On March 15, company Jaypro Sports of Hartford, CT installed a new batting cage in the gymnasium funded by the Hollis Brookline baseball, softball, and Booster Club programs. The cage is 70 feet long by 12 feet wide, and uses a motor to drop down from the ceiling. It was purchased for when there is poor weather prohibiting the two teams from practicing outdoors, and allows players to get in extra experience on non-practice days.
It is safe to say that players for both teams are excited for the new structure. Nick White ‘17, in his second year on varsity, said “it’s a great addition to the HB baseball and softball program. It’s incredibly convenient. Instead of having to travel far to a batting cage you can just go to the gym.” Dan Leone ‘18, also a second year varsity player, believes the team should be able to put in good work with the cage. “It’s good opportunity for us student athletes to grind. It always feels good to get those extra swings in. I just wish we could use it by ourselves.”
Not only is the cage convenient for tryouts and weather purposes, it is efficient in the sense that two batters are able to use it at once as well. Separating the two batters with an “L Screen,” and protecting the pitchers with two more L Screens, batters can face back to back and hit away without the risk of harming their teammates. This allows the team to go through reps quickly and train hard, which is crucial before the season begins. With another storm having just passed and more snow on the ground, the baseball team is fully aware of how important it is to be giving it their all every time they have practice.
The team having a batting cage is a luxury that was afforded by the sales of “Cav Cards,” cards that provide consumers with discounts to both chain and local businesses. By selling these cards, the program can pay for new equipment. Avery Webb ‘18 said, “our baseball and softball programs aren’t known for major success in our school, but if we continue to pull in money for things like the cage, then we can put more work in and improve, which will translate to success in our program for the future. It’s a big cycle that will produce valuable equipment and good players.” The teams will sell the cards again this year to fund more projects for the future.
Overall, the cage provides a great opportunity for the baseball and softball programs to work hard in the preseason and on days when the weather ruins a great outdoor practice. The future of the program will rely on the continuance of these products being funded by the hard working teams.