HILLARY SMITH: Baseball blows in with a bluster

2013-03-24T21:30:00Z HILLARY SMITH: Baseball blows in with a blusterHillary Smith Times Columnist nwitimes.com
March 24, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

Oh to remember when March was much warmer and the snow had forgotten to fall.

The fields were covered with baseball teams, not the fans covered with blankets way too small.

The IHSAA baseball season is slated to open today, and it will likely come with less fury than the weather, which is scheduled to keep the cold weather around at least into April.

Cold, meh, region baseball players can handle the cold.

It's the snow that scares away the hits.

Baseballs travel further in hot weather than cold. So, a baseball hit in May is more likely to fly over the left-field wall than one hit in March.

Equally as true, a low-flying baseball is more likely to be caught in March, albeit by a shivering left fielder who may have to put warmers in his mitt to keep his fingers moving.

The snow is also less of a welcome as many area students start spring break this week, hoping to be outside and enjoy the temps we can only remember in our brief memories of a year ago.

Instead, today the expectations are considerably lower with snow scheduled and temperatures cruising as high as 48 by late week.

The warmer climate is needed to keep the fields dry, because a frozen -- or near-frozen -- ground doesn't whisk away the water as quickly as a warmer surface.

When the fields clear and dry, and the possibility for play actually begins, there are so many question marks waiting to be released as the season starts.

Lake Central won a state championship with just one loss in 33 games. Can the Indians repeat that success, and if not, which region team can come close?

The Porter County Conference has had three teams reach the semistate round in the last two years: South Central and Hanover Central in 2011 and Hebron in 2012. Can the PCC duplicate the success for the third consecutive year?

With cold and snow predicted into April, how late will we have to wait until the conference seasons begin?

The Northwest Crossroads Conference is trying a new form of scheduling games, not unlike what the Greater South Shore Conference tried in its early seasons. The NCC will play a Monday-Tuesday home-and-home series, meaning that teams won't face the same pitcher in the first and second half of the season.

The question there is how the experiment will help change the makeup of the top standings?

In a short eight weeks, all of these questions will be answered. We're a few postponed games and a full season of baseball away from the start of the sectional.

If you don't mind the wind, can you feel it?

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at hillary.smith@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses



Which team will win the World Series?

View Results

NFL News