The Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s Division 3 State Tournament is off and running with several games already in the books. On Tuesday afternoon, Wheeler School took on Block Island School at The Wheeler School Farm Campus in Seekonk. Having worked in Seekonk for the past few years, I was eager to check out this field and watch an exciting playoff game before heading into work. The game was originally slated for 11am but was pushed back to 1:30pm, possibly due to the travel conditions for Block Island. Block Island players, coaches, and staff would need to find transportation, perhaps a school bus, to the Block Island Ferry, ferry over (about 40 minutes or so), depart in Galilee, take another school bus North and East for about an hour, then depart and get ready to play a baseball game. What a journey to play a baseball game! But, Block Island baseball has done this all year long, so Tuesday was not a huge change in operations for them.
When I arrived at the Wheeler School Farm Campus around 1:15, the Wheeler baseball team was milling around in and near their home dugout on the third base line. No sign of Block Island baseball, as of yet. So, I took the time to walk around the field and take some photos. The farm campus of the Wheeler School is an incredible sports complex. Soccer fields, lacrosse fields, tennis courts, track, tons of open space, and of course the baseball field. Stone walls formed the perimeter of the field along the first base line. The field is slightly raised up from where you walk in from the parking lot, similar to Reynolds Field in Newport.
1:30 and still no sign of Block Island School, so I made my way to the back of the field to get a glimpse of the grounds. The baseball field was in excellent condition. Green grass cut neatly, infield dirt and catcher’s area groomed, grounds super clean, everything looked new or newer, like it had just been installed or recently worked on. And I loved the dugouts, which again had a very country, farm like style to them.
I made my way down the first base line, over the stone wall, and behind the right field foul pole and took a few photos and a video.
I was able to walk all the way around the perimeter of the outfield and ended up at the batting cage area before word that Block Island was able to arrive. All the while, the Wheeler School team played catch, stayed active, and kept their energy up while waiting to get on the baseball field. As I was taking a few photos of the batting cage and commemorative plaque, Block Island’s transportation pulled up next to the baseball field on the first base side. The Block Island players hustled off the bus, got their gear into the dugouts, and started their pre-game prep.
Game time which was originally 11am, 1:30, would now be roughly 1:45. First pitch in fact, happened right at 1:45. Which means, the Block Island School literally got off the bus, prepped for the game, including the starting pitcher, and started the game in about 15 minutes or less. A tough task for any team to take on, but again, Block Island School is used to this sort of arrangement.
Due to work commitments, I was only able to see a few batters in the top of the 1st inning. The sun had come out after a brief rain shower, actually right as the Block Island (Hurricanes) baseball team arrived at the field. Two excellent baseball teams with very different pre-game routines got started around 1:45 and played a very competitive game. I did check the score later in the day on my GameChanger app and saw that Wheeler had won the game. Final score Wheeler 6 and Block Island School 3. Wheeler will now move on in the Division 3 State Tournament. Overall, it was a great visit to The Wheeler School Farm Campus. I really enjoyed the amazing views of the field and sports complex and the country feel of being on a farm.
Good luck to The Wheeler School as you continue your playoff run in the Rhode Island Division 3 State Tournament.