Planning for a doubleheader may force baseball coaches into more on-field chess matches than they would prefer. But the challenge of managing pitching matchups for 14 or more innings couldn't be more satisfying.
City League and area schools have returned to playing doubleheaders in 2010 instead of playing primarily single games.
Bishop Carroll coach Charlie Ebright said he likes testing the depth of his pitching staff.
"It gives you a little bit better measure of a team, rather than finding out who has the best No. 1 pitcher," Ebright said. "You've got to have at least two good arms to win a City League championship."
Ebright's young team has climbed its way to a 5-1 record, thanks to solid pitching and quick defense. It's something he thinks will help him down the road compared to having to rely solely on the arm of an ace who could pitch more games in a single-game schedule.
Goddard coach Tom Campa said he prefers doubleheaders because of the practice time he gets to spend with his team.
"If you're primarily playing doubleheaders two nights per week, then you prepare your team in that format," Campa said. "If you're playing a lot more single games, then you're practicing less and playing more. Sometimes I like a mixture. I don't mind the single games, but I also like my quality time to where we can work on some things in practice so we can go out and perform on the field."
Work in progress — Campa feels the time he gets to spend on the practice field with his young team is invaluable. He's had teams that have competed at high levels since becoming coach six years ago.
This season he says the Lions (3-2) are talented but need to gain more experience before they can hit their stride. They bounced back after an eye-opening 14-5 loss to Northwest last week by splitting games with Campus on Tuesday, losing 6-5, then winning 8-4.
"It never comes easy," Campa said. "It comes down to how well our guys want to approach the game and what kind of goals they want to set for the year."
Rankings — Northwest and Maize are fourth and fifth in the latest Kansas Baseball Coaches Association Class 6A rankings. Goddard is seventh.