Two weeks ago Pacific University, a Division 3 school in Forest Grove Oregon played a tripleheader against the Pomona-Pitzer College in Claremont California. The teams were scheduled to play a single game on Friday with a doubleheader to follow on Saturday. The game on Friday was rained out and the two coaches decided to make up the rained out game before the doubleheader on Saturday setting up the doubleheader.
We were very interested seeing that these schools would risk their pitching staffs by scheduling a tripleheader so early in the season. At the Division 3 level, schools can only play a maximum of 40 games with Pacific University having a 32 game conference slate the eight non-conference matchups are key for the school. Head Coach Greg Bradley stated the following about the importance of getting all the games in:
We schedule 40 games a year. We intend to play the maximum number of games (40) allowed per year. It is very hard to pick up any games during the season that were not already prescheduled. It also involves quite a cost to travel to Southern California to play those 3 scheduled games. If we don’t play all 3 games then most likely we would not have a chance to use some pitchers and position players that were on the trip. We only have 6 games before we start conference games.”
The teams decided to play three seven inning games thus making for a total of 21 innings. They would have played 18 innings anyways on Saturday so the extra three innings were not that diffcult to fill. Coach Bradley stated the following about how the team held up:
The physical stress was not that much more, but the emotional stress of 3 separate games does wear on the players. The limiting of our use of only 5 pitchers ( 2 starters had complete games) really helped this particular day. The day was long because we checked out of the hotel at 7:30am and returned on our flight back home to Portland at 10:45pm. the same day, with 3 games in between.
The Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens took two out of the three games against Pacific University by losing the first game 3-0 then winning the final two games by scores of 10-3 and 3-0.
Thanks to Blake Timm of Pacific University Media Relations for bringing this story to my attention and getting me quotes from Greg Bradley.
NOTE: Pacific University is located in Forest Grove Oregon and is not to be confused with University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.