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Author: Ryan Thompson

Travel Experiences

It has been weeks since my last post and I know that is sloppy but I now have one coherent thought to discuss. The start of the baseball season! A lot has happened since I last blogged, we took a trip down to South Carolina as well as a trip to New York. Our record stands at 5-2 but that does nothing to describe what has gone on for us Ravens.

I’ll be focusing this post on traveling and the things that us college guys do to entertain ourselves on 18 hour bus rides, or six hour shuttle runs. As you will find out the mode of transportation is vital in determining our source of entertainment. Our coach bus ride down to South Carolina was an overnight affair that consisted of movies, cards, the introduction of a few games(cavaleri, at least that’s how I think it’s spelled), password and mind numbing boredom.

I’ll begin with explaining the game of cavaleri. It’s Medeival at best, the goal of the game is to start at the front of the bus and make your way to the back of the bus. The part of this game that makes is that every other teammate on the bus is attempting to stop you from touching the back wall. Why? Because the reward is a nice dinner from each and every bus mate. Over the course of the day freshman were dog piled, sophomores thrust to the ceiling, and juniors well they’re too salty to make an attempt. I should add though that in my history of bus trips(4 years) only one man has successfully made it to the back of the bus. That man is Doug Elliot, a red-shirt junior at the time, he was smart enough to bring enough snacks and deserts on the bus to fully occupy everyone of us starving ball players to proudly yell cavaleri and make it high-stepping to the back of the bus untouched by 34 sets of arms.

My favorite rides occur when we use the shuttles as our form of transportation. These shuttles fit up to 14 players and provide a much more personal atmosphere than the spread out coach buses. Why is this my favorite ride? Because it provides the perfect set-up for a game we play called “Mafia”. This game deserves a well drawn out explanation. It requires roughly 12 men to play and 1 narrator. The game consists of 3 mafia members, 1 cop, 1 doctor, and the rest of the players serve as townspeople. The goal of the game is for the mafia members to move from the minority to the majority and they do this by lying and deceiving like Fletcher Reede. The game is played in rounds with everyone putting their heads down in between the rounds for the Mafia to murder one unlucky soul, the cop to seek out Mafia members, and the doctor to choose a person to save from certain death. After each special role has made their act everyone raises their heads and opens their eyes to listen to the narrator describe a gruesome murder orchestrated by the Mafia. After the story is told the round is open to debate as to which participant should be voted out of the game.

My explanation of Mafia may be confusing but the point is this game may get more rowdy than cavaleri, bringing out the best in peoples acting ability as well as the worst in ones character. My sophomore year I was fooled in the last round by a fake hamstring cramp  by our starting third baseman Mike Olt. Obviously I haven’t let that one go….I hope you enjoyed this post a little more and I’m going to work on obtaining footage of these wonderful games and other happenings that our team is able to drum up.

Random Thoughts

Gregg Downing(ex Raven)

This is my first blog so I admit that it will be all over the place as I put my deep thoughts to print. I should start this entry off by introducing myself, I’m Ryan Thompson, a junior right handed pitcher at Franklin Pierce University. For those of you who don’t know Franklin Pierce is a small school in Rindge, New Hampshire that I can proudly say is mostly recognized by people as a powerhouse baseball program in the Northeast with 21 draft picks in the last 10 years.

Dan "Salty" Poirier



We are currently in pre-season and six out of the seven days in a week our teams schedule is filled with baseball practice. Whether it’s the multiple hours of practice that we put in or the extra time my teammates and I spend in the gym doing our best to look like ex-Raven and current LA Dodger Gregg Downing, our days are busy. Yes, I did forget to mention school, but here at Pierce school is a priority and we all make the effort to attend every class possible. Once our season starts we can’t afford to miss any classes besides the ones we have to for games, college baseball after all has the most hectic schedule of all sports in college.

Now I’ll return to one of my favorite topics, weight lifting. This has become a kind of passion for me and something I had to address from last year, was not to be so damn skinny. I weighed in at 185 pounds in May, and many people including teammate Ross Lincoln who compares me to Dakota Fanning made it clear I needed to gain some weight.  After a summer of living next to a gym and a Whole Foods I managed to put on 20 pounds that Arnold would be proud of(huge shout out to Cressey Performance and the awesome staff there).

I am not the only one who takes pride in lifting weights, our entire team does. To wrap up our fall we have a lift off consisting of bench pressing, squatting, pull-ups, and a flex off. Yes, you heard me right, we all took our shirts off and flexed until we got red in our faces and Wojichowski passed out. Just kidding, but he did scare us all. If you are a baseball player I know you’re thinking to yourself what a meat.

So moving on from lifting, for now, I would like to talk a little bit more about my position and the role it puts me in on the team. I am a starting pitcher and the amount of flack I receive from position player teammates daily is immense. Anything from “hey why don’t you just show up once a week,” to “no seriously what do you do during practice?’ is not uncommon but I’ve learned to shake it off. Pitchers really do a lot of work between being the best athletes on the team, strongest men in the gym and crushing sprints and bursts during practice like Usain Bolt. Who has the strongest rotator cuffs and labrums on the team?….pitchers obviously.

Asides from that we simply can’t run and externally rotate our million dollar arms at 90 degrees for three hours a day, so today while we stood in the outfield shagging fly balls the staff had some time to think. A common favorite among pitchers is to play the” would you rather game.” This is no rocket scientist kind of game, but we think it compares to Intro to Philosophy. The game operates based off the name contrasting different scenarios, like would you rather lose an arm or a leg. Trust me, it gets much more in-depth than that.

I hope y’all enjoyed this first entry. I’m not sure the direction of my next post but I’m sure it will have something to do with our fast approaching trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and will be filled with much more coherent thoughts. I’ll leave you with a quote from a great old man I know, Jim Roche (our graduate student centerfielder), and a quote he said today “the team that wins a championship is the team that deals with the grind the best.”