Looking out my window to see snow piling up on the ground isn’t exactly what I picture when I think of baseball season. However, it’s that time of year again and we couldn’t be happier about it!
Our trip from Rhode Island down to Fort Myers didn’t exactly start out according to plan. At 9 o’clock on Wednesday night we received a text to pack our bags and set our alarms because we would be leaving campus at 3:30 in the morning to catch an earlier flight out of Providence to beat the snow. We were lucky enough to get out before the storm shut down all of New England. We arrived in Fort Myers later that morning and took a trip over to the stadium Thursday night to get a feel for the grass and dirt, a little different than the hardwood floors of URI’s finest, West Gym.
We were fortunate to leave early, as we were one of the few teams on the east coast that was able to play ball last weekend. Man, was it nice to put the shovels down and crack open the bottle of sunscreen. Although the weekend didn’t quite go as planned (leaving Florida Gulf Coast with only one win) there were a lot of positives that we took away from the first weekend of play.
With four games in only three days, a number of arms were needed; therefore, we had a chance to give almost all of our guys a shot to contribute. One of the most important things that we learned from this trip was that, opposed to some of the previous years, this group of guys has tremendous depth. This allows our coaching staff to have more flexibility, and trust that anyone on the team will get the job done. With depth comes a higher level of competition that will eventually lead to our success.
Overall, we were pretty evenly matched with Florida Gulf Coast, but when it came down to it, it was all about timely hitting and taking advantage of mistakes. Over the course of the weekend, we received quality starts from senior Tyler Bowditch, sophomore Lou Distasio, and junior Ty Sterner. This looks promising as we know that our pitching will only continue to improve, and that these guys can compete with any team.
On the offensive side of things, the bats were hot all weekend. The one thing we lacked was a couple of clutch hits to shift the momentum in our favor. For the young guys, this weekend was all about learning how things are done on the road, and getting their feet wet. I have to say, I was impressed with a number of them who came out hot. They contributed immediately, which isn’t easy to do in your first Division I baseball game.
The series sure was not our best baseball, but now that we’ve got the jitters out of our system, it’s time to get to work.
Next weekend we’ll have our hands full as we travel to the College of Charleston. It will be a good test for us, but I believe in our guys. I’m excited to be back, and I’m really looking forward to this season with my teammates because I think we have the ability to accomplish something special. It’s only just the beginning; get ready, there’s a lot more baseball to come!
Until next time,