Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Short Hop

It's been a few months since I've had some significant baseball to write about, and with the start of fall ball, I figure it's a good time to dust of the keyboard. I am at a new school now, taking a position at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana. Like Lake Erie, Saint Joe's is a Division II school, but one thing that hasn't changed is the game. Baseball is still baseball. The characters may change but the story remains the same.

Today I am introducing a new segment to the Cave, called The Short Hop. This segment will, at least for now, feature a daily (or at least every other day) recap of fall games and practices, which will also include (at some point) player interviews. But for now, I start with a recap of yesterday's intersquad scrimmage.

The Score: The Black team won 5-3 over the Red team, which is irrelevant because the rosters will switch from time to time until the Puma World Series in early October. Lineups

Offense: The first day was hardly a slug fest but there were a lot of positives that came from the offensive end. The game was not full of extra base hits but there was enough offense for the first day mixed in with some solid pitching performances. The area that stood out was the aggressiveness on the bases. This won't be the last mention of base running in this segment.

Defense: There were a few physical errors made but sometimes that is the cost of doing business. The main area of improvement will need to be on the communication end of things. There is always going to be a learning curve when you get a group of players on the field who have never played with each other but baseball is still baseball and there are some plays that do not change no matter the level.

Overall: The first of anything (game, practice, even day of classes) always has a lot of energy, and yesterday was no exception. The obvious challenge will be for players and coaches alike to maintain a high level of intensity. But I know everyone's looking forward to Friday.

Quote of the Day: "He hit first base and just didn't go anywhere." Student Assistant Brandon Brian on freshman/catcher Marty Napleton legging out a double.

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Saint Joseph's College: @SJC_Pumas
Saint Joseph's Athletics: @SJC_Athletics
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Head Coach Rick O'Dette: @rickodette
Assistant Coach Ryan Wheat: @baseballwheat

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