Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cuts and Relays

Join me and several members of the Lake Erie baseball team on Wednesday, February 29, when Lake Erie College hosts a cancer awareness head shaving event to benefit the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The event will start at 2:30pm at the Holden Stage area on the campus of Lake Erie. The event is not limited to Lake Erie students and members of the community are encouraged to participate. To participate, donate or to volunteer, go to the St. Baldrick's event page.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lab Notes: 2/20/12

Welcome to the final Spring Training edition of Lab Notes. We are less than a week from the first pitch of the 2012 season, which begins next Saturday in Evansville, Indiana against the 19th-ranked Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles. Unfortunately, Hayden Fox won't be anywhere near the diamond during the three game set. Here are the latest news and notes from last week and a look ahead to the final week of Spring Training.

News & Notes:
  • The squad was split into two teams for a modified intersquad scrimmage on both Saturday and Sunday. The pitchers stuck to their live bullpen schedule, but the hitters played to the count, inning, and score.
  • In addition to the live cage match, the teams physical tools were put to the test in a series of physical challenges between at-bats such as: fielding, throwing, running, endurance, and bunting.
  • Saturday Results: Team 2 wins cage match 5-4, Team 1 wins physical challenge 4-3 and takes Gold Glove round 1-0 to win the day.
  • Sunday Results: Team 2 sweeps both cage and physical challenge to take the day.
  • The team will depart campus on Friday afternoon for the 8 1/2 hour trip. Evansville is located in the Central Time Zone so fans making the trip should plan accordingly.
  • Saturday's double-header will begin at 1pm CST. Game one will be a 9-inning game with the nightcap being a 7-inning contest. The single game on Sunday will be a 9-inning affair.
Spring Training updates will continue this week (#SpringTraining) on The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave. Look for #OpeningDay2012 and #LECBaseball tweets all weekend in Evansville. #RageOn!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lab Notes: 2/14/12

We are less than two weeks away from the start of the 2012 season and we're at the point of Spring Training where the practices can become stale. That was somewhat the case with tonight's workout. It is always the coaching staff's responsibility to keep the team and the practices fresh, but it is also the players' responsibility to keep themselves motivated and focused on the task at end. Baseball is a daily grind but as author Robert Collier once said, "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." Here are the lastest news and notes from the past week of Spring Training.

News & Notes:
  • Uniforms were passed out on Sunday. The Storm added a white pants with black pinstripes to the mix of uniform options for 2012. They will be worn with both the current green "Storm" tops and the black "Erie" tops.
  • There were a few number changes among the coaching staff. Coach Sankovich changed from #23 to #41 while Coach Bunnell switched from #21 to #43.
  • There weren't any number changes among any of the returning players. The only other changes were the addition of the freshman numbers to the roster. They were as follows.
#13 Dylan Yankle
#16 Sean Mathews
#21 Russ Hogue
#22 Jake Ripma
#23 Cory Fox
#27 Jake Gilstorff
#29 Aaron Lindgren
#33 Shaun Gaydos
#36 Heath Kelley
#39 Tyler Lindgren
#50 Chase Haas

Stay tuned all Spring Training long for updates on the Storm via The Coach's Cave Twitter feed (@thecoachscave #SpringTraining). RAGE ON!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Spend an Off Day

It's still very early in Spring Training so the wear and tear on the body isn't as prevalent as it would be in mid-April. Nonetheless, off days are always welcome no matter the time of year. Forget the phrase, "there are no off days." While that phrase looks good on a t-shirt, if you want to make it thru an entire season in good mental health, you need to take advantage of off days. Here are just a few areas which are addressed during an off day as a coach.

1. Sleep. There are a lot of sleepless nights during the course of a season whether its an extended losing streak, a rash of injuries, disciplinary problems with players...the list goes on. Throw in the fact that five of the seven days are spent getting up at 5:30am and you are running the risk of running on fumes by mid-season. So if there is a morning in which you can sleep in past 6am, you do it.

2. Working Out. On practice days, getting a workout in during the day can be very difficult. If your team has morning workouts and practice during the middle of the day, there isn't much time between the two. There are also practice plans to put together, staff meetings to attend, high school coaches to talk to about recruits, and a laundry list of other daily tasks which need accomplished. An off day allows a coach to workout during the time they would normally be at practice and clear his head and get reenergized for the next wave of practices or games.

3. Recruiting Visits. The recruiting aspect of college athletics truly never ends. So having a full day in which there is no baseball activity, off days are good opportunities to bring on potential student-athletes to show around campus without trying to limit your time with a recruit.

4. Emails. Coaches are on their emails everyday, be it in the office or on their smart phones. For the most part, the emails are with recruits or administration, but there are always emails which get pushed to the bottom of the pile, which can now be addressed.

5. Personal Time. Spending time with family is always taken for granted during the off-season but those opportunities can be few and far between during the season and can have an exponential affect on your week. There are also the menial tasks such as laundry, cleaning your house, going to the bank or whatever needs done to clean out the inbox.

Stay tuned all Spring Training long for updates on the Storm via The Coach's Cave Twitter feed (@thecoachscave #SpringTraining). RAGE ON!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lab Notes: 2/8/12

The 2012 season will open in less than three weeks when the Storm opens at No. 17 Southern Indiana. The Storm will have their hands full as they take on the the 2010 national champions. This is something Storm fans should get used to, however, as there are four teams on the schedule ranked in the Top 30. Here are this week's news and notes.

News & Notes:
  • Monday featured a 5-inning intersquad game in the turf at Kiwanis where assistant coaches took the hill in place of Storm hurlers.
  • There weren't set lineups for the scrimmage due to the number of players still in class, so the inning totals are unofficial.
  • Storm pitchers didn't throw live in keeping with their routines to prep for today's live bullpen sessions against the hitters.
  • The most interesting match-up of the day featured brothers taking up arms (and bats) against each other when Brian Kilway (So/RHP) faced off against older brother Pat (Jr/1B) in a 5-pitch session. The pair traded jabs with each other when Brian forced a few swing and misses and Pat found a gap later in the round.
  • Today was the last of a six-day stretch of practices in which the Storm made it outside for all but two of them. The team will have an off day Thursday before getting back to work Friday morning when "The Bear" makes its second appearance.
  • The four outdoor practices of the week brings the 2012 total up to six. The Storm didn't reach that number in 2011 until mid-March, after their spring trip to Florida.
Stay up-to-date between blog posts by following The Coach's Cave on Twitter @thecoachscave #RageOn #SpringTraining. RAGE ON!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lab Notes: 1/31/12

The first week of Spring Training is in the books and Storm baseball is well into week two. There was nothing out of the ordinary in week one, but Tuesday's weather promoted good feelings around camp. A typical first week of practice can resemble this, but for some specifics from the first week of practice, check out these news and notes.

News & Notes:

  • Pitchers threw bullpens on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and as expected, the pitchers seemed to have the edge over the hitters.
  • Garrett Emling recorded the first hit of the spring.
  • Position players worked out on the turf at Kiwanis Rec Park on Tuesday and have a controlled intersquad game planned for Wednesday.
Stay up-to-date between blog posts by following The Coach's Cave on Twitter @thecoachscave. RAGE ON!