We are off to a decent season at 14-5 overall and 6-1 in league play. But that doesn’t matter. The season is no longer about wins and losses.
Five days ago, our university experienced an unthinkable tragedy, one that has struck many people, so deeply, in many different ways. The bus carrying our womens lacrosse team wrecked off the Pennsylvania turnpike, killing the driver and our head womens lacrosse coach. As a coach, father and husband, it has changed my perspective on my life. It has changed the perspective of our players, our professors, our administrators and our community.
We are playing and coaching A GAME. Everyone one of us is blessed and lucky to be able to watch baseball, play it, coach it, write about it, and talk about it. I will never again take that for granted. And I will never let our players take that for granted.
Rest in peace Kristina. God bless the Quigley family. God bless SHUWlax. God bless the Griffins.
Seton Hill Baseball
We are nine games into the season at Seton Hill and it has been a roller coaster of a start. The anticipation built for a potentially exciting and challenging opening series at Francis Marion in mid-February. To everyone’s surprise we woke Saturday morning to find the palm trees covered in snow & ice, and were forced to pack up and head home until mother nature decided it was time to “play ball” again.
We spent the three days prior to our opener vs Lemoyne preparing our field in typical northern fashion… Snow plows, shovels, heaters… All for the love of the game! We finally opened the season at home in late February, which is rare in PA. Our home opener delivered 20 degree temperatures and steady snowflakes against a solid Lemoyne squad. Despite the weather, pro scouts from 18 different organizations made it out to see junior Alex Haines first start of the year. He didn’t disappoint and delievered a great start leading to a 9-5 victory. We split the remaining two games and headed to Florida Tech the following weekend. Continue reading
With a few Division II teams already playing games and most DI and DII schools opening the next couple of weekends, our thirst for baseball to this point has been moderately quenched with all the pre-season rankings, conference predictions and pre-season player recognitions. These things are exciting. They get people talking. They motivate both those teams at the top and those at the bottom. The early season predictions raise expectations for the players and almost always find themselves tweeted and re-tweeted, or in some cases, as motivational bulletin board material.
I’m penning this blog entry on my 37th birthday, approaching my 10 year anniversary of my appointment as head coach here at Seton Hill. The last ten years have gone incredibly quick and I find myself in that part of the baseball cycle where the batteries are charging up and the anticipation is growing for the start of the 2013 season. The annual ABCA Convention usually is the starting point for me each year to get back into baseball mode full swing. The wheels start to churn with new and fresh ideas about teaching and coaching the game with the new squad for this year.
In light of the recent events in Newtown, I find myself with a completely different view on baseball and life at this time of the year. Christmas break has always been a time for me to spend quality time with the family before the 6 month grind of the season hits in January. That is again the case, but I will value that time at home now more than ever. Continue reading
My first blog post comes at a time that brings mixed feelings for some of us college coaches. Today is the last permissible day of supervised skill instruction and weight training for us at Seton Hill. Our players have put in about 14 weeks of awesome work between fall practice and off-season training. The daily grind has raised our fitness and skill levels tremendously this fall semester. But as our guys head into finals and Christmas break, its now in the hands of our players, and we rely on the old adage of “Character is what you do when nobody is watching.”
Division II baseball brings a unique opportunity for teams to open the season a bit earlier than most. We open our 2013 slate at Francis Marion on February 16th. Nothing like coming out of the gate against one of the perennial powerhouses of D2 baseball! Our philosophy is to approach the season as a marathon, striving to play our best baseball about two-thirds of the way through the season. But we certainly want to compete early against top notch competition, most of which have a distinct advantage being far south from us.
Our guys return on January 11th, giving us just over 1 month to prepare for our opener. But that preparation has its limits for us, most notably weather wise. We’ll do most of our training in the gymnasium and in the batting cages. We’re fortunate to have an artificial turf field and have been lucky enough the past couple of years to get some live action on the field in January. But that crucial time from the end of November until mid-January can be make-or-break for a lot of college baseball players.
We strive to provide our players – through team practice, weight training and individual skill work – with a solid foundation from which to build for the season. With about 4 official weeks of practice prior to our opening game, the six week break between semesters is such a pivotal lead up time to the pre-season. By the time we begin practice, our swings and deliveries are, for the most part, what they are. When we return from break, its all about getting “game ready”. Its about hitters getting their timing, pitchers increasing pitch counts, and getting a feel for the flow of the game.
With the end of the fall semester approaching we’re sad to lose the ability to work hands-on with our guys on a daily basis. But we trust that they have not only the knowledge on how to prepare, but more importantly, the WILL TO PREPARE. There’s so much at stake for our squad… but the visualization of a dogpile and trip a to Cary will carry us through those cold winter days!
Head Baseball Coach
Seton Hill University