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Break, rain turn into rust for local teams

Some area teams haven’t played a game in three weeks
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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A perfect storm of rain, spring break and more rain has some coaches attempting everything they can to keep rust from forming on their players short of sandpaper and Rustoleum. The Placer High softball team even asked the baseball team to have a wiffle ball game in the gym. “It’s like anything else, when you can’t get out there and get on the field it definitely creates hiccups,” Placer softball coach Doug Menefee said. The Hillmen haven’t played a game since March 20, a 7-0 loss to Bear River that snapped their five-game win streak, and they aren’t alone. Some teams elected to take spring break off last week while others played in two- or three-day tournaments. Others have struggled to get in any games with rainouts prior to the break and another round of postponed games this week. Placer is scheduled to play at Center today, but unless the forecast is wrong and the rain from the previous two days soaks into the soil well below the field, the game is unlikely. Placer, along with Del Oro and Bear River, had to cancel games in multiple sports this week and will face a grind to get those made up by May 9 when the last Sac-Joaquin Section games are allowed to be played. Some teams gambled this week to get in games. The Bear River baseball team won its bet Tuesday when it beat Pioneer Valley League leader Lincoln 2-1. The Bruins didn’t have much rust to shake then after they played five games over the break at a tournament in Redding. “We haven’t had time off,” Bear River coach Dahorl Ennis said. “I was really worried about the weather (Tuesday) and (Lincoln coach Troy Petersen) was really pressing on playing today because he knows that they’ve been on a roll so I said, ‘OK coach, we’ll get in a game.’” The Del Oro softball team rolled the dice Wednesday at Woodcreek and lost. The Golden Eagles led the Timberwolves 5-2 in the bottom of the third inning before the game was called on account of rain. Because it didn’t reach the five-inning minimum, the game will be wiped away and made up April 27 during an 18-day stretch in which Del Oro plays nine games. The Placer softball team is in the same predicament. The Hillmen have played just one league game thus far and will be in a sprint to the finish to secure a playoff spot. The layoff between last week and this week could hamper those plans but Menefee has faith in his team, especially with nothing but clear skies in the forecast through at least April 21. “With only two pitchers and a good solid group it does wear a little bit but I’m confident this team’s going to be able to pull through the week fairly well,” Menefee said.