For the last few weeks – like many area baseball teams – St. Clair and Yale were cooped up inside.
With the tough weather, grounders were taken on gym floors, batting practice was done in cages and fly balls were non-existent. However, on Wednesday, they finally got a taste for real, live baseball.
Yes, an actual baseball game played outside against an actual opponent.
The Saints were the team that walked away with the 10-7 victory, but more than anything this game was used to see where both teams stand early on.
“I’m glad we had to deal with adversity,” head coach Denny White said. “You can’t practice that in a gym, just to see how we’re supposed to react and how (the players) are supposed to react … but it’s interesting to see what we have to cover. It’s nice to play in March though.”
While the Saints did pull out the high-scoring win, they did see themselves behind twice. In the third inning they trailed 3-2 before a smattering of wild pitches and an RBI single by junior Gehrig Anglin – who went 2-for-3 with two RBI — gave them a 6-3 lead.
“Even though he’s hurt, he can have a roster spot,” White joked with a smile.Not a bad start for Anglin, considering he was in a car accident earlier in the week.
Yale chipped back at the lead, making it just a 6-5 Saints lead in the fourth, helped by Yale’s Alston Krikorian RBI single. Yale did retake the lead in the top of the fifth after a double by Matt Donnellon brought home Jared Ramsey.
However, that 7-6 Bulldog lead vanished in the bottom of the fifth thanks to three walks in the first four hitters. When sophomore Collin Agosta’s single brought home Brendan Marino and Josh Markel, it was a 10-7 game.
While some of the 17 combined runs did come from walks and early-season mental mistakes, it was still refreshing for the coaches to see their players hit well early.
“Usually pitchers dominate early on, but I thought we put the bat on the ball and hit it pretty good,” Yale head coach Brian Fowler said. “It was nice to see the hitters hit this early in the season.”
Moving forward for Yale, the Bulldogs are a young team that will be looking to make up for the 10 players lost from last year’s team. Fowler sent a handful of kids up to the mound to pitch today to test the waters, knowing his players will have to develop over the spring.
“We are what we are and we are going to need to find kids that can get us three or four innings,” Fowler said. “We’re going to keep trying kids, but hey, we’re not in the gym and that’s great … we are just going to keep working on things.”