George Stevens Academy’s Sol Lorio pitches during a 2021 high school baseball practice session in Blue Hill. The first activities of the 2022 spring sports season are just around the corner with pitchers and catchers eligible to begin conditioning drills Monday, March 21. FILE PHOTO

Pitchers, catchers to begin conditioning drills next week

ELLSWORTH — It won’t be in the form of full practices yet, but the first team activities of the 2022 spring sports season are scheduled to begin next week.

Pitchers and catchers are eligible to begin conditioning drills for the 2022 season Monday, March 21. The conditioning exercises, which precede the first spring sports practices, allow pitchers and catchers more training time with the goal of reducing pitching-related arm injuries in baseball and softball.

The activities will mark the start of the second spring season since the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the cancellation of the 2020 campaign. The 2021 season began with some fan limitations and mask requirements for all athletes but concluded with relative normalcy with the ending of that mandate and the return of state championship competitions.

Baseball and softball tryouts and practices for other spring sports are set to begin the following Monday, March 28. Teams are eligible to hold the first regular season games, meets and matches as early as April 14, though most Hancock County teams have opted for later start dates.

As was the case last spring as well as this past fall and winter, sports with playoffs will follow an open tournament format. All baseball, softball and tennis teams in Maine will therefore be eligible for postseason play.

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