Summer Check-In, Part V
Aug. 3, 2011
Now that August is upon us, the summer baseball scene is nearing its end as teams prepare to enter the playoffs, or for their players to return home to prepare for another college school year.
Here are a few reports from Husky players plying their trade across the country this summer:
ZACH WRIGHT, La Crosse Loggers (added Aug. 5)
We've had a crazy schedule as of late, hanging out at the park one day from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. to get a doubleheader in, only to get on a bus for an eight-hour bus ride back home. The weather here is something else; I have never seen anything like it.
My pitching has gone pretty well, along with most of the guys on the Loggers. While I have been here I have met some pretty fun people and made a few friends, which I should be keeping in touch with. I would have to say that I can't wait to get back home and see my family and friends, then get started with Husky Baseball and get after it in the fall and winter.
My host family has been great. They are very warm-hearted people, and they have been very supportive throughout the season. Coming to La Crosse has been a great experience. Everything about it has made me better in some way, whether it be the schedule, the competition, or the coaches. As soon as this season's over I know I will be itching to get back at it.
WILL SPARKS, Neptune Beach Pearl
Over the past few weeks, we've lost about one-third of our team due to early departures and injuries. It's gotten to the point where we have had to bring in a pitcher to play the outfield. We're currently on a five-game winning streak though so we're not worried about it.
We had our last home game yesterday at Alameda's prestigious Willie Stargell Field and it resulted in one of the crazier endings I've ever been a part of. Going into the nine inning, we were up 11-5. Our pitcher recorded two quick outs and then got, what seemed to be, the final batter to ground out.
Our team ran to the mound to give each other high-fives and the celebratory music started playing. Unfortunately, there was a catcher's interference call that nobody seemed to hear. After everyone awkwardly ran back to their positions, the inning continued. The next two batters reached base on errors, followed by a base hit to put the tying run on deck. Our pitcher then struck out the last batter to end the game, this time for real.
Playing for the Pearl this summer has been a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the playoffs next weekend. That being said, I can't wait to head back up to Seattle in a few weeks and get back to work. Go Dawgs!
JEFF BRIGHAM, Bend Elks
Whether you're out floating the river, golfing, going out for a little morning hot yoga (yes I tried hot yoga), or going to the versatile Bend Athletic Club, you can always find something to do.
My host family is phenomenal. I am the luckiest player on my team to have such awesome host parents. They are a retired couple from California who would break their backs to help anyone out. The wife forces the most delicious food down my throat for every meal of the day, while the husband kicks my butt at pool on a routine basis. My stay here in Bend would not be the same without them.
Currently this year we are in second place and looking to make the playoffs. Our team has a ton of talent to go along with great chemistry, which has won us a couple games by itself. It amazes me of how well our entire team has bonded over just a few short months. I am going to miss everyone a lot when this summer is over.
I personally have been throwing well. After missing three weeks due to an injury following two starts, I have assumed the role as the closer and am thoroughly enjoying the pressure that accompanies the position. I have also enjoyed watching the success of my fellow Huskies, especially the pitchers. Shout outs to Austin Voth, Tyler Kane, and Z brain who have been representing our class of pitchers very well. And of course Adam Cimber tearing up the Northwoods one softball pitch at a time :). Aaron West is dominating... need I say more. I am excited to see the improvements our team makes this year and for our pitching staff to dominate.
This summer has flown by! I am sad to see it go but looking forward to a new beginning. I hope that both the hard work I have put in as well as the work I know our team has put in will carry over to this fall, where we can begin our run at a Pac-12 title and a College World Series!
You stay classy Dawgs!
ADAM CIMBER, Green Bay Bullfrogs
And yet, we still have been winning a ton of games. Right now we're a half-game back of Zach Wright's team, the LaCrosse Loggers, for first place and the last playoff spot. The season is far from over. We still have 13 games left in the regular season, and if we make playoffs, possibly another six.
The weather has been crazy. A couple days ago we had a storm that I'll remember forever. It was clear skies when all of the sudden black skies were headed our way. The whole team rushed out to tarp the field because we had heard what was coming, but as soon as we started to spread it, it hit.
All of the sudden a gust of 80-plus mph wind hit us and wreaked havoc. The tarp looked like a giant was shaking the sand off of his beach blanket. People holding on were getting tossed around, while others ran to get away from the tree branches and debris flying onto the field. A couple of our cars got smashed by falling trees in the parking lot. A transformer on a power line started going haywire and sparking, while one of the stadium lights almost came down on our clubhouse. A huge tree fell and smashed the back of the press box. Really fun, but a little scary. Never seen anything like that before.
With the weather has come a lot of rainouts. With rainouts comes a lot of double headers. We've played four in the last week. There was a point a couple days ago, due to unusual start times, we played five games within 48 hours. It's definitely a grind, but this summer has been one of the best. I've met a lot of cool people, and two or three friends that I know I'll keep in touch with for a long time. I've been throwing really well this summer, and our team has been winning a lot of games. I've seen a couple ballparks, Miller Park and Wrigley Field. Rafted a river, went fishing a few times, had some fun bonfires. My family and girlfriend came to visit... A lot of good times. Definitely the best summer I can remember.
But like I said, I still have two or three weeks left. Got to keep pushing, and pushing, and pushing! Going to finish strong and then get back home to everybody. Really missing my UW family. Can't wait to see you all in a month. Here we go Dawgs!