March 17, 2013

Baseball Cards back in action


---- — PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State baseball team was supposed to have played six games by now.

The Cardinals, however, have played just two because of inclement weather.

Weather shouldn’t be an issue beginning today when Plattsburgh makes its annual trip to Winter Haven, Florida for the RussMatt Invitational.

The Cardinals (0-2) will play 10 games today through Saturday, including the final three against Fredonia in SUNY Athletic Conference action.

The trip begins with a 2 p.m. doubleheader against Washington & Jefferson College this afternoon.

“Typically, we’re able to get the games in down there,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said on Thursday. “Sometimes it rains a little, but there’s enough leeway for us to play all the games we have scheduled.”

Plattsburgh, which opened its 2013 season last weekend with a 9-4 and 1-0 doubleheader loss at Farmingdale State, will also play Allegheny College (2), Hamilton College (2) and Framingham State (1) before tangling with Fredonia.

“Washington & Jefferson is currently ranked No. 22 in the country,” Doorey said. “Allegheny had a pretty good season a year ago. Hamilton may be the weakest team on paper, but return a lot of players from last year. And Framingham competes well in their conference.

“We’ve scheduled some pretty tough games early.”

The non-conference games lead up to the two-day weekend set against Fredonia, which represents three of the Cardinals’ 18 SUNYAC contests.

“The three games at the end of the week are the most important ones for us,” Doorey said. “We have to find a way to be ready to go. Fredonia hasn’t played yet and they will have only a short time down here before they play us.

“Hopefully, that will work in our favor because we will have some games under our belt by then.”

Doorey doesn’t know what three pitchers will get the starts against the Blue Devils. He will use Plattsburgh’s first seven games in Florida as an opportunity to see how will be the most prepared to take the mound.

“We only had three pitchers extend themselves last weekend,” Doorey said. “Kyle Kelly pitched pretty well for us.

“But we haven’t seen Rafael Ponce live in a game yet, Colin Crawford threw just a little and Mike Doughtie faced only three batters. We have to see some arms we haven’t seen yet.”

“The three games against Fredonia are more important than the three we have the following weekend against Cortland. We want to win all three games and get the season started well in the conference. If we come out of it with only one win, that puts us in an early hole.”

Doorey is interested to see how his young team will react.

“We’re really young this year,” he said. “We will get to see how the freshmen react after playing 10 games in seven days. These will be high-intensity games.

“But we’re pretty healthy to start the season and the players don’t have to worry about anything down there, except playing baseball.”