Rain plays
key role in
SVC race
With the SVC standings starting to take shape the way many predicted it would, another contender
known as Mother Nature joined the race this week. In the preseason, the guessing game always starts
with pitching when figuring who will finish where. The league pick is usually a team who seems to have the
best one-two punch on the mound. With the SVC using the Monday-Wednesday-Friday format, teams
can often allow one of those two hurlers to throw just about every meaningful pitch throughout the season.

This is often the case; however, every year, the race has at least one week – and sometimes more –
in which rain completely takes over the SVC race. This has been the situation over the past 48 hours.
Scenarios thought out by coaches for three league games in five days is now going to be three games in
three days. If the forecast does not improve for Friday, it is possible next week could turn into four
league games in five days. This can make for some interesting match-ups. Depending on how coaches
utilize their pitching, you sometimes can have a team’s best pitcher facing someone else’s third
best. Often times, the two teams simply run out of pitching, and as we saw in a few occasions last week,
this can sometimes result in a first-one-to-15 wins type of slugfest.

Take the Adena-Westfall showdown for example. Coach Yates and Coach Thomas most likely had their
top pitchers ready to go on Monday night and still had them ready for Tuesday night. Now, the
showdown moves to Thursday, and both teams face tough opponents on Wednesday night which leaves
both coaches with a decision on what to do with their pitching.

The rain can sometimes be the great equalizer. Perhaps a team does not have a big time No. 1 pitcher to
compete with the top dogs, but they have great depth on the mound. This type of team constantly wants
rain to push games back because the more teams have to use pitching the better this team’s chances
become in terms of moving up the standings.

This same issue does not really play the same role in the softball standings, because the top pitchers are
able to take the ball every night. The top pitchers on the softball side have plenty of experience in pitching
back-to-back days or even three or four straight days for that matter.

There is another factor involved here that can influence both baseball and softball, and that factor is
practice time and facilities. When dealing with the non-stop rain that has drenched the local diamonds in
the past two days, it makes it tough to get outside for practice. This leaves teams battling volleyball,
basketball, and drama club for gym time in order to stay sharp for the long stretch of games that will
come when the sunshine returns.

The jam-packed schedule can be tough on young teams. It is tough for coaches because they are
constantly trying to teach on the run while playing games every night. This is why many people believe
that the stretch of games influenced by weather can really favor the more experienced teams.

Hopefully, the sun starts playing a bigger role in the forecast so that pitching, defense, and hitting are
things that are being talked about in the league race instead of weather.
Adena Sports Medicine
The Official Sponsor of SVC Stats