The EDSS boys’ slo-pitch team shook off an error-prone first inning to beat the visiting team from St. Mary’s 16-11 at Lions Park Tuesday afternoon. The win evens the Lancers’ record at 2-2, but early-season rain and soggy conditions has meant that three of their games have been scrapped, with no guarantee of them being rescheduled in time for the end of the season.
“Hopefully they’re rescheduled, they’re supposed to be rescheduled, but it hasn’t come through yet,” said coach Troy Shantz. A season-ending tournament is used to determine the league champions and has been earmarked for June 2, but the coach said there are talks of pushing it back one week to try and squeeze in some more league games.
The top half of the league will compete in the A tournament, while the bottom half of the league will compete in the B tournament.
The lack of playing time for the team was evident for the Lancers in their match on Tuesday as the team committed two errors in the first inning, leading to an early five-run cushion for the visiting St. Mary’s squad.
Elmira responded in the bottom of the inning, however. Pitcher Nevin Wilson – who gave up a home run to the first batter he saw in the game – helped his own cause by hitting a double to right field and was cashed in
two batters later by Andrew Brubacher’s two-run double to centerfield.
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Ted Sebben then followed Brubacher with an inside-the-park homerun to cut the lead to 5-4.
The team would tack on three more in the second inning thanks to a two-run homer from Brubacher and Sebben’s second homerun of the game for a 7-5 lead.
Shantz said that it’s been hard for the team to gel together given their limited playing time together. They’ve only had one batting practice all year, and the coaches have been relying on the player’s natural skills to get them through.
“They do play in their own leagues, for the most part, so the fielding has been fine, but none of them really play slo-pitch so their timing has been a little off at the plate,” said Shantz. The sport has challenged hitters as pitchers lob the ball into the strike zone rather than zipping it in with full-force.
“They’re used to fastball or windmill or hardball, so with lob-ball it’s hard to be patient enough to wait for it to come down to you,” Shantz laughed.
But if Tuesday’s game is any indication, the Lancers’ bats appear to be heating up at the right time. Shantz said he hopes the team, playing in only its second season after slo-pitch was introduced to the league last year, can finish with a record above .500 and make the A tournament.
“We pretty much have to win whatever games are left to make the A tournament,” said Shantz. “We’re in about the middle of the pack right now.”
Their next game is slated for this Tuesday at Lions Park in Elmira, and the team must await notice of how officials plan to either squeeze in the cancelled games, or make other arrangements for the year-end tournament.