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Rock Bridge baseball team gets creative during rain delays

Friday, April 25, 2008 | 8:29 p.m. CDT; updated 9:45 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008
Nick Little, a second basemen for Rock Bridge, tosses a baseball on the steps of the dugout during a minigame the team played during Friday's rain delay. The goal of the game is to get the ball to rest on a higher step. Like a modified game of baseball, the first step counts as first base, second step as second base, and if it can rest on the top step without rolling into the turf, it counts as a home run. Some team members have been playing it since the seniors were freshman.

COLUMBIA — After the Rock Bridge baseball team pulled out a 4-3 win over Camdenton to start off the first round of the Columbia Baseball Tournament the field was quickly covered with only a half hour until the scheduled start of Rock Bridge’s next game against Vianney. A small storm cell was quickly approaching. Once it hit, the baseballs really started to fly.

Rain delays can dampen the spirits of players, but the boys of Rock Bridge have created some creative ways to pass the time. A team favorite is Dugout Baseball.

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The game involves taking baseballs and lobbing them onto the steps of the dugout. Getting the ball to stop on the first step counts as a single, the second step a double, the third step a triple, and if the ball stops on the top step without touching the grass it’s a home run. Scoring works just like regular baseball by driving in the “runners”.

“Freshman year we started playing,” senior catcher Tony Stiffler said. “One of the seniors started playing it in Sedalia, and it just kind of caught on and everyone started playing it.”

Stiffler said the team can really get serious about the game and start keeping score if the rain lasts long enough.

Assistant coach Rob Widbin said the team’s rain delay activities today were a tamer than usual.

“One time we had kind of an umpire delay down in Springfield, and we played baseball golf” Widbin said. “We’re pretty good golfers. If we can’t win another baseball game we’re going to basically go out and golf and try to win a couple of matches there.”

Once the storm passed and play resumed Rock Bridge appeared to have a handle on Vianney, taking a three run lead after the first inning. But the cold weather that followed the storm cell seemed to freeze up Rock Bridge’s defense. For the next few innings Rock Bridge committed several defensive errors that allowed Vianny to take the lead and hold onto it for an 11-9 win.

Rock Bridge will play Excelsior Springs tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at Rock Bridge.


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