By: Ricky Babcock
This wasn’t the ideal baseball weekend for our club, although the weather was terrific we came up short on our goals and expectations for this series. We faced great competition from one of the best teams in the country, Arizona State. They were exceptional at the plate and on the hill. This is a team that is riddled with 16 MLB draft picks and definitely shows their #1 recruiting class in the country. The difference in the weekend was definitely in the batter’s box, ASU Jr. Jason Kipnis got off to a hot start hitting .706 on the weekend with 3 home runs, 5 extra base hits, scoring 11 and driving in 8. Teammate Carlos Ramirez also had a hot weekend hitting 4 home runs and hitting .571. These two players were the biggest asset for ASU on the weekend and will definitely lead this team in the Pac-10.
For us we were lead by Sr. C/1B Ben Long, who hit .333 and by Sr. left fielder Tim Patzman who scored three runs and had a monster 2 run home run onto Rural Road during the Friday night game. Off the field the players enjoyed everything Tempe had to offer. Friday before the game a group of players toured campus, we went over to Packard Stadium to check things out when ASU head coach Pat Murphy stopped to chat with us. He suggested we go check out Sun Devil Stadium as well as Wells Fargo Arena. We were given a tour of the facilities and we were very impressed compared to what we have on our campus. We also enjoyed many of the restaurants near the ASU campus as well as the weather. We left Milwaukee Thursday morning to 7 degrees with a -7 wind chill. When we landed in Phoenix it was 60 degrees which was great for us, but cold according to our coach driver.
Right now I’m laying in the Denver International Airport writing this piece. We were scheduled to leave at 9:55 PM local time it’s now 10:55 PM. The flight was delayed because of maintenance problems with the altimeter. We started to board, and then they stopped us mid way through. A few minutes later we resumed boarding just to get half way down the jet way and turn around back to the terminal. A few of the guys are playing cards, some are sleeping, others are on the internet checking on school work, and there is even a small group playing two ball since we are basically the only people in the airport. So now instead of getting home to Milwaukee at 3 AM, we’ll be getting in at 5 AM probably just to shovel 8 inches of snow from our cars. This was definitely an enjoyable trip to finally get out of the gym and play some baseball outside in the warm sun of Arizona, but we have some work to get done this week before we head to Jacksonville, FL for the JU Invitational with University of Michigan, Akron University, and host Jacksonville University.
Ricky Babcock is currently a junior serving as an intern with the Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball program. He will be providing us with weekly insights to the program. You can check out his other entries by clicking here.