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CBD Journal with Rhode Island’s Mike Le Bel (November 8th)

Well, fall ball is done. Us upper classmen have spent the past couple months tweaking some things and just working to get better each and every single day. Our freshmen, meanwhile, used the fall as an opportunity to prove themselves deserving of a plane ticket to Tallahassee for the season-opening series at Florida State.

What stands in front of us now is a grind.

When you’re absolutely gassed from an hour-long workout and see sweat pouring down your face in the mirrors lining the walls of the weight room – that’s when you hear Jay Azulay, the URI Baseball strength coach, announce that you’ve still got conditioning before the day is done… And that’s when you realize how much you love this game, how much you have to love this game.

I know that I speak for every player on my team when I say that the seemingly endless workouts will all be worth it on Friday night, Feb. 15, in Tallahassee. We’ve got unfinished business there…

Two guys on our squad that I know are chomping at the bit to get back on the field are Kris Selvaggi and Shane O’Connell.  Both are red-shirt transfers from the University of New Haven and could not be more excited to be a part of the Rhody tradition.  Shane will be an excellent leader and major contributor behind the dish for us and there is no doubt in my mind that Selvaggi will put his live arm on display throughout the entire 2013 season.

On a different note, October 27th marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of our beloved teammate, Joey Ciancola. Joe is deeply missed by his family, friends and teammates and will forever hold a special place in our hearts.  Several teammates and I spent the 27th in Connecticut, visiting Joey’s grave and spending the afternoon with his family. Joe’s mom Michele and his sister Lindsay are two of the strongest people that I know. They continue to inspire our Rhody Baseball family every single day.

Finally, before I sign off, I would like to extend thoughts and prayers – on behalf of the entire Rhody baseball program – to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy, especially the people of New York and New Jersey.

Until Next Time,

Mike Le Bel