Saturday, March 31, 2012

Homestand Continues

Homecoming week continues for the Storm as they open their first conference home series of the season against Hillsdale College. The two teams split in last season's 4-game set in Michigan, where two of the games were decided by two runs or less. 2012 should be very similar with both teams combining for 12 one-run games (Lake Erie 2-2, Hillsdale 1-7). The series begins today with the first pitch of the double-header at 1:00pm at The K-Zone. The series wraps on Sunday, April 1 with first pitch at noon. Stay updated during the first homestand of the season on Twitter @thecoachscave (#HomeOpener). RAGE ON!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Home Cooking

Fresh off taking three of four from defending GLIAC and Midwest regional champions, Grand Valley State, the Storm return home their home opener against Notre Dame College at 2:00pm at Kiwanis Recrational Park. The double-header will kick off eight straight home games which continues this weekend against conference rival Hillsdale College, a welcome change from spending the past four weeks playing road games. Stay updated during the first home stand of the season on Twitter @thecoachscave (#HomeOpener). RAGE ON!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Checking In

It has been over a week since the last post which gives the phrase "checking in" a second meaning. In the past eleven days, this is the fifth different hotel the Storm baseball team has occupied so hearing the question, "Checking in?" is nothing new. We have been road warriors for the first three-plus weeks of the season, and while that is not a new concept to northern baseball teams, there has been little opportunity to develop an in-season routine, which is vital in the sport of baseball.

After returning from the spring trip, it is safe to say the wins and losses did not pan out to what we expected. But what was planned was the fact we would be playing the toughest competition possible. But the one thing the losses did provide was a learning experience for each of us as individuals, and a collective unit. But with virtually 20% of the season gone, and when seemingly everything that could possibly go wrong on the field is, I am reminded by a quote from Henry Ford, "When everything seems to be going against you, remember the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."

So this trip is now providing an opportunity for something else. It's an opportunity for everyone on this team to reassure themselves the work put in from the end of last season to opening day will ultimately produce results, but it should also reassure that success is found in the process and we can get things moving in the right direction, as long as we're moving together.

Today's non-conference double-header with the University of Charleston will begin at 12:00pm EST. Stay tuned to The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave for updates on each and every game this season. RAGE ON!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lab Notes: 3/10/12

We're back on the banks of the Ohio River as the 2012 season continues with a double-header against Northern Kentucky University. But before we get to the news and notes, I would like to wish both my parents a very Happy Birthday! Yes, that's right, both parents. Born on the same day in the same year and who have been happily married for nearly 40 years. Thank you for all you do and I love you both!

While we're passing out birthday wishes, it would behoove me to mention my brother Andrew, who if not for a leap year 20 years ago, would have shared a birthday with my parents. Happy Birthday Drew! Now, let's get to the news on the field.

News & Notes:
  • The DH with Northern Kentucky kicks off a week-long trip in which the Storm will play six games.
  • Today's game against NKU will be the first meeting since LEC last visited Highland Heights in 2010 where the Norse swept the double-header, which capped the 2010 spring trip.
  • RS-Junior Adam Beach and sophomore Brian Kilway will get the ball for games one and two, respectively. Both starters are looking to get back on track despite tough-luck starts at Southern Indiana. Beach lost 3-0, despite not allowing an earned run.
  • Both pitchers can't look too far for explanations for the tough outings, however, as walks we prevalent in both performances. Beach surrendered four base on balls, where Kilway surrendered three.
After the two-game set in Kentucky, the Storm will head down to Cleveland, Mississippi for single games with nationally-ranked Delta State University on March 13-14. The trip will conclude with a single game against the University of Arkansas-Monticello followed by one with Southern Arkansas University on March 15.

Stay tuned to The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave this week for news on the #SpringTrip. #RageOn!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Early Work: Infield Warm-up Drills

We start virtually every infield practice with a series of warm-up drills before we ever take a live ground ball. The following drill series begins with a short hop drills working on the ball hit directly at the fielder, followed by balls to the forehand and backhand. After progressing through ball handling drills* (not shown - description below), we move through a ground ball progression which simulates plays to home, first and second base. The entire progression should take 20-25 minutes and is a perfect drill series for early work.

*Ball Handling Drills: Take a ball in glove and work on transferring the ball from glove to hand by moving in circles around each leg in both clockwise and counterclockwise motions. Perform either 15-20 reps or 30 seconds (15 each direction) around your right leg, left leg, both legs and a figure 8 motion.

For more videos, check out The Coach's Cave YouTube channel. RAGE ON!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thank You for your Support!

I would like to thank all those who participated in, and donated to Lake Erie's inagural event with the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Several baseball players made time between class and practice to join fellow classmates in shaving their heads to raise awareness for the foundation. The event raised over $5,000 towards cancer research for children with cancer. For more details on the event, check out the Lake Erie College event page.

Stay connected on social media by following Twitter feeds for both @StBaldricks, and
@BaseBald_SBF. Thanks to everyone for making a difference! RAGE ON!

Lab Notes: 3/3/12

The season is officially underway after a disaappointing opening weekend at Southern Indiana but there was plenty to take away from the 3-game set on the banks of the Ohio River. Here are a few news and notes from the weekend.

News & Notes:
  • The pitchers allowed just over 5 runs and 6 walks a game. Obviously a higher number than desired, but USI only managed a .259 average against Storm pitchers.
  • The bullpen allowed only four earned runs and six hits in 9.1 IP
  • Freshman/pitcher Russ Hogue made an impressive debut in Green and White, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings, only allowing a single hit.
  • Senior/catcher Nick Lovick made his return behind the plate after missing the entire 2011 season with a wrist injury. The Captain started all three games for the Storm.
The team is off on Saturday, but will get back to the practice floor on Sunday. The season will continue one week from today in Highland Heights, KY when they face Northern Kentucky in a double-header. The DH kicks off the Storm's week-long spring trip, totaling a six-game schedule.

Stay tuned to The Coach's Cave Twitter feed @thecoachscave this week for news leading up to the #SpringTrip. #RageOn!