April 4, 2014

Clinton set to start baseball season Saturday

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College baseball coach Tom Neale would like to have a better idea of what his team looks like this year.

If only the Cougars could get outside to practice — the same problem all North Country baseball teams have.

Clinton is finally scheduled to open its season Saturday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Columbia-Greene Community College.

“We have some good athletes who played pretty well locally,” Neale said. “We lost some guys already to grades and injury, which is typical. But we have some kids who can throw and play different positions, which is needed at this level.

“It gives our local players a chance to keep playing. We have a decent number of kids on the roster, and you would always like a little more if we run into injuries or sickness. I’d have a better idea of what we have if we could get outside.”

Due to the inclement weather, the Cougars will have to play a lot of games in a short amount of time. The schedule is not easy as many of the downstate junior college opponents will have former Division I or II players on the roster.

“Our schedule will be demanding, and we will need a lot of players who can throw,” Neale said. “We will be able to compete if we take the effort to make the routine plays and do what we’re capable of.

“There is some pressure on us because we can’t make the big mistakes playing the teams on our schedule. But there is also some pressure on our opponents because they feel they are supposed to beat us. We need to play relaxed and try to put the pressure on the other team.”

The Cougars have nine players on a 16-player roster who could see time on the mound.

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