Rivermen get chance to re-direct course with AFC
By Chris Johnson
The spring-sports season has truly just begun for the Pecatonica-Durand Rivermen, even though many baseball games have been held over the past few weeks and practice for the season opened even before February closed.
A lot of consistent play hasn’t had the chance to statistically surface yet. With a conference mark of 3-8 and two games better in the overall standing, the Rivermen haven’t had the start they had hoped, but are in a position to change how things still can go They can still pilot the correct course and, as a result, find a way to spend even more quality time this spring hanging out with friends and playing some ball.
So far in the spring 2019 campaign, staying on the winning side of the balance sheet hasn’t been exactly ideal. Streaks have popped up on both sides of the ledger. Changes in scheduling times and weather-related adjustments have already been a factor to the season. The ability to get outside and play hasn’t allowed for as fluid a start to the season, as many teams in southern Illinois have experienced. Conditions lately have changed though, courtesy of some above average temperatures and drier conditions.
Various weather systems that pushed through the area over the first few weeks of the 2019 spring baseball season did have an impact and did cause delays and cancellations in both games played and player development. Just a few weeks back, as March ended, strong winds showed up just in time for first pitch on more than one occasion.
Then the rains came and this season, sometimes snow followed. Those conditions haven’t been as prevalent lately. Now, with what seems to be things relatively settled with the weather, more games will get played and it might be a lot more fun for both the players and the following-parents, daily.
The final week of April gives a team a chance to see where they are in the conference chase and what it will take to get to the top, or stay there. There is enough time to take control and push towards the lead in preparation for even more late-May success.
Streaks of hot play heading into the final month of the regular season builds position for the playoffs and helps guide those who determine which seeds are issued for the post-season, based on overall records and different win-loss variables. How a team plays late also impacts where they will start in the second season. Streaks of success are perfect practice for late May games.
The Rivermen have shown what they are capable of and have altered their path already. After opening the season winning only one of four games, the co-op knocked off four straight opponents and turned their sub-.500 mark to a game over and looking for more.
On April 1 they knocked off the AFC Raiders and followed it up with a double-header sweep over the Orangeville Broncos by scores of 8-1 and 4-0. They closed the stretch with a 9-4, decision over Galena.
Things turned beginning April 9 as the Rivermen ran into trouble in games against Forreson and Polo. They slipped in the three-game stretch by a combined score of 35-12. Amboy recently took two by scores of 10-0 on April 16 and followed it up in a Thursday, April 18, 9-3 decision. Stretches can end and the Raiders provide another opportunity next week.
On Monday, April 29 the AFC Raiders travel to Rivermen country and a day later the Pecatonica-Durand co-op opens an away-and home series with the Dakota Indians. Lena-Winslow stands ready to help usher in game play in the second week of May.

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