Kernels taking advantage of indoor practices
As the snow slowly melts, the Mitchell baseball team is impatiently waiting to get outside. When practice first started, the Kernels and head coach Luke Norden got an early gift and were able to start the season with outdoor practice. They were a...
As the snow slowly melts, the Mitchell baseball team is impatiently waiting to get outside.
When practice first started, the Kernels and head coach Luke Norden got an early gift and were able to start the season with outdoor practice. They were also able to hit real baseballs on the field.
After the recent snowstorms, Drake and Cadwell fields have been covered with snow for the past week, forcing the team indoors.
"There are some good benefits to practicing indoors and then there are some negatives," Norden said. "So you have to look at the positive. The team knows what to expect when we practice inside."
The Kernels returned eight of their nine starters from last year's team. And with the mid-April winter storm the town had last year, the team knows how to adjust to practicing indoors.
A lot like last year, Norden has been working his pitchers, having them throw off a wooden mound and getting their pitch counts to about 60 or 70 pitches per session.
The Kernels have around 10 pitchers on staff this season, and being indoors in warmer temperatures is easier on pitching arms, Norden said.
While pitchers have been working their pitch counts, batters have been standing in to track the ball and work on timing.
Since the team started practicing this spring, it's gotten to hit outside against live pitching just twice. And the team has seen ground and fly balls about three times.
The team's other hitting drills have included working with Wiffle balls and taking soft tosses with tennis balls.
"We've been doing mainly the same things we would be doing outside with real baseballs, but we're inside with Wiffle balls," Norden said.
Recently, as the snow has been cleared from the parking lots, the team has been able to go outside to play catch.
After hitting live pitching earlier this season in practice, Norden added the team is hoping to get outside again soon.
"They're just ready to hit real baseballs in the cages," he said.
Mitchell's first three games have been canceled or postponed, but the Kernels are scheduled to host a doubleheader Monday against Rapid City West starting at 3 p.m.