Most of the time you would find Bulls players competing against the Lancers.
But Thursday, the two teams joined forces to play a practice game against the Bears in a 10-U Douglas County Amateur Baseball Assn. game at 4-H Middle field.
After a week of rainy weather and miscommunications about the fields' playability, the Lancers and the Bulls opted to take advantage of the dry field with chalked lines on it after their game had been officially canceled.
Two players who had ridden to the field with Lancers players joined the game after they learned their game, which was to be played on another 4-H field, also had been canceled.
The reoccurrence of the same faces from year to year creates a comfortable and relaxed setting. And that gives Lawrence baseball players a familiar environment for close-to-home competition.
This laid-back atmosphere does not sacrifice learning or competitive baseball throughout the season, nor did it in the practice game. Bears coach Scott Harris coached first, as players rounded the bases and fielded balls.
Even though it was practice, players still were intent on keeping the competitive spirit alive.
"Let's try to do better this inning," one Lancer player said, cheering on his teammates on as they came to bat one inning.
The fun yet competitive atmosphere is what drives DCABA baseball, which was especially evident in the 10-U league on this night. Many of the coaches had been together since their sons were 7, but even the newcomers are welcomed with open arms, like the Lancers welcomed the Bulls players in this game.