The Plattsburgh State baseball team has endured a lot of traveling since its season began, playing every single game as the visitor. This weekend, however, the Cardinals will be taking the field as the home team.
In their SUNYAC home opener, the Cards (3-17, 1-5 SUNYAC) will welcome Oswego for a three-game series. The first two contests will be played tommorow as part of a doubleheader begining at noon followed by a single game Sunday at noon.
The weather has not been friendly to PSUC since their 8-4 victory against New Paltz March 26, as they have seen their past four games postponed or cancelled, and the Cards are excited and eager to take the diamond again.
“We had the best winter we have had in a long time,” PSUC head coach Kris Doorey said. “All of a sudden, though, baseball starts, and the weather started to turn. We are dealing with a lot of weather issues now, and the guys just want to play.”
Doorey acknowledged that after playing 20 games on a baseball field, it’s difficult to practice inside and simulate game situations, but he said PSUC has become inventive, making practices as useful as possible and keeping the players excited.
With all of the days off, the Cards have had plenty of time to work, and Doorey noted how PSUC has not started the season the way they planned, which has prompted them to focus on the future.
“I think we have worked more on state of mind than anything else,” Doorey said. “There’s nothing we can do about the last 20 games.”
Looking at the SUNYAC standings, PSUC currently sits in sixth place, and the team is battling for the fourth and final playoff spot. While the Cards have dropped five of their first six conference matchups this season, they are staying positive and want to keep working.
“The season is definitely far from over,” senior pitcher Scott Orr said. “Teams have gone on runs before where they get six-straight wins. We lost five (SUNYAC games) in a row, and we could easily win five in a row. Nobody is down right now, and we are trying to make the playoffs, which is always the goal.”
As the season continues and PSUC prepares for their series against Oswego, the Cards know being home will yield advantages to them, and Plattsburgh may not be the friendliest place for opponents.
“There is nothing worse than having to travel to Plattsburgh,” Doorey said. “Plattsburgh as a destination is great, but driving here is not fun. All the other teams hate traveling here. They know it’s going to be a long ride. They know there’s nothing to look at out the window, and they know it’s going to be cold, so we have to use that as a positive for us.”
Doorey said just being home helps the Cards because they will not have to travel, get to sleep in their own beds and just worry about playing their games. He also noted how he hopes being at home allows the team to play loose and enjoy being on the baseball field, which is something that has been stressed all season.
Junior outfielder Billy Rombauts, who is one of PSUC’s offensive leaders with a .286 batting average, said playing with the mindset Doorey stresses can help the Cards as a whole and boost their chances to tally wins against Oswego.
“We got to have fun,” Rombauts said. “I stress that too much, but we got to have fun. If we have fun, we are going to be loose, not worrying about things and, hopefully, picking up some wins.”
Analyzing their upcoming opponent, PSUC considers Oswego to be one of the upper-tier teams in the SUNYAC. Doorey made it clear that the Cards know it will not be easy to defeat the Lakers, so he said the keys to the weekend will be keeping things simple and not trying to do too much.
“We have to play to our strengths,” Doorey said. “We can’t try to be them. We have to try to be us and make them stop what we do.”
Email Joey LaFranca at firstname.lastname@example.org