WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Preparations are still underway for the Watertown Rapids 2020 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season, with team management still confident the league will play games this year and fans hoping the same.
Opening day for the PGCBL season is almost 2 months away with the Watertown Rapids set to open on May 29th.
Despite the coronavirus outbreak and social isolation in place, the league is still shooting for that opening date according to Watertown Rapids General Manager Nick Czerow.
“Right now, since there hasn’t been any sort of stop put to seasons for sure or cancellations of Major League seasons, I think a little bit of that uncertainty plays to our advantage. That you know, we’re still hoping for the season, we’re still gonna have a great year and we can still provide some great entertainment for Watertown,” said Czerow.
Despite most of the players coming in having played very few or no games this spring due to college baseball seasons being cancelled, Czerow says he feels the players will be ready to hit the ground running when they report to the team in late May.
“You know, we really don’t have any concerns about, you know, guys coming in super rusty where they may have to break off a little bit of rust. But in a normal season for us, our guys report only a couple days before the season starts anyways so it’s not like they have 4 weeks of spring training where, you know, they really go through different things. So you know, our coach has been doing a phenomenal job talking to these guys, keeping 'em ready, keeping them in the loop for the season,” said Czerow.
In a normal season, some teams may be missing players on their roster at the start of the season with them participating in post season playoffs or the College World Series, but with the spring sports season wiped out for colleges that won’t be the case this year. It is something Czerow says works to the Rapids advantage.
“That’s a great thing there to build that camaraderie because these guys only have a couple days before we roll into opening day which is scheduled for May 29th this year. And then you know, there’s only so much time to build the camaraderie between the teammates and build that chemistry where you’ve got your couple days of training and then you’re into games almost every day for 2 months. So I think that could provide. You could see closer knit locker rooms throughout the season and I think that will bode well for the community as we try to do community events with our players,” said Czerow.
Czerow says despite the uncertainty surrounding the season, the sponsors, advertisers and host families have been open and accommodating as the season gets closer.
“You know, it’s been a challenge for sure. But the great thing is that the people of Watertown have been really receptive to us pursuing our season. You know, it’s been an unpredictable journey for a lot of people involved in sports so the best thing we can do is just push forward until we hear otherwise, and you know, just go through some of those challenges in hopes that we still have a great season anyways,” said Czerow.
The Rapids home opener is set for May 29th as they host the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs at the Duffy dome. The first pitch is set for 6:16.