2004 Player Diary
Season Week 7 (4/26/04) - We started the week off with a disappointing loss to Ohio Northern in a game that
we had plenty of chances to take control of the game but just couldn't. In the first
game in our series against Franklin we came out strong behind a great complete game
performance by pitcher Jason Moore. We started and finished very well winning 7-1.
In the second game the team played well but just couldn't get the hits that we needed
to in order to win the game, we battled throughout the game but ended up losing 3-1.
We let it all fall apart in the series finale when we got embarrassed by losing 14-0.
Due to final exams we are off this week until Thursday and Friday when Hanover visits for a conference series. The weather is supposed to be awesome so everyone should come out and watch as we take on the Panthers.
Season Week 6 (4/19/04) - We started off the week extremely well when we traveled to Earlham and picked up a 13-3 win. Earlham plays their home games on a semi-pro baseball field that the Richmond Roosters call home. It was a great field to play a night game on and we went out behind a great pitching effort by Jason Moore to take the win. Our bats were hot, and everybody seemed to be driving the ball throughout the game. Then we came back for our weekend series against Mount St. Joseph and didn't find a way to stop their offensive attack. We stayed hot at the plate scoring 26 runs in the series but not weren't able to stop them from scoring. The season is so frustrating in that we know that we are capable of so much but we haven't been able to put it all together on the field. Every game is an opportunity to win and perform to the best of our abilities.
We couldn't have asked for better weather for the games, it was over 75 degrees both days and had sun the entire time. I am so glad that nice weather is finally here and hopefully it doesn't cool off again for a while. Baseball is definitely meant to be played in warm weather and it brings an enhanced sense of excitement to the game. Hopefully the weather is in the 80's when we take the field on Wednesday against the Polar Bears from Ohio Northern.
Season Week 5 (4/14/04) - Our offense came out blazing to begin last week in our game against Capital. We scored 14 runs to start the game in the first 3 innings and looked like we would take away a non-conference win. But in the rest of the game they hit the cover off the ball and came all the way back to win 22-17. That loss was very disappointing because we finally woke up offensively and played well defensively all to no avail because of the loss. We as a team play great when we Wood is on the hill; we seem to have all the confidence in the world those games in the field and at the plate. But then when we get our other capable pitchers throwing we seem to play tentatively and don't have the aggressiveness that we should. We need to try different approaches and see what we need to do to have the right mental approach to every game, no matter who is on the mound for us.
Tonight we are playing a night game against Earlham College on an extremely nice ball diamond. Games under the lights always bring a sense of excitement to the game, a sense that we don't get with playing all day games. It brings you back to when you first started playing the game; back in little league you were out there to win and have fun. Playing ball is still about fun, we wouldn't play if it wasn't, but winning is the ultimate fun. Hopefully we can use all that excitement to our advantage to get out to an early lead and then keep it for all 9 innings this time.
Season Week 4 (4/5/04) - After the Cedarville debacle in which we all wondered if we could even field a baseball, we turned around played well defensively for the weekend. Coach challenged us to make the plays we know we can and we turned it up a notch against Manchester. We played well in the first game on Saturday and came away with a 4-1 victory. In the two games that we lost we should have put ourselves in a position to win but through leaving runners on base we let the games slip away. The team is coming together more as of late and it seems that clutch hitting is the key for us to win every game. We are leaving too many runners in scoring position and if we can get key hits at those opportune times we would be tough to beat.
It is frustrating knowing what we are capable of and then seeing that our record doesn't represent the team we have. There is still time left in the conference season to make this a successful season by making the conference tournament. It starts with a tough practice today, a win against Capital tomorrow, and then taking a full head of steam into the weekend series against our bitter rival Defiance.
Season Week 3 (3/29/04) - The only good thing that came from last week was the weather. It was nice all week and it looks only to improve throughout this week as long as the rain holds off. We did not play well in any of our games and didn't start our conference schedule as we had planned. The good thing is we have a lot of games left on the schedule to make up for not beating Transylvania.
We have all of the elements of a good team, we just need to incorporate them all into our play every game; the pitching, hitting, and fielding all need to be there every game to be able to beat a college baseball team. We know we can win each time out and have to "keep perspective" as coach always preaches. We need to work hard this week and play every game as if it determines the outcome of our season. Each game is a new opportunity to prove ourselves and we need to take every opportunity that we get to win games. We can put ourselves in position to win every game and we can do so by executing the little things; such as moving runners, getting clutch hits with runners in scoring position, making the routine plays in the field, and being smart on the bases. We'll be a better team and compete for the HCAC title if we can do that. On Tuesday we travel to Cedarville for a non-conference game and plan on picking up a win to get ourselves on the right track for Manchester this weekend.
Season Week 2 (3/22/04) - Having no games all week until Saturday makes for a long week of practice, and having it snow and rain all week forcing us inside makes the week seem that much longer. Coach Grandey worked us hard all week focusing on reacting to pitch location. Working on driving the outside pitch opposite field and jumping on the inside pitch early to not let it jam us in on our hands. Also because we didn't have a game during the week it gave coach a chance to get in some not so fun conditioning that we haven't had the chance to do in a while due to our schedule. All the 60 second drills and 15 minute "long laps" we ran we made us really wish that we could get out of the gym and back onto the field.
The trip to Muskingum was long and rainy the entire way. We weren't even sure if we would be able to get onto the field when we got there, but because the Muskies are coach's alma mater and this being his first trip back we really wanted to play these games. After hitting in their indoor cage we got ready and went out to the field. The tarp they had to cover the infield kept it dry and playable so when we were ready to play the field was ready to go. The outfield was a little wet as you could tell by the outfielders jersey's splattered with mud. The rain miraculously held off the entire afternoon letting us get both games in. Josh Underwood had another great outing, throwing a one-hitter and leading us to a 1-0 victory. We need to start winning both games of double-headers instead of letting the second game slip away from us as we did last week against Otterbein too.
We are next on the field this Wednesday, home against Wilmington and we need to
continue to play well and take a win. Everybody come out and cheer us on, hopefully
it's a warm sunny day. At the end of this week the real baseball we play for begins the
HCAC schedule begins this weekend with a three game series at Transylvania. To make
the conference tournament at the end of the season we need to come out strong and
play like we all know we can. Taking three from Transy will be a great start to getting
where we want to go; and that's what we plan to do.
Season Week 1 (3/15/04) - This last week has been one of frustration and disappointment for me. A sprained ankle in our game on Wednesday kept me from playing in our double header against Otterbein on Saturday. It is extremely difficult to watch from the sidelines when there is nothing you can do to help the team besides cheering them on.
On Saturday the team, especially Josh (Underwood), played well in the first game. Josh led by example on the mound pitching a great game and drove the ball for a double with his bat; then scoring the eventual winning run. We have a week before our next game so have time to work on the areas that we need to improve on. Our trainer/athletic director Phil Talavinia is working hard to get me back on the field as soon as possible. Hopefully I will be able to practice today or in the next few days and be back healthy on Saturday when the team heads to Muskingum.
Spring Trip (3/8/04) - The long drive home from Sarasota was made a lot longer with the way we ended up the EMU classic. We played well for the most part but some bad luck ended our week on a sour note. We would have liked to have won that tournament, but hopefully the lessons we learned there will help us out in our far bigger goal of making and winning the HCAC tournament. Some of our pitchers didn't enjoy throwing on the hitter friendly ball park in Sarasota and now look to dominate back here on the college fields. It is now time to put Florida behind us and buckle down to prepare ourselves for the tough conference schedule ahead of us. We start with three games this week against Otterbein and look to take all three.
Spring Trip (3/3/04) - Florida was made for baseball. The weather has been unbelievable for our trip so far. Through the first four games our bats have been getting hotter with each game we play; we set a school record today with six home runs in one game. Off the field Sarasota has so much to offer on our down time. The Cincinnati Reds hold spring training in town so we had the opportunity to run over and catch an intrasquad scrimmage. Tonight we are heading out as a team to eat and then the first ever Beaver Putt-Putt Tournament. We are only half way done playing here and we look to return to Bluffton with a 6-2 record after we win the rest of our games.
Preseason (2/26/04) - This week the team is getting everything set and ready to go for Florida . I can't wait to get down to Sarasota and start the season off. The weather has been decent enough here the last week to allow us to get outside and practice a little, which makes it nice to get out of the gym finally. Being outside lets us loosen our arms out more than in the gym and helps our timing in the field.
Although we haven't been able to get onto the field yet we use the parking lot next to the field to throw, take fly balls and ground balls, and work on situational plays with the infielders. We are all excited about the upcoming season to start, to get onto the field after another hard working off-season. I hope to see all of you out cheering us on throughout the season.