GARY | Roosevelt played its first game of the season and Lew Wallace played its second in a game that opened in the snow and ended in short order with a windchill of 29 degrees.
The Hornets showed their experience in a five-inning 15-1 win to head home before on-field temperatures at U.S. Steel Yard dropped any more.
"This is just not baseball weather," Lew Wallace coach Al Williams said. "The guys really wanted to play and it's a great opportunity for them to play on a field like this. They look forward to coming here every year, so you hate to disappoint them."
In an effort to have his team home and warm sooner rather than later, Williams told his Hornets (1-1) to score early and often. They responded with a nine-run first inning, scoring on two passed balls, three of four Roosevelt errors and a hit.
"We wanted to score early, it was cold," Williams said. "We're still experimenting with our pitching. ... It's cold so we wanted to get our pitchers three innings apiece if we had to. In this weather you can throw a pitcher's arm out."
Roosevelt scored its first run of the season in the first inning on a Lew Wallace error. The Panthers (0-1) picked up their first hit in the third inning.
The rest of the Lew Wallace defense was dominated by the Hornets pitching. Taaj McCain and Quintin Harris combined for 11 strikeouts, the starter McCain drawing six strikeouts.
Roosevelt coach Kevin Bradley said he was called in mid-March to head up the team as the school under new management hadn't organized the spring seasons. His squad's first game was rained out and Friday's RailCats Challenge matchup was only the second scheduled game of the season.
"I'm glad they get a chance to experience this, playing on a nice field," Bradley said. "Because of Roosevelt being taking over by the state, we didn't even know if we were going to have a baseball team. It's going to be a tough, tough season."
Bradley hopes to pick up more games as teams are filling rain-out dates later in the season. Otherwise, his team of nine rostered players has a schedule of about five games, he said.
"We're still trying to build a schedule up," Bradley said, "just to get these guys out here some experience before the sectional."