By Mike Deak
MILFORD – The second season started for the Wawasee Summer League this week, with T-Ball and machine pitch joining its diamond mates in the season rundown. Milford’s diamonds also recently opened for play as the state mandates on school properties being closed were lifted to start the month.
The scene was set for this week’s open for machine pitch play at Milford, and taking the stage were the Pirates and Angels in their season debuts.
In machine pitch formats, everyone who is rostered gets to play the field and gets to bat. So, in essence, you show up, you get to do all the things. The Angels fielded seven players and Pirates six players. With everyone getting to bat, each player takes two swings against the pitching machine. Hit the ball, ‘RUN!’ For those needing an extra stab at it, coaches will soft toss until the player makes positive contact.
Each player moves base to base per at-bat, and last batter gets to hit the home run, clearing the bases to end the half inning. So, technically, the Angels “won” 14-12 after the two teams concluded two innings before time limit hit.
Angels coach Richard Costa was just happy to get the kids on the diamond after a long spring.
“It’s fun,” Costa said. “The kids are just having fun out here, that’s what it’s all about.”
The machine pitch season, along with T-Ball, will run through the end of July. For Pirates coach Dave Rosenberry, he’s excited to have the month to teach the kids some of the basics.
“I think it’s great to get the kids out of the house and burn off some energy,” Rosenberry said. “Sportsmanship is something I really want to focus on with the kids, and fundamentals. The next step up it will get a lot more serious in a hurry. I know a lot of the kids out here, they were just really anxious to get out of the house and get out here to play.”