Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eye of the Storm, Part IV

As Brett Farve just showed us, everyone needs a day off now and then. Such is the case for college student-athletes. Even as demanding and time consuming as being a Division II collegiate athlete can be, there is, believe it or not, time to relax and hang out with friends among other things.

Intramurals - Osborne Fitness Center
Basketball can be a great way to stay in shape and it can also keep the competitive juices flowing. Fortunately, Lake Erie offers a number of intramural programs to keep students busy throughout the year including flag football, volleyball and dodgeball among others. Basketball remains the most popular among the Storm baseball players and takes place in the auxiliary gym located in the Osborne Center (pictured right). The team usually competes through the Thanksgiving holiday, at which point their fun on the court is put on hold until the next season. With the winter practice season beginning once classes resume in January, there is not much time for IM Sports (which works out because baseball players are prohibited to participate during the season).

Apartment Life - Founders Court and Lydia Sessions Hall
Whether its playing XBox, PS3 or even an old school Nintendo, video games are always a part of college life and off days. I believe the trending choice of which game to play is Call of Duty but it could be something completely different once classes resume in January. A popular location for team video game sessions are on campus apartments such as Founders Court (pictured right).

Once a student enters his junior year, they are eligible to move into on-campus apartments. The rooms feature one or two-bed layouts with 12' x 19' common area complete with an 8' x 10' kitchen area and bathroom. Most of our upperclassman live with this setup or move completely off campus in houses or apartments. The coaching staff does not interfere with the rooming assignments and leave this responsibility to the staff in the Residence Life department and the players themselves. Players can room with, but are not in any way limited to, other baseball players.

Student-Athletes Advisory Committee (SAAC)
This group gathers to "facilitate communication between the student-athletes and the Lake Erie College Athletic Department (courtesy Lake Erie website). Student-athletes are nominated, selected, chosen from each of the 23 intercollegiate teams on campus to help with community activities and promoting teams on campus as well as many other activities. Each sport has a representative or two but all student-athletes are encouraged to attend the bi-weekly meetings and various events.

Up next...Part V: Spring Training (coming in January)
Hopefully you've enjoyed a look into the life of a college baseball player. The next installment of the Eye of the Storm will hopefully feature a daily account from the current players on the team, following them throughout an actual day during the winter practice season. But because winter practice sounds depressing and college teams do not actually leave for spring training (or when they do, the games actually count towards their record), I will refer to the five weeks of indoor practice as spring training from this point forward. See you in the sun!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eye of the Storm, Part III

The first two parts of the all-access pass finished with our student-athletes wrapping up practice at Braggs Field. The inside look featured an early morning workout at the Ritchie Athletic Center, breakfast and lunch at the Holden Center, class in the College's academic buildings, and finally practice at Kiwanis Park.

12:00 pm-4:00 pm - Individual Workouts
Osborne Fitness Center
After the fall season, each player is allowed two hours a week to spend working with their respective coach at their respective positions in small, four-man groups. Each session is one hour each and occur on two different days during the week. The pitchers use each session to work with Coach Sankovich (pictured right) on various aspects of their craft. This year, Coach Sank opted not to have the pitchers throw bullpens (much to the catchers delight) instead focusing on their balance and overall delivery mechanics as well as their arm strength.

Infielders and catchers have their training sessions split into offensive and defensive segments. The catchers get their defensive work in with Coach McGee while the infielders work with Coach Bunnell. Both groups work with Coach Cormell on their offense with the outfielders who hit during each session.

This format lasts four weeks through the week of Thanksgiving. The NCAA rules permit this activity to run up until a week before finals. The players also continue their strength and conditioning three days a week that involves lifting, agility work, and speed training.

7:00 pm-9:00 pm - Study Table
Arthur S. Holden Center
Once the final out of the SFL is recorded and fall ball is completed, the players are required to attend two, two-hour study sessions which are held in a classroom in the upstairs of the Holden Center. All freshman are required to attend as well as upperclassmen with a sub-2.5 GPA. While in study table, the student-athletes have the option to utilize the classroom's computers for anything class-related, whether it is typing a paper or researching a project (sorry Facebook). There is also an opportunity for players to review any upcoming exams, papers or projects with Coach Sank who is the team's academic supervisor.

Up next...Part IV: Off Days

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eye of the Storm, Part II

When we left the team yesterday, we had just finished breakfast at the Holden Center. But the next part of the day fuels the reason for being...at least being at college, and that is the class time. Each schedule will vary but many of the players will be in class from either 8 or 9 am through the mid-afternoon, ending roughly at 1 or 2 pm, enough time to grab a lunch, change, and get to practice on time.

8:00 am-2:00 pm - Class Time
Austin Hall, College Hall, Garfield Center, Holden Center, and the Royce Hall for the Fine Arts and Performing Arts
The majority of classes take place in the Garfield Center (pictured right) which also holds faculty offices and the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Austin Science Center was renovated and reopened in 2010 and will be ready for full classes in January. The new center is the home of chemistry, math, environmental science and pre-veterinarian programs. Also, students studying in San Salvador and the Bahamas use Austin Hall as their "hub." Players are encouraged to schedule their classes early to accommodate the team's practices which take place in the early afternoon.

2:30 pm-5:30 pm - Practice
Braggs Field at Kiwanis Recreation Park
The practice home of the Storm is located just off-campus in downtown Painesville. After class, the players drive down to Braggs Field (pictured right) at Rec Park for a three-hour workout to complete their baseball day. During the week, the Storm baseball team practices three days during the week and twice on the weekend. The field itself features newly constructed dugouts with pro-style seating. During the construction of the dugouts, grass was added to the baselines. Last season, the bullpen mounds were demolished and reconstructed and now feature two mounds in each bullpen.

Braggs Field sits adjacent to Britt Stadium, home of the Storm football and track squads. The Britt received a facelift in the off-season and now features a field turf playing surface which is utilized by the baseball team when inclement weather makes an appearance, still allowing for the team to take ground balls and long toss. Underneath the stadium bleachers sits the Storm batting tunnels which are used rain or shine and allow for hitters to get plenty of swings each day at practice.

Up next...Part III: Individuals

Eye of the Storm, Part I

Because winter sucks and we're still seven weeks away from the start of winter practice, I think we all need a distraction to get us through these next few months. With that said, we're taking a look at the past while keeping our eye on the future and our mind in the present by taking a look into a day in the life of a Storm baseball player. For the look back, we'll get a glimpse into a typical day during the fall semester.

FALL BALL
For the Storm baseball program, fall ball roughly begins after Labor Day, about three weeks into the start of the semester and lasts five weeks. During those five weeks, the team spends two days a week in the weight room and five days a week on the practice field. The next few entries will describe how players balance academics, meals, practice and college life.

6:00 am - Rise and Shine
Dickinson, Fowler and Ritter Halls
During the fall, players get an early wake-up call for a morning lift. The actual time each player wakes up will vary depending on their proximity to campus. But when the players do get up, most of them leave from their 144 square-foot living areas which come complete with two twin beds, dressers, and desks. Even though the campus is now wireless, there are high-speed internet connections in each room. If a player doesn't have his own computer, he can head down to the lobby and use one in the computer lab, located adjacent to the laundry room and kitchenette.

6:30 am - Getting Swoll
Ritchie Athletic Center
I really don't know how "swoll" became part of the Storm lexicon but it's alive and well and using it has become as essential to a baseball player as breathing. And with a facility like Ritchie Gym (pictured right), it's no wonder. There are at least 14 platforms attached to state-of-the-art racks with Eleicko bars along with stretch bands, BOSU balls, physioballs along with many other strength tools to aide the baseball team in their strength training. Twice a week the Storm baseball team gathers in Ritchie on days of practices to supplement the fall development. Once fall ball ends, the team meets three times a week. There are days where the team will stay home and workout at the Osborne Center.

7:30 am - Refueling
Arther S. Holden Center
After an intense workout to start the day, the team makes their way over to the dining hall to refuel before class. Each player on the meal plan has the option to visit the cafe for three squares a day and can eat as much as they want during each trip. In addition to the dining hall, the Holden Center features the campus bookstore, residence life, campus security, as well as classrooms and a 24-hour computer lab.

Up next...Part II: Class Time

Friday, November 26, 2010

Working off the Turkey...in Advance

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone and we'll have leftover turkey sandwiches for the next three weeks, it is time to work off the L-B's from our big Turkey Day feasts. And if you are a Storm baseball player, you have had plenty of advanced training for working off the extra pounds from the holiday season. Part of this is because our guys live in the gym, but since the completion of fall ball they have also been participating in the Storm Fitness Challenge.

The Challenge has consisted of nine different fitness challenges that tested players in speed, strength and agility. The players remained in their SFL teams and competed both as a team and as individuals. Players received individual points based on their finish in a particular event, which were then added to their teams score. The team with the most individual points won the event and earned three points towards the overall standings, while the second place team earned two points and the third place team earned one point.

The Gray Team couldn't sweep 2010 by winning both the SFL Cup and the Storm Fitness Challenge. The Black Team edged out the Gray Team by a single point in The Challenge's team standings, 22-21 thanks to four, first-place finishes. On the individual side, outfielder Zach Mosbarger (Gray Team) was the position player champion as well as the overall champion. The leader on the mound was JD Ingalls (Black Team) who finished second in the overall standings. Eight of the top ten overall scorers were position players. The Fitness Challenge was done in conjunction with a five-week strength and conditioning program which provided a solid foundation for the eight-week training program which will last the entire winter break. The winter program will lead up to the beginning of spring practice, which starts in mid-January.

Below are the results for the team standings as well as the top five finishers in each challenge.

Team Standings
Black, 22 points (3434 overall)
Gray, 21 (3323)
Green, 11 (2656)

Top 5 Position Players
1. Zach Mosbarger, 374 points
2. Ryan Rua, 357
3. Justin Rebhun, 322
T4. Matt Toth, 305
T4. Kyle Kemp, 305

Top 5 Pitchers
1. JD Ingalls, 358 points
2. DJ Stastny, 300
3. Doug Fox, 281
4. Cameron Sheehan, 276
5. Logan Nordquist, 270

Squat (225 lbs)
1. Jae Leeworthy, 90 reps
2. AJ Gobar, 60
3. Mike Morgan, 52
4. Glenn Stewart, 45
5. Zach Mosbarger, 44

Push-ups (1 min)
1. Nick Lovick, 81 reps
2. Jae Leeworthy, 76
3. Matt Toth, 74
4. Zach Mosbarger, 73
5. Matt Vanni, 71

Sit-ups (1 min)
1. Zach Mosbarger, 84 reps
2. Matt Toth 82
3. JD Ingalls, 75
4. Ryan Rua, 71
5. 2 Tied at 70

Pull-ups
1. Ryan Rua, 30 reps
2. Matt Toth, 26
3. Johnny Christani, 23
4. Josiah Ring, 22
5. Matt Vanni, 21

Broad Jump
1. Matt Toth, 9 feet, 1 inch
2. DJ Stastny, 9'0"
3. Jimmie Shaw, 8'11"
4. Ryan Rua, 8'10"
5. 2 Tied at 8'9"

30-yd Sprint
1. Justin Rebhun, 3.87 seconds
2. Ryan Rua, 3.88
3. Zach Mosbarger, 3.90
4. JD Ingalls, 3.91
4. AJ Gobar, 3.91

60-yd Sprint
1. Ryan Rua, 6.93 seconds
T2. Matt Toth, 7.03
T2. Zach Mosbarger, 7.03
T2. Justin Rebhun, 7.03
5. 3 Tied at 7.12

Pro Agility
1. Matt Toth, 4.11 seconds
2. JD Ingalls, 4.12
3. Cameron Sheehan, 4.18
4. Zach Mosbarger, 4.25
5. Zack Justice, 4.34

300-yd Shuttle
1. Cameron Sheehan, 50.07 seconds
2. Ryan Rua, 51.42
3. Tyler Minnich, 51.78
4. JD Ingalls, 51.93
5. 2 Tied at 52.19

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

It is the time of year where we all take a step back and reflect on the great things in our lives and the people the surround us that make it so. But rather than using this post to state my thankfulness for my own personal friends and family (which is best performed by actually saying it, preferably in person), I would like to take this opportunity to list the five things about Lake Erie Baseball that I am thankful for.

1. The Lake Erie parents. Knowing how important my parents have been in my life, this seems like a no-brainer. But we always get in trouble when we take special things for granted and while each individual parent is special to each player in their own way and deserve their own spot in the countdown, the collective group of parents occupy the number one spot. It is only November and I can tell this is a special group. Our players have already played in front of more people during the fall than most teams will play in front of during their spring. This was evident during the Storm Fall League championship game which featured an array of family, friends, and in some cases, wives that would rival attendance numbers for some conference tournaments. But even more remarkable was the number of parents who attended mid-week intersquad games that took place at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Add these factors to the list of sacrifices each parent has made for the past 18-22 years already and you have the number one reason to be thankful to be a part of Lake Erie Baseball.

2. Players who want to win. I can count on one hand the number of times a player has been late for, or missed a workout since September. This of course includes a series of 6am weight training sessions at the start of the fall and 9am practices on the weekends. It is very easy for players to get excited at the start of the fall and the start of the winter practice, but it is a very different thing to keep that level of excitement and enthusiasm throughout the course of the year. In order to go places you've never gone, you must do things you've never done. With all the distractions that can get in our way, I am thankful for a group of people who truly want to play baseball and do all that comes with that privilege. This doesn't always produce the results we want, but it definitely make it easier to show up to work everyday.

3. Joining the GLIAC. On the field, this may be the most important for the program's stability. Since I was first exposed to college baseball back in 1999, I have always had the opportunity to compete for a conference championship. I can say this is something that I have taken for granted. I was not in on the ground floor of this rebuilding process and did not experience life as an Division II Independent. This I am thankful for. I cannot imagine having to play the majority of my games on the road because of the lack of a conference schedule. The last two seasons while at North Central, there were always 21 games cemented in the schedule that would allow for at least ten home games a year. Something that should not be lost in just having a conference schedule is the opportunity to compete in a conference that has had a representative in the College World Series the past two seasons, not to mention five teams advancing to NCAA Regional play in those years. Clearly this is one of the best conferences in the country which by that fact alone should elevate our level of play.

4. Working with a knowledgable and energetic staff. Working year-round in the game I love is worthy of it's own spot on the list but working with great people makes it that much more rewarding. It also makes it more fun when the coaches not only love baseball, but love the coaching in general. I am thankful for working with coaches who swear by the fundamentals but are also willing and eager to try new ideas. I am thankful for being able to be my own coach and have fun with the different tasks at hands. I am also thankful for coaches who absolutely love their team and are willing to do anything to make them better. Playing college baseball yielded some of the best years of my life and I am thankful for the opportunity to provide the same opportunities to players now.

5. Classic Park. While it would be nice to have an on-campus facility of our own within footsteps of the Osbourne Center, the opportunity to play at one of the finest minor league parks in the country is another reason to be thankful to be a part of Lake Erie baseball. For the majority of the players in our program, it will be the nicest field they will ever play on. Aside from the field, the other opportunities at Classic are worth noting. The ability to take batting practice on the field, hitting in the tunnels, and the use of the clubhouse is something that should not be taken lightly, and we are thankful to the Lake County Captains for their cooperation.

There are many more reasons to be thankful for being a part of this program but we'll stop at five. On behalf of everyone at Lake Erie College and the baseball team, I would like to wish baseball fans everywhere and their families a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Final Out of SFL

If you haven't watched the video yet, here's another look at the final out of the SFL and the subsequent dog pile on the pitchers mound. The Gray Team won its second SFL championship in three years with a 4-3 victory over the Black Team last weekend. Check out www.youtube.com/thecoachscave for more videos.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Gray Cup


No, we're not talking Canadian football (which is the Grey Cup), but rather the 2010 SFL Champions. After the Black Team won an extra-inning affair in the first game over the Green Team, the Gray Team cemented themselves as the dominant team this fall, capturing the SFL title with a 4-3 win. The Gray Team wrapped up its second SFL championship in three years and finished with a 10-2-1 record this fall.

As he did much of the fall, Kyle Kemp powered the Gray Team offense with a clutch two-run double in the fourth inning. Reid Rizzo walked and was hit by a pitch, crossing home after each free pass for the Gray Team's third and fourth runs. The Black Team made their best efforts to erase a 4-0 deficit in the sixth when Matt Toth drove a base-clearing triple to right field, closing the gap to 4-3 but they ultimately fell short in the end. The Gray pitching was dominant, allowing runs in only one of seven innings. DJ Stastny closed the door in the seventh after Bobby Seda put himself in position to tie the game with a double but Stastny got the next two hitters to fly out and a dog pile ensued near the pitchers mound.

The first game of the day may have been the most entertaining, which saw the Black Team grind out a 7-5 win in eight innings. The Green Team jumped out to an early 3-0 lead when Garrett Emling cleared the bases with a double in the second. Black chipped away at the lead thanks to a Pat Kilway 2-run home run to left in the third and a few wild pitches in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. They extended their lead in the sixth thanks to a Bobby Seda RBI-single but the Green Team fought back to tie in the seventh to force extra innings. Timely hitting and extra outs resulted in a 7-5 Black Team win and their match-up in the championship game.

Between games, the postseason award finalist were announced followed by the winners. The four categories Rookie of the Year, Pitcher Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and the Most Valuable Player. The following indicates the nominees, winners, and their key stats.

Rookie of the Year
Player (AVG/OBP/SLG) Key Stats
Ryan Anstaett (.344/.371/.406) 11 H, 5 R
Garrett Emling (.375/.487/.500) 12 H, 9 R, 65 Bases Touched
AJ Gobar (.345/.441/.379) 10 H, 3 R

Rookie Pitcher of the Year
Player (ERA/OAVG/WHIP) Key Stats
Brandon Grunda (4.15/.278/1.73) 4 ER, 8 APP
Mike Oley (6.00/.300/1.78) 1-1, 8 APP, 9 K
DJ Stastny (2.25/.240/1.38) 2 ER, 7 APP

Cy Young
Player (ERA/OAVG/WHIP) Key Stats
Tim Birch (3.52/.125/0.78) 3 ER, 9 SO
JD Ingalls (3.18/.240/1.59) 2 ER, 4 SO
Logan Nordquist (1.13/.138/0.50) 2-o, ER, 9 SO, 0 BB

Most Valuable Player
Player (AVG/OBP/SLG) Key Stats
Cody Blood (.353/.421/.559) 12 H, 7 R
Josh Crout (.353/.436/.676) 12 H, 10 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 65 Bases Touched
Jae Leeworthy (.367/.513/.800) 11 H, 10 R, 4 2B, 3 HR, 60 Bases Touched

Note: Bold indicates winner

SFL Championship Round Game 1
Black 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 2 - 7 (4-7-2)
Green 0 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 - 5 (3-7-3)
W: Ingalls (1-2), L: Vanni (0-1), S: Morgan (1)

SFL Championship Round Finals
Black 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 - 3 (4-8-2)
Gray 0 0 0 3 1 0 x - 4 (10-2-1)
W: Porter (1-0), L: Throckmorton (2-1), S: Stastny (1)

The fall will finish up with a split squad scrimmage on Wednesday which follows a few days of practice. Be sure to stay tuned throughout the winter for updates on Storm Baseball on www.twitter.com/thecoachscave and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Same Ol', Same Ol'

Not much changed after the regular season finale of the Storm Fall League. The Black Team had the opportunity to leapfrog the Green Team and pick up home field advantage in the opening round of the SFL Championships with a pair of wins in Friday's double-header but split their two games and the standings remained the same.

The Gray Team put an exclamation point on their regular season dominance in game one with a 3-0 shutout of the Black Team in game one. Kyle Kemp continued to light up opposing pitchers with a pair of hits and two runs driven in. In the top of the first, Kemp singled home the game's first run and later in the third, Kemp belted his team-leading fourth home run of the fall. Josh Crout added his two cents with an RBI-single in the fourth for the third and final run. Chris Mason, Glenn Stewart, Brandon Grunda, and DJ Stastny combined for the shutout with Mason picking up the win.

After the loss, the Black Team could no longer jump ahead of the Green Team in the standings and could only build momentum for Saturday. They did just that. A four-run first inning, capped by Cody Blood's second long ball of the fall, paced the way to a 6-1 win over the Green Team. It was no secret the Black Team had trouble scoring runs this fall, but their six-run output could be something to hang their hat on going into the SFL Championship Round.

The Black and Green teams will rematch in the opening round of the SFL Finals with the winner advancing to face the Gray Team. Game 1 begins at 10:30am and the SFL Championship Game is slated for a 1:00pm start. In between the games will be a picnic lunch for players and their families followed by player introductions and the announcing of the SFL award winners. Award categories are Rookie of the Year, Rookie Pitcher of the Year, Cy Young Award, and the Most Valuable Player. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Friday, 10/8
Game 17: Gray 3, Black 0 (W: Mason 1-0, L: Ingalls 0-2, S: Porter 1)
Game 18: Black 6, Green 1 (W: Castro 1-0, L: Beach 0-1)

Saturday, 10/9
SFL Finals Game 1: Black v. Green, 10:30am
SFL Finals Game 2: Winner Game 1 v. Gray, 12:30pm

Standings W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 9 2 1 .818 - 30 56
Green 3 6 3 .333 5.0 51 37
Black 3 7 2 .300 5.5 45 31

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Down the Stretch

In the next-to-last weekend of the fall, the playoff picture looks pretty clear. The Gray Team solidified their hold on the top seed with a 6-0 win over the Green Team. It was all about Josh Crout who made the most of his two at-bats with a base-clearing double in the first and a two-run home run in the third. Crout has been the team's hottest hitter of late and has upped all major offensive categories including home runs, runs batted in, runs scored and the total number of bases touched.

[Note: The total bases touched is simply the number of bases touched throughout the course of a game, compared to total bases which account only for base hits. A base on balls does not count towards total bases but does count in bases touched. If that walk leads to a run scored, then the total bases touched for that at-bat (or plate appearance) is four. The more bases touched, the more chance for scoring a run.]

The Green Team rebounded in the double-dip, scoring six runs of their own. A four-run first inning set the tone for the 6-1 win. Jae Leeworthy was not to be outdone by Crout and hit his third home run of the fall in the second inning which ended the scoring for Green. Cody Blood spoiled the shutout when he left the yard for the first time in the fall.

Despite the loss, the Black Team has a chance to jump the Green Team and secure the number two seed in next weekend's championship round of the SFL with two wins on Friday. Gray has already secured the number one seed and will await the winner of Green and Black in the opening game of Saturday's Family Day. Stay tuned towww.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Friday, 10/1
Game 15: Gray 6, Green 0
Game 16: Green 6, Black 1

Friday, 10/8
Game 17: Black v. Green, 3pm
Game 18: Black v. Gray, 4:30pm

Saturday, 10/9
SFL Finals Game 1: Black v. Green, 10:30am
SFL Finals Game 2: Winner Game 1 v. Gray, 12:30pm

Standings W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 8 2 1 .800 - 30 53
Green 3 5 3 .375 4.0 45 36
Black 2 6 2 .250 5.0 41 25

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Movin' on Up

Wednesday featured some impromptu SFL baseball. Originally it was scheduled for a practice but with rain in the forecast for the weekend, it was an opportunity to take advantage of the weather so the games from Friday were moved up to Wednesday. In the first game, Green had the first shot to slow down the Gray attack. For most of the game, they were succeeding. The action started in the top of the first when Nick Lovick drove home Garrett Emling and Matt Vanni after a no-doubter to left. It was Lovick's first home run of the fall. Gray answered with two in the second after a Josh Crout RBI-double. It remained 3-2 until the fifth when Gray brought home the tying run. The Gray team hasn't lost a game since game four of the opening weekend. It was also the third-straight SFL game to end in a tie.

After the tie, the Black Team would have the opportunity to end Gray's string of defeat-less games. The Black Team used a three-run fourth to snap Gray's five-game winning streak and pull within a half-game of second place. Consecutive RBI singles by Jae Leeworthy, Matt Toth and Pat Kilway extended the Black lead to 4-1. Gray made an attempt at their second-straight comeback with a run in the fourth on Josh Crout's second RBI-double of the day.

With rain in the forecast, Sunday's games have been moved up to Friday and Sunday will feature a split-squad game preceded by a short practice. "Family Day" is set for Saturday, October 9th. Festivities will begin at 10:30 am during the SFL 3rd Place game of the SFL and will continue through the SFL Championship Game at approximately 12:30 pm. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Wednesday, 9/29
Game 13: Gray 3, Green 3
Game 14: Black 4, Gray 2 (W: Sinko 1-0, L: Birch 1-2, S: Shaw 1)

Friday, 10/1
Game 15: Green v. Black, 3pm
Game 16: Gray v. Green, 4:30pm

Standings W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 7 2 1 .778 - 30 47
Green 2 4 3 .333 3.5 38 30
Black 2 5 2 .222 4.0 35 24

Monday, September 27, 2010

School Ties

Sunday's SFL action left a lot to be desired. No, not in the play, which was much improved from the previous two days, but the results. After a very speedy outcome in the first game, an outcome for game two was left in limbo. The game would end in a 5-5 tie when Ryan Anstaett (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and the Green Team watched as their 4-run lead slip away. Trailing 5-1 after 3 1/2 innings, the Black Team scored four unanswered runs with the final two coming in the final inning thanks to RBI singles by Matt Toth and Cody Blood. Black had the winning run on third base but Green held off their best effort and maintained their hold on second place.

After the Black Team escaped defeat in the sixth, they had a chance to grab victory and close in on second place by scoring a run to pick up a win from the suspended Game 8 from last weekend. Black had loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but Garret Emling pitched out of the jam to preserve a 7-7 tie.

Aside form the overall dominance thus far of the Gray Team, the story of game one was the red-hot bat of Kyle Kemp. In the top of the first, Kemp belted his third round-tripper of the fall over the left-centerfield wall. Kemp would walk and score an insurance run in the third en route to the Gray Team's seventh win of the fall, in a 3-1 decision.

The SFL heads into its final weekend of the regular season with games resuming on Friday. The Storm baseball team has announced Saturday, October 9th will be "Family Day." Festivities will begin at 10:30 am during the SFL 3rd Place game of the SFL and will continue through the SFL Championship Game at approximately 12:30 pm. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Sunday, 9/26
Game 11: Gray 3, Black 1
Game 12: Black 5, Green 5
Game 8 (Resumed from 9/17): Black 7, Green 7

Friday, 10/1
Game 13: Green v. Gray, 3pm
Game 14: Gray v. Black, 4:30pm

Sunday, 10/3
Game 15: Green v. Black, 9am
Game 16: Gray v. Green, 11am

Standings W L T .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 7 1 0 .875 - 23 42
Green 2 4 2 .333 4.0 35 27
Black 1 5 2 .167 5.0 33 20

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Downright Offensive

Easily the highest offensive output of the fall, the Gray Team extended their lead in the SFL standings with a pair of wins Saturday morning. They now sit at 6-1 and hold a three game lead over the Green team. The first game of the day featured 18 total runs, with Gray scoring a dozen themselves, doubling up Green 12-6. Green jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a half-inning, but Gray answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning thanks to back-to-back RBI doubles by Ryan Rua and Kyle Kemp. Gray was nursing a 5-4 lead when they put up a four-spot in the fourth thanks to RBI hits by Mike Fabri and Zach Mosbarger. Jae Leewothy provided some offense for Green, knocking his second home run of the fall in the fifth, but it wasn't enough to spark a comeback. The Ump Cam, Chris Mason, picked up the win in relief.

In game two, the Gray team used the long ball as their weapon of choice. Kyle Kemp's bat was still scorching when he belted a go-ahead two-run home run in the third and Josh Crout added some insurance when he blasted a two-run shot of his own to dead center field. There was cause for concern with the number of errors committed throughout the day and the slow pace of play. Hopefully the weekend finale will see improvement in both categories.

The Storm baseball team has announced Saturday, October 9th will be "Family Day." Festivities will begin at 10:30 am during the SFL 3rd Place game of the SFL and will continue through the SFL Championship Game at approximately 12:30 pm. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field andwww.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Saturday, 9/25
Game 9: Gray 12, Green 6 (W: Mason 1-0, L: Minnich 0-3)
Game 10: Gray 6, Black 4 (W: Nordquist 2-0, L: Ingalls 0-1)

Sunday, 9/26
Game 11: Black v. Gray, 9am
Game 12: Black v. Green, 11am

Standings W L .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 6 1 .857 - 22 39
Green 2 4 .333 3.0 30 22
Black 1 4 .200 3.5 25 14

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Welcome to Ump Cam

During the second game of today's SFL action, there was a little experiment being conducted and I think the results were conclusive...we want to see more of Ump Cam! Junior pitcher Chris Mason threw in the first game of the day and was scheduled to call the balls and strikes for game two. He geared up and got behind home plate and was armed with a digital camera. Here is the trial run of Ump Cam which took place between innings. Check out the rest of the videos from Ump Cam at The Cave's YouTube page at www.youtube.com/thecoachscave.

Running Away?

Two weekends of the SFL are now complete...almost. Today's SFL action ended with the Black and Green teams in a 7-7 tie after five innings of play in the second of two SFL games. The Green Team jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after two innings but the Black Team rallied with seven unanswered runs in the third and fourth innings. Pat Kilway led the attack with a pair of hits and drove in four. Mike Morgan, Bobby Seda and Cody Blood each scored a pair of runs during the two-inning span. The Green Team put their own rally together in the fifth to plate three when four of the first five hitters recorded base hits. The game was officially suspended and the teams will resume play next weekend.

In the opening game, the Gray Team showed why they are sitting in first place and have no interest in letting up by scoring in each of the first three innings. Zach Mosbarger led off the game with a triple and later scored on a Ryan Rua sac fly. Rua has now driven in a run in each of Gray's five games. Gray loaded the bases in the second and Johnny Christani singled in a pair and Rua added his second sac fly of the game to extend the lead to 4-0. Christani came through again the very next inning with another bases loaded single which plated two. The Green Team started a late rally but only managed a pair of runs when Nick Lovick doubled in Jae Leeworthy. Lovick would score on a Ryan Anstaett ground out. Brandon Grunda recorded his first win of the fall throwing an inning of scoreless baseball.

The team will have practice Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before resuming SFL action on Saturday. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Sunday, 9/19
Game 7: Gray 6, Green 2 (W: Grunda 1-0, L: Minnich 0-2)
Game 8: Green 7, Black 7 (Suspended in 5th)

Saturday, 9/25
Game 9: Gray v. Green, 9am
Game 10: Gray v. Black, 11am

Sunday, 9/26
Game 11: Black v. Gray, 9am
Game 12: Black v. Green, 11am

Standings W L .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 4 1 .800 - 12 21
Green 2 3 .400 2.0 18 16
Black 1 3 .250 2.5 19 10

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Black, Black Satruday

Only four games into the 2010 Storm Fall League, each outcome can completely change the landscape of the standings. The Black Team came into play sitting a half game out of first place, but a pair of losses on Saturday, sent them spiraling towards the basement.

In the first game of the day, the Green Team made their push to get out of the cellar, led by the corner combo of Jae Leeworthy and Ryan Anstaett. In the fourth inning, Leeworthy broke a 2-2 tie with a 2-run shot to right field, his first of the fall. Two innings later, Anstaett broke the game open with a bases loaded single which plated a pair. Adam Beach worked two innings to get the win, stranding a key runner on third in the fifth, maintaining a 2-run lead. The Black Team threatened in the sixth, but Chris Mason induced a game-ending double play to close out the 7-2 victory for the Green Team's second win of the fall.

The Black Team's troubles continued in the nightcap, trailing 1-0 after a half inning, back-to-back hits with runners in scoring position by Cody Blood and Bobby Seda gave Black a 2-1 lead. The lead was short-lived when Mike Fabri led off the second with a solo shot to center. After back-to-back walks, Kyle Kemp deposited a fastball over the left field scoreboard for his first round-tripper of the fall, giving the Gray Team a 5-2 lead in which they would not relinquish. Gray would add one in the fourth and a pair in the sixth for an 8-4 win to extend their lead in the standings. Tim Birch worked a scoreless inning to even his record at 1-1.

The SFL will resume play on Sunday with a pair of games beginning at 9 am (weather permitting). Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Saturday, 9/18
Game 5: Green 7, Black 2 (W: Beach 1-0, L: Dempsey 0-1)
Game 6: Gray 8, Black 4 (W: Birch 1-1, L: Minnich 0-1)

Sunday, 9/19
Game 7: Green v. Gray, 9am
Game 8: Green v. Black, 11am

Standings W L .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 3 1 .750 - 10 15
Green 2 2 .500 1.0 12 14
Black 1 3 .250 2.0 19 10

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Going Camping

We will be hosting a Fall Prospect Camp on Saturday, October 16 from 12-5pm. The camp is open to all high school baseball players in grades 9-12 interested in playing at the collegiate level. While the Lake Erie baseball practice facility is receiving a face lift, we will hold the camp at Mentor High School. For more information, visit the Lake Erie baseball website or contact the baseball office at (440) 375-7484. Hopefully there will be a PDF posted shortly.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Wrap

The first weekend of the Storm Fall League is in the books and one things is apparent, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters. The Storm pitchers are holding the hitters to a .264 average (37-for-140) with 18 runs allowed thru four games. Contributing to the cause was the Gray Team trio of sophomore Logan Nordquist, freshman Josh Porter, and junior Ryan Rua. In Sunday's first game, these three pitchers combined for a one-hit shutout of the Black Team. Nordquist picked up the win after posting a line of 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 K, 0 BB and induced three ground ball putout. Porter came in relief and also went six up and six down giving his defense some work with four ground ball outs. Rua allowed the only two Black Team base runners allowing a hit to freshman AJ Gobar and a walk to junior Matt Toth but induced a key double play and added a strikeout to earn his first save of the fall. On offense, Rua drove in the only run when he hit a sac fly in the first to score Zach Mosbarger who led the game off with a single.

The Green team got off the schnide with a 5-2 win in the nightcap. Junior Jae Leeworthy paced the Green offense with a 2-for-3 day and a run scored. Green got a run in the first but Gray tied the game on Ryan Rua's second home run of the fall. Green answered with a 4-run third inning thanks to some defensive miscues which sandwiched base hits by Leeworthy and junior Matt Vanni. Freshman Mike Oley bounced back on the mound after suffering a loss in game two on Friday by striking out the side in the fifth to earn his first dave of the fall.

The team will practice Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before resuming the SFL next Saturday. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the game.

Sunday, 9/12
Game 3: Gray 1, Black 0 (W: Nordquist 1-0, L: Shaw 0-1, S: Rua 1)
Game 4: Green 5, Gray 2 (W: Raley 1-0, L: Birch 0-1, S: Oley 1)

Saturday, 9/18
Game 5: Black v. Green, 9am
Game 6: Black v. Gray, 11am

Sunday, 9/19
Game 7: Green v. Black, 9am
Game 8: Green v. Gray, 11am

Standings W L .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 2 1 .667 - 6 7
Black 1 1 .500 0.5 2 4
Green 1 2 .333 1.0 10 7

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Pitch of SFL

Here's a short clip some of the first pitch of the 2010 SFL from junior Michael Backes to sophomore Zach Mosbarger. Missed high for ball one...and we are underway.

Friday Night Smackdown

It was not a great day to be the defending champs of the Storm Fall League. The Green Team opened the 2010 SFL with a pair of losses Friday night as they began their title defense. In the opener, the pitching was the story early on as the champs and the Gray Team managed only four hits total thru the first three innings. It was in the fourth inning that the goose eggs were cracked when Gray Team junior Ryan Rua broke the game open. After two quick outs in the inning, sophomore Zach Mosbarger sandwiched a single between a pair of walks which helped load the bases, and Rua cleared them with a grand slam over the left field fence to give the Gray Team a 4-0 lead. The champs showed signs of a late rally but that fizzled falling in their opener 4-1. Freshman pitcher Cameron Sheehan picked up the win in relief. Both Rua and Mosbarger finished the game with two hits apiece.

Game two was much like the opener as the pitching was dominant in the outset and it wasn't until the 5th inning until any runs were scored. The Black Team broke a scoreless tie in the 5th when junior infielder Mike Morgan led off with a double to right. After a sac bunt by sophomore Cody Blood advanced Morgan to third, freshman Bobby Seda brought him in with a sac fly to deep center. The Black Team would add three more runs in the inning when they recorded four straight hits, capped by a RBI-triple by junior Matt Toth. The Green Team would again rally late but fall 4-1 and drop to 0-2 in the SFL. Freshman Jeff Throckmorton picked up the win in relief.

SFL action will resume on Sunday when Gray and Black square off at 9am in the first of two games on the day. Stay tuned to www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates from the field and www.thecoachscave.blogspot.com for recaps after the games.

Friday, 9/10
Game 1: Gray 4, Green 1 (W: Sheehan 1-0, L: Fox 0-1)
Game 2: Black 4, Green 1 (W: Throckmorton 1-0, L: Oley 0-1)

Sunday, 9/12
Game 3: Gray v. Black, 9am
Game 4: Gray v. Green, 11am

Standings W L .PCT GB RA RS
Gray 1 0 1.000 - 1 4
Black 1 0 1.000 - 1 4
Green 0 2 .000 1.5 8 2

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Are You Ready for Some...Fall Ball?

Sure the NFL season kicks off tonight and all of America will be focused on New Orleans. But for me, it's hard not to be thinking about the SFL. Practice thus far have been going great and the team has been busting it so today's off day has given the team (myself included) time to rest and reflect, and to build up anticipation for the 2010 Storm Fall League, which begins play on tomorrow (Friday, 9/10/10).

The third year of the SFL will begin with the 2009 Champion Green Team facing off against both the Gray and Black teams. First pitch is scheduled to start around 2:30 pm at Mentor High School. The league will run through the second week in October (SFL Finals, 10/9/10). Games are open to the public and all fans are welcome to attend. For recaps, scores, and standings from SFL action, stay tuned to the blog as well as The Cave's twitter feed at www.twitter.com/thecoachscave for updates throughout the fall.

Rosters will be available at the field but may also be viewed below. The full schedule will be posted tomorrow. It should be a fun fall...see you at the park!

GREEN TEAM (2009 Champions)
Pitchers: Michael Backes, Adam Beach, Tim Dempsey, Doug Fox, Tyler Minnich, Mike Oley, Brad Raley, Matt Vanni*
Catchers: Nick Lovick
Infielders: Ryan Anstaett, Jae Leeworthy, Dillon VanDyne, Matt Vanni*
Outfielders: Garrett Emling, Josiah Ring

BLACK TEAM
Pitchers: Cameron Castro, JD Ingalls, Brian Kilway, Zack Justice, Mike Morgan*, Pat Sinko, Jimmie Shaw, Jeff Throckmorton, Ricky Volante
Catchers: AJ Gobar*, Pat Kilway*
Infielders: Cody Blood, Pat Kilway*, Mike Morgan*, Justin Rebhun, Bobby Seda*
Outfielders: AJ Gobar*, Bobby Seda*, Matt Toth

GRAY TEAM (2008 Champions)
Pitchers: Tim Birch, Brandon Grunda, Chris Mason, Logan Nordquist, Josh Porter, Ryan Rua*, Cameron Sheehan, DJ Stastny, Glenn Stewart
Catchers: Johnny Christani, Mike Fabri*
Infielders: Josh Crout, Kyle Kemp*, Reid Rizzo, Ryan Rua*
Outfielders: Mike Fabri*, Kyle Kemp*, Zach Mosbarger

*Plays multiple positions