Baseball home opener delayed, again

by Sammy Kardon | 4/3/02 5:00am

Today was supposed to be the day that the 7-7 Big Green baseball team had its home-opener against Siena, but Mother Nature had other plans. Because of "unplayable conditions" at Red Rolfe Field, the double-header will be played in Siena instead, with Dartmouth as the home team.

The players are disappointed that they'll have to wait until next week against Vermont to show their stuff to the Hanover faithful, but they are not devastated.

"As long as we're playing, we're happy," co-captain and starter John Velosky '02 said. "It's not really disappointing to have these games moved. It's actually expected."

The same thing happened last year, but to the extreme, and the team didn't have it's home-opener until May. The prognosis is a little better this year, as spring has shown signs of pushing through the last remnants of winter over the past week.

All this is secondary to the main purpose of the games: preparing for the upcoming weekend.

"We are going to use tomorrow's games against Siena as a final tune-up for our Ivy League season," co-captain and shortstop Matt Klentak '02 said yesterday. "It's a great opportunity for us to build our confidence before hitting the road for a very important series of games against Cornell and Princeton."

With a 3-18 record so far this season, it is hard to figure that the Saints will put up much of a fight against the Big Green, which is a perfect 3-0 since returning from its spring trip to Florida.

Siena is a team that hits better than it pitches, but that is not saying much. The offense has managed an anemic .247 batting average, but managed to score at 4.47 runs per game clip. The pitching staff is simply awful with a collective 8.15 ERA.

The Big Green, however, refuses to take anything for granted.

"Siena has played some tough teams this year and has played well against those teams," Klentak explained. "Their 3-18 record may be a bit deceiving. We're not going to treat them any differently than we do the other teams on our schedule."

Dartmouth has been playing well of late, with its offense in particular showing strong signs of progress. The attack will be led by the No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Scott Shirrell '04 and Mike Mileusnic '03, who share the team lead with 15 RBIs. Shirrell is also pacing the team with a scorching .390 batting average. Lead-off man Jason DaCosta '03 will also look to add to his team-leading total of 18 runs.

On the hill for the Big Green in the double dip will be two tall righties: freshman Mike Madson and junior Kevan Graves. Madson will look to improve his 12.91 ERA which is deceiving since he has only pitched 7 2/3 innings this year. Graves, coming off an injury, will be hurling his first fastballs of the year.