DEALING with the pressure of playing a Friday night fixture under lights will be one of the many challenges facing Hastings baseballers this weekend.
After a break of more than 10 years, Hastings will again feature in the Senior Country NSW Baseball Championship when they play their first game of the tournament in Sydney on Friday.
Team coach David Boyton said playing at the home of the Sydney Blue Sox would be an exciting experience for some of his players.
But it would also come with the customary butterflies.
“There will be a few nerves there too, no doubt,” he said.
“But it’s all about getting an experience in that stadium atmosphere where you walk from the dug out and straight under lights.”
While nothing can beat game experience, Boyton said the more senior players in the team would be the key to trying to stop the young players from being overawed.
“It comes down to the leadership group to lead the way,” he said.
“It’s all about having a bit of fun and enjoying the experience because that’s what we want to do otherwise you’ll have blokes that don’t want to come back.”
Hastings are the new boys on the block, but Boyton was confident of a strong showing from his team.
“There are a lot of Sydney guys playing for us, but it’s going to be tough,” he said.
“We’ve got six games in three days and I feel we have the side capable of winning a few games.”
Coffs Harbour, Central Coast, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Newcastle and Illawarra will all field teams.
“I think Newcastle and Illawarra will be the teams to beat so hopefully we can pick up a few wins against the others,” Boyton said.
Boyton admitted the interest in baseball in the Hastings region in that time had slowly continued to grow.
“We’ve got the strength in our squads to be able to send a pretty strong team down now,” he said.