I want to start my first in-season blog by talking about what a great atmosphere playing at the University of Arkansas was. Playing at different SEC parks is always an experience and UA was no different. We faced a high-quality team this weekend that had a front-line pitching staff and took advantage of timely hitting. One thing I will take away from the experience was how well most of the fans treated us throughout the weekend. When you have fans right on top of you in the outfield like that you never know what you are going to get, but they were classy and had some pretty clever things to say, especially the fans out in left field where I was playing. If any of you who were in attendance are readers of the site, I want to say thanks for making this weekend fun and allowing me to play along with all the heckling you guys threw my way.
Murphy’s Law applied perfectly to how our trip to Arkansas started out. Our first flight out of Charlotte on Thursday was canceled thanks to Winter Storm Pax that blanketed the Southeast with snow last week. That cancellation caused us to have to fly out on two separate flights on Friday morning. When we arrived at the airport on Friday, Murphy’s Law struck again as one of the team’s flights was canceled. That meant that we had to fly to Arkansas and play the first game with only two-thirds of our roster. It keeps getting better, the one flight that wasn’t cancelled wound up being delayed for two hours and we arrived in Fayetteville only an hour-and-a-half before game time. It was your typical “show and go,” as we had just enough time to stretch, throw and take a couple swings in the cage before it was time to play. The rest of our team ended up catching a flight later that night and joined us around midnight.
Although the weekend didn’t go how we would have liked, there are always things to take from it. The thing with playing high-caliber teams is that they take advantages of your mistakes and make you pay for them. Playing teams like that will only help make us better, as it causes us to learn from our mistakes and move on to our next opponent ready to go. The road for us doesn’t get any easier as we head to Knoxville, Tenn. on Tuesday to face another quality SEC team in the University of Tennessee before going to Raleigh, N.C. for a weekend series against NC State.
We knew from the beginning we were going to be tested and it will force us to play at our highest level every single day. We will have to play smarter and improve in all areas every chance we get but I promise you that this team will find a way to do that. We will be ready for the challenges that will continue to be ahead of us and soon will be a team that people will be talking about.
In the mean time it’s time for me to sign off as I’m continually being heckled by our athletics director, Charlie Cobb, in the seat behind me. Hopefully my new friends “out in left field” will become season long readers!
Playing for the dogpile.