First things first—a huge thanks goes out to Anthony Gomez for writing last week’s blog for me. I came down with a little case of Spring Break Senioritis (watch out, its contagious), and from some of the feedback we received, he about put me out of a job. However, I think I’ll be able to make it through the rest of the season.
We were very successful last week, going 5-0 and moving to 16-1 on the season. We had two walk-off wins this weekend against the University of Illinois-Chicago, as Mike Yastrzemski doubled in Tony Kemp on Saturday for a 9-8 win and Anthony “guest blogger” Gomez lined a game-winning single up the middle Sunday as we won 2-1. For those who watch Baseball Tonight and see highlights of teams celebrating walk-off wins, there is no better feeling than to sprint out of the dugout to mob your teammates at the plate, and then sprint to mob the teammate who had the game-winning hit. There are a lot of fun things about the game of baseball, but the walk-off win may be the most exciting moment as a player.
Sonny Gray and Taylor Hill had dominant pitching performances for us on Friday and Sunday, and offensively, Curt Casali reached base in nine consecutive at-bats. And, of course, no week is complete without Mark Lamm snaking another win, his fourth of the season, during Wednesday’s game against Kennesaw State.
After hosting the Purdue Boilermakers today in a mid-week game, we begin Southeastern Conference play on Friday when the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to Nashville. SEC weekends are unbelievable—the weather begins to warm up, the ballpark atmospheres are great, and any team can beat another on any given day. Some of the best ballgames in the country are played down South every weekend, and these games will only get better as the season progresses.
Before playing against the Wofford Terriers last Tuesday, we had a forty-minute rain delay at Hawkins Field. Since fans wait in their cars or under the bleachers for the rain to stop, most of them do not see what we do to pass the time during the delay.
I had no clue there was such thing as rain delay games until my freshman year at Vandy (which seems like 10 years ago), but apparently they were made up a long, long time ago by baseball players much wiser than any of us. After being handed down from generation to generation, we are now left with games like “the hat game,” “snaps,” “green-glass door,” and most importantly, “leapfrog.”
How do you play these games? Well if it the answer was that easy, the games wouldn’t be any fun, would they? Bound by the rules of baseball, players must learn how the games are played on their own, and once they crack the code, they play along as others try to figure out how to play the hat game, or why Drew cannot go through the green-glass door, but Fann can. (Cheaters can just use Google.) The only information I am at liberty to say is this: if anyone wants to know how to play “leapfrog”, just ask Will Johnson—he got pretty good at it in the fall.
Rain delay games help us stay loose during the inclement weather, and they also keep our minds moving and do not allow us to get lazy or bored. We hate weather delays just as much as the fans, but since there is nothing we can do about it, we might as well have some fun with it. And for those who enjoy getting wet, tarp slides are highly encouraged.
Finally, there can’t be a blog this week without mentioning March Madness! Thankfully for the readers, I am graduating in May with a minor in Bracketology. Heads up for the Belmont Bruins making a Sweet 16 run as a 13 seed, and the St. John’s Red Storm going to the Elite 8. My final four picks are North Carolina, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt, with Vanderbilt beating Connecticut in the championship game. Kemba Walker may be a baller, but he’s no John Jenkins. You heard it here first—Commodores national champs.
Until next week—Go ’Dores