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Saturday, April 4, 2015: Wondering 'weather' we'll have a baseball season

   Leading off today: In honor of the two inches or so of slush that the weatherman said I'd be awakening to this morning (he was wrong, naturally), here's the scouting report on the South Lewis varsity baseball team:

   No one knows yet whether their batters can hit fastballs, curves or sliders, but the Falcons should be pretty adept at fighting off full-count snowballs from now to Memorial Day.

   As noted Friday, the defending Section 3 Class C champions will have no problems fielding a team this spring. It's just going to be awhile before they do it on their own field.

   Like a good number of schools in the state's northern reaches, South Lewis' field remains inaccessible because not all of the 10 to 12 feet of snowfall from this winter has melted off yet. South Lewis baseball coach Chad Brown said snow is two feet deep in some spots with one drift in front of the dugout reaching four feet.

   The Frontier League has already pushed its playoffs back a week, and schools are looking for alternative sites to start squeezing in games as soon as possible.

   "I never remember a year like this where we're backed up so far," Brown said. "We've got to do something. I just don't know what."

   Speaking of fields: West Genesee has declared its varsity lacrosse field unplayable after the discovery of undulating swells and small sinkholes caused by heaving ground beneath the artificial turf.

   The damage is largely confined along one of the sidelines and is substantial enough to force the school to move its games, reported. The boys lacrosse team played Baldwinsville on Tuesday at Nottingham. On Wednesday, the girls team opened against Baldwinsville at Fayetteville-Manlius. Both West Genny teams have Saturday games using the turf at F-M.

   Wildcats AD Michael Burns is hoping the field woes are temporary and that the turf will flatten out once the ground thaws. That's what happened last year, though things appear worse this spring. If there's no end in sight, the school will try moving homes games to its own grass field.

   Glitch solved: The Kickoff Classic issue with the Canisius vs. Monroe-Woodbury game has been resolved. Canisius, the state's defending CHSAA champion, will now open vs. Shenendehowa as part of the schedule at the Carrier Dome, and M-W will travel to Troy's LaSalle Institute, which previously planned to open vs. Shen, a NYSPHSAA Class AA semifinalist last fall.

   While that was getting handled this week, Syracuse University announced that it was moving its opener vs. Rhode Island at the Carrier Dome from Saturday to Friday that weekend. That means that four of the Kickoff Classic's 10 games have changed dates.

   Here's the revised schedule:

   Thursday,Sept. 3

  • 5 p.m. - Cicero-North Syracuse vs. Kingston
  • 8 p.m. - Baldwinsville vs. Victor
   Saturday, Sept. 5
  • 11 a.m. - Auburn vs. Binghamton
  • 2 p.m. - Syracuse Henninger vs. Newburgh
  • 5 p.m. - Shenendehowa vs. Canisius
  • 8 p.m. - Syracuse CBA vs. Aquinas

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  •    Sunday, Sept. 6

    • 11 a.m. - Cazenovia vs. Amsterdam
    • 2 p.m. - Watertown vs. East Rochester/Gananda
    • 5 p.m. - Utica Notre Dame vs. Newark Valley
    • 8 p.m. - Mexico vs. South Jefferson
       By the way, SU's date switch was done in part for TV considerations, giving the ACC television network an extra time slot. Syracuse coaches undoubtedly also like the idea of an extra day of preparation before playing Wake Forest in Week 2.

       Coaching change: Desmond Randall is the new boys basketball coach at Bishop Timon-St. Jude, AD Charlie Comerford told The Buffalo News on Friday.

       Randall has been an assistant at Canisius High the last two years. Before that he was an assistant at West Seneca West, where he was a star football player, for a year. Randall has also been an AAU coach for five years.

       "We had a lot of good people show interest in the job," Comerford told the paper, "but ever since the day it opened up, Des has been my No. 1 choice."

       Joe Mihalics stepped down as the Tigers coach earlier in the week. During his three seasons, Mihalics guided the Tigers to two Manhattan Cup finals.

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