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Author: Cody Wilcoxson

Starting the new week strong

After a weekend that saw two losses for the Concordia Golden Bears, including an opening day blown save for myself, we have new life this week. We put Saturday’s extra innings loss and Sunday’s blow out behind us and went to work on Monday with junior righty Chris Peterson on the hill.

Peterson gave us four strong innings before turning things over to our bullpen. In this case that was me. Making my second appearance of the season I took the mound to start the fifth inning. It took a batter to figure out the umpire’s strike zone, as I walked the first hitter throwing fastballs that I thought were waist high in the middle of the plate. Realizing the umpire would not call high pitches I started to work the knees. The next hitter ground into a 4-3 double play erasing the lead-off walk. After an inside fastball clipped the next hitter to put him on first base with two outs, the last hitter of the inning grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.

It felt good to put up a shutout inning after blowing a save in my first outing. In my second inning of work I got two outs on two pitches before striking out the third hitter for my first 1-2-3 inning of the season. My third and final inning including giving up one run on three base hits, while striking out the side in the process. My day ended with three full innings of work, one run on three hits, with one walk and four strikeouts.

But in the end we could not overcome our early deficit and fell to Mansfield (Pa.) University 7-6 to push our record to 0-3.

Henley Field in Lakeland, Fla.

Today was a new day though. We came out with a better mentality than we had in each of our previous three games. We were facing Wheeling Jesuit (W.V.) University at historic Henley Field, home of Florida Southern College, and the former spring training home of the Detroit Tigers.

We got a great start from freshman Adam Kramer; making his first collegiate start on the mound he kept us in the ball game long enough for our bats to come alive against WJU’s pitching staff. Adam worked into the sixth inning allowing just one big inning when he surrendered five runs in the third inning. After reliever Ty Hall closed out the sixth inning, the Concordia bats came alive. CU hitters generated seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 7-5 lead.

Making his first collegiate start, first baseman Elliot Powell led the offense with a 2 for 4 day. Powell electrified the dugout with his drag bunt for a base hit in the second inning. Hall threw the final three and one-third innings of the game to pick up the win for Concordia. Hall would allow just one run over that time while allowing four hits and striking out three. He really stepped up for the team and delivered a clutch performance.

In the eighth inning the coaches sent me to the bullpen to get my arm loose to possibly throw the ninth inning. I was excited to get a second save opportunity and to close out the first win of the season for the team. After throwing just a few pitches in the pen, the coaches made the decision to sit me down and go with Hall for the ninth inning. This turned out to be a great decision as he kept rolling through the WJU lineup and finished the game with a big time strikeout.

For the first time this season we were on the winning side of the post game handshakes, all the guys were happy to finally get the first one out of the way. Now we just have to keep the good momentum rolling into our next game on Thursday against Charleston (W.V.) University

Tomorrow’s day off will provide some much needed rest, especially for senior Sam Fagely who has caught on four consecutive days now. We are going as a team to the Tigers-Phillies spring training game in Lakeland, Fla., after a light morning practice. It should be a fun day to kick back and relax at a professional baseball game. It will give all the guys a chance to enjoy the win from today and keep improving so we can be in top form the rest of the week and on into conference series which start March 26-27 against Southwest Minnesota State, who just happens to be staying at our resort here in Florida.

For more information on the Concordia Golden Bears including bios, schedule, and statistics go to www.cugoldenbears.com

-Go Golden Bears-

A tough one on day one

This year’s blog is intended to be on a more personal level, rather than my personal journalistic take on the game.

After a hot start, things took a tough turn for the Concordia Golden Bears today. Facing the 15th ranked West Chester Rams we jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. After pitchers from both schools exchanged zeros inning after inning we found ourselves in a 3-0 lead and into their bullpen.

It was exciting to get our season started, and starter Ben Lemke set the tone putting up zero after zero for us on the mound. In the end Lem through six innings allowing just one run on five hits while punching out five. It was great to get such a great performance from our number one on opening day. It will give us a lot of confidence as we go through the season that we have a chance to win every single time we send him out there.

In the seventh we brought in Nick Anderson, our senior reliever/starter. He got us out of a big jam. It was at this time that I went down to the bullpen to start stretching and getting loose for a possible relief appearance.

We took an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth. A couple of unlucky bounces and close calls later we were in an 8-8 tie. After Anderson shut the door to send the game into extra innings things got interesting.

We were double-barrel in the bullpen, a righty and me, a lefty. The coaches told us the righty, Zach Goodwin would go in the game if it was tied, and I would take the mound if we had the lead.

After a wild top of the tenth which included a hits batter and the go ahead run being balked in, we had the 9-8 lead.

I took the mound and threw my warm up pitches. I was nervous but maintained my composure. The first hitter was a right-handed hitter, a combination of fastballs and cutters got me to a 3-2 count, before punching out the hitter on a fastball. The second hitter walked. The third hitter also struck out on a 3-2 fastball. That gave us two outs with a runner on first. The next hitter hit a cutter on the outer half towards left center. My first thought was that it was an easy fly ball and that we had just capped off a wild win. But the ball continued to carry and landed just out of the reach of our left fielder for a game-tying RBI double. With two outs and a runner on second their hitter swung at a fastball at the hands. The ball dribbled just past the outstretched glove of our shortstop for a walk off single.

It was a tough way to lose. The loss on opening day stings a little, but the good thing about the spring trip is that we get to come back to the ballpark for seven more games over the next week. One of our top arms from last season Andy Fagely will start against Ashland (Oh.) University. Game time is at 4:30pm EST again tomorrow.

We will have to come out swinging and pitching again. We played the best eight and half innings of baseball the Concordia has played in a long time, we just have to finish games off when we have the chance.

-Go Golden Bears-

Finally, it’s here!

Snow covered dome we have been practicing in

After what seemed like the longest six weeks of practice ever, the Concordia University Golden Bears are finally ready to take the field. We battled the blistering weather throughout January, February, and in to the first couple of days of March, but finally we made it to sunny Orlando, Florida. It was a long day to get here, starting with check in at the airport at 5:45am. Our flight from MSP took off at roughly 7:50am and three hours later we touched down to 78 degrees and sunny.

We collected our bags, packed the vans, and headed to Bahama Bay Resort to get settled in. After lunch we had our first outdoor practice since the month of October. It was just a quick infield-outfield and on-field batting practice, but it was great to be outdoors under the sun. Practice today was at the Chain of Lakes baseball complex, the former spring training home of the Cleveland Indians, and before the Indians, the Boston Red Sox.

The season kicks off tomorrow against the 15th ranked West Chester (Pa.) University at 4:30pm EST. It should be a great matchup as we both have infielders on the Tino Martinez National Player of the Year watch list. Tomorrow is the season opener for both squads as we both had weather-related cancellations in our February games.

To update readers on what we have been doing in preparation for the season, we have continued to have our pitchers face our hitters in our indoor facility. Pitchers have stretched out their arms with our five main starters throwing six sets of 15 pitches (90 pitches) on multiple occasions to prepare for their starts. Relievers, including myself, have thrown varying sets of 1×15, 2×15, or 3×15 depending on the day. This has given our hitters ample opportunity to see live pitching and get their timing down.

The season will start in a hurry with eight games in eight days, including a day off on Wednesday, and a double-header against in-conference foe Minnesota Crookston on Saturday before we head back home.

Now that the season is here, I will be able to put up more frequent posts about what is going on with Golden Bear baseball. We came to Florida to win games and get ready to go back to compete for an NSIC championship.

With the first trip of the year I wanted to debut a new section to the blog, the travel reading. I enjoy reading as a way to pass the time, so each trip I will feature a new book I have read and that I would suggest.

Travel Reading:

This week’s selection is The Bullpen Gospels by Dirk Hayhurst. Hayhurst is a pitcher in the Blue Jays organization that has logged big league time. Hayhurst recorded his journey through the minor leagues in the book. It is one of the best baseball books I have ever read. The stories are things that all baseball players can relate too. He discusses his own personal battle with the fear of failure, and how he overcame self doubt. The book is also full of funny stories from the life and rituals of minor league baseball. I definitely suggest this book. I read this while flying to Hawaii this summer for summer league, and ended up passing it around to my team, and all of them thoroughly enjoyed it.

Shout Out of the Week:

Summer teammate Dan Simmons of UC-San Diego was named conference pitcher of the week

-Go Golden Bears-

Preparing for Florida

Greetings College Baseball Fans,

The Concordia Golden Bear baseball team has been hard at work since my last post. We have been working extensively on both our team defensive strategies (bunt defenses, first-and-third scenarios, and situational defense), as well as getting our pitchers and catchers live appearances against one another.

Inside the Concordia Dome at Sea Foam Stadium

We have been utilizing our new practice home in the Concordia Dome at Sea Foam Stadium (right) to set up a full size infield and take ground balls on the turf. Coaches have also been able to hit fungo fly balls to our outfielders in the 65 foot high dome.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we do a lot of live throwing pitchers versus hitters in our pole barn indoor facility. The pole barn has three clay mounds, and we are able to have pitchers throw to hitters to simulate game like situations.

We are starting to use this time to set up our pitching staff for our 10-day spring break trip to Orlando, Florida. During that trip we play eight games in the span of eight days. Theoretically we should use six different starting pitchers on the trip. Because of that we have started to extend out our pitchers. Our four returning weekend starters have now reached the 70 pitch plateau having thrown 5 innings worth of 15 pitches this week. We have also extended two younger pitchers to this 5×15 mark to prepare them for possible starts in Florida.

Myself, I have been extended to throw 3×15 on three occasions now. My last outing was my best session as a Concordia Golden Bear. I threw 3×15 (48 pitches in total after finishing the at-bat of the last hitter faced) for 73% strikes. I have been throwing mostly cut-fastballs (“cutters”), while also mixing in four-seam fastballs, change-ups, and curveballs. The cutter has started to develop as my primary weapon, and throwing that for strikes will be a major factor in my success this spring.

My group, which will start the season coming out of the bullpen stretched out to 3×15 to help get through the “dead arm” period that most pitchers experience as they prepare for the season. Major League pitchers go through this in spring training, so this is our version of spring training. When pitchers velocities start to go up as they get through this dead arm period we will start to do more role specific sessions. My arm seems to be getting over that dead arm period based on velocity. I had been throwing my first few sessions with my four-seam fastball at roughly 76-79mph, but in my last appearance I saw a spike up to 82mph, including my 48th pitch of the outing which was gunned at 82.

With that being the case my next few sessions will probably be more tailed to my role as a left-handed reliever with more frequent outings throwing anywhere from 3×15, 2×15, or 1×20 depending on which type of preparation our coaches want the relievers to focus on that particular day. This type of preparation should give our pitching staff the best chance to succeed early on in the season, as well as getting our hitters a jump start on seeing live pitching before they step up to the plate in a game.

Our pitching staff is looking better than ever with all of our probable starters throwing quality strikes and perfecting their pitches before we head to Florida, and our bullpen guys getting comfortable with their workloads and roles. As we start the season I expect guys to get comfortable in their roles and their arms to strengthen and to see a spike in velocity as we move into our conference series.

The season is now just three weeks away. All the guys on the team and the coaching staff are definitely getting anxious to put the uniforms on and take on another team. We start our season on March 5th in Orlando against nationally ranked West Chester (PA) University (17th nationally in the latest CB Lineup Poll). We expect tough competition in Florida, but we have high expectations and expect to be competitive on all levels this season. WCU is just the first of multiple nationally ranked teams on our schedule, including conference rivals Minnesota State-Mankato and St. Cloud University who are ranked 12th and 25th in the nation respectively.

Dan Simmons pitching in Hawaii

A shout out to my summer teammate on the Kamuela Paniolos of the Hawaiian Collegiate League, Dan Simmons who threw a complete game for UC San Diego (#1 ranked by CB Lineup) in their opening weekend sweep of Western Oregon, and also my summer roommate in Hawaii, Josh Hinkle of Florida Tech (#22) who hit .500 in their opening series.

From left-to-right, summer roommates Ryan DeJesus of San Francisco State, Josh Hinkle, and Kyle Dyer

March 4th and 5th two of my summer roommates in Hawaii square off when Kyle Dyer (Drury University (MO) travels to play the previously mentioned Hinkle and his Florida Tech team. I will definitely have to give a little report on that match up, especially if Dyer, a pitcher, faces Hinkle, an outfielder.

As for the Concordia Golden Bears, we will continue to prepare for WCU and the rest of our 2011 schedule!

-Go Golden Bears-

The 2011 Season has Arrived

The season official season is upon us, and there are many things to report.

First off, practice started as we returned to school on January 17th. Right away we got into the thick of things with pitchers throwing live to hitters in our indoor facility known as, “the pole barn,” going over bunt defenses and first-and-third defenses in the Concordia Dome where we can get more realistic ground balls on the turf, and of course our hitters getting as many hacks as possible.

We have been trying to hone all aspects of the game as we prepare to start our season on March 5th in Orlando, Florida against West Chester (PA) University. We are all anxious for the season to start. Travel rosters for the spring break trip to Florida have already been set, so now it is just preparing ourselves to compete against guys in different color jerseys.

Personally, I have been continuing my rehab from off-season surgery. I feel like I am getting stronger everyday and continue to feel more confident in the strength of my hip. I have thrown three live bullpens thus far, and have my fourth live session scheduled for tomorrow. My throwing sessions so far have been two sets of 15 pitches (all fastballs), one set of 20 pitches (all fastballs), and two sets of 15 pitches (all fastballs). Tomorrow is scheduled to be three sets of 15 pitches (fastballs, changeups, and cutters). I am excited to start mixing up my pitches, but we are still not throwing breaking balls quite yet.

The point of throwing multiple sessions of just fastballs is for our pitching staff to establish their fastball and throw strikes with it. Everything works off a pitchers ability to throw strikes with their fastball, and then use their other pitches to mess with hitters. Our strike percentages have been phenomenal thus far. I am one that struggles with control at times, but as my body continues to heal and gets stronger I have continued to progress as a pitcher. I feel confident locating my pitches right now, and as of today I have thrown 64% strikes.

Other things going on with the program has been fundraising. All players and coaches have been working a baseball tryout for a local youth baseball organization at the Concordia Dome. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year.

Also on the fundraising side of things, Wednesday, January 26th was our annual Gold Plate Dinner at Mancini’s Char House in St. Paul. Every player sells three tickets to the dinner and live auction. It is a great night. Last night’s guests of honor included two-time World Series winning manager Tom Kelly, two-time World Series winning first baseman Kent Hrbek, and the parents of Joe Mauer.

Both Mr. Kelly and Mr. Hrbek spoke to the crowd of players, parents, and friends. It is a fun night, and helps raise a substantial amount of money to fund our season and provide us with outstanding opportunities. This was the 12th consecutive year of the Gold Plate Dinner at Mancini’s. Aside from the dinner and guest speakers, there was also a raffle, live auction, and good humor.

The Concordia Golden Bears have exactly 25 more practices before we take off to Orlando to play eight games in eight days, including a double-header on the last day of the trip against conference foe the University of Minnesota-Crookston. The trip will also include going to a Detroit Tigers-Philadelphia Phillies spring training game in nearby Lakeland.

The preseason rankings have also been released. For the second year in a row we have been selected by the coaches to finish 8th in the NSIC. We hope that we can prove those voters wrong and move up the polls throughout the year.

Junior Bryan Lippincott was tabbed as a preseason All-American after hitting .410 last season with 10 home runs and 51 RBI’s in 52 games played. Fellow junior Troy DuBay was named a, “player to watch” in the NSIC and freshman hurler Adam Kramer was named a, “newcomer to watch.”

I know that everyone is excited to get our season started, and we all hope that we can make a push to the postseason this year.

-Go Golden Bears-

Weathering the Weather

The Collapsed Roof of the Metrodome

Winter has arrived throughout the country, with NFL games being moved and rescheduled, and holiday flights being canceled and delayed. A large part of this winter surge has effected Concordia University. Today we got the news that our beloved “dome games” are being rescheduled. Normally we, as well as several other upper-midwest teams, start our season with double-headers in the Metrodome. As many of you know, the Metrodome roof collapsed under the weight of all the snow we have been receiving. This means that our previously scheduled 10 “dome games” will have to be rescheduled, and our season will now start March 5th in Orlando, Fla. This is not the worst thing that can happen for a guy trying to get back from off-season surgery, but regardless I am disappointed the season will be delayed.

Rosenblatt Stadium covered in snow

Final exams finished up, and all the guys headed back to their respective hometowns to spend the holidays with friends and family. For me, this meant making the 924 mile drive from St. Paul, Minn. to Aurora, Colo. The trip takes me through Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and finally Colorado. One of the more interesting parts of the trip is driving on I-80 roughly two miles inside the Iowa-Nebraska border. There when you look up to the left you see Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, with its giant sign proclaiming “Home to the Men’s College World Series”. As all baseball fans know, Rosenblatt will meet its demise in the coming months as the D1 College World Series moves to its new digs in downtown Omaha, TC Ameritrade Stadium. But for now Rosenblatt still stands high up on the hillside as the pinnacle of college baseball.

The Concordia Dome at Sea Foam Stadium

With Christmas having come and gone, the first day of practice is drawing near. Practice for the Concordia University Golden Bears officially kicks off on January 17th inside the Concordia Dome at Sea Foam Stadium. Our inside facility will give us a chance to practice until we takeoff for Orlando in the first week of March. And from there on out, the season will be in full gear, leading up to the NSIC Tournament in May, and hopefully an NCAA Regional berth the weekend after that. Every player is responsible for keeping themselves in shape during this time, and doing what is necessary to prepare for the grueling season. Pitcher’s were issued a throwing schedule that began on December 20th. As part of my rehab from surgery I have been throwing since December 6th, including three sessions off the mound. My hip seems to be responding well, and I am excited to get back to school and into the routine of practice and the season.

Heading into the first day of practice, I know that I have to prove that I have worked my way back from surgery, and fill the role that way laid out at my end of fall meeting. I know that if I am successful throwing strikes early in January and February I will have the chance to eat up a lot of innings this season. I am excited for the season, as the first day of practice is now just 20 days away.

Happy New Year College Baseball fans, See you all in 2011!

Happy Thanksgiving to All

Hello Everyone,

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope everyone enjoyed plentiful meals and wonderful time with family and friends. I traveled home to Colorado to spend time with my family over this short break from school. It has been a hectic couple of weeks, and time to fill all of you in!

To start off; this will be my last post on this blog site for now. My blog has been picked up by www.collegebaseballlineup.com for the 2011 spring baseball season. College Baseball Lineup (formerly ping!baseball) has given me the opportunity to be one of their featured bloggers this year based on the success of “Diary of a D2 Ballplayer” during the fall. I hope that you all continue to read my blogs as well as check out great news and information regarding all the happenings in college baseball on the website. You can link to it at www.collegebaseballlineup.com or at www.cblineup.com.

Now to the blogging!

I have been rehabbing my surgically repaired hip with the excellent trainers at my school. Over the last couple weeks I have been working on getting my full range of motion back, and restoring my normal gait. I was tired of walking with a limp, and I am happy to report that I now have my normal walk back. I have also been doing a lot of resistance work trying to keep some muscle in my leg while my hip continues to heal from surgery. It has been a frustrating process not being able to jump or jog, but I know that I will be much better off letting it heal and get myself back to 100%.

My teammates have been spending the last couple of weeks getting after it in the weight room. I have been joining them, but my workouts consist of light shoulder, chest, and back exercises. The other 28 guys have been lifting and conditioning hard getting themselves ready for the grueling 50+ game schedule of college baseball.

Some fun stuff to report; we took our team pictures and head shots a week or so ago in our new uniforms. We are excited to debut our Camo tops that we will be wearing to support past, present, and future servicemen and servicewomen this season. There is a great article on our athletic website to check out, just click on the words “camo tops”!

It has definitely been great to be back with my friends and family in Colorado, but I am also excited to get back to the twin cities and continue my rehab and throwing program to get myself ready for; practice starting January 17th and the first game of the year at the Metrodome against Minnesota State-Mankato on February 18th. Side note; my 21st birthday is February 16th, two days before we start the season. I can’t think of a better present than being ready to come out of the pen in a lock down situation against the defending regional champions.

I look forward to making the move towww.collegebaseballlineup.com, and the publicity they can bring not only to my blog, but my university, conference, and all of Division II baseball.

See you all over there!

Rehab Begins

On Friday I had my first follow up appointment with the doctor after having my hip surgery. They took out my stitches because my incisions are healing well. They also gave me the go ahead to stop using my crutches pain permitting. The doctors said that I may experience some pain or soreness over the next week or two just walking around, and that if I do it is not a bad idea to use the crutches for a while just to give my hip a rest. The third thing that happened at the doctor, and the thing I am most excited about is that I got my rehab plan. The doctors gave  me a full lay out of my rehab for the first six weeks after surgery.

The rehab plan starts tomorrow, Monday, and is physical therapy sessions two to three times a week with our athletic trainers at school. The first few weeks focus on getting my normal gait back and then getting my full range of motion back in my hip. After six weeks I can start to build my strength back. With this plan it wasn’t all good news though, I got a whole list of restrictions. For the next six weeks I can do no running, jumping, jogging, or lifting of anything over 20 lbs. That means I am restricted to just walking and working on my shoulder and scap circuits.

After I got my rehab plan I asked the question I wanted to know the most. What can I do as far as throwing a baseball over these couple months of rehab? The answer was better than I had expected. For the next two to three weeks I can sit in a chair and throw as long as I do not cause too much discomfort in my hip. After that period I can start to stand up and throw lightly without a too much of a step as long as I don’t incorporate an excessive amount of rotation with my hips. The final step, assuming everything is healing properly and I have my full range of motion back, after six weeks of rehab I can begin my normal routine of playing catch, but not throwing off of a mound.

This will give me the best chance to keep my arm in shape during this down time, so when I am finally released as 100% it won’t take as long to get game ready. I am getting the opportunity to get my body fully back to 100%, and still having the chance to be ready to go by game one of the season. That is the best possible opportunity I can hope for once I sustained this injury.

I will begin my rehab plan officially on Monday and do as much as I am allowed to do to get better and get back out there with my teammates.

Recovering from Surgery

Last Thursday I went under the knife to repair my torn labrum. I was definitely nervous for surgery, but it went much smoother than I had anticipated. After a couple hours of meeting with surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists I finally had my surgery. I woke up in the recovery room and was released to go home a couple hours later. I had some soreness, but I was mostly just exhausted from the drugs they had me on.

It was a pretty rough weekend, spent mostly sleeping and laying around. I am on crutches for a week, before I head back to the doctor to get my stitches removed. They gave me some pictures of the inside of my hip that they took with the arthroscopic camera while performing the surgery, but I am not sure what they are. Maybe we can get some of those us on here in later posts.

Other than recovering from surgery there is not too much to report. I have been attending the lifting and conditioning sessions with my teammates, although I am unable to participate. My teammates are working hard in the weight room, and that is going to go a long way to getting us ready to compete in the spring. On Friday after I get my stitches removed I will also get my rehab plan that I can start doing next week. They have already informed me that it will be frustratingly slow, starting with some light walking. My only physical activity for six weeks will be walking. Only after that six week period will I be able to do some light jogging and other things like that to get me ready to get back in baseball shape. On Friday I will definitely be asking when I am able to start at least doing some light throwing to keep my arm in shape.

I had what I considered a pretty successful fall, and am excited to get to the spring. I have not really been in the mix to get a lot of innings in my previous two years of college, but this year my coach has made it clear that I have the opportunity to throw a lot of meaningful innings and help us win games. That means I need to get myself ready to compete at a high level when I am fully recovered.

I am excited though, I have had some nagging hip injuries for the last two seasons, which finally led to this major tear. But having had this surgery and going through rehab, this season my body will be completely 100%. That is definitely exciting, and I will work hard to get myself mentally prepared and keep my mechanics sharp so that I can have a big contribution on the field this spring.

I will make sure to keep everyone posted on the rehab as I go through, and keep supporting my teammates as they go through off-season workouts. It is definitely frustrating to sit out while everyone else is working hard. I wish I could be in there sweating and getting stronger with the rest of the guys. I will just have to work even harder when I finally get cleared.

Keep working towards goals, mine is to get healed and back to strength so I can contribute the best I can to a Concordia Golden Bears championship season.

Sorry the Hiatus

Greetings readers, I apologize for the extended hiatus. I have been dealing with an injury, and have been trying to get all that in order before continuing with the blog. But now that I have that all settled I can continue my blogging.
When I last left off I was preparing to throw in a scrimmage against St. Cloud State University. I got the start in that scrimmage, tossing two innings. I didn’t have my best stuff in the outing, but was able to minimize damage for the most part. I gave up one run in the first inning, and two in the second inning. I had two walks in the outing and allowed three hits to provide the three runs for SCSU. For the outing I threw 40 pitches (19 strikes, 21 balls) giving me a strike percentage of 48%. Not the best, but as I said I was able to minimize the damage.

Following SCSU I had one more outing on the mound in an intersquad scrimmage before suffering, what would be a significant injury, at the end of fall ball. I had some nagging pains in my hip and groin area throughout the fall, but nothing serious. By no means was it anything that effected my play, and therefore I didn’t think anything of it. The last week of the fall the pain started to be sharper and come more often. By the final day of fall practice it was getting to be pretty bad.

I went to the trainer and they suggested I see the team doctor over at TRIA Orthopedic Clinic in Bloomington, Minn. The day after the final fall practice I went to the doctor and had my hip checked. After initially thinking it could be a sports hernia, the doctor did some range of motion tests which he thought indicated a tear in the labrum of my left hip.
He sent me to get an MRI, which I did this week, and when the results came back the doctor’s fear was confirmed. I had a rather substantial tear of the labrum. He explained to me what this meant.

I will be having surgery this coming Thursday, where they will put me to sleep using general anesthetics, at that point they will make a small incision in the front of my hip as well as one in the side. They will go into the joint with a tiny camera, and make the repairs necessary, this is known as an arthroscopic surgery, or “hip scope”.

To the right you will see the picture of my MRI. The white in the middle is my labrum, and that black dot on it in the upper right portion is the tear.

The procedure will take about an hour and a half of actual surgery. After that I will spend the weekend recovering at my sister’s house in the western suburbs of the twin cities. My mom is flying in for the weekend to help take care of me. It won’t be easy to deal with me after the surgery as I will be a heavily sedated 195 lbs.

Recovery from this operation is typically 10 weeks to three months. This means I would hypothetically be 100% somewhere between January 7th and January 21st. Our first official practice of the season is scheduled for January 17th, meaning I am in good shape for the season. Unfortunately though this means I will be sidelined for all of the off-season lifting and conditioning, meaning I will be a step or two behind the rest of my teammates when practice kicks off.

As for my goal of becoming a weekend starter, that is not currently the case, as I met with my coach last week. But after my meeting I can set a goal of being the best reliever possible to help this team win games. I was informed that I would begin the year as one of the top guys out of the bullpen, with the chance to throw 30 to 40 big innings. I was told I would not be a guy that throws in blowouts this year, I would be turned to with the game on the line and be expected to win games for us out of the bullpen, and with the potential to get some spot starts.

It might not of been my goal, but it is a role that I will gladly accept. Anything I can do to help this team win is what I want to do. Being a weekend starter may have been one of my goals, but my number one goal in baseball has always been to win a championship, and I will do whatever it takes to get us to that point.

So for now what I can do to help this team is to get this surgery and rehab it back to strength so I can back our starters up out of the bullpen.

I will not be taking any more lengthy stretches off from writing. I will be keeping readers up to date on my recovery from surgery, my rehab, and life in general as a D2 baseball player.

Sorry again for the long hiatus, I appreciate anyone that take the time to read my blogs.

Always chasing after dreams.

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