Weather wreaks havoc with early season pro

Rain, rain go away isn’t just the start of a nursery rhyme any more. Baseball coaches around central Texas, including Lake Travis’ Mike Rogers, are singing the refrain almost constantly these days.

The wet weather, in conjunction with a new district, has wreaked havoc with Rogers’ early season planning and the Cavaliers’ on-field opportunities.

“It’s miserable for everybody,” Rogers said last week, as his team prepared for what turned out to be a rain-shortened Langerhans Invitational in Round Rock. “It’s hard to get any rhythm or continuity. You’re on the field one day and then you’re not on the field for two days.”

Combined with the weather and an earlier start to the District 14-6A season that includes two new teams and four more games, Lake Travis has lost nearly a half-dozen pre-district games that Rogers had hoped to use to prepare the Cavaliers and get them sharp for the games that matter most.

“It just cuts our games back to be ready for district,” he said. “But everybody’s in the same boat. Going to be an unusual start to the season.”

Rogers estimates that the Cavaliers have lost up to a half-dozen non-district games due to weather and the district newcomers. It could be worse. At least the Cavaliers have some on-campus indoor facilities they can utilize. Rogers said the team can field grounders and work on throwing in the Cavalier Activity Center, and pitchers and hitters can work in the newly-completed covered batting cage. While that helps, the coach said, it doesn’t replace the on-field situational work in practice or the pressure to execute in game situations.

“The game situation is where we fall behind, the game reps, the game speed,” Rogers said.

As the Langerhans Tournament progressed, the Cavaliers began to figure it out. Chris Roller, Jared Triolo, Brad Demco and Jacob Wyeth began connecting for big hits, and the starting rotation of Jackson Parthasarathy, Tate Sanford and A.J. Wolin got some much-needed work as district play begins this week. Colton Bailey pitched several times in relief and appears to be a closer-in-waiting.

Rogers said Parthasarathy will likely get the ball in the district opener, but Wolin and Sanford will also figure in the mix. What he says about his big Rice-bound senior applies to the others.

“We just need to get him some game reps,” the coach said before Parthasarathy beat McNeil.

As district play approaches, Parthasarathy, Wolin and Sanford have combined to make just five starts. The next start each makes will come against district foes, something they began prepping for last week.

“Priority number one is our district games, so who we project to start that first game will get limited work in the tournament,” Rogers said. “We actually threw pens with those guys [March 3] anticipating the rain, anticipating getting that set up already.”