When baseball and softball teams finally escape the gym for outside fields in early April, the last thing they want is to go back inside.

But that’s what a lot of teams have done this week because of the rain. Along with the rain, the chilly weather is making it feel more like April than May.

The rain has caused numerous postponements and backed games up. Baseball and softball have been affected the most. Friday could be the first day where more than a handful of teams play.

More than halfway through the season, practicing in the gym isn’t ideal.

“We were in the gym on Monday and Tuesday,” said Mike Coutts, the Scarborough baseball coach. “I gave them Wednesday off. Once you get outside and then go back in the gym, you kind of go backward. We try creative things to stay focused. You try to repeat game situations and other competitive situations.”

The Red Storm kept things loose by playing Wiffle ball.

“The weather is what it is,” said Coutts. “You pull your hair out. It’s a challenge. You just have to adjust.”

Scarborough had its Tuesday game at Bonny Eagle postponed to next Monday. The Red Storm are at Marshwood today — weather permitting.

“If we get rained out Thursday, it could really mess things up. I would hope we would play it Friday,” said Coutts.

If that happens, the Red Storm would have games Friday, Saturday, then next Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

“We would have to use four different pitchers. We could use three pitchers if one came back with three days’ rest but I don’t like to do that. You don’t want to overuse kids,” he said.

This stretch of weather seems to happen every spring.

“It’s typical of Maine weather,” said Cheverus Athletic Director Gary Hoyt. “You almost plan you’re going to have a stretch like this. You’re going to lose three or four games along the line. We’ve been fortunate. We’re pretty much on track. But if this were to continue into next week, we would have some issues.”

Class A softball powers Scarborough and South Portland had their showdown postponed twice because of the weather and field conditions, finally settling on next Tuesday, when the weather hopefully will have cleared.

Neither coach seemed concerned.

“I’d honestly rather play in good conditions than this type of stuff,” said Scarborough’s Tom Griffin. “Even if we have to play three, four days in a row later. Baseball’s a little different; there’s probably a little more panic because of the pitching situation. But a softball pitcher can throw three, four days in a row.”

Ralph Aceto, coach at South Portland, added, “I would have loved to have played the game, but I’d prefer to play in the best possible conditions, whatever they are, especially for a game of this magnitude.”

There are always safety concerns, especially for outfielders on wet grass. Aceto said it wasn’t the constant drizzle that bothered him but the temperatures seldom reaching past 50 degrees.

“We’re back in the chill,” he said.

The teams have gone back inside for practices, not the ideal situation but one that can be helpful.

“We’re doing a lot of fundamental work in the gym,” said Kelsey Bryant, the first-year coach at Greely. “That’s the foundation of softball. We’re working on situational aspects and the mental part of the game. We’re still getting a lot of work done.”

Scarborough’s Griffin said the postponements are frustrating for the players but playing in slop is worse.

“This is miserable stuff for the kids,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll wait it out and we can squeeze in a couple of games.”

They haven’t missed any games in Yarmouth. Softball coach Jim Senecal said the town takes exceptional care of the school’s field, which drains well.

In this weather, he added, “The challenge is trying to keep the kids warm. We do a lot of different things to keep them more active between innings. We don’t let them just sit around.

“The kids love the game and they’d rather be playing than indoors practicing. As long as they dress warm and it’s not crazy conditions, it’s OK.” 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH