LANCASTER, Pa. — Mother nature loves to play games when it comes to spring sports.
The month of April goes from hot to cold more times than Katy Perry lyrics. After a period of warmth following the Easter holidays, athletes, fans, and coaches alike thought higher temps were here to stay, but that wasn't the case.
Wednesday's temperatures in Lancaster nosedived to below 40 degrees, and yes, Lampeter-Strasburg and Conestoga Valley were still out on the baseball diamond.
"Really it is just a mental thing," Buckskins pitcher Connor Esbenshade said. "I have got three layers on so you have to get extra layers for sure."
Head coach Matt Werts, who was constantly in and out of the dugout, wore gloves himself to coach.
"It is tough in these conditions, just because it's so cold and windy here." Coach is not lying as Conestoga Valley's baseball field is wide open with little shelter.
The players are not the only ones that deal with the elements, as a scattering of fans tough it out. With a quick look outside the fence, you can see blankets, gloves, winter coats, and hand warmers. The whipping wind batters both players and umpires but you have to find a way to compete.
The harsh elements couldn't dampen the excitement for this contest. The Buckskins used ace pitching from Esbenshade and small ball to take a 5-2 lead to the seventh inning. But the Pioneers rallied to make it 5-4 and bring the winning run at the plate. That's when Abdiel Fernandez tracked down a long shot near the left field wall and quieted the crowd and a nice celebration followed.
As chance would have it, during Espenshade's post game interview, a bucket of ice water got dumped over him, which he said was actually warmer than the air.