Let's start this trip way back in January when we were practicing inside the gym at 6:00am, complaining it was "too early" and "too cold inside" - is it worth it now? It was.
February came along and the weather was still pretty shitty - lots and lots of snow kicked out ass here in the Northeast. We were relegated to the gym once again with a scattering of days we'd have good enough weather to practice outside.
First weekend trip for us was to Cullowhee, NC to take on Western Carolina - nothing like a 13 hour bus trip. We went 1-2.
Next weekend we headed to Rock Hill, SC for a tournament with Winthrop and Notre Dame. Knocked off Notre Dame before losing the final two games, one to each. Another 1-2 trip. And only a 12 hour bus trip.
Knoxville, TN was the next trip - 11 hours - to take on the Volunteers of UT. We played tough in two of the four games, but still threw up an ugly 0-4 weekend. Not a pleasant ride home.
Philadelphia, PA was the next stop on the Jaspers trip the next weekend to take on LaSalle (we pissed away a 5-0 9th inning lead to lose 6-5), St. Joe's (we crushed early and held on late, 10-7), and Villanova (lost 7-6 even though we led 6-5 after six and a half innings). Another 1-2 trip.
For our bye weekend we headed to Johnson City, TN to take on the big boppers at East Tennessee State - they beat us down three times, 0-3.
Those were our trips. We've been to North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, before we reached our goal - Trenton, NJ for the MAAC Tournament. I know, Trenton is not an ideal destination and should be visited only when deemed necessary.
Here's a little recap of the weekend that was - May 27th to May 29th - a trip to a shit hole of a city that everyone on this team will surely never forget:
Nolan getting amped up for the first game of the tournament vs. Canisius:
The Jaspers starters getting announced prior to Game 1 - I am not in this, I was in the bullpen getting our pitchers mind right:
Here's a jubilant (yet still with a stupid ass smile) father and coach after sneaking out a 3-2 walk-off walk victory:
Nolan sleeping during the mayhem of the ninth inning of Game 2:
Still in shock of that ending, holding Nolan (notice how excited he was - SLEEPING!):
And the scoreboard after Game 2, an insane 8-7 walk-off win over Siena that was aided by a poor throw from the third baseman and a collision at first base. Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good:
The street sign outside the Trenton Marriott at Lafayette Yard (sounds nice right?):
And through the trees, the golden dome to the court house, I think:
Nolan awake after the game in the hotel. He didn't know what the hell happened but he was happy:
Me patrolling the dugout during Game 3 vs. Siena. Made a quick trip to the pen late in the game to get some arms going (we never needed them):
Mike Giordano, MAAC Tournament MVP, elated after a complete game 3-hit, 13 strikeout performance sealed the win and the tournament (bear hug courtesy of our C, Ramon Ortega):
The bench rushing the field - this photo says it all:
And finally, the champions posing with their trophy. We certainly were #1 this year in the MAAC and I think the best team won:
That's the story of the hurricane, the man the authorities came to claim. (the guys on the team know what I'm talking about). I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. The guys took pretty well to Nolan - I mean shit, the kid is a natural winner. One tournament, one championship.
The best part is, we still have more baseball to play. We're all anxious for 12:30pm tomorrow, because ESPN will have the Selection Show televised and we'll find out where we're headed. They picked the 16 regional sites today and go a little something like this:
Atlanta, GA (Ga Tech); Austin, TX (Texas); Chapel Hill, NC (UNC); Charlottesville, VA (UVa); Clemson, SC (Clemson); College Station, TX (Texas A&M); Columbia, SC (S Carolina); Corvallis, OR (Oregon St.); Fort Worth, TX (TCU); Fullerton, CA (Cal St. Fullerton); Gainesville, FL (Florida); Houston, TX (Rice); Los Angeles, CA (UCLA); Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt); Tallahassee, FL (Florida St.); and Tempe, AZ (Arizona St.)
I have no preference nor do I care who we play - I think with our pitchers and our senior leadership, along with our pretty, sometimes always solid defense, we can compete with anyone. We're a different team than the one that got pasted by Tennessee once and East Tennessee State.
Shit, in 2006 we went to #6 Nebraska and handed Joba Chamberlain his last college decision - a LOSS with a 4-1 victory. Sure, none of these kids were on that team, but they want to put their name in the record books just as bad,
Tune in tomorrow to ESPN at 12:30pm for the show and let me know what you think of our draw.
Hope you all had as good a weekend as we had. We're not done and I think our guys know we have a great shot to win a few more games.