I split up the home stand because there is a lot to cover and I have a lot of pictures to share. We got home late in the night, but I stayed up a little later watching MLB Network. I woke up pumped because my family was coming today. They started their drive from Georgia at 5 a.m. and drove 14 hours up to Madison. Apparently my sisters complained a lot on the drive. They would be here for three games and I was going to play the second and third one. They came straight to the field and my parents didn’t tell my sisters that I wouldn’t be playing that day- they felt it would engender more whining. So, they got to the stadium 45 minutes before the game and my parents broke the news…they were not happy campers.
Katie, my oldest sister, was upset because she just thought the family drove 14 hours to watch a normal baseball game at a normal baseball park…Well, let’s just say she was surprised when they showed up 45 minutes before the game and the parking lot was jam-packed. At that moment, she and my little sister, Lizzy, began to realize how special the Duck Pond is. Honestly, it’s a place that I cannot do justice explaining in words- you just have to see it.
Since three of my baseball buddies and I decided to live in an apartment in the fall, I have been searching for posters and signage for the walls. I have come across some really cool items at flea markets and thought I would swing by the Mallards’ Garage Sale to see if they had anything interesting. As soon as I stepped into the team store, I found it- a giant 3-foot tall sign with the old Mallards logo. I am excited to bring a little bit of MadTown back to my home at Davidson.
Since I had the day off I busted my butt in the weight room, did resistance sprints, and jump roping before the game. I rewarded myself with a shower, but unfortunately it was smoking hot and as soon as I stepped outside I was sweating again. In the first inning, Nate Theunissen (Central Michigan) hit a grand slam, the Mallards’ first of the year! Everyone in the stadium could go to Denny’s the next day and get a free Grand Slam breakfast! After the game I went to a pizza place in Wisconsin Dells with my family.
We were really lucky because we knew an extremely nice family from Wisconsin Dells. Not only did we meet up with them, but they lent us their lake-side condo for the weekend! The condo was pristine and had a magnificent view of the lake. Everything from the furniture to kitchen looked brand new. My favorite part of the condo, though, was the beds. Everyone of the beds had NAP blankets…if you do not know what NAP blankets are, they are the really soft ones in Sharper Image. I really did not want to wake up, but when we did, we spent Saturday afternoon swimming in Lake Delton.
As you can tell from the picture…I have some work to do on my abs…which I will begin doing as soon as I get back to school (once I get back with my personal trainer, Chaz).
The game went really well. We wore the throwback Madison Muskie jerseys that are pretty small and constricting. It was probably the most I’ve ever sweat in a game and my pants weighed close to 10 lbs. after the game. We won the game 3-2 and Nick Sutherland (Minnesota State- Mankato) had another great outing for us. I got an infield hit during the game, so I got the fear of having my parents drive all the way up for no hits out of the way. Any more in the second game would be gravy.
Photo Courtesy of: Todd, Geri, Maddie, Ann & Michelle (troopers that came all the way out to Green Bay to watch Jonathan Crawford pitch)
We left at noon for the 2.5 hour trip to Green Bay, although Big Dog, our team manager, swears the trip is only 2:20. And he’s really good with directions. Anyways, we get to Hardee’s early for a sit down lunch. Yes, the burgers are good there, but the thing I like the most about Hardee’s is their milkshakes. Plus, they taste a lot better than they usually do because they are free (to us). I would say more than half the team got one, and I ended up with a Strawberry. While drinking my milkshake, I was thinking, “This has to be the best decision ever,” but five minutes after until the game was over I was thinking, “That was probably a stupid decision.”
We finished Hardee’s, walked around a fireworks shop which featured some $500 giant fireworks display. I really wonder how many people get that one. We left at headed straight for Lambeau Field (again). The last time we went to Green Bay, we only drove around the stadium, but this time we actually got to go in it. I do not have any pictures of that because we only had 30 minutes there and a tour was going to last an hour- so we unfortunately did not get to see the field. But, we walked around the giant main floor and went in the pro shop. I doubt anyone got anything though, just browsing. And, they did have Brett Favre jerseys, hidden in the very back of the store. We were all suprised there.
During the game, Green Bay must have been out of pitching because they pitched mostly position players. This was to our advantage because position players who do not pitch are usually not as accurate, and they walked us a lot. We ended up beating the Bullfrogs 12-1. Despite them throwing position players, they did have really good arms and I didn’t have the best game of my life. I broke two bats, moving my total to 9 on the year. That is a ton of broken bats for just a small amount of time, but I am working on it. My assistant coach always gets mad that I break so many, but they are free, so I don’t know why he gets upset. The good thing about breaking bats is that the Mallards made a deal with Barnes, Inc. and the Madison Parks Department to plant a tree for every broken bat this season. So, for all you environmentalists out there, I have essentially planted 9 new trees so far this summer. Also, tonight was the second time I was the Beer Batter, and the first time I struck out (in the 2nd inning). I did not see it, but one of my teammates said about 300 people stood up and made their way to the concessions stand to get half priced beer. You’re welcome.
On the bus ride back we were suprised because Dave, our bus driver, got the color on the TV to work. For about three weeks, we watched all our movies in black and white, and now we got that fixed so we can watch them in color. We watched SpaceBalls, which was exponentially better when I was a kid, but there were still some good parts. I am almost finished with The Girl Who Played With Fire, it is heating up! Some of the other guys played a game, Password, on the bus, all the way home. We got back at two, and when coach unlocked the press box, an alarm went off. So we had to wait to get another key. I finally got in bed and immediately passed out.
Tonight is Rhythm and Booms!!! I can’t wait. Game is at 5 or 6- fireworks and a carnival type thing going on after.
^^this is an example of a “pimp job”^^
Bullfrogs 2 (16-11)
Mallards 3 (18-11)
The win last night gave us sole position of first place with six games left in the first half. Going into last night’s game, three teams were tied for first (Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire), and Battle Creek was 1 game behind. Since we beat Green Bay and Battle Creek beat Eau Claire, the three other teams are now 1 game behind us. The winner of the first half gets an automatic bid into the Northwoods playoffs at the end of the season.
The day started early with Kids Camp. We showed up to the field at 8:45, so it was an early morning for the players who usually go to bed around 2. The camp ranged from ages 6-12, and like all camps, some kids were good and others were not so good. The one thing the kids did not lack was energy. They were so pumped to be there in front of the Mallards’ coaches and players. I was assigned to go work with the 6 and 7 year olds, an age group I am used to working with because of teaching Sunday School in Georgia. They were distracted a lot, but we worked on the basics (playing catch, groundballs, pop flys, and hitting). Nick Sutherland (Minnesota State) worked with the kids on pop flys and with the 6 year olds he used tennis balls. After they missed a ton in a row, he told them the ball either needs to hit them in the glove or on the head, so we know that they are trying. We signed autographs and sent them on their way.
I had 3 hours to kill, so I went home. I lied down in bed, exhausted, and thought about taking a nap. Then I decided the best thing to do would be to go workout. I went to the Princeton Club and got a really good workout in, then went to the field.
Without the nap, I was even more tired when I got to the field. I found some new energy though when I found out BP was going to be shirtless. Everyone (players and coaches) had to go shirtless before we could start. It was a lot of fun and we got better and got a tan. The only time we had done this before was during early work, so no one but the team knew about it. This time, the other team showed up and saw us having fun shirtless hitting. Personally, it was one of the best BP rounds of my life. I don’t know for sure if there was a correlation.
I finally got to take my first shower of the day around 6 because I had another off day. The game was awesome. Down 1-0 in the 6th with runners on 1st and 3rd, Justin Scanlon (Michigan State) laid down a perfect two-out drag bunt that no one played and it tied up the game. Green Bay pushed ahead with a solo home run, and then in the bottom of the 8th, Nate Theunissen hit a towering two-run home run to right field. He knew it off the bat, and “pimped” the home run that eventually left the stadium. “Pimping a home run” is when the person knows they hit a home run, so they watch it fly before they start running (picture above). Prince Fielder does it a lot. My dad would kill me if I ever did that- but Theunissen made it look good.
Can’t wait for Rhythm and Booms tomorrow night! There will be more than 100,000 people in Werner Park during the day and our game will be sold out. After the game, the largest fireworks display in the Midwest will take place. Apparently it takes 3 hours to get out of the parking lot, so I will try to find an alternate parking situation. Shirtless BP will be a must for tomorrow.
^^cool car in front of our field^^
(Photo by: Jim Addis. Maynard Duck zip-lining from right field to home plate before the game)
Loggers 1 (8-15)
Mallards 6 (16-8)
When my family used to go to Disney World when we were growing up, my dad claimed he only disliked one ride in the whole park- “It’s a Small World.” Looking back on that ride and its simple, annoying lyrics, and out-of-date thrills, I can see why he disliked it so much. This post has nothing to do with that ride. But, I had another “this is such a small world” moment today.
The baseball community, especially in summerball, is so closely connected. When we first arrived in Madison, dozens of guys drilled others about players on their teams because they have played with them in the past. On almost every team we’ve played so far, I have been connected to one of the represented schools, which makes for good and endless conversation. My small world story from today starts two weeks before Madison.
Ashley Hearn, a girl from my high school in Georgia, graduated in my class and now attends the University of Wisconsin. When talking with one of her close friends two weeks before coming to Madison, I told her friend that I would be playing for the Mallards in Madison, WI, and her friend responds, “I am pretty sure Ashley Hearn is working for that team this summer.” There are probably a few hundred college summer league teams, and the fact that a girl from my high school in Cumming, GA is working for the team I am playing for this summer is so neat. Not only that, but she has an internship with ESPN Madison this summer. I got lucky and had the opportunity today to do a recorded interview for her summer sports radio talk show. I sat down with her and her co-host, Peter Swanson, and talked about the Mallards, Davidson, and about high school. If you live in Madison and would like to check it out, it will be aired 4 p.m. this Monday on 91.7 FM (WSUM- the Wisconsin student station). I had a great time and was so glad I got to do that.
Going into today’s game, we were still .5 game back of Eau Claire. We have won 7 of our last 10, but we have not gained ground because Eau Claire has done the same. Our goal is to win the first half of the Northwoods League season and we have about 10 games left. It looks like it will come down to the wire, with a big last series against the Express July 4-6. We won again tonight behind another great start from Joel Effertz (Madison College). Our offense struggled tonight against La Crosse’s starter who threw 100% cutters (the famous pitcher of Mariano Rivera), but we knew we would score more when they went to the bullpen. That’s exactly what happened and we turned a 1-1 game into a 6-1 game and won by that score. The two big promotions for tonight were fireworks (whoohoo!) and playing catch on the field after the game. The team passed out around 200 baseballs so that families could play catch in centerfield. That was a huge success and the fans came to get their ball signed after they were done. It was a bit overwhelming, but Willie Argo (Illinois) said it best when he said, “As long as people still want my autograph, I am happy to keep signing.” And sign we did. I believe the 6,750 fans who packed the ballpark (and the Duck Blind) left happy.
Congrats to the newlyweds who came to the game tonight in the bachelor and bachelorette parties! The groom-to-be took a few cuts during bp today and whiffed a lot. Then, his soon to be wife dug into the box and started crushing line drives all over the field. Did I also mention that his soon-to-be wife was in her wedding dress and high heels! Hilarious.
Eating, sleeping, dreaming about baseball 24/7- that’s what life this summer has been. Right now, I wouldn’t want to do anything other than that. Tomorrow is our first day off and it is well deserved. Since nearly everything I do revolves around baseball, I’m going to a baseball game tomorrow! It will be my first trip to Miller Park as the Brewers complete their series against the Twins (which is becoming a big inter-league rivalry). There will be pictures. I lifted at midnight tonight so I would not have to lift on my off day. Great decision. Now it is the 3 a.m. and I’m waking up at 8 to eat breakfast. Sorry readers, I know it’s long.
Loggers 9 final 14 innings
Today marked our 23rd game in 24 days- we’ve had one rain out. Words cannot begin to describe tonight’s game, but I will try. In the cool, buggy La Crosse, WI night, we played a 4.5 hour game that lasted 14 innings. Per usual, we got out in front of the Loggers early in the game, but sat on our lead. They passed us and made the game close to unreachable at 9-4 in the 7th, but good teams figure out ways to win. We scored five in the last three innings and forced extra innings. Both teams had numerous opportunities to take the lead or win the game, but no team did until Willie Argo (Illinois) knocked a leadoff single in the top of the 14th. He scored on a ball Jordan Owen hit off the pitcher’s glove and we held on to win 11-9. Due to the length of the game, La Crosse decided to cancel the post game fireworks show. I feel bad for the kids that stayed the whole game for the fireworks. Tonight’s weird occurrences go from a bunny on the field stopping the game to Tony Bryant (Oregon State) getting his first appearance in the 13th inning. It was a less than ideal time to bring Bryant in for the first time, but we had run out of relievers, so he got called on and pitched great.
One thing I noticed about the Loggers was that their team has gotten much better since the first time we played them in early June. At the begging of the summer, their pitching wasn’t bad, but their average pitcher was 84-88 mph. Tonight we got to see what happens when the permanent guys show up after NCAA postseason play. They threw guys from Texas, Oregon, Florida Gulf Coast, and other schools that are consistently in the top 50. Besides their sidearm righty, they pitched 2 righties and 2 lefties that were 90-93. From this point on, these are what the summer pitchers we will face will be around. As for our team, we have had our share of great arms from the beginning, but we are adding some pitchers from teams like Oregon State, Texas A&M, and Florida to make our rotation even more solid.
I also found out that my teammate at Davidson, Chris Lamb, will be coming to play for the Mallards. Chris is a left-handed starting pitcher and throws around 90-92. He had originally signed on for the summer, but was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 11th round. He decided not to sign currently and will be coming to Madison in a day or two. I am pumped!
I usually like to replay my at bats in my head, visualizing what pitchers did to me, so I can learn and become a better hitter, but I had eight at bats tonight and I will have trouble remembering them all. Wish me luck! Two and a half hour bus ride back- Lord of the Rings is on. I will be sleeping. First off day is on the 26th, I still have no clue what to do. Probably lift.
Loggers 2 (8-13)
Mallards 3 (14-8)
Yesterday I wished I was in Daytona, FL where my mom and sisters are for Dance Nationals. Don’t get me wrong, I love it in Wisconsin, but sometimes the weather is a bit different than what I’m used to in Georgia. Yesterday was one of those days- about mid-50s and rainy at game time- and the rain continued throughout the game. So yes, I did wish I was in Daytona, FL yesterday.
Early in the afternoon I went downtown to begin my search for one specific t-shirt. When I was two, my dad came home from Wisconsin and brought home a grey Wisconsin Badgers t-shirt from the Milwaukee airport. The shirt was an adult medium, and it has stretched so much over the years that I can still wear it today. I love that shirt! Now the shirt is frayed and has holes and I wanted to get a new one. So I went to downtown Madison and looked in four college t-shirt stores and I could not find the exact shirt- but the search will continue. But, I did get a cheese head at one of the stores. Living in Wisconsin for the summer, It was inevitable.
I went to Potbelly’s Sandwiches for lunch, which is the second time I’ve been there. I went there in Washington, D.C. two years ago and loved it, so it was the perfect choice. My sandwich was awesome and I will definitely be going back.
Before the game I started a rivalry in FIFA with my 14-year-old host brother, Ryan. I chose Trinidad & Tobago and he was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, both 3.5 star teams. He won the first game, and I won the next two. He came back and won the fourth game off my own goal in the 89th minute. So the series is tied 2-2, with the championship game when I get home from La Crosse.
Also before the game, we got to meet Noah. Every home game, some local company (not sure which one) hosts a “Bat Boy of the Day” to hang out with the team before the game. Yesterday, Noah, a brave, disabled teen in a wheelchair was the bat boy of the day. It really put things in perspective for me. Noah had a great time, smiled a lot, and we autographed his hat. It is so easy to complain about long days at the field, and bus rides, (and rain), but the truth is, we have been given the ability to play the greatest sport on earth. I thank him for helping me realize the gift I have of playing baseball.
It was an ugly game. We won 3-2 and scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th. Our shortstop and coach got tossed after a controversial tag call at second on a steal. Jordan Owen (UT Martin) showed some power and hit another homerun, his third, at home. He is slowly becoming a Madison favorite! Like I said before, the weather was horrible. I am surprised that most of the 5,000 fans that came stayed the whole game. Either they love baseball, love the Mallards, or have extremely boring lives and have nothing else to do. During the game I talked with Steve Wilkerson, La Crosse’s shortstop, who played against me in high school in Georgia and now plays at Clemson, who we played this spring. La Crosse had 5 errors in the game, and we only scored 3 runs. So we didn’t do a great job capitalizing on their miscues, but good teams figure out ways to win. We’re on the way to La Crosse now for a 7:05 game and then a late bus ride back home. Classic.
P.S. I am currently growing a beard. A few guys on the team are and the coach is allowing it- another perk of summer ball. Right now I am about 10 days in and it is looking good, if I do say so myself. I know both my girlfriend and my mom would abhor it, but I don’t have to see them for a while. Soon I will be looking like Dumbledore.
^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.
Rafters 4 (3-15)
Mallards 5 (11-7)
Today was Father’s Day so Dad if you ever read this, I hope you had a good one. Today was also exciting because we had a walk off win in the 10th inning!
Most games during the week are 7:05 start times, but Sunday games start at 3:05. We took some shirtless BP today, which is a bonus of playing in summer ball. Getting a tan (T) while getting better= killing two birds with one stone.
The game was awesome even though we made it a bit too exciting. We managed to squabble a 3-run lead against the worst team in the league, but I had faith we would come back and win it. Just like Coach Labbe said, “Good teams figure out ways to win.” I lead off the 10th inning with a walk, then stole second, moved to third with a passed ball, and Tyler Jones (Long Island) hit a hard ball that hit off the third baseman’s glove, and I scored. WALK OFF WIN! I immediately was embraced by the half of the team who came to hug me, and the other half went to first, where Jones was. I gave Jordan Owen (UT Martin) a little chest bump and there was a lot of smiles and laughter after.
As for the game, Mike McQuillen (Iowa) hit a 400-foot bomb to the power alley in right center. During this week, coach gave me some sound advice that I should leave my ‘SAT Brain’ at the gate when I get to the field. It was his way of saying “Play Dumb,” but it is funny and has stuck. Like a lot of ballplayers, I tend to over think things and most of the time the best players simply react and trust their preparation. Today, I had three walks and three steals- both firsts for me. For every steal the team gets during the season, TDS donates $25 to JDRF, so tonight I helped raise $75. Tonight I was a dirtbag- by the third inning I was already covered in dirt, which soon mixed with sweat to become mud. Because of the steals and a few plays in the field, my jersey was by far the dirtiest today. The fans loved it! After the game, I got a lot of comments from fans about how dirty my jersey was and that my mom was lucky she didn’t have to wash it. The way I see it, the dirtier my jersey is, the more times I am getting on base and helping the team. Therefore, there is a direct correlation to how dirty I get and how well I play.
Right now I am a happy camper. Jim Gaffigan says the only ‘happy camper’ is the “one leaving the campsite,” but I am one watching the Top 80 Plays of the Week on MLB Network. There are so many spectacular catches, diving plays, and clutch hits which make up the highlights every week. It is so amazing seeing how talented these guys are and which solidifies why they are professionals. This show also makes it apparent that there will never be another .400 hitter in Major League Baseball. Today’s speedy outfielders don’t let anything drop for base hits and brilliant infielders crushed always rob people of hits by great diving plays. It’s so cool to just sit back and admire them for what they do.
I went to the gym (G) after the game. So the G and T are accounted for. Have to do some L before our three-game road trip to Waterloo, Iowa tomorrow. G,T,L- what a stupid show.
We left for the one-day trip to Green Bay around noon. The bus ride took a little over two hours- just enough time for one movie- Old School. Great one liners are essential for any bus movie, and Old School definitely exceeds the minimum. We had a little time to spare and decided to take the scenic route, around Lambeau Field. What a site! I have officially placed it on my bucket list to see a game there.
The game did not go our way. We ended up losing 9-0 after Green Bay put up 15 hits to our six. Cash Collins (Wofford) pitched his third game of the season, and pitched well, but picked up the loss. Since Cash pitched so much in the spring for his school, his coach wanted to limit his innings this summer, so Cash was only on a temp contract and left immediately after the game. Also, my buddy J. Golden (Blackhawk College) played his last game with us on the second game of the series. Everytime I see my Davidson College shorts, I will think of him and how we “almost traded shorts.” During the summer, temp guys will leave for many reasons: to take summer courses, limit innings, etc., but those guys are still a huge part of making my whole summer experience so great. Niko Fraser (Elon) made an interesting point that we will have a whole new team in 20 days- that’s pretty close to being true. But, as guys leave, more new guys will come in.
On the way back home, I sat with Nick Sutherland (Minnesota State) who is trying to get 6-10 D1 guys to transfer to his school. He is the clown on the team and reminds me a lot of Will Ferrell. Nick’s dad owns two teams in the league, The Brainard Area Lunkers and The St. Cloud Rivers Bats. I learned a lot from him about the ins and outs of owning a summer college team- pretty neat. One interesting point he made is that players in the league pray for an occasional rainout (one day rest would be nice), but the owners pray for sunshine. The owners have so much to lose ($) when rainouts happen due to ticket sales, concessions, and other items, and the double headers that replace them hardly counter the losses from the missed game.
This morning five guys on the team went to a school in the small town of Oregon, WI to talk with a class of about 40 kids. We had no idea what to expect, but we just ended up meeting them, answering some of their questions, and signing autographs. I have found myself say a lot this summer: “If I was a kid…I would’ve loved to _______.” Recently it has been “be the batboy, go to Mallards’ games, but today it was “have a group of college baseball players come to my school to hang out.” After the trip, a few of us went to Barnes & Noble to hang out and read (yes, I’m a nerd). I got deeper into The Girl Who Plays with Fire and can’t wait until it all starts unraveling.
Game 2 of the series was today at home. Green Bay came to our place and beat us again, 15-3. It was a Friday night, so there was a live band at the Duck Pond, but nonetheless, Green Bay beat us in every aspect of the game. We are on a two-game losing streak and it has not been fun. We have a mandatory fielding workout tomorrow at 2 before our 6 p.m. game that I am partially responsible for. I guess it will give me the opportunity to get better though.
I need an icebath,
photo by: Melissa Lee
Express 8 (8-7)
Mallards 13 (9-5)
This morning I woke up early to work the little kids camp, drove 25 minutes to the field, and then found out the camp was postponed due to rain. I was bummed, but drove back home. When I got home, my host mom asked me if I would be able to fall back asleep, I said that it shouldn’t be a problem. This is one major luxury of playing summer ball a.k.a. not having a real job. I got back home at 9 and slept until 12:30. I hung out with my host brothers, Ryan and Sean, until I went to the field.
The rain continued and the field was soaked when we arrived. It was so soaked that even with no rain, it would barely playable for the game. We started by putting bags of Turface, a QuickDry material, on the field. I got my favorite Davidson shirt all muddy, but fieldwork is a responsibility that you have for being part of the team. It is really nothing some OxiClean won’t knock out.
Since it continued to rain and the field was soaked, some guys planned on not having a game. Not me though, I always mentally prepare for the game until someone tells me it is canceled. We did not take BP today because the field was soaked, but the team came out hot and scored 11 runs in the first inning! That is truly a testament to how much talent this team has. We only scored 13 in the game, but continued to crush the ball the whole game. We should’ve had more than 13, but the umpires blew a home run call where the right fielder ran through the bullpen fence in right and they could not determine if the ball went over the fence or not. They gave Thenussien (Central Michigan) a ground-rule double and he did not score that inning. Our coach got tossed for arguing the call- his first of the year.
Playing these teams you get to meet some really interesting people, and I have learned how small the baseball community really is. The first kid on Eau Claire that I talked to plays at Air Force for an old coach I used to have at Davidson. The second kid on Eau Claire plays at Nebraska where my friend from middle school and high school is a pitcher. Even though I live in Georgia now, I have several friends playing in the Northwoods. Also, with playing each team over eight times a piece, I am bound to make some more.
Waking up early to lift and then get on a bus to Green Bay. Now I will finally get to see our catcher, Daniel Gerow. Can’t wait. Only a .5 game back of first place. Night everyone.