« Everything Evergreen

Bad vibe

by Chris Conley

EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOX SPORTS WAUSAU-WSAU) It happened towards the end of the DC Everest-Kimberly game on Saturday: trailing 11-3, there was yelling in the Evergreens dugout. We couldn't hear what was being said between one of the assistant coaches and a player, but it was clearly frustrations boiling over from what was becoming a long afternoon. No one's happy when they realize they're the worst team at a triangular. Everest didn't have enough pitching to be competitive, and the defense is sloppy again.

It was a strange trip to Middleton.

Earlier in the Kimberly game the Evergreens sent non-pitcher Zach Hancock to the mound in the third inning. He walked all four batters he faced before being lifted. It was very early in the game to use a position player as a pitcher. Later in the game - after the yelling incident - catcher Mason Hagenbucher appeared to be injured on a play where a Kimberly batter was hit by a pitch. He removed his glove and mask, doubled-over behind home plate, and stayed there for an extended period of time. No one came out of the Everest dugout to check on their star catcher. After a delay of several minutes, he composed himself and the game continued. Later in the second game, Hagenbucher was hit by a pitch, hit the ground hard, and appeared to be hurt again. He was checked-out and was able to continue.

Around the 5th inning of the second game there was a loud commotion from the football field beyond the third-base line. The Madison Blaze women's full contact football team was scheduled for a game. Their PA announcer and pre-game sound effects were a huge distraction to those playing and watching the baseball game next door. That level of noise never would have been allowed if it was associated with a baseball game. (In-game baseball rules are that sound from the PA system must cease when the pitcher toes the rubber. To ask high school pitchers to work with that kind of distraction from an adjacent field was unfair.)

The situation inside the press box was even worse. The Middleton press box sits between the football and baseball fields. The Blaze footballers had a large contingent of visitors -- a noisy distraction during my baseball broadcast. At one point the Blaze set up a table in the middle of the press box behind me and were inviting their sponsors up for a bit to eat. The press box was being used as a hospitality suite! Eventually the buffet was shut down by Middleton's baseball scorekeeper. People often forget that, on game day, the press box is my office. It's a place of business for me. Press box etiquette is a sometimes thing...

The two losses put the Evergreens at 11-10 for the year, with a playoff game on Tuesday at Simon Field against Rhinelander.

Chris Conley