^photo taken at Screaming Eagle Sports Bar in Waterloo, Iowa
So I thought of this title before we played the last game of the series…bad mistake. We had crushed the Waterloo Bucks the first two games and planned on doing the same in Game 3. I guess that is a major rule in baseball, and all sports, that you must always respect your opponents. Nevertheless, we went 2-1 and our trip to Iowa was, overall, a win.
I guess the whole trip starts with “Buck Night.” Buck night is a clever pun because it was both the name of their team AND how much beer was Monday night. Let’s just say that the 21+ year-old crowd had a jolly good time. I played first base and most of their fans sat down the first baseline, making me a prime target for heckling. They started out with pretty lame comments, like, “Barna, Do you like the number 7?” (I am #7). I ignored them, like you are supposed to, and they slowly got disinterested with yelling at me. Then, I made a major miscalculation, which cost me. I tried to discretely pick my nose in between pitches and, of course, the crowd saw it. That didn’t help my case. They continued their banter the rest of the game, and one of the girls had the nerve to come up to me after the game and ask me for a picture. It was a brutal gesture on her part, but I did because we had just won, 7-2.
The next day we went to an amazing breakfast and could order anything on the menu. This was different than usual because at the last nice breakfast place we went to we had a $5 limit. But, because the Bucks were paying for the meal, we could order anything. I had one of the healthiest things I’ve had so far on any road trip- a 3-egg meat lover omelet. All I wanted to do after was go back to bed in the two hours we had before heading to the field. But, everything else told me I should go work out: 1) I brought workout clothes/shoes 2) I brought protein 3) It was my off day. I decided it will be much harder to motivate myself to workout later in the summer, so I had to force myself now. And it was a good workout. Coach showed me some forearm exercises that the University of North Florida team does, and it burned!
There was some rain that interrupted Game 2. We had an amazing top of the 7th, where we hit 3 homeruns and scored 7 runs. The problem was in the bottom of the 7th, it started to rain, so if the umpires had called the game then, the three home runs from the top of the inning wouldn’t count. Fortunately, the rain held off enough, everyone was happy, and we rolled the Bucks, 16-3. The “Northwood’s Players of the Night” were Willie Argo (Illinois), who had 2 homeruns and 6 RBI’s, and Justin Parr (Illinois), who went 5-6 on the evening. Beast mode (please refer to the picture above). Yes, the wind was blowing out, but it was still a hitting display I will never forget.
Breakfast on the third day was at Burger King and was disgusting in more ways than I can explain here. We had some serious time to kill after, so we went to the movies (again). On the way there we passed some stores, like Scheel’s and HuHot, that I remembered from living in Omaha. They definitely brought back some memories and I remembered that Scheel’s, a sporting goods store, makes the best fudge. So far the trip had been a win, and like I said before, I spoke too soon. Game 3 was ugly. We lost in a rain shortened game, 9-0, snapping our five-game winning streak. The field was soaked and barely playable the whole game and someone could have definitely gotten injured. But the young (and dumb) umpires thought we could continue and finally the rain was too much. I am never happy with losing, but fortunately we have a chance to start another win streak, this time at home. Night everyone!
Song of the Day: “Slumber” by NeedtoBreathe. Check it out- Warning- it’s a grower.