July 02, 2020

Doubleheaders will test Eagles’ pitching depth

Husson College baseball coach John Winkin will find out just how much pitching depth he has over the next two weekends.

With stormy weather continuing to batter the East and postponing game after game, it appears as though the Eagles will play three doubleheaders this coming weekend and three more the following weekend.

Husson is 5-14 overall but just 1-1 in the North Atlantic Conference.

Winkin said the Eagles will host the University of Maine-Farmington for a NAC doubleheader on Friday, but the Beavers will be the home team because the games had originally been scheduled for Farmington. UMF’s grass field won’t be ready, he explained, but the artificial FieldTurf surface on the Winkin Baseball Complex field should need just one drying day to be ready.

The Eagles will then travel to Massachusetts for NAC doubleheaders against Elms on Saturday and Becker on Sunday.

Husson plays a midweek nonconference doubleheader at Thomas on April 24, a nonleague home game with Bowdoin on April 25 at 7, and then has another six-games-in-three-days stretch at home on April 28 (Castleton State), April 29 (Bates), and April 30 (Saint Joseph’s).

The Castleton State and St. Joseph’s doubleheaders are conference games.

Winkin said this is the worst spring weather pattern he has ever experienced but acknowledged that having games backed up like every other team in Maine could work to the Eagles’ advantage.

“I told our squad that our strength is our pitching depth,” said Winkin, whose Eagles split a Wednesday doubleheader at St. Joseph’s and a home twinbill with Thomas on Sunday.

“In our two doubleheaders, I was able to use all 10 pitchers for at least an inning. I’m grateful for that,” said Winkin. “The comforting thing about what has happened is our pitchers haven’t lost their game experience.”

He also said he likes the way his pitching has stacked up.

“I feel we can match anybody in the conference with our pitching and I know we can play defense. But we’ve got to get our hitting rhythm going,” said Winkin. “I remember Wade Boggs saying, ‘Every day you don’t play, you lose your batting rhythm.’ He’s so right.”

Winkin said he won’t allow his team to play doubleheaders on four consecutive days.

Winkin did receive some good news in that sophomore righty Anthony DeRosa, who suffered a head injury in a car accident 11 days ago, has been cleared by doctors to throw and run. He can’t face hitters yet, but he can work out.

“He’s going to start throwing and running [Tuesday],” said Winkin. “He can get his arm ready and develop his endurance with his running. He’s in pretty good shape.”

DeRosa was 6-1 with a 4.35 ERA last season.

Winkin said he will know on Friday if DeRosa is cleared to pitch and, if he is, he is hoping to get him some relief work in two weeks.

The four-team double-elimination NAC Tournament will be held on May 4 at the home field of the top seed.

For the first time, the winner will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament, according to Winkin.

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