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from the Hip

SHOTS from the Hip

Approximately 100 young sters participated in Saturday’s free youth baseball clinic. Along with instruction from both players and coaches, all participants received a compli

mentary T shirt, hot dog, chips, and water courtesy of the high school baseball club. After the youth clinic, players com

pleted two more hours of com munity service work for the city of Prescott.

Speaking of the youth clinic, youngsters came to Firehall Field with much more than a baseball hat and glove. Many of today’s youngsters ar rive with heaping backpacks containing a bat, helmet, bat ting gloves, water bottle, and other assorted baseball ameni

ties. The clinic attire of young sters was replete with baseball pants, jersey, and spikes or cleats. Turn back the clock a half century ago and most youngsters would have showed up wearing a flannel baseball cap, blue jeans and a white T shirt. Oh, how times have changed.

The Prescott Cardinal soft ball team is the #5 ranked team in Division 3 in the most re

cent Wisconsin Fastpitch Soft ball Coaches Association state rankings. Conference leader Baldwin Woodville is ranked #2 in the same division. Bald

win Woodville’s lone defeat this season was to Division 4 power Grantsburg who is cur rently ranked #3. Prescott will travel to Grantsburg on May 2 to take on the Lakeland Con ference power.

Cullen Huppert’s complete game, six hit shutout against Ellsworth last Friday was the topic of many coffee conversa tions last Saturday. Most likely the minds of Cardinal baseball aficionados was sent back to the spring of 1995 when senior righthander Pete Huppert blanked the Spring Valley Car

dinals by the score of 7 0.

Yes, the two are related.

Supply chain woes have af fected all of us, including the Cardinal baseball team. Two bats ordered by the club last fall arrived last week. The team is still waiting on one more bat arrival.

The North Dakota State baseball team won two out of three against Oral Roberts on Saturday. The Bison and 2018 Prescott grad Peter Brookshaw now sit alone atop the Summit League standings with a league record of 11 4. The Bison will travel to Brookings, S.D. this coming weekend to take on the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State.

University of Wisconsin River Falls offensive lineman Austin Fox and the rest of the Falcon football team wrapped up spring practice this past week. A 2021 Prescott grad, Fox will be in his second sea son with the Falcon football team this fall.

St. Mary’s University in fielder Mackenzie Carey went a combined 4 11 in four games over the weekend as the Cardi nals swept a doubleheader against Augsburg College on Saturday and split a twin bill against Gustavus Adolphus on Sunday. A 2019 Prescott alum nus, Carey is hitting .316 for the Cardinals who are 16 14 overall on the season.

There is little doubt the playing surface at Firehall Field is among the best in the area. What many people do not understand is the home ball park of the Prescott Cardinals, Rivermen, and Pirates is the exception not the rule. Case in point the baseball home of the St. Croix Central Panthers. CAB Company Friend of Baseball Award winners Dal las Eggers and Randy Hansen would have been dumb founded at the field conditions at St. Croix Central last week when the Cardinals played in Hammond. From enormous “infield lips” to the long, thick, dead grass, the varsity field left a great deal to be desired among Cardinal players. Un questionably maintaining a top of the line natural grass field takes a great deal of work, time, and a strong core of volunteers willing to pay meticulous attention to detail. Most communities are unable or unwilling to make such a commitment to such a facility. Therefore, a great number of schools are turning to the in

stallation of turf fields believ ing they will in turn be maintenance free. True, for a time, but the turf will have to be replaced in 10 years and for approximately the same price as the initial installation. Hmmmm.

Headshaker of the week. Transfer portals. Yes, fans I understand the reasons why the NCAA decided to take this route. Today the term “ama teur” is becoming passé when referring to college athletes. Be it football, baseball, basket ball or any other college sport, players moving from univer sity to university is becoming just as common as free agency in professional sports. Sorry fans, not good for the college game. It’s a headshaker.

By Cripe Olson

April 26, 2022