highlanders gave themselves a present Sunday, working for nearly two hours to get their field ready, then beating Novi, 10-5. It was Howell’s home opener.
Riley Bennett was the hitting star for the Highlanders, with a two-run double and a two-run triple among three hits and five RBIs for Howell (2-0).
“We got good pitching performances with the 20 mile-an-hour wind blowing in our faces,” Weatherly said. “We were pretty pleased with that. Riley did a good job and for the most part, we played pretty good defense.”
The game was the first of a scheduled doubleheader, which was scuttled due to the delay in getting started.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever worked that hard to get a field ready,” Weatherly said. “But we worked hard to get the field ready and the kids did a nice job. That’s two games we’ve played where the elements haven’t been very good, and I think the kids played good baseball.
Austin Palo started and went 31/3 innings for the Highlanders while also getting two hits, including a double. Spencer Ford, who came on in relief in the fourth, picked up the victory for Howell.
The squall came about 15 minutes after the game had ended, but it had been snowing throughout the game.
As for the weather, Weatherly was nothing if not optimistic.
“It has nowhere to go but up,” he said, laughing.