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Archive for March, 2011

“We’re going streaking….”

After a tough opening weekend at George Mason the LIU Blackbirds have played excellent baseball. We are 11-5 in our last 16 games and have shown signs of a club that is gaining confidence every day.

We have three juniors and a senior, that have really stepped to the forefront on this team and made guys accountable day in, day out. Catcher Tyler Jones, SS Drew Walsh, 2B Brad Greve and CF Sam Sciamarelli. Common baseball knowledge is you need to be strong up the middle. We are fortunate at this time to have that on our team both on and off the field.

Tyler Jones is off to a blazing start at the plate hitting .479 with an OB% at .562! On top of that, he is one of the best, if not the best (in my opinion) catcher in the entire Northeast. Our cleanup hitter Drew Walsh has been a steady run producing threat for us hovering around .300 all year and leading the team in RBI’s (18). Brad Greve has been a sparkplug for us both offensively and defensively. He is a throw back, lunch pail type player that gives you great effort everytime he touches the field. Then there’s Sam Sciamarelli. Sam has been the best example of a player who is a student of the game. When Sam was a freshman, he would sit on the bucket when not playing and watch everything that went on during a game . Coach Maines has said, that he has been the most attentive player he has ever coached in over 20 years at the Division 1 level when not playing! He would ask us numerous questions throughout the course of a game, always looking for any tid bit to make him better or understand the game at a different level. When Sam discovered the weightroom, he began to blossom as a player for us. Last year as a Junior he hit about .290 for the season but was well over .300 most of the year. He established himself as an everyday player and this year has grown into a force. He too is hovering around the .300 mark but it’s his approach to his at bats that makes his play special. He sees more pitches per at bat than any other player on our team. That in itself is invaluable for a team. It allows other guys to get a good look at a pitcher and it drives up pitch counts which leads to us getting to your bullpen quicker. Either way, it’s a plus for our offense.

Every year Freshman play somewhat of a role on teams. Our team is no different. Peter Leonello (again in my opinion….best Freshman in the Conference) has been awesome so far this season. He has been around .370 all year and has just been disruptive and clutch for us. Matthew Molbury has been over the .300 mark at the plate and solid behind it. 3B Diego Perez has been very strong defensively and also clutch driving in 12 runs in our first 20 games.

The pitching staff has been great during this run as well. Adam Sauter, Justin Topa, Matt McCormick and Brad Reimer have done a great job of getting us into the 6-7th inning everytime they take the baseball. Chris Franzese, Emerson Morillo, Skye Freeman, Jesse Johnson and Danny Iglesias have all been good between the 6th-8th inning for us. I guess that only leaves the biggest (ok not the biggest he’s only 5’7″) and baddest of the bunch, Evan Zerff. Evan is a product of Saskatchewan, Canada (yes that’s far from NY) and he is a bulldog! If there was ever a guy meant to pitch the 9th inning with the game on the line, it’s this guy. He may be 5’7″ but he attacks hitters like he is 6’7″. When you talk about the combination of mound prescence, pitch-a-bility, stuff, preparation, concentration, focus  and understanding your role, Evan is the whole package.  Evan has 7  Saves already through 20 games in 2011. We’re fortunate to have one of the best closers in the Country anchoring our pitching staff.

With wins over Kansas State (Top 20 2010), St. John’s (Top 20 this year) and a Conference Series win over Sacred Heart (wins over Miss St, SE LA and #18 UConn) the Blackbirds are beginning to understand that they can play and beat anyone. It’s an exciting time here in Brooklyn and our players are enjoying the ride.

Officially a College Pitcher!

Is it safe to say that most pitchers wouldn’t be thrilled to know that in an inning of work they gave up 2 runs, 2 hits, 2 hit batters, a wild pitch, and a strike out??

WELL… I’m not most pitchers!!!  I am pleased to announce that I got to make my collegiate debut as a pitcher on March 23, 2011 vs. Columbus State!  (Mark down that date, it is sure to be a trivia question once I win my 3rd Cy Young award)

With 1 out in the top of the 9th inning, with a score of 24-10 in the Argonauts favor (naturally) I was called on to “get loose”!  Before Coach Jeffcoat was able to finish saying it, my clipboard was down, glove in my hand, and running down to the bullpen.  Everybody on the team was very excited for me to get this opportunity, and it really helped my confidence knowing that everyone was behind me.  When I got down to the bullpen I quickly stretched, focused, and warmed up.  I’d say I was more nervous in the bullpen because I was trying to warm up quickly because there was 1 out with bases loaded and if there was a double play ball I may not have gotten to throw any warm up pitches.

The final out of the inning was recorded, and I took my first leap of faith over the white line that separates players from reserves.  It was my time to take advantage of this opportunity.  I’ve been reading a book called, “The Mental ABC’s of Pitching” by H.A. Dorfman, which goes over multiple mental scenarios that would help a pitcher be successful.  My routine is to usually read 1 or 2 sections before every game, to keep something positive in my head in case I got to throw.  This day, I read “Task at Hand” and “Tempo”.  In the Task at Hand section, Dorfman relays the message of “taking it one pitch at a time” and focusing on the behavior that only the pitcher can control.  In the Tempo section, Dorfman relays the message of having good rhythm on the mound, not specifically the pitching motion, but not rushing because of the situation the pitcher is in.  Some pitchers tend to rush if they are thrown some adversity, and it usually compounds the problem.  ANYWAYS……  Once I get to the mound, I am aware of the 27 other guys on the team going crazy in the dugout because I’m pitching, and it was an overwhelming experience to know that they all wholeheartedly wanted me to succeed.

The first batter stepped to the plate, I went threw my routine of brushing off the rubber with my hat (which I stole from Tino Award Finalist Hayden Simpson), took a deep breath, toed the rubber, and told myself “good low strikes”.  It is a positive self-talk strategy that I picked up from the book.  I got the sign, picked up my target, and BAM, ball one! Thinking about working quickly, I got back on the rubber, got the sign, and BAM, strike one!  The dugout erupted, and on the next pitch I threw another fastball, and the batter flied out to left.  It took me 3 pitches to get my first out!

The next batter came to the plate, I toed the rubber again, “good low strikes”, threw 2 balls.  On the next pitch I hit the batter in the leg.  Honestly, I wasn’t too concerned with hitting the guy… I told myself to get back and execute the next pitch, the previous one was history, and I couldn’t do anything about it now (also from the book).  The next batter came the plate, and got ahead of him 0-2, wasted a pitch outside to get him to chase, and the count ran 1-2.  The next pitch was a fastball that painted the black on the outside corner and the umpire rang him up! My first strike out!  The dugout went nuts!  2 outs now, with a runner on 1st.

I got ahead of the next batter 1-2, but left the next pitch over the plate a little too much, and he hit a single that dropped in left field.  Runners were now on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs.  All I needed was a good ground ball to end the game.  Instead, I got behind the hitter 2-1, and left a fastball over the plate to the best hitter on their team and he smoked a double into the gap scoring 2 runs.  Once again, I cleared my head before I got back on the rubber and told myself to execute the next pitch.  I got ahead of the next batter 1-2, but failed to get my slider out front enough and it barely grazed the sleeve of his shirt.  2 outs, runners on 1st and 2nd, and the next thing I know, I throw a fastball in the dirt, and both runners advance.  At this point, I told myself to calm down, focus on the target, and execute the pitch.  I got the hitter to fly out to third to end the game!  My first outing was complete!  I finished the inning and was mobbed by my team with congratulatory high fives and hugs.   I believe the reason they were so excited for me was because they all know the hard work that I’ve put in this year, along with all the trouble I had in the fall and it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders!  I came in and did my job, I got 3 outs!

I was surprised at how comfortable I felt while I was pitching.  I had played that situation over in my head a million times, and thought I’d be nervous, but this was better than anything I imagined.  The season isn’t over yet… back to work this weekend in a huge GSC series against North Alabama, and who knows when I’ll get to throw again, but I can promise you this… I’ll be ready!

Thanks to all of my teammates, coaches, friends, and family who have encouraged me to stay positive and keep working hard!!

Philip Ebert #36

Awards Pour In, Stanislaus Series Rescheduled

With last weekend’s three game sweep of Sonoma State, individual Awards poured in for two of the stars of the weekend, second baseman Danny Nelson and starting pitcher Aaron Appino. The two were named CCAA Player and Pitcher of the Week. It was first time in the program’s history that a CSUMB duo swept the award on the same week. Nelson followed up that award by being named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association West Region Player of the Week, the first such honor in school history. Check out the two being interviewed on “This Week in Otter Athletics.”

It is an impressive haul for a team that has come so far in such a short amount of time, and yet has so far to go. Aaron and Danny, as well as all of our players, know that individual awards are achieved through team success. With this philosophy in place and prospering, there really is no limit to what this program can achieve. We know our boys will continue to work and believe in each other so this program can reach it’s potential soon.

Because of the heavy rain we have experienced in the area, the series with Stanislaus has been pushed back. We will now host a doubleheader against the Warriors on Sunday starting at 12:00pm, and will travel to Turlock on Monday for a doubleheader beginning at 12:00pm. Make sure to come out and support your Otters as they continue the first ever playoff push for CSUMB. Next week is a buy week and then we travel to LA, so this will be your last shot to see the boys for awhile!!

Aaron Appino

Danny Nelson

Spring Break, Not-So Sunny Skies

Hello again,

It’s been a little bit since my last post, so there’s a lot to cover in this week’s posting. Last week, we headed to South Carolina with the expectation of enjoying the exquisite baseball experience that the southern climate has to offer. Not so much. Battling brutal temperatures and precipitation (which caused another game to be canceled) along with our opponent, we managed to split two games in South Carolina with Wofford. Immediately after the series ended, we hopped back onto our bus and headed to North Carolina for two games against NC A&T. After sweeping the series in another awful atmosphere weather-wise, we once again got on the bus and drove to supposedly sunny Florida. Yet again, we were welcomed with wacky weather. On a side note, typically tundra-like Pittsburgh was unseasonably warm and sunny throughout spring break. Perhaps our team is to blame for bringing the cold climate with us to everywhere we traveled to throughout the trip. Regardless, we ended our spring trip with a record of 6-3, with wins in Florida against Central Michigan and Army (twice) while losing to Michigan State and Indiana.

Ironically enough, the cold weather and our team returned to Pittsburgh simultaneously, just in time for our home opener in the brand new Petersen Sports Complex. Unfortunately, the rain-soaked struggle between us and Kent State ended in a 10-8 defeat, literally and metaphorically raining on the parade surrounding the opening of our new field. Luckily, we had an instant chance of redemption with the first annual Panther Classic this past weekend. As anticipated, we won all four of our games, taking two from Niagara and also beating Toledo and Youngstown.

After our most recent midweek mishap against Akron, 4-3, on Tuesday, and the most recent rainout on Wednesday versus Penn State (weird), we enter the opening weekend in the Big East with an overall record of 12-6. Interestingly enough, we open up at the University of Connecticut, where it is supposed to snow substantially while temperatures are not expected to climb over 40 degrees this weekend. Sounds like perfect baseball weather if you ask me.

Congratulations to sophomore Alex Caravella for winning the season’s second “John C. Schultz Memorial Salt Truck Award.” Rightfully so, Alex was not the happiest dude during the bus trip, especially after his roommates released a rather embarrassing series of video messages from one of his New England College Baseball League summer sweethearts. There’s something about Alex’s sleek, suave Jersey Shore persona that stuck in the mind of the lucky lady, which was enough for her to send him a CD in which she was “super excited” to speak about every tidbit of each day. Maybe it’s the massive blowout hairstyle he has.

And now for a few shout outs:

1. Congratulations to Corey Baker for tying the all-time career wins mark for PITT pitchers. Hopefully you will surpass the other starters this weekend.

2. Other congratulations to roommates Travis Whitmore and David Chester for winning the Big East player of the week award in back-to-back weeks. As for their other roommate, junior catcher Rick Devereaux, sorry about your luck if you’re feeling a little left out right now.

3. Shout-out to the creative crew of Matt Iannazzo, Cole Taylor, Alex Caravella, and JR Leonardi for coming up with a new post game victory dance to the beat of “We No Speak Americano” in the locker room. For undisclosed reasons, everyone who witnessed it for the first time stood speechless.

4. A special shout-out goes to Coach Cheesebrough for going beyond his expected effort to keep himself in shape so he can be the best batting practice pitcher in program history. Balding because of biological factors, Coach combines a perfect pitching procedure with a positive, proactive persona. While some people donate their bodies to science, Coach Cheesbrough donated his to baseball. All of us cannot express how forever indebted we are to him for that.

Spring Break Wrap

The LIU Blackbirds returned from our 2011 Spring Break trips excited about the 2011 season.

After splitting four games with the Big 12′s Kansas State, we traveled to Orlando, FL for the RussMatt Invitational. This is our 2nd year at the Russ Matt and we love it. There is always a wide range of opponents from the Northeast as well as the Mid-West. We split four games in Orlando and finished a modest 4-4 on the trip

Tyler Jones, Drew Walsh, Sam Sciamarelli, Peter Leonello and Tito Marrero all had productive trips for us at the plate.

Justin Topa, Matt McCormick, Brad Reimer, Emerson Morillo, Evan Zerff, Chris Franzese and Skye Freeman all threw the ball well for the Blackbirds.

The Fresman trio of Matt Molbury, Peter Leonello and Diego Perez have all been outstanding so far this season. Leonello imparticular has shown that he is an impact player at this level. Molbury has shown the ability to be a clutch, contact hitter and Perez has shown Gold Glove ability at 3B as well as, the knack for driving in runs.

This week we return home for our Home Opener Wednesday against St. Peyr’s College. Then it’s back on the road against a tough Sacred Heart club in Northeast Confrence play.

Our players are looking forward to the challenge of the Northeast Conference Schedule.

How’s The Weather?

Everybody always likes to tease us Northwesterners about our supposed near-constant rain-soaked existence, and to be honest, we do get our fair share, but holy bleeping storm cells! How bad was the weather this past week, even two weeks all across the country? California, the self-proclaimed bastion of sunshine and happiness, got doused with the wet stuff something fierce, while the Northeast looks to be on pace to finally have fields ready to play sometime in early 2014. It’s wet and cold out there people. Our series with San Jose State was ten kinds of messed up…rain forced us to suspend the first night’s game heading into the 8th innings, then not resuming it until Sunday morning. Saturday’s schedule changed more than Kim Kardashian’s boyfriends. It was quite the rollercoaster. In the end we managed to get three of the four scheduled games in, and that was a lot better than some of our brethren ended up with. Stanford and Michigan didn’t even bother trying the forecast was so wretched! I’m wondering if the End of Days is approaching. Mother Nature has got to be trying to tell us something. Maybe she’s saying to buy Field Turf.

PSAC 1st Weekend

The first weekend of PSAC games are complete:

PSAC West:
Slippery Rock 3-1
IUP 2-2
Lock Haven 2-2
Mercyhurst 2-2
Gannon 2-2
Cal 1-3
Clarion 0-0

PSAC East:
East Stroudsburg 3-1
Millersville 3-1
Shippensburg 3-1
Kutztown 1-3
Bloomsburg 1-3
West Chester 1-3
Mansfield 0-0

Pitchers Greg Stewart (6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 7 K) and Chris Douglas  (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 11 K) earned wins in our four game split with Lock Haven.  Douglas also earned a mid-week win over Shippensburg.  Leading hitters are Frank Sirolli .403 batting average, Ryan Sylvia .360, Dylon Songer .345, Robbie Zinsmeister .343, and Mike Lupia .340.

“WINwithCLASS”

Jeff Ditch
IUP Baseball
www.winwithclass.com

Half Way There!!

To start things off, sorry its been 2 weeks since my last post, but with school, baseball, and Spring Break, I haven’t had a lot of time to write.  The last time I posted a blog we had just swept Florida Southern, and were riding high with our new #2 ranking.  Well, we went into a midweek series vs. North Georgia, played awful and got beat both games.  We had a chance to redeem ourselves in our GSC opening series vs. Valdosta State, and took the series.  I think we were just going threw the motions that week, and since then we’ve been back on track!!  We’ve got a 10 game win streak going, but will be tested again this week with a midweek series at Columbus State, and a conference weekend at North Alabama!  When deciding who gets to host a regional the voting committee looks at home record and away records… Well, so far our home record is, 20-1, while our away record is 4-3!  We have a 11 remaining away games, so it will be extremely important to take care of business so we can achieve the goal we had at the beginning, to HOST a regional!

Jr. Zach Jadofsky

We were a perfect 9-0 on our home stand.  We started with a good Arkansas Tech team, which has a good chance of making the conference tournament.  We pitched great, hit great, but the weekend really was all about one thing… Danny Vargas was 1 out away from a PERFECT GAME!  It was an unbelievable effort, that was well deserved, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  Danny walked a batter, and the next batter got a hit.  It was Danny’s second 1 hitter of the year, but when it comes down to the last out, I can imagine there was and still is a bad taste in his mouth.  We followed the weekend with a 3 game midweek series vs. Division 1 Mississippi Valley State.  This was going to be a big week for our bullpen, because during the midweek series everyone was going to have to be ready!  We eventually swept them in 3 games that shouldn’t have been so close, but we’ll take 3 wins any way possible!

This weekend we had another tough test with GSC opponent, West Georgia.  They didn’t have a great record coming into the weekend, but in our conference any team can win on any given day!  That was shown when a good Valdosta State team took a game from us, despite a losing record.

Jr. Ben Hawkins

Tino Award Watchlist players Jason Postill and Dustin Lawley both had great weekends!  Jason got his 6th victory (6-0, 1.58, 57k’s) with a great performance, going 8 innings, with 10k’s and 0 walks!  Dustin Lawley (.346, 4HR, 29RBI) had a great week that included hitting the longest ball anyone on our team had seen.  A hanging curveball shot off his bat, soared into the sky, and BAM, off the lights in left field!  He followed up this weekend with another homerun, and went 9-20 this week with 7RBI’s.  Ben Hawkins (6-0, 1.13, 44k’s)  also had a good outing this weekend.  His command was off a little, but he was able to grind out a victory and has really emerged as a dominant starter for this Argonaut team!  Danny Vargas (5-1, 3.15, 35k’s) pitched great once again, giving up only 1 run in his 2nd consecutive complete game!  Zach North had a great weekend in relief, coming into 3 games and not allowing an earned run.  Zach Jadofsky got his first start of his career against Miss Valley and pitched great, going 4.1 innings surrendering only 1 earned run.  Rounding out the great pitching performances of the week is Shane Waller (6S,1.64, 19k’s)  who recorded 4 saves this week!

Sr. Dustin Lawley

Now for the most exciting part of the blog, and the REAL reason why people read it… MY PITCHING UPDATE! (any sarcasm there?)  I am pleased to announce that I am doing extremely well!  I still haven’t gotten an opportunity to throw in a game yet this year, but the strides I’ve taken during the season have been incredible.  Every bullpen I’m throwing now is full of strikes, with all three pitches.  I haven’t had a chance to throw in an intersquad game in a while, but I am fully convinced that I am ready to throw against other competition.  I have confidence in myself, and I continue to take care of all things that I need to in case my opportunity comes!

I’m attaching another aspect of how the dugout maintains a high level of energy during each game!  As many other schools have begun doing the “Love is Gone” fist pump, we jumped on board!

LOVE IS GONE!

A quick shout out to Michael Johnson and the Samford Bulldogs, who have won 7 of their last 8 games, and are 5-1 in conference!

You can all follow me on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/phillybert36

Also, send me an email if you have any comments or questions @ Philipebertuwf@yahoo.com

 

Thanks,

Philip Ebert #36

Otters Notch 3 Huge Wins

With the daunting task of having to play 3 games on Saturday against 6th ranked (Collegiate Baseball) Sonoma State, Saturday held the potential to be a great, horrible, or somewhere in the middle day for our baseball program. It turned out to be the most successful day in the history of the program as we took all 3 games from the then 1st place Seawolves. The victory placed our CCAA record at 8-7, just one game out of a playoff spot. Our overall record sits at 11-12…. a far cry from the 8-41, 4-36 mark the program posted last season.

There were some great plays, clutch pitches, and timely hitting on the day, but the story of the day and this team is the belief this group of young men have in each other. They have learned it is not about physical talent, weather, or any other external factor. It is all about how they prepare, how much they care for each other, and how hard they fight every game. They understand the power of belief and what they are capable of when they submit themselves to the team. Every player might not have every tool, but combined as one our team possesses every tool a scout could want.

Friday’s game got called after 3 complete innings with MB holding a 2-0 lead. The game was picked up Saturday morning and ended up a 5-3 victory. Stellar relief work was displayed to get through the game, with Jake Paolinetti notching the win and Paul Brock picking up his 3rd Save of the season.

In the second game of the day, Jake Crose pitched great, pitching 7 innings and only surrendering 3 runs. Paolinetti once again got the win, pitching 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Tony Hernandez provided the game tying double in the 9th, while Danny Nelson ended the game with a walk-off single to secure the 4-3 victory.

In the third game of the day, Aaron Appino threw a complete game with no earned runs to lock down the 2-1 victory. Appino struck out 8 in 7 innings with 0 walks. The scoring on the day was all done in the 5th inning, Danny Nelson scored Greg Fujii from first with an RBI double, and Tommy George later scored Nelson with a sacrifice fly.

Game 4 of the series was cancelled on Sunday due to the rainy weather. The two teams hope to make up the game during the week at some point. We are also scheduled to host Hillsdale College on Tuesday at 12:00pm. The schedule is subject to change due to weather conditions. The Otters return to conference play next week with a split series with CSU Stanislaus. The series is scheduled for home games at CSUMB on Friday and Sunday, with the doubleheader in Turlock.

Rally Football Pants

The Week of the Guest Appearances

It has been a wild week for the Concordia Golden Bears, including many celebrity guest appearances to close out our spring break trip to Florida.

Our new friend "Juan Carlos"

When I last left off we were heading into our off day in Florida, which meant the Phillies-Tigers spring training game in Lakeland, Fla. Insert first guest appearance, J.C. Romero. Our team took our spots just behind the left field fence at Joker Marchant Stadium as the Phillies were taking batting practice. As is custom, the pitchers were doing their running in the outfield, this included the previous mentioned J.C. Romero, whom our pitching staff would later address as “Juan Carlos” as we engaged him in conversation. Some of our more outgoing players started to yell to Juan Carlos if he remembered his times with the Minnesota Twins. Juan Carlos responding by saying in a thick Latin accent, “I never forget them.” That was all the Golden Bears needed to spend the next half hour asking questions of the left-hander as he caught fly balls. The Q&A would not be complete without one of our players continuously asking, “Dude, can I get that glove?”

Ganz played 3rd baseman Deke in Bull Durham

The sunshine of the spring training game would not last, as a prophetic young Danny Gans a.k.a Deke in Bull Durham showed up with, “We need a rain out.” The day after the spring training game I was scheduled to make my first college start in two seasons since my freshman year at North Dakota. As luck would have it we woke up a down pour, the game cancelled due to rain. Little did we know that the rain out would play a role later on in our trip.

After a second consecutive day off, the second being a little less sunny and a little less fun, we were set to put back on the uniforms against Northwood (Mich.) University. We were feeling confident going into the game with ace Ben Lemke on the mound. Up 3-2 in the top of the second inning Lemke strained a muscle in his leg and had to be removed from the game. As luck would have it, since I had not started the day before I was available to make a long relief appearance and eat up some innings. I would pitch 3.1 innings in the contest to get us into the 5th inning. Tied 5-5 in the 5th things started to come apart a little bit. With one out and nobody on base they were able to drop down a perfectly placed bunt for a single. After a walk to make it 1st and 2nd with one out, a single plated a run for Northwood, and another walk and another single later Northwood had a 7-5 lead with the bases loaded. I was removed from the game having kept us in it through five. Four consecutive hits later and Northwood had a commanding 13-5 lead. Insert Keifer Sutherland, okay he is not really Keifer, but freshman T.J. Obermyer (who goes by pretty much any name but T.J.). Keifer was sent in to eat up some innings and save our bullpen for the following day. He would throw two solid innings as Northwood would push their lead to 15-5. Just three outs from being run-ruled suddenly, Our Bats showed up. Over the final three innings we were able to push across 11 runs on nine hits for what might be the most dramatic comeback in the history of Concordia baseball. Redshirt freshman Drew Turk who came in as a defensive replacement in the 8th inning would embody Jim Edmonds as he made a full extension superman catch to send the game into the bottom of the ninth with the score 15-12 Northwood.

Real Keifer

Fake Keifer

Eight batters after Bryan Lippincott reached on an error to start the 9th inning, sophomore J.T. Schneider walked on four pitches to plate the winning run in walk-off walk fashion. He was promptly mobbed as he touched first base. It was great to be on the other side of a walk-off. It was one of the most exhilarating up-and-down games I have ever been a part of.

Edmonds has nothing on Drew Turk

The momentum did not stop there. The bats decided to hang around the next day against Minnesota, Crookston as we would slug out 41 runs on 37 hits in the double header. Sophomore Andy Fagely toed the rubber in game one against Crookston. He would be flawless into the 4th inning before none other than Jim Joyce showed up. A soft roller towards our second baseman was smoothly fielded and flipped to our first baseman beating the runner by what appeared to be a solid step and a half. The field umpire flung his hands to the side and yelled safe, the dugout erupted in disagreement. Andy would retire the next six hitters before giving up a pair of singles in both the 6th and 7th innings. While Andy ended up getting credit for a 5-hit complete game 68-pitch shutout performance, had the runner been called out he would have been just five outs from the first DII-era perfect game in Concordia history by the time he surrendered a hit.

The infamous Jim Joyce

In game two Crookston came out swinging, putting up three runs in the first inning, before Concordia struck back for 21 unanswered runs. In the last 18 innings of baseball in Florida we outscored our opponents 52-3. We ended the trip 4-3 with a four game winning streak to carry in to conference play. Our coaches and players found out a lot about the team we have this year, and we are confident we can compete.

Our solid play led to one more guest appearance, The Concordia, St. Paul Golden Bears appearing 10th in the NCBWA Central Regional Poll, but we are going to try and make that a more permanent role. We will continue our season with our first conference series March 26-27 against Southwest Minnesota State.

-Go Golden Bears-

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