Playing baseball in the snow?
Must be April in Illinois.
Geneva found itself doing just that Saturday against Yorkville at Elfstrom Stadium, though mercifully for just one inning.
Vikings coach Matt Hahn came out to talk to the umpires with two outs in the bottom of the first, the snow and rain coming down sideways with winds gusting. The umpires agreed and after huddling with Hahn and Yorkville coach Scott Luken put an end to the game with the Foxes leading 2-0.
“I talked to Scott (Luken) at 9:30 this morning and said there’s no reason we should be playing,” Hahn said. “I know it is nice for the kids to come out and play on this field and run out here but if it’s snowing it’s dangerous for the kids. It was more about the safety of the kids than anything. That’s got to be our No. 1 priority is their safety. That’s why I said you’ve got to call this.”
Hahn said he had coached in the snow one other time, as a sophomore coach at Driscoll against St. Francis. The teams got in 2 innings that day.
When Geneva senior Jim Martin led off Saturday, the public address announcer announced a wind chill of 27 degrees. The 80 or so fans who braved the conditions either stayed on the concourse or took cover under umbrellas as a mix of rain and snow flurries fell from the sky.
Yorkville (9-3) starter Stephan Toma retired Martin on a grounder and then struck out Mike Monaghan and Chris Hipchen.
The Foxes got to Geneva starter Marcus Steirwalt for 2 runs in the bottom of the first. Luke Lucchetti led off with a single and Derek Piszcek walked. Josh Cooper drove in a run with a single.
Steirwalt got a strike out and comebacker before a wild pitch scored Yorkville’s second run.
While all that was going on, most of Geneva’s fielders were trying different things to stay warm. Hipchen kept jumping up and down in center field. At third base Monaghan tried to keep his throwing hand tucked in his jersey.
While they didn’t get a chance to show it Saturday, several Vikings have been hitting well during the team’s 7-2 start this spring.
“Brett (Willman), Matt (Williams), (Brad) Bernhard is coming around,” Hahn said. “Martin and Monaghan at the top of the order. Eric Melin is doing a phenomenal job in the 9 spot. And our pitching has been good.”
The snowout Saturday follows Friday’s rainout Friday for the Vikings.
“We’ve been real happy with the way we have been playing,” Hahn said. “It’s unfortunate to have games rained out. We’ve got Lake Park Monday and hopefully we will keep it going. We want to keep ourselves right in the thick of things (in the Upstate Eight).”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.