This by no means gives the Niagara baseball team an out for this week’s no-show in a crucial three-game set at Canisius, but watching a college baseball game at the Demske Sports Complex is like watching two guys play pool with SuperBalls.
The combination of aluminum bats and a bouncy turf forces infielders to play so far back that even routine plays seem extraordinary.
Watching Niagara shortstop Jason Cramer put every ounce of mustard on throws after standard two-hoppers proved he was well out of his comfort zone. And the turf all but destroyed the confidence of third baseman Trevor Rutkowski, who had three errors on Friday alone.
Offense is Canisius’ forte while pitching and defense have been Niagara’s hallmarks. That played into the strength of the Griffs, who have a beautiful athletic complex, but not a baseball field.
The point is this — give Canisius credit for capably defending its home turf, but seeing the two teams play on a more natural surface (like Trenton’s Waterfront Park in the MAAC Tournament) will be a truer gauge of two diametrically opposite styles.