WINDSOR >> Games haven’t started yet, but teams are finally able to get outside.
The New Britain baseball team traveled up I-91 on Tuesday to play fellow CCC member Windsor in an intra-conference scrimmage.
No numbers, no scoreboard and no winner, because it doesn’t matter, these days are all about teaching and seeing what you have to work with.
“It was our first time out on a field actually, we’ve been stuck inside the gym,” New Britain coach Roberto Mercado said. “Saw a lot of positive things, a lot of things we need to work on, that’s why it’s great to be out here.”
This was Windsor’s second scrimmage in four days and it showed. The Warriors were smoother and looser than New Britain.
“I was very excited with the way we played today,” Windsor coach Joe Serfass said. “Our pitchers threw strikes, we made the routine play and put the ball in play. Our goal is to get better each day and I think we were better today than we were on Saturday.”
Matt Cleveland took the ball for Windsor and looked strong. The fastball was over-powering for the Golden Hurricanes hitters who were playing outside for the first time this year, although the next time through the order they seemed to get the timing down.
“He’s [Cleveland] fighting for a starting position. He has the potential to be very very good, especially being a sophomore,” Serfass said. “Our pitching staff has the capability to be pretty deep with him involved in it.”
At a point early in the contest, Cleveland loaded the bases before recording a strikeout to get out of the jam.
The Warriors are a young, but experienced team. There are only three seniors on the roster and none that pitch, but a majority of the starting lineup has varsity experience. Last season Serfass started five sophomores and they are all back.
In the middle innings the Windsor bats heated up. A couple of hard hit balls to all fields led to four or five runs.
“We have to find ways to score runs,” Surfass said. “Obviously today we did that pretty well, hopefully that is the case come regular season.”
New Britain has a senior heavy team that just needs to ‘put it all together to have some success.’
“We have a lot of leaders on this team, we’re just going to see who comes out and becomes the true leader,” Mercado said.
It may not seem like much, but even while losing a scrimmage with the sun was going down and the temperature dropping, the New Britain bench was still cheering on their teammates. That why Mercado said he has ‘a lot of high character guys.’
The most important thing today was the weather.
“Overall I’m happy we got outside,” Mercado said. “The results weren’t great, but at the end of the day that’s not what it’s about right now, it’s about the process and make sure our guys are prepared for the season.”
The Hurricanes pitchers got knocked around a bit, but aren’t worried. They have three starters from last year all coming back, including Danny Annear and Malcolm McLeod who look to be at the top of the rotation. They also have some speed, especially center fielder and leadoff hitter Elvin Silva.
“We have a lot of young guys coming in so that will be nice, guys will be battling for spots,” Mercado said.
New Britain will be practicing for the first time outside on Wednesday with only seven days until the regular season starts.
Windsor opens on the road at Simsbury and New Britain hosts Weaver at historic Beehive Field.