With district play fast approaching, Mother Nature hasn’t been kind to baseball teams around the state.
That’s why, despite the forecast of heavy rain throughout Friday, Teurlings baseball coach Michael Thibodeaux is doing everything he can to ensure the Rebel Invitational his team is hosting gets as many games as possible played.
Thibodeaux said he reached out to Louisiana-Lafayette to see if its facilities could be used while the Ragin’ Cajuns were away this weekend, but his request was denied.
“We are still on for all locations now, the fields are tarped. UL-Lafayette denied our request, so we will just wait and see,” Thibodeaux said. “I’ll make decisions about games at Fabacher field and (Teurlings field) (Thursday) by 1:30 p.m.”
“If we needed we can move games to Teurlings and Fabacher field for Sunday.”
Comeaux High, Fabacher Field and New Iberia High are serving as the other main sites of the tournament along with Teurlings.
Teurlings field doesn’t have lights, which further hamstrings Thibodeaux, limiting the times possible to play games at the host site.
“Our school would be the first to move locations because we don’t have lights,” Thibodeaux said. “There’s nothing that we can do. It just depends on each field and the conditions at those sites.”
Thibodeaux said this preseason has been the most difficult in recent memory for teams trying to prepare for the season.
Whether through freezing temperatures or rain, none of the area’s teams have played many games in the first two weeks of the season.
“It’s been the most difficult preseason I’ve ever dealt with in recent history as far as dealing with weather,” Thibodeaux said. “When it isn’t cold, it’s been raining.”
The Teurlings coaching staff has had to get creative in order to simulate the practice time they have missed because of the conditions.
“It’s been rough, we’ve had to be creative we’ve practiced late in the evenings at UL indoor facilities,” Thibodeaux said. “We’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom going over the mental aspect of the game.
“We’ve lost quite a bit of practice time. Fortunately we have covered batting cages, so we’ve been able to hit underneath the roof when the weather isn’t too bad.”
With district play fast approaching, Thibodeaux said it was crucial to get as many games in possible in this weekend in order to give his young team experience.
The problem isn’t exclusive to Teurlings, either.
“Getting experience right now is a huge problem for everyone,” Thibodeaux said. “Especially in our situation, we have so many underclassman playing key roles for us as starters on the varsity team. We’re going to do everything we can to play this weekend.”
With so few games being played, starting pitchers haven’t had a chance to stretch their arms out, Thibodeaux said.
After this weekend there is only one more week of nondistrict play to get pitchers ready for the season-long grind.
“This is the third weekend, then we have a fourth weekend of tournaments, but then district starts,” Thibodeaux said. “So this two weeks is very critical to get the pitchers innings in order to stretch them out for district play.”
Teurlings is scheduled to play Erath on its home field at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, while Comeaux hosts Vandebilt at the same time and Westgate hosts E.D. White at 4 p.m. In later games, Acadiana will play Catholic High of New Iberia at Fabacher Field at 7 p.m., while New Iberia will play Notre Dame at Miller Stadium at 6 p.m. Thursday