Saturday, March 28, 2009

Off to a Great Start

What a day! I finally get to write to you on a positive note after North Central defeated #18 Augustana at the Zimm today by a score of 7-6. This game showed the character of our team and how we battled back down 5-1 early. I was glad to see some of our hometown fans in the stands today as I was able to say hello to the Kloss's, the Robinson's, and Mrs. Heller when I was heading into our home clubhouse. Maybe their extra support helped us to come through against a very good Augustana ballclub.

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!