Extra Innings - Opening Weekend Recap
March 1, 2011
Senior A.J. Miller recaps the Leopards' first three games of 2011 and explains how a 10-hour bus ride can get even more uncomfortable.
As most of you know, we headed down to Davidson, N.C. this past weekend to play two games against Davidson College and one game against Ohio University. As we said last week, this was our first time on a baseball field. Let me tell you... it felt REALLY good. Davidson's field was in great condition while ours is still covered in snow. Another great part about the weekend was that the weather was beautiful. On Saturday it was about 65 degrees, and on Sunday it neared 80.
We played two games on Saturday, the first of which was against Ohio University. We ended up losing this game, 8-4, but again it was our first time on a field and everybody's nerves and adrenaline were kicking in. The second game was against Davidson College, and to be honest, we did not play well as a team. We learned some things from these first two games, though. We learned that you can't win with just pitching or just hitting. To win a game it requires everyone to play their part and perform when necessary. Also, no matter what your role might be on the team for that game, everyone needs to be 100 percent focused and aware of what is going on.
Anyway, we turned things around on Sunday against Davidson, and showed much improvement from Saturday. We lost this game, 5-4, but we competed and fought through the entire game. We had a rough first inning but, after that, pitchers John Gentile (aka Philly Gents), Jeff Snell (aka Earth Worm Jim) and Sean McGrath (aka Sean McGrath) competed and kept us in the game. It seemed as though whenever something went wrong during this game, the three of them were there to pick us up and get us out of jams. We also seemed to swing the bats much better even if at times there was nothing to show for it. People like Alex Bechta (aka Gus) swung the bat well all weekend, and finally on Sunday some of his hard-hit balls dropped in for hits.
On another note, I am writing this blog at 2:30 in the morning on the bus ride back to Lafayette. Like we said last week, this is a 10-hour bus ride, and I am the only one awake right now. I absolutely can't sleep on the bus. It is way too uncomfortable, and I don't know how anyone does it. Besides the fact that the bus is uncomfortable, when we finished the game this afternoon, we were informed that the air conditioning broke on the bus. Meanwhile, it's close to 80 degrees out and it feels like it is 100 degrees on the bus. So right after we showered, we got on the bus and immediately started sweating again. To solve this problem, many of us decided it would be best to make the trip with no shirts on. This wasn't the only problem with the bus this weekend. On the way down, the side of the bus started to fall off and was smacking against the windows, so we had to pull over and watch the bus driver attempt to pull off the siding of the bus. It was pretty funny. Needless to say, we are all happy to be back on campus. The team showed a lot of positive attributes this weekend. I know that we will learn from our mistakes and build on the positives from last weekend.
This week we were supposed to play at home against La Salle, but that game has been moved to their turf field in Philadelphia. This upcoming weekend, we play a three-game series down at UMBC, and thankfully it's not another 10-hour bus trip.
Tune in next week for a recap of the UMBC series and some more team drama.