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The day’s plan fit on a single sheet of paper posted on the dugout wall.
It didn’t even fill it. Just a segmented hitting regimen, three batting practice groups and a guideline for how the coaching staff would cycle through throwing batting practice and hitting groundballs to the infielders.
That’s the way John Schiffner likes it. Equal parts simple and salient.
While his team stretched in the outfield at the start of its first practice at Veterans Field on Friday, the Chatham head coach punctuated the importance of fundamentals and repetition with some repetition of his own.
“Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals,” Schiffner said. “Repetition, repetition, repetition. That’s all it is. That’s baseball.”
With the NCAA tournament heading into the Super Regionals Friday, seven players on the 2014 roster have yet to join the team. But Schiffner was happy with the numbers at the first full-field practice that moved through the batter’s box, various spots in the infield and into the outfield to shag fly balls.
Most of the team’s pitchers threw bullpen sessions Thursday when rain pushed the Anglers away from Veterans Field. The focus was hitting at the first practice, so the pitching staff formed a colorful umbrella — each player representing their college with a different colored shirt — stretching from the power alley in right to in front of the scoreboard in left, while three groups rotated through the batting cage.
There’s a lot of adaptation leading up to the season with players coming from cities and schools across the nation. Most are meeting each other for the first time, a lot have never been to Chatham before and the field is a brand new landscape.
But the commonality that brought them to the Cape is what Schiffner said will be the team’s main focus moving forward.
Just simply playing baseball. And that’s exactly what the Anglers did as soon as the weather permitted.