Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The new "cards" script will give a different look than the block "NC" (which can be seen below) which has been worn the past two seasons. Nick Robinson joined Cave contributors Dan Cladis and Justin Moriarty in a photo shoot which showed off the new hats from 2009, which gives a good look at the current uniform scheme.
Dan Cladis (left), Justin Moriarty (center), Nick Robinson (right) in a 2009 uniform photo shoot.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Even though the series was cut short, the game that was played was full of positives. No, we didn't get to see everyone play (the player/managers were hoping to get in two more games) but the ones who did play showed a lot. The Black team took game one and ultimately the series by an 8-3 count. If it is fair to give a MVP award after one game then Joe Wietecha would have earned it. Wietecha went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and another two driven in. Oh yeah, he also swiped two bases. Sophomore/pitcher Tyler Herman picked up the win allowing zero runs scored on one hit in 2.0 innings pitched.
RIVERWALK SERIES HIGHLIGHTS
Black 8, Red 3
Nick Robinson, SS: 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI
Michael Corrigan, C: 2-for-3, R
Mike Charles, P: 2.0 IP, R (0 ER), 2 H, 4 K
Dave Williams, OF: 2-for-3
Nate Dobrez, DH: 1-for-2, 2 RBI
Friday, October 16, 2009
CARDINAL NEWS & NOTES
- Fall Prospect Camp set for Sunday with 66 recruits signed up
- Riverwalk Series scheduled as Best-of-3 series to begin on Monday
- Entering final few days of practice for Fall '09
Thursday, October 8, 2009
A Division III baseball season is 19 weeks long, including conference tournaments and fall ball. Each team has to decide how to use those weeks for practice. Northern teams are obviously at a disadvantage but because the CCIW schedule starts a week later, we may decide to use that week in October as opposed to January. We have used two of four so far but if the weather looks better later this month, we may use it then. If the rain keeps up all month, we will probably use it in the winter.
CARDINAL NEWS & NOTES
- Freshman Brendan Ryan is back at practice after taking a foul ball off the mask, suffering a minor concussion.
- Over 40 high school players have registered for the 2009 Fall Prospect Camp
- Tom Purcell Classic set for Saturday, October 24 at 9:00 am
- Riverwalk Series will be played from October 19-23 at The Zimm
Monday, September 28, 2009
The Mondays and Wednesdays will primarily be individual work while Fridays and Saturdays will be mostly team days, with Saturdays consisting of intersquad games. The fall will conclude with the Riverwalk Series, a three-game series in October.
CARDINAL NEWS & NOTES:
- Craig Stefan ('87) will enter into the North Central Hall of Fame during this year's Homecoming Festivities
- Michael Corrigan, Mike Kloss, Nick Robinson, Jeremiah Torres and Andrew Wulbecker participated in the CCIW Scout Day on Sunday night
- Brendan Ryan hit the first home run of the fall in the third inning of Sunday's intersquad game
- Mike Charles made efficient use of his time on the mound, retiring the side on six pitches
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I would like to feature posts from different players on the roster in addition to our regular contributing authors, namely Justin Moriarty and Dan Cladis. The Cave would like to thank the tandem for their input over the past season and look forward to their thoughts in the future. It is my hope, however, to gain different insights into the college student-athlete and hear the thoughts from other players. I will also continue with and expand on the video features on The Cave's YouTube site.
All this is an effort to keep fans of the Cardinals connected to the program. Hopefully you'll keep reading. We'll see you in a few weeks.
Friday, May 8, 2009
I can promise you this....... we will not go through another season of embarrassment as we did this year. We will learn how to close games out and beat teams more consistently when we have games in hand. The players on the field control what happens in the course of the games and too many times this has fallen out of sight. I myself have been a victim of finding blame or reason for something that hasn't gone our way. I look forward to competing with the other teams in the CCIW for our team goal: a conference championship. One Team, One Goal is a motto that I am throwing out there for next season. No individual accolades because that doesn't get you anywhere and this is an issue that will be addressed.
As for this weekend, I advise all the guys to treat Mom extra special on Sunday. I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to my mom, Barb, who has always been there for me no matter what the situation. I love you very much Mom and can't wait to see you Sunday.
End the week and the season on a high note. Hope to see you all out Saturday and Sunday. Thanks again for all the blog support this season. JMO 7
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
There haven't been many times that I personally have been involved in something that is bigger than the game itself and we all had the privilege of witnessing a remarkable event yesterday. A few days ago Aurora Catcher Ray Kosmicki lost his father. The very next day, Senior day for the Spartans, Ray opted to play with a heavy heart. I found it admirable that one of our baseball peers could muster the strength and play at a high level after such an emotional 24 hours. None of us know Ray but I can tell you that is something that I will never forget. The strength he displayed to everyone at the ballpark is overwhelming and I can't praise the kid enough for the toughness he showed. Many of us went up to the plate for our first AB and tapped his shinguards signaling that we were thinking of him. Of course all of our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family at this difficult time.
As for the game itself. The Cardinals were victorious 12-8 thanks to a strong offensive performance from Freshman phenom Joe Turek and Senior relief pitcher Joe Gaza. Turek's been mashing the ball all year and he will be a headache for many teams the next 3 years. Gaza is ending his career at North Central and has strung together strong appearances his last three times out. Congrats to those guys. The season is winding down and our goal is to take the last three scheduled ballgames to try and leave on a high note and build on something for next season. Have a terrific Tuesday everyone
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Great baseball was on display on a less than glamorous day in Kenosha. I'm sorry that I was unable to post last night because I was wrapped up in the Cubs game taking place in Arizona. In game 1 yesterday a pitcher's dual evolved between Trace Ruffie of Carthage and our own Mike Kloss. Mike pitched 9 shutout innings of baseball (as did Ruffie). The tenth inning proved to be fatal as Carthage rallied to score the lone run of the game. It was yet another great performance by our "ace" and Kloss has absolutely been an all-conference performer for us this season.
Game 2's home end of the 4th inning was the dagger as Carthage put an 8 spot up. The bats responded back with 5 in the top of the 5th and we later added another run but it wasn't enough as Carthage took game 2 by a score of 8-6. It was a little disheartening leaving Kenosha without a win but we played with the top ranked team in the region for 17 1/2 innings and that is something Coach said to be proud of. Of course its bittersweet but what can you do? Its baseball. With the season winding down we need to dig deep and take the final game today at 4 pm in Naperville if we want a shot at the conference tourney.
I want to personally thank all the parents that came to Carthage (perhaps for a second time this week) and fought the cold. Your support for our team means more than you think and I love looking around and seeing people I consider my second family. I have younger brothers so my Mom and Dad are usually obligated to stay at home and be involved with them. Having my friends parents out at the ballgames means a lot to me.
Week 5 is especially busy with all the mid-terms scheduled for class so I'm going to attempt to get some work done for the classroom. Hope to see you all today.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Even though no baseball was played, the Cardinals did gain some ground on Augustana who lost to North Park on Saturday. We are hot on their tails and are looking to make a move past the Vikings.
Yesterday was quite an amusing day. We basically drove up to Kenosha to take an extended batting practice indoors and eat sack lunches provided by the dining hall. However, the Blog Master himself, Coach Bunnell, amused us all when he didn't get the 'memo' the games were cancelled (or banged as Coach Bogan says) for the day. So his mini-bus departed a little later than the rest of the team. And he was shorted a snickers bar in his sack lunch which at the moment is resting nicely in my stomach. Sorry about the confusion B.
Today we made a pretty good effort to get the water off the tarp and then another round of monsoons came whiping us out yet again. Watching the guys use the tarp as a slip N' slide made me think of being a little kid again and just having fun. The coaches received a few buckets of water over their head which was also amusing.
It was an undefeated weekend for the Cardinals and hopefully when the weather cooperates we will make a run at the tournament. Until next time........
Saturday, April 18, 2009
SEND ME YOUR PICTURES: I've noticed throughout the course of the season a number of parents taking action shots during the games. If you would like those photos displayed in The Cave just email a digital copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full View of Photos
Game 2 was an 11-3 win and once again it was a cumulative effort by everyone to end the day on a high note. Joe Heller, Danny Scott, Matt Abraham, and Steve Hlavac all had good days at the plate. Also, Nate Arenson did a great job out of the bullpen to positively contribute in game 2.
We did a lot of good things today in every aspect and its tough to name everyone so I'm sorry if I left anybody out. It was just a 'great day to be a Cardinal' I guess.
This marks the first time all year that we have won 2 games in a row. If we complete the sweep tomorrow against Millikin that's called a WINNING STREAK and this would be a great time to start getting hot.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
As far as the series concerned, it was a melancholy win on Saturday after yet another disappointing split on Friday. Nevertheless, it is always a goal to win the series which is what we did. We will have that opportunity later this week in the rubber game with Illinois Wesleyan.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Danny Scott did a great job at the top of the order and put down a clutch bunt with the bases loaded, Andrew Wulbecker (Uncle Wully as some of us call him) had a great day coming up with some clutch hits and there were other Cardinals who contributed as well. Game 1 was just fun to watch and I like being a fan in this aspect.
Unfortunately we let Game 2 slip away and we need to take this series tomorrow afternoon at The Zimm. Hope to see you out there!!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Sunday's make-up game with Illinois Wesleyan will be made up Tuesday, April 14 at 3:00 pm at The Zimm.
A JV game has been added for tomorrow. The game will be played at Benedictine University beginning at 3:30 pm. It will be a single, 9-inning contest.
A new segment will be coming to The Cave featuring a drill or tip of the day or week or whenever we can post a video. The videos will also be posted on The Cave's YouTube site.
One other addition to the Cardinal Multimedia network is a link on Twitter. Honestly, I don't see the appeal of Twitter but this is more of a recruiting tool than anything else. But for more instant updates, go to www.twitter.com/nccbaseball.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Game 2 was a bit of a different story and we dug ourselves a bit of a whole right off the bat. I think the thing we as a team (as well as individually) need to work on is to not be content with taking the front end of a double header and become more consistent for the entire day. I myself feel that this is something that I can work on. Becoming more consistent on the field is something I have admittedly struggled with for the first third of the season. Good thing for me is that part of the season is done and over with and if you live in the past in this game it will eat you up mentally.
For our ballclub we can only go up from here and taking a series from Wesleyan (along with taking a series from Elmhurst/taking a game from Wheaton) would be a great starting point. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope that we don't get too much snow tomorrow.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Now to the baseball diamond. We unfortunately dropped a couple of games to Augustana and Wheaton this past week. But in the CCIW the challenges keep coming and we have Illinois Wesleyan this weekend. If we can do the things that we are capable then we will come out on top and that would be huge since we haven't beaten IWU in half a decade. This is a great opportunity to turn things around this weekend! I hope everyone is enjoying yet another "Fantastic Friday." Have a great weekend!!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I was recently searching on ebay and I came across this item and I think it is a great collectors item for any person who loves the college baseball game. It is a signed bobblehead doll from the one and only Gordie Gillespie, the all time winningest college baseball coach in the history of the game. This is worth looking in to
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
OTHER NOTES: Today's double-header at Wheaton has been postponed and has been rescheduled for tomorrow...with a twist. The game will now be played at The Zimm at noon with the Cardinals and Thunder splitting time on the scoreboard as home team. It is unclear at this point which game we will be the home squad. This will also change next week's April 8th game against Wheaton. That game will now be played at Alexian Field, home of the Schaumburg Flyers.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
In general, the team played great but the pitching staff, who has been under such scrutiny lately, came up big. Mike Kloss battled into the 8th inning and Ricky Foytik and Matt Blaine helped get out of a bases loaded, nobody out situation and only gave up one run. Dusty Gilbreth singled home the eventual game-winner and Kevin Krajewski ("Juice") may have found his calling in the 9th inning by nailing down the save. It's a great start, but the CCIW is a grind and there's a long way to go.
A special thanks to all the North Central and Augustana fans who stuck it out today. I know it was a typical Chicago spring day but it was still miserable conditions to watch a game and your support is appreciated!
One more note...the home uniforms looked awesome with the black sleeves underneath with the black hat and red bill. Whoever helped decide the color scheme this year was spot on!
Full View of Photos
So about the game.......there is a whole host of people to acknowledge for this win. Starting pitcher Mike Kloss pitched one heck of a game bouncing back from an early 5-1 deficit. He got locked in after that and gave us a chance to win the game. That's all we want out of a starting pitcher and Mike is a prime example of this each and every time he takes the bump. He truly is a gamer.
Ricky Foytik came in to relieve Kloss and got an enormous out with the bases loaded. Ricky is a key to our success because he has been the heart of that bullpen for the past two seasons. Matt Blaine made his season debut relieving Ricky and managed to get out of a big jam with only one run. I was happy to see Blaino back on the mound after the off season arm surgery that he encountered. He has worked himself all the way back and hopefully he will be a big help for us.
In the 8th Robby (Nick Robinson) got on and eventually reached 2nd base. This is where the drama occurred. Catcher Dusty Gilbreth hit a seeing-eye single through the right side, barely getting under the glove of the second basemen. Robby scored and we took a one run lead into the ninth. I was so happy to see Dusty come through for his team in such a big spot. He has been a part of the program for four seasons and has put countless hours into the game. He is one of the nicest human beings that you will ever cross and does everything he is asked to do and then some. Just a great worker and there aren't enough positive things that could be said about the guy.
Kevin Krajewski came on in the top of the 9th and sealed the deal. I had 2 putouts in this inning and it was awfully tough to get a good read on a fly ball with the color of the sky and the blistering cold wind piercing my face. The last out of the game felt like an eternity to come down from the sky off the bat of Augustana hitter Aaron Hopson. I made sure to get both hands on the baseball to secure the W for our team.
After the game I presented Matt Blaine the game ball because he really came on in a tough spot and bailed the team out after Ricky got a big out. There is a saying that I love and thought I'd share it with you: "Victory happens when 10,000 hours of training meet one moment of opportunity." Now I don't know if Blaino spent 10,000 getting his arm back to shape, but he spent a lot of time to get back to where he is. I am very happy for our entire team with this win. It took all the guys to pull this one off. The dugout was very alive and I hope we can keep this rolling against conference opponents. See you next time!
Friday, March 27, 2009
As promised, the pictures from Atlanta are ready to be viewed. I took a few but I also had help from Joe Turek and Dan Cladis. WARNING: If you are still trying to forget what happened on the trip, do not look below. But if you weren't able to make it to Atlanta, here is some of what you missed.
Full View of Photos
OTHER NOTES: To receive an emailed copy of the Dugout Club Newsletter, send me an email at email@example.com. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the latest issue.
The 2009 Media Guide has been published and is available to view on the web. But you can click here for a direct link.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
A photo gallery should be ready to be posted sometime tomorrow once I have a chance to edit the pics. A new feature to the blog is The Coach's Cave YouTube channel which made its debut today. The channel will feature any game footage, postgame interviews and anything else related to North Central baseball. Joe Turek provided footage of our batting practice rounds Monday and Tuesday becasue of a pulled hamstring that caused him to miss the Oglethorpe series (he should be back in action this weekend).
The "vacation" is over and it's time to get back to the grind. The team will have a workout tomorrow morning to get preped for the start of the CCIW schedule.
Tomorrow we have the luxury of recharging our batteries a bit before a scheduled practice on Friday to prepare for the most important part of the season which is conference. Although we will not meet as a team tomorrow, there will be guys taking swings or getting pitching work in to fine tune their mechanics before our series vs. Augustana.
The guys are excited to be back in Illinois to compete against some of the best competition Division III baseball has to offer. I think that we will be up for the challenge in the upcoming weeks to try and make some noise in the CCIW. I hope to see some of you out at the games on Saturday!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
After the game concluded there was an unpleasant atmosphere amongst the team and that's expected. Luckily for us it is still very early in the season. Coach brought up a great point about Webster University last season. They began their 2008 campaign 0-7 and were 2 outs away from reaching the Division III World Series. This gives us a little something called HOPE. I'm going to cite Jim Tressel again and a chapter in his book entitled HOPE. He has a meaningful quote by Jean Kerr that states, "Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent." Trust me when I say that this season is long from finished and there isn't a chance in the world that we are going to throw in the towel. Nobody is going to be able to convince me otherwise. We may be feeling awful right now but this feeling certainly isn't permanent.
On a positive note.....Junior pitcher Mike Charles did something no other Cardinal pitcher could do tonight.... pitch an inning in which Oglethorpe did not score. So congrats to "Chuck." Also, Peter Romanello (Romo as we call him) and Eric Vogrin (Vogs) had a couple of great pinch hits late in the game so good for those two guys.
I won't be able to write after the ball game tomorrow since we will be departing for home directly from the ballpark. I have to admit that after we WIN tomorrow, I can't wait to get back to Naperville. The saying "There's no place like home" really holds true for me and spending time with my Mom and Dad, along with my 5 brothers, is something that I don't take for granted. I have also been hearing from a few of the guys that the parents are really enjoying the blog that Coach Bunnell has so graciously set up. We truly appreciate your support and I hope you keep tuning in. I look forward to seeing you all at the games when we get home.
Out number 27. It is the hardest out to get in baseball. There were a lot of tough outs during our 9-8 extra inning loss to Oglethorpe but none were tougher than that final out.
11:27 am - With a 7 o'clock start time tonight, we had the opportunity to sleep in so our day started a little later than usual. We gave the players their meal money the night before so they were on their own today. The coaching staff wanted to get out of the hotel so we took a cab into downtown Atlanta to get a feel for the city. After a quick stop outside of Turner Field, we headed into the downtown area to check out some of the sites.
After passing the State Capitol Building, we ended up at the CNN Center. We didn't take a full tour but we checked out some of the gift shops. Maybe if Robin Meade was giving her tour we would have stayed but we wanted to check out Georgia Tech's campus and get back to the hotel to get ready for tonight's game.
1:44 pm - We took a pit stop at the Georgia Tech student union and then made our way to the GT baseball field (check the blog later this week for a photo gallery of the week for pics of all the baseball facilities this week). It was a pretty nice set up, the campus itself was very clean, and their stadium reflected that. The field itself was immaculate. There were two grounds crew members cutting both the infield and outfield when we walked up to the dugout.
3:05 pm - We get back to the hotel with about an hour to spare before we depart for Oglethorpe. I was able to relax for a few minutes before getting tonight's charts ready.
4:45 pm - The bus pulled into Oglethorpe and the baseball field was right near the entrance. There was a medieval feel to the campus. I was told by some locals that the baseball field was supposed to be a fully enclosed coliseum but they never finished it when they no longer had a football team so the seating runs from home plate to the right field fence. There was a large dorm or academic building beyond right field that resembled a castle you would see at St. Andrews. The seating was set back from the field and after the nostalgia wore off, I realized that Emory offered a much better atmosphere.
5:00 pm - We were scheduled to take BP at 5 o'clock but the Oglethorpe coach changed his mind at the last minute so we didn't hit until 5:40. This wasn't a huge deal but we now had to kill 40 minutes. The players kept themselves occupied by playing flips in the bullpen and out near right field. I was talking with Bogan and Spehn about TV shows from the 80's.
7:03 pm - Matt Burke led off the game with a double to right-center and eventually scored the first of three runs that inning. Jeremiah Torres allowed one in the bottom of the first but pitched a solid five plus innings and Tyler Herman threw very well. Exactly what we were looking for out of the bullpen. We added on in the second and third to take an 8-1 lead but only managed two base runners from innings 4-9. Herman got an out in the 9th but after a bunt hit and a bloop single, we went to Dave Williams out of the pen. After falling behind 2-0, Williams had a great sequence to strike out the 3-hole hitter for the second out.
Everyone knows how the rest of the night went so the only thing I'll say is that the only way the late-inning collapses will stop is by stepping up and winning one. We need to find a killer instinct to sense when the opponent has phoned it in and given up where we can put them away. After falling behind 8-1, Oglethorpe was done. Their body language was terrible but we didn't sense that and we didn't put them away. This is something over time we will have to recognize and take advantage of if we are going to become the team we know we can be.
3:05 am - The coaches meeting ended and we retired to our respective rooms and tried to get some sleep. It is going to take a concerted effort from everyone on the team (coaches included) to get on track. Posts for days 6 & 7 will be posted along with some video and photos when we return on Thursday. Stay tuned.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Even though this may be the most heartbreaking loss that I have ever experienced I still saw some good things. Freshman pitcher Tyler Herman really showed some guts late in the game and halted Oglethorpe when he was on the mound. I'm still getting used to the #17 on the back of someone other than former catcher Zach Ernst. I just find it humorous that the only player slimmer than myself on the team took the vacant jersey left by Zach who was as muscular as a baseball player comes.
It cannot possibly get any worse at this point because after a loss like the one we just endured the morale of the guys is at rock bottom. The beauty of this game, as everyone knows, is that the sun will be shining tomorrow. Tomorrow is a Tuesday and people around the world will be going to work or struggling through any number of hardships. We get to wake up and play ball. Isn't that something to think about? No matter how hard we think we have it or how disappointed we were after the final run scored tonight, there are many more people who have it much worse.
At the moment I would be lying to the readers if I said I wasn't still hurting due to this loss because I very much am. I want to help contribute more to my teammates and want to do the maximum possible in every game just like everyone else probably wants to do. But the fact of the matter is that isn't going to happen. Teammates need to pick each other up during the course of a game and a season and we need to do an even better job of this. Same time tomorrow.......see you then.
11:40 am - My arm was feeling better in time for today's BP round. It wasn't as good as the practice round last Wednesday but we finished in 34 minutes giving us plenty of time to get ready for in-and-out. We changed the BP routine a little today, adding a wiffle ball station. Group 1 started in the cage on the field, Group 2 was hitting wiffle balls in the tunnels, Group 3 was on the field for defense and Group 4 was on the field for base running.
Round 1: Sac Bunt, Drag Bunt, Sac Bunt, Drag, Bunt, Squeeze
Round 2: 4 Hit & Run
Round 3: Bunt & Run, 2 Advance Runner, 2 Drive 'em in, 5 Free Swings
Round 4: 7 Free Swings
1:05 pm - The first pitch was delivered for the second game of the series against Emory. I had a better feeling about today's game than I did yesterday. The players' approaches were much more focused before the game. We fell behind after a leadoff walk in the first but answered with three runs in the 2nd. We added another in the fourth. Emory came back to tie the game at 4 but we regained the lead 5-4. That was the story of the day...we took a lead, they would tie it, we would regain the lead and they would tie it again. Unfortunately, after they tied the game at six in the 8th inning, they added two more insurance runs. The story again was our inability to throw strikes.
After regaining the lead in the 8th, we came out and walked the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the inning who ultimately scored after another walk, a sac bunt and a 2-run single. It was a dissappointing end to the game because of Micah Yarbrough's gutsy performance on the mound. Despite the crushing blow in the bottom of the 8th, our guys would not go away. We threatened with two base runners but couldn't scrath a run across to fall 8-6.
7:30 pm - After the dissappointing loss, we decided to go out as a team and went to dinner at the ESPN Zone. It was an ok meal but it was good to get out of the hotel. We got back to the hotel and hung out for a few hours before bed check. Tomorrow is a big day to get some momentum to finish the trip.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
11:22 am - We arrive at the field. It looks even more beautiful on game day. But once the ball is put in play, it's just another field. Emory is in the middle of their batting practice with about 20 minutes left before we get the field. My arm is hanging a little after throwing BP on Wednesday and Friday so Coach Bogan has the honors today.
12:20 pm - We finished BP and we have about ten minutes before the start of in-and-out. This year's pregame routine is a different feeling for me becuase for the past four years this was my responsibility. But Coach Fitz hits the pregame which is the way it should be so I usually struggle with finding something to do.
12:34 pm - We are in the middile of In-and-Out and I am organizing our charts for the day. We keep a pitching and velocity chart for our pitchers and a quality at-bat chart for our hitters. I also like to keep an oppoenent's pitcher tendency chart. This a chart I picked up from Joe Gilhousen while at Mount Union. The main purpose of this chart is to see if the pitcher falls into any patterns during the game. This is particularly helpful in conference when you know you will face the same pitchers later in the season or the following year. It can also help later on to see how we hit in certain counts and how many fastballs we let go or are we swinging at too many 2-0 curve balls.
1:05 pm - The lineups have been announced and the National Anthem has been played and it's time to play ball. Mike Kloss is on the mound today and thusfar, the only pitcher with a win on the season.
4:14 pm - The game is over and we fell 8-2. We took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a leadoff double from Matt Burke and an RBI-single from Joe Turek. It could have been a bigger lead but we couldn't move runners over and subsequently drive them in. Outside of a Joe Heller solo shot in the fifth, we didn't do much else on the day. The story of the day, as it has been all year, have been the pitchers inability to throw strikes. When our pitchers fell behind on the first pitch, Emory hit .588; when our pitchers threw a first-pitch strike, they only hit .338. THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POINTS! That is the difference one pitch can make. There isn't much else to say to a pitcher when a stat like that is staring you in the face.
7:40 pm - It was a quiet dinner between the coaching staff. It was only one game on the trip and there was no sense dwelling on it. We know we are a much better team than we showed and there is a lot of better baseball ahead and that's the beuty of baseball...there is always a game the next day.
The defense was certainly present in game 2 as well. Joe Heller made 2 spectacular plays at second base. Nick Robinson also made a great play bare-handing a fast rolling bunt to throw the runner out at first. Robby (as he is called by his teammates) also had a successful day at the plate. Steve Hlavac added a diving catch in left field to minimize the damage of an Emory rally.
I really enjoy reading books written by big time coaches like John Wooden and Phil Jackson. I recently came across a familiar passage in Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel's, The Winners Manual. In high school when I was struggling as a Sophomore on the Varsity my Mom gave me this saying on a wallet sized card and I have kept it ever since.
If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think you can't,
It's almost a cinch you won't
If you think you'll lose, you're lost;
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a person's will,
It's all in the state of mind.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
One thing I hate doing after a loss (especially if I didn't play well) is having to call my mom and break the news that it wasn't a great day on the ball field. But no matter how poorly I do in a game she always has her words of encouragement. I can go 0-4 with 4 Strikeouts and not have a stain on my jersey and she would say "It's OK, you did you're best." I have 5 brothers, all of whom are involved in athletics and every one of us hates failure on the field. But we all know that once we get home we will have the support from our #1 fan.......MOM.
Just thinking about this makes me forget about today and focus on the next task at hand which is another ballgame vs. Emory tomorrow.
Friday, March 20, 2009
It was a long week having to finish up a paper and presentation for one of my grad classes, combine that with compiling notes for scouting reports on all three teams we
7:25 am - We start loading the bus in five minutes. I was in the office until about 10:30 the night before getting things ready for the trip but we also have a junior varsity game on Sunday so there were some added items on the to-do list.
8:10 am - The bus is loaded and we're off. We're scheduled to arrive in Atlanta at around 11:00 pm EST. I didn't bring a pillow which was stupid. I've only had about six hours of sleep the past two nights combined so I'm setting myself up for a sore neck later on.
8:45 pm - After a short nap I woke up and we had stopped for dinner. But because of some traffic through Nashville and an accident later on, we were a little behind schedule. But looking out the window we were only miles from the Georgia border so that was promising.
11:48 pm - We rolled into the hotel parking lot a shade before midnight. The entire trip lasted about 15 hours but it was pretty uneventful. It was about as uneventful as you could imagine. Every spring break I've ever had has been spent in Florida until now. It was always a 20-hour trip so the 15 hours with stops seems like nothing.
8:40 am - I went to bed hoping to catch up on some sleep. The only thing on the schedule today was a practice at 4:00 so there wasn't a wake-up call today. I was so tired I couldn't sleep so I laid in bed watching TV until around 2:30 am. I was going to meet Coach Bogan for breakfast in the lobby which I did but I didn't eat anything. I ended up falling asleep in the common area in our suite but it was only for 20 minutes. I'm trying the Cosmo Kramer method of sleeping and it's working about as well as it did for him.
2:30 - I woke up from yet another 20-minute nap to the sound of housekeeping banging on my door. But that was a good thing because we were leaving for practice in 15 minutes. This was the only thing on the schedule today so it was the only thing I was looking forward to.
3:33 pm - We arrived on the campus of Emory and it is gorgeous! It could have been because of the temperature was in the upper-60's. But the grass was just mowed and the sun was glistening of the grass. It was what you expect to see in a Hollywood film not on the campus of a D3 college program.
4:45 pm - After the hitters went through a batting practice round in their tunnels we went through about 35 minutes of defense. It was nothing but great hops in the infield and the frat house beyond left field provided the soundtrack for the afternoon while they kicked off their weekend. It was a good practice, short and sweet and most importantly on a baseball field.
11:33 pm - The day is winding down while I am watching Cleveland State gear up for an upset bid against Wake Forest in the NCAA tournament. Everything is set for tomorrow, scouting reports are printed, charts are ready. All we have to do now is get up and play. This is the best time of the year, no school, no work, just baseball. It doesn't get any better than this.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
One of the benefits of the trimester schedule is that the typical class load is smaller. So when it comes to finals week, a student will usually only have three finals at the most. This definitely makes it easier, or at least reduces some of the stress associated with college final exams.
We have one more workout today before we pack things up and head for the A-T-L on Thursday. We should have some video footage of the trip. Stay tuned!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
There were a lot of positives. We hit .394 as a team, hit 10 HR (we only hit 20 as a team the entire 2008 season) and scored 48 runs. We know we are never out of a ballgame. We erased several deficits during the four games. Now all we have to do is throw it and catch it. It sounds simple enough.
The drive home was an experience. Nothing like what my alma mater went through but it was still a struggle battling the high winds on I-65 through Indiana. The conditions treated the vans like a rag doll. Every wind gust seemed like that was the one that could knock us off the highway. But we're all home safe just before midnight. It is very easy to lose sleep during the year, it's even easier when you switch time zones the same weekend of daylight savings time.
We have a two weeks before our next games which is plenty of time to get right. It's time to get back to work.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
The Cardinals got great contributions from new players and that is something to look forward to in 2009. Freshman Joe Turek and Sophomore shortstop Matt Burke both had great days offensively. But like I said before, the entire lineup hit well. Today has excited me for the potential season this team is capable of having. The goal each day is to take steps forward and try to rack some wins under our belt before heading into the conference season.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
There are 4 games scheduled for this weekend and it would be extremely nice coming home with 4 victories under our belt. But baseball simply is a game that does not always go your way. All we can control is what we do on the field and how we execute the fundamentals of the game. If we do that, I think that we will bus back to North Central with our heads up high and satisfied with the weekend. If we don't.........well let's just not think that way!
I also want to wish Nick Robinson and Brent Pearson a very happy birthday today and hope they enjoy their day.
Week 9 is coming to a close. As always, finish the workweek out strong and hopefully we can grab some wins this weekend at Franklin.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Field turf is nothing new and many schools (even high schools) have it now. But we are fortunate that we have it at North Central otherwise today's practice would not be possible. We would instead have to try and find a tennis court or completely tear up our field (which Steve our grounds keeper would not appreciate) or find a dry spot in a parking lot far enough away from any cars so our outfielders could take some fly balls , which was my experience in college.
The problem that you face as a coach is trying not to do too much. When you get outside for the first time and your season opens in three days, you tend to want to try to practice everything you've done up to that point. So our goal today is to get as many live reps as possible and call it a day. Wednesday has been our off day during the past five weeks of practice and there are a lot of guys that have class tonight so we have to stay on task.
But the sun is out and we are going outside and that's all that matters.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Full View of Photos
As for this weekend in St. Louis........ The weather looked somewhat promising at the beginning of the week but has since turned sour. We will be lucky to squeeze in some ballgames down there and if we do we will be playing in less than admirable conditions. The weather calls for chilly weather with a chance of snow on Saturday which is a bit disheartening. We will have to keep our fingers crossed and maybe the baseball gods will allow us to play.
As always finish the workweek out on a high note!
Because of this weekend's cancellation, we are down three games to start the year. But a fourth game has been added to next weekend's trip to Franklin. Instead of three, nine-inning games (2 on Saturday, 1 on Sunday), we will play a pair of double-headers (Game 1: 7 innings; Game 2: 9 innings) for the weekend. So we will only be down two games for the year which we can make up with a multiple of teams in the area. So there is reason to stay positive.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Cave Note: There are pics of the uniforms with the new hats coming hopefully later tonight. Thanks for your patience.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Check back tomorrow and see how the hats look with the game jerseys...
Monday, February 23, 2009
There is always so much to do the week before the season opener. Luckily for us, we took care of a lot of the details earlier in the year. Dugout charts, lineup cards, pitching charts have all been ordered, and not only that, they have arrived. We are still waiting on decals for our new helmets but that is pretty much it. There are always a few items that come up last minute but hopefully there is enough time when they do come up to get them completed.
After today's morning workout, we have only two more full workouts left this week. There is a light hitting workout planned for Friday afternoon but many of our kids have class during the day so they will have to get their swings in another time.
Friday, February 20, 2009
While I have a tremendous amount of respect for other members of the CCIW Conference I have some thoughts about the upcoming season. We work hard day in and day out, getting up at all hours of the morning just to play this game. Gone are the days of not being successful, gone are the days of being a doormat in this league, and gone are the days of being excluded from post-season play. Past seasons are history and this is a new and improved ballclub. Now if I, or any other member of the team don't believe in this then there is just no point in devoting so much time, energy, and hard work. We are hungry to make things happen this year and it all starts one week from tomorrow.
As always, let's finish out this workweek on a high note both academically and athletically. Until next time.......
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Full View of Photos
Friday, February 13, 2009
What does this afternoon have in store? I have made plans with Pitcher, Mike Kloss (The best fungo hitter this team has to offer) to hit some pop flies to myself and some other Outfielders out on the turf football field. At this point in the year we have to take advantage of dry conditions as much as possible and start adapting to seeing the ball off the bat. Tomorrow morning marks the end of week 3 and two weeks from now we will be upon the eve of game 1 of the season. I can hardly wait!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Being new to the program and to the conference, the only background info I have on the teams in this conference is what I read in the box scores. Although I am aware of the talent and history of the CCIW teams (three teams in the regional tournament is nothing to sneeze at), I have not seen any of the other seven teams play in person so as far as I'm concerned all eight teams in the conference are even. So this poll is used more to pay respect to those teams who have performed well in years past. But if you are tired of the winter, which most of us are, and want to read something non-steroid related, click here for the full release.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
During the week, my summer team (Stark County Terriers) received some attention on a summer baseball blog fittingly called Summer Ball (Thanks Hoagie!). I had never heard of this sight until this week but it has some good info on college baseball. Since I started “The Cave” last year, I have found there to be a lot more publicity for college baseball. For a list of my top blogs, check out “The Cave Blog List” below.