Week Seven and Eight Blog
So, here we are… the stretch run. We have two conference series left: one against West Chester and one against East Stroudsburg. Our conference, different than most in NCAA Division II, plays four games series on Fridays and Saturdays. Each team gets to host a double header on one of the days. Currently, we are a game out of playoff contention with a 7-9 conference record and 19-16 overall record. After losing 6 straight conference games, we have won 5 of 6 and seem to be finally turning the corner. The meat of our lineup is starting to swing the bat well, while redshirt freshmen Tyler McDonald and Kurt Seiders have done an excellent job breaking into the lineup and winning jobs at third base and left field.
Besides finally figuring out a lineup that has worked consistently well over the last 10 games, I fully credit our team loosening up and having fun again for our current success. As of late, I have been studying the career and philosophies of Auggie Garrido. If you are reading this, you probably know that Coach Garrido is the current coach at the University of Texas and former coach at Cal State Fullerton. His record speaks for itself. While studying Coach Garrido, I came across one his philosophies that fit our club perfectly. Coach Garrido said that players need to trust themselves and play the game instead of trying to win the game. We focus daily in practice and in our off the field lives to focus on the process but we, as a team have focused so much on the process of winning, we lost trust in ourselves to play the game. After all, baseball is a game and games are meant to be played. This may seem very simple, but when we simplify things, the game begins to slow down, enabling players to excel.
Our players have had fun the past six conference games. Spectators have told me that our club is finally competing. Maybe so, but our player’s raised level of competition is because they are playing the game and having fun doing it. Going from a pre-season number five national ranking to an unranked 19-16 team is not what we had planned this year, but we still have a shot at making the post-season and making a run. Whatever happens the next 15 games will determine our fate. But, no matter what the result is when we reach the 50 game finale, my hope for our club is that they play the game with every thing they have on every pitch. When the last pitch is thrown this season, I want our guys to walk away without regrets, knowing that the left it all on the field.
Thanks for reading,