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Given to Fly

March 4, 2007

Given to Fly: Baseball in winter new for ISU’s new coach

TERRE HAUTE — The words “indoor baseball practice” and “snow postponement” are still new to the vocabulary of Indiana State baseball coach Lindsay Meggs.

Sunday’s game was originally to be a doubleheader but the Saturday night snow made Sycamore Field tough for groundskeepers to have ready for two games. ISU will try to play two today instead.

Meggs’ former team, Chico State, was a Division II national power playing in Chico, Calif., which gets pretty heavy rain during February — similar to Indiana in late April. Like ISU traveling south to start the season, Chico State avoided that wet winter weather by taking off across the Pacific Ocean to open the 2007 season in Honolulu.

ISU opened its season Feb. 23 at Georgia State in 60-degree weather, but Sunday’s home opener at Sycamore Field featured temperatures at or below freezing. The new ISU skipper credited his players for not complaining about the weather as the Sycamores opened the home schedule with a 6-2 win against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

The sub 30-degree temperatures are new to the lifelong California resident.

“How old am I, 44? It’s been 44 years since I’ve done [coached in freezing weather]. This is a first for me,” Meggs said after suggesting the interview continue in what was left of the sunlight.

Unpredictable spring weather in Indiana will be sure to impede ISU’s routine as the season goes along. In Meggs’ past, there’s hardly been a need for weathermen as spring progresses in California. Getting to know Kevin Orpurt will be a must.

A standout player at UCLA in the early 1980s, Meggs’ has full support of ISU director of athletics Ron Prettyman.

The ISU program had been competitive but not competitive enough in recent years. Bob Warn brought quality baseball players to Terre Haute throughout his long career, but a Missouri Valley Conference championship has been lacking since 1995. Even the Chicago Cubs have been to the playoffs twice since then.

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