Cavs, Grangers ready to play

By Kevin Eckleberry

February 14, 2014

It’s time to play ball, unless Mother Nature intervenes again that is.

The Callaway Cavaliers and LaGrange Grangers were supposed to face off on Friday in a preseason game, but that game was moved to today to give Callaway’s field more time to dry off.

The teams will face off at 1 p.m. today, giving each team a chance to face off against another team before the season opens for real next week.”

“We just have to hope we don’t get any more rain tonight,” Callaway coach Dusty Hubbard said on Friday afternoon.

If the game does go on, both coaches will approach it like the preseason game it is.

A bunch of position players will get a chance to play, and both coaches will empty their pitching staffs as well.

“We’ll play everybody,” Hubbard said. “For us, we’ll probably throw at least five pitchers, maybe six. I think if you’re capable, you’ll probably pitch.”

LaGrange coach Todd Herrington is approaching the game with the same mindset.

“Our plan is to throw at least seven pitchers,” Herrington said. “A pitcher an inning is kind of what we’re looking at right now.”

Like every other team in the area, Callaway and LaGrange have seen their preparation for the upcoming season slowed because of the winter storms the past few weeks.

The first week of practice was interrupted by the snow storm in late January, and the ice storm last week further hampered the practice routine.

Teams have been forced to take days off, and field time has been limited because of the moisture.

“Everybody’s going to be a little rusty,” Herrington said. “Everybody around this area has had to take the time off. You practice, and you have to stop, and you practice, and you have to stop. It kind of breaks the momentum a little bit.”

While the Grangers may not be quite as prepared as they’d hoped to be, Herrington said everyone is ready to take the field today.

“We’re excited. We’re looking forward to it, and we’re ready to get out there and play somebody else,” Herrington said. “It’ll be nice to see a team in a different-colored uniform. It’ll be a really good test for us to see where we stand, so we are looking forward to it.”

The same goes for the Cavaliers, who will play for the first time since they lost in the second round of the state playoffs a year ago.

“It’ll be good to play,” Hubbard said. “It’ll be good play somebody with a different uniform on.”

Both teams will officially kick their seasons off next week.

LaGrange will begin its season on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Hardaway at Granger Park.

Callaway will host Pacelli on Friday at 5:30 p.m.