Winter weather throwing baseball programs a scheduling curve - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Winter weather throwing baseball programs a scheduling curve ball


Eau Claire (WQOW) - With winter weather lasting into May, many area baseball teams are being forced to change their game plan. After having to practice in the gym, Eau Claire North will be playing all of its conference opponents in double header match ups this year.

Other schools will be doing the same, and the baseball cram session could present concerns coaches will be watching.

Mother Nature has thrown baseball programs around the state a curve ball this spring. Eau Claire North has had to move its practices indoors. And recently, there were changes made to scheduling opportunities as well.

"About two weeks ago we received information that the WIAA was allowing us to play two five inning games for double headers," said Bob Johnson, Eau Claire North's Varsity Head Coach.

While Eau Claire North has plenty of kids ready to step up to the plate, all conference games will now be played as double headers, meaning players have few days to showcase their best stuff for scouts.

"Certainly there are a nice number of players within our conference that do have aspirations of going on and playing college baseball, just going to be fewer dates to be seen," Johnson explained.

Meanwhile, Stanley-Boyd only has thirteen players that will be filling up this dugout for the remainder of the season. And with such low numbers, the concern is a high volume of games may wear out pitchers' arms.

"We've got one at home tonight, a home game tomorrow, Thursday we have an away game, and a double header here on Friday. And we've got roughly five pitchers," said Stanley-Boyd Varsity Head Coach Gary Oemig.

"It's hard to stretch their arms out. So to have them come out and try to pitch, you know, that's why we want to monitor their pitching. Because their arms aren't stretched out yet because we haven't been able to get outside," said Stanley Boyd Assistant Coach Brandon Geist.

Regardless of the roster size, both schools say at this point they are just hoping not to have to deal with any more spring setbacks.

"Heaven forbid any more snow, but if we get rainouts, I don't know where we're going to put them, because some of our schools were also playing double headers on Saturday," Bob Johnson added.

The WIAA rule change that allows schools to schedule five-inning double headers will only be in effect for this season. Schools aren't required to drop from the standard seven inning length to five. It's provided as an option to schools as long as both teams agree.

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