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Baseball

Leechburg only WPIAL baseball team yet to play a game

| Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 1:11 a.m.

Stuck on the grassy hillside above its field for yet another practice Tuesday afternoon, Leechburg's baseball team took solace in the fact that a game on artificial turf awaits Wednesday.

While every other baseball team in the WPIAL has completed at least one game this season, the Blue Devils remained 0-0 through Tuesday. Their drought likely will end Wednesday, as they're scheduled to play Springdale on the weather-resistant facilities at Kelly Automotive Park — formerly known as Pullman Park — in Butler.

“There was a different sense of urgency (Tuesday) because we know we're going to play tomorrow,” senior Taylor Oberdorf said. “We're tired of practicing.”

Leechburg's only interaction with an opponent this spring was a scrimmage against Clairton on March 28.

Originally scheduled as a game, the teams agreed to call it a scrimmage because neither had spent sufficient time on a field.

Tuesday brought forth the latest postponement for Leechburg, which was scheduled to play at St. Joseph — the postponed game was a rescheduled contest from Monday.

So many postponements have forced Bob Oberdorf, Leechburg's coach and Taylor's father, to ponder ways to keep practice interesting.

“There's only so much you can do in the gym,” the coach said. “Of course, we're undefeated in the gym.”

Because their field struggles to even drain water, the Blue Devils rarely get on a diamond when they go outdoors. Instead, they roam the slope that sits just above the field.

“Other teams, they're getting a feel for who fits where and who does what well,” senior Alex Sipolino said.

“We're still just waiting and doing what we can on the little hill.”

When sunshine and warmth arrived Sunday, the team spent more than four hours at the field, where they cut grass and worked to dry the infield. Rain Monday ruined it.

“It was looking absolutely beautiful,” Taylor Oberdorf said of the field. “It was pretty discouraging to see us have to start back at the beginning.”

The Blue Devils believe they'll manage to make up all the games.

They just wonder what toll back-to-back-to-back games will take on pitchers' arms.

“Having to reschedule all these games, it's definitely going to come into play with our pitchers,” Sipolino said. “I don't know how well we'll hold up because we're a pretty young team.”

Leechburg should make further progress Thursday as the Blue Devils will play North Catholic at Kelly Automotive Park.

Both games at the Butler park start at 7 p.m.

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at wwest@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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