While Post 83 (29-9) has only played eight home games on six days this season, a break couldn't have come at a better time.
“I think we are eager to play some baseball, but at the same time we kind of had some slow arms and a couple of injuries,” Post 83 coach Bobby Palsa said. “So having a few days off is not always a bad thing. We can let some guys heal up and get some rest before what is hopefully a nice little push here at the end of the year.”
The team is currently 7-1 at it's home field at Perkins High School. The only loss came to Lima, which beat Sandusky on the opening weekend of the season, 3-2.
“Coach (Ray) Neill put together the schedule and I wasn't really a part of that,” Palsa said. “I am sure umpire fees and the cost of maintaining the field kind of comes into play a little bit. The legion has been very good about giving us whatever we need for those purposes, but I think we will definitely try to have some more home games next year, or at least kind of even it out.”
Still, the teams nine losses proves the road schedule hasn't played a part in the teams success.
“I can't say that it hurt us,” Palsa said. “For the majority of these kids, they are not from Sandusky or Perkins, so every game is essentially an away game. We are all used to traveling, but when you have a lot of games on the road it gets you in the mentality of it not being about home field advantage. 'I need to show up at the ball diamond today and it doesn’t matter who we are playing against or where we are at, we're going to show up and play our game.' We know that as long as we do that we should be very competitive and have a chance to win.”
The roster includes seven players from Perkins, two from St. Mary Central Catholic, two from Bellevue, two from Rossford, and one from Seneca Easton, Plymouth, Port Clinton, Willard and Amherst.
The team lost a core group of veterans last season, and Palsa said a lengthy road schedule might have been just what the team needed in his first year as head coach.
“The travel that we've had on the weekends, the tournaments that we've gone to have given us the opportunity to hang out for a weekend,” Palsa said. “Everyone sleeps in the hotel, they have some down time to hang out and spend some time together outside of baseball. I think that those weekends are huge for a team. The team gets to come together and become friends, not just teammates. When that happens you start to build a little bit deeper of a team chemistry which is extremely important in baseball because it's not a one-man game by any means.”
Post 83 will need as much team chemistry as possible in the next week.
The team will hold a practice today before hosting two nine-inning games this weekend.
The local contingent plays Maumee at 2 p.m. at Perkins, and will take the field again on Sunday vs. Pemberville at 1 p.m.
They have a bye in the district tournament, setting them up to play Monday's winner of Fremont and Medina at 5:30 p.m. at Tiffin University on Tuesday.
Post 83 beat Fremont (6-1) this summer, but has not faced Medina.
“It's a team game and everybody needs to contribute for there to be success,” Palsa said. “Especially at a championship level.”