Notre Dame baseball coach Steve Soper quipped that his team has hit so many wiffle balls this past week they would be a pretty good entry if the LHSAA ever adopted the sport.
Such is life for the Pioneers and their counterpart North Vermilion, which have waited since Tuesday to try to play their much anticipated District 6-3A game.
Five days after several postponements Notre Dame (15-8, 4-0) and North Vermilion (19-4, 4-0) are finally expected to play for the league lead at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Louisiana-Lafayette’s Tigue Moore Field, which features an artificial turf surface.
“It’s definitely been tough,” North Vermilion coach Jeremy Trahan said.
“I’ve never seen this much rain this many days in a row. We haven’t been able to have a full team practice where we could use the whole field since last Wednesday.”
Trahan said there will be a coin flip to determine the home teams Sunday and Monday. The loser of the flip will be the home team in Sunday’s matchup, and the winner of the flip will be the home team Monday.
The destination of Monday’s game also depends on the status of the home field of the team that wins the coin flip. If the winner is unable to host, the game would then shift to the other team.
Should the playing fields at both sites be unplayable the contest would be pushed back to Friday.
Both teams have lived in a baseball world of flux, along with a great majority of teams in the Acadiana area, since the region’s been inundated with heavy rains for much of the past week.
Neither team has played a game in more than a week with practices for such a pivotal game being nearly nonexistent because of soggy conditions on their respective fields.
“You’re always worried about such a big layoff,” Soper said. “But it’s not just raining in Crowley. Everybody else has to deal with it. Once the game’s played, no one cares about how many practices you’ve had.
“It’s always an issue, but there’s really nothing we can do about it. We’ll show up when we’re supposed to play and do the best we’ve can.”
Trahan said his team has tried to be resourceful, having gone outside to practice Wednesday and Friday but otherwise hitting in batting cages and practicing in the school’s gym.
“You hope that we’re so far into the season we’ve done enough and practiced enough to where we should be ready to go,” Trahan said “Everybody’s dealing with it. It’s not like they’re getting an advantage.”
The pitching staffs for both teams have tried to remain sharp by throwing bullpens and come into the game at full strength.
North Vermilion is expected to start ace and Louisiana-Lafayette signee Donald Comeaux (7-0, 0.30 ERA) or Ryan Meaux (5-1, 2.00) with Notre Dame set to rely on either Joe Faulk (4-3, 3.02), David Frank (3-0, 1.46) or Chase McBride (5-1, 3.27).
“They’ve done a terrific job of handling it and taking everything in stride,” Soper said. “It’s definitely tough but the kids have done an outstanding job.
“The biggest part is they’ll be happy to be outside on Sunday. They should be excited.”