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CBD Journal with Rhode Island’s Mike Le Bel (October 3rd)

Well here we are again, the beginning of another school year. Before you know it, February will roll around and, on Friday night, the lights will get turned on and the 2013 college baseball season will begin. But before that happens, there will be plenty of blood, sweat and tears leading up to the moment we all work so hard for: opening night.

Being back at Rhody this year has a different feel to it. In the five years that I have now been here, there hasn’t quite been the sense of urgency that I feel from our players and our coaching staff this fall. New faces on the coaching staff are definitely contributing to that intensity.

Assistant coach Matt Untiet has joined the staff, and I know my teammates will agree with me when I say that he brings an unmatched level of energy every single day. Rhody has also added an experienced pitcher to the staff in volunteer assistant coach Mike Walsh, who could be seen today demonstrating his yoga skills in the hitting barn.

Almost half way through the fall, the freshmen are starting to make some improvements. All college baseball players, past and present, know that there is an adjusting period to go through between college and high school ball – and the quicker you make that transition, the better your chances are of cracking the line-up and becoming a contributor for your squad.

Probably one of my favorite things is to watch a freshman get thrown into the fire and eat up the opportunity of playing with the “big boys.” I was able to experience it myself as a freshman and it was a pleasure to sit back and watch Timmy Caputo do it last year; he’s a gamer.

Who is it going to be this year? Which guy will be able to make a pitch when he needs to, steal a bag late in a close game? Young guys can make a big difference and I am excited to see who it will be for the Rhody Rams this season.

I can’t sign off without saying congrats to Pat Cantwell, Travis Jankowski and the entire Stony Brook team for making it to the CWS last year. It was awesome watching them play on the big stage, giving the Northeast some recognition and extra motivation for this coming season.

Can’t wait to see how things play out in 2013… Who will it be opening people’s eyes and exceeding all expectations? After all, February is right around the corner.

Until Next Time,

Mike Le Bel