CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – Baseball teams that travel long distances to play rivals they may see only once per regular season would rather be on the field than be bound indoors by bad weather.
Thus, Kadena and Kubasaki engaged in some creative scheduling to ensure they would each get in two games Friday against their Tokyo international-school brethren, St. Mary’s and two-time defending Far East Division I champion American School In Japan.
Rather than face both Tokyo teams over the coming weekend once each on Friday and Saturday, Kadena instead hosts St. Mary’s, while ASIJ travels to last year’s D-I runner-up Kubasaki for Friday doubleheaders. First games begin at 4:30 p.m. and the nightcaps will go 20 minutes after conclusion of the openers.
“We’re going to try to get in as many games as possible,” Panthers coach Boe Roberts said, noting that Friday’s forecast calls for cloudy skies and possible showers, with a 60-percent chance of rain throughout the day Saturday.
“Saturday’s not happening. We’ll see what we’ll see,” Roberts said.
Such a tilt in the schedule suits the Mustangs perfectly fine, said ASIJ coach John Seevers. “We can push (Saturday’s game) up and squeeze both of them in on Friday,” he said.
“They (Kadena and Kubasaki) want to play as much as we do. We’ll see. It would be really disappointing” if any of the games got rained out, Seevers said. “We’re going down there to play, not take a vacation.”
Rainy weather could also affect play on Kanto Plain diamonds over the weekend, with E.J. King and Edgren due to visit Zama and Perry traveling to Kinnick on Friday and Saturday for baseball and softball games. Rain is forecast overnight Friday into Saturday.
Same may be true for the Perry Cup soccer tournament slated for Friday and Saturday at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. Soccer can usually be played in the rain, but the athletic fields on the base are below sea level and tend to hold water even after small amounts of rain.
“It could become a fluid situation, literally,” said coach Mark Lange of host Perry. Forecast calls for 100-percent chance of rain Friday, clearing off by Saturday.
It’s sometimes difficult for DODEA-Japan schools to reschedule such events because their weekend calendars are almost always filled with other commitments.
A few hundred miles west, rain appears to be hardly a bother for DODEA- Korea’s baseball and softball openers, a baseball twin bill at 9 a.m. and a softball doubleheader to follow at Victory Field at Camp Henry pitting Humphreys at Daegu. Seoul American soccer also visits Daegu, at Camp Walker’s Kelly Field.
Track and field gets under way in three locales on Saturday, with meets at Zama, Kadena and Humphreys each beginning at 9 a.m.