The Public School Athletic League baseball season kicked off more than a month ago. In normal years, teams now would be gearing up for the season’s home stretch, looking to pad their records with as many wins as possible in order to clinch a postseason berth and a high seed in the playoffs.
But there has been nothing normal about this spring as Mother Nature has made it abundantly clear she is not exactly a baseball fan. Teams all over the city, including the Northwest Bronx, have seen countless games lost to inclement weather and unplayable fields in a season that has been unable to gain any real traction.
Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy is a prime example. Aside from playing a handful of games in a tournament over the spring break, the Tigers have seen little action this season. Their 2017 campaign began with three straight postponements before they were able to fit in two games — both victories — over IN-Tech and Stevenson.
But then two more cancellations followed just as spring break was beginning, and because of that RKA, went from April 3 to April 20 without playing a single league game. The Tigers finally managed to sneak in a game against Bronx Law & Government High School on April 20, but even that game was suspended at 4-4 after five innings due to a permit issue that forced them to leave the field by 6 p.m.
Talk about frustration.
“Everybody is having these issues, but there is no question it can affect a team,” RKA coach John Reingold said. “We’ve had these kinds of years before, but never this bad.”
While a date for completion of the suspended contest has not yet been determined, RKA did manage to get in its game against Roosevelt last Friday when another problem reared its head — the Tigers’ continuing offensive woes.
It’s a problem that led to RKA’s 4-2 loss to Roosevelt, and one that is equally as concerning to Reingold as the weather.
“Roosevelt jumped out early on us just like (Bronx Law ) did,” Reingold said.
“It’s our pattern. It’s unfortunate. The pitching was a little spotty. (Starting pitcher) Healy (Tureski) was a little wild in the first and third inning, but then he settled down the rest of the way.
“If you told me he would only give up four runs, one of which was unearned, I would have signed up for that in a heartbeat. But we just cannot get our offense going. We’re playing from behind a lot.”
Despite the chaotic season, RKA exited last weekend with a 2-1 record in the division, and it’s a divisional race Reingold thinks could go right down to the wire.
“I think you’re going to see most, if not all, of the division with records between 9-7 and 6-10,” Reingold said. “There’s probably as much parity in the division as I’ve ever seen. Morrisania seems to be weak and Stevenson seems to be a little down this year. But then you have teams like Bathgate and Columbus who may be near the top, and Evander seems much improved. But I don’t see any 14-2 teams. There should be a lot of good close games the rest of the way.”
Reingold should have a better feel for his team’s fortunes by week’s end after his Tigers match up with both Bathgate and Evander this week.
“This should be a very interesting week,” Reingold said.
Assuming the rain gods allow the games to be played.