06/07/2010 11:55 AM
Soggy conditions doesn’t dampen hopes of making it to Cape League
By ASHLEY CROSBY
The Frank Finn Invitational Tryouts were almost a no-go last Saturday morning when torrential rain and an impressive lightning display left players, managers, and organizers scrambling. But thanks to some “magic powder” and last-minute field supplies to sop up the puddles, and a few patches of steamy blue sky, nearly 40 players tried their best to earn temporary contracts to play in the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer.
“It was absolutely chaotic,” tryout coordinator Sue Pina said. “It was torrential, thunder, lightning, people running around, people in cars. It was just unbelievable.”
Fortunately, the rain eased up, and coaches and players pooled their efforts to get the field in playing shape. The delay lasted less than one hour.
Players split into three groups and put on their respective shirts ---- yellow for pitchers, navy or red for position players. They took to soggy Spillane Field to warm up as the managers retreated to the wet bleachers and commissioner Paul Galop made his way down for his annual starting speech.
Then it was business as usual, with players chasing loose balls, throwing around the horn, and playing small scrimmages as the coaches looked on. They loosened up their arms, adjusted their swings, and shook off some tryout jitters. Coming up muddy and dusty from the drying stone dust that Spillane Field is known for, they quickly took on the look of kids playing their hearts out for the chance to compete for Cape League managers like Wareham’s Cooper Farris, who was hitting balls into the outfield, or Hyannis’ Chad Gassman, seated in the stands and easily visible in his team colors.
At the end of the day, some went home with contracts signed.
Sean Cleary, a catcher at Babson, signed early with the Orleans Firebirds. Wareham signed pitchers Joe DiRocco (Seton Hall), Brett Yarusi (Wesleyan) and Matt Young (UMass-Boston).
Starting next week, they’ll have a chance to turn those temporary contracts into full ones.