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Spring at last.

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Still holding out for at least one more comment on my latest music trivia quiz before I publish the answers. Anybody?

My three regular readers know I thirst for the annual start of college baseball.

Even in the most clement of years, the arrival of live baseball pretty much signals the start of spring.

And this past winter has hardly been clement. I’ve waited an extra fortnight for the first local college ball: Two weeks’ worth of local games have been cancelled because the fields were in such poor shape. (Moravian College posted photos online of its players shoveling snow off the infield, trying in vain to get their field ready for play.)

I love college baseball because it’s so frill-free. Only within the past two or three years have the biggest colleges in my area started playing walk-up music for batters, for example.

The ceaseless, breathless promotions that drive me nuts at the local minor-league ballpark are nowhere to be found at Lehigh or Lafayette or Moravian or Muhlenberg. There’s just … baseball. People warming up in bullpens and turning double plays and dropping fly balls.

It’s a tonic for the soul.

And, as of today, it’s back.

I dragged the rest of my family to Lehigh University’s humble ball field this afternoon for the first game of a doubleheader against Mount St. Mary’s University.

The home team had apparently been saving some hits for the occasion: Lehigh put up five runs in the first and last innings, beating Mount St. Mary’s 14-1 in a seven-inning game.

(I don’t think it was a mercy-rule thing — I think the first game of college doubleheaders is usually seven innings. Though I think Lehigh wasn’t trying all that hard to put up any more runs after it got to 10 or 11.)

Of course I brought my camera. And of course I’m going to inflict some pix on you. Click to make ’em larger if you want.

Lehigh's shortstop up with the grounder and throws to first.

Lehigh’s shortstop up with the warmup grounder and throws to first. Note the striped stirrups: Very, very stylish. Now that’s what ballplayers look like.

When your school name (Mount St. Mary's) and your team name (Mountaineers) are both too long to fit across a jersey, what do you put on it? "Mount," apparently.

When your school name (Mount St. Mary’s) and your team name (Mountaineers) are both too long to fit across a jersey, what do you put on it? “Mount,” apparently.

The lads in the Mount St. Mary's bullpen -- shown here in a rare moment of repose -- don't much seem to like getting their picture taken.

The yeggs in the Mount St. Mary’s bullpen — shown here in a rare moment of repose — don’t much seem to like getting their picture taken.

Not sure Lehigh's Joe Abeln agreed with the umpire's call on this one.

Not sure Lehigh’s Joe Abeln agreed with the umpire’s call on this one.

 

I love how close the players and fans are at college games. Not to mention the players and animals.

I love how close the players and fans are at college games. Not to mention the players and animals.

Pretty sure Lehigh's starter went the distance. He didn't have much trouble.

Pretty sure Lehigh’s starter went the distance. He didn’t have much trouble.

No. 13 seemed to get an especially heartfelt congrats after reaching base. He's not on the online roster, and I'm kinda hoping he was a walk-on who just got his first hit. But I don't know for sure.

No. 13 seemed to get an especially heartfelt congrats after reaching base. He’s not on the online roster, and I’m kinda hoping he was a walk-on who just got his first hit. But I don’t know for sure.

No. 49, whose replacement is just steps away from arrival, is either remarkably happy or totally incredulous at being yanked.

No. 49, whose replacement is just steps away from arrival, is either remarkably happy or totally incredulous at being yanked.

I will always take pictures of a sidearmer. Always. It's a rule.

I will always take pictures of a sidearmer. Always. It’s a rule.

Spring may be here, but the scars of winter linger.

Spring may be here, but the scars of winter linger.

 

 

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2 responses »

  1. Good stuff. How’s the quality of the play overall?

    Reply

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