Traveling is a great way for teams to bond. Getting on the road and only worrying about baseball can really bring a team together.
Well, baseball and random study hall hours.
As Coach J says "we really gotta crush academics." I've always enjoyed playing on the road, something about plane rides and comfy hotel beds really floats my boat. It also makes it a lot better when there's some good baseball played. Although sometimes traveling doesn't always go smoothly.
For example, this past weekend there was a slight issue with bags and tickets, but luckily the University of Arizona baseball team has (Ray McIntire) Ray Mac on staff. That dude is a problem solver; he solves all the problems.
Playing on the road and the plane rides, experiencing new ballparks, playing in different states against out of conference teams is an awesome experience, but it can't be all about baseball. School is still a high priority and must not be forgotten. Coach Johnson and his staff do an amazing of job making sure we stay on top of our academic responsibilities. There's plenty of time for bro time and baseball, but we are student-athletes and school must come first.
The past weekend was a good opportunity for everyone to get a slight preview of what Arizona baseball is going to be like this year. I mean our dugout was compared to a mosh pit at a metal concert. How sweet is that?! The energy and passion we played with was something I've never seen before. Coach Johnson's approach of treating every game like it's the Super Bowl really helped heighten the magnitude of each game. Every game this weekend felt huge and our guys rose to the occasion.
Now I understand a 2-2 split doesn't sound like the best start in the world and yes it could have been better.
Putting the record aside, we saw that we are a special team and that team chemistry will never be a problem. On Monday night against Lamar we were down eight in the 8th inning, and from what I could tell, every guy in the dugout still believed we were going to win that game.
Now we head to San Diego, and there seems to be a lot of excitement around the team for this trip. I'm not sure but maybe good weather and tournament-style play has a lot to do with it -- another weekend on the road for this team to come together. Traveling is fun and all but I'm super excited to get back to Tucson and play at beautiful Hi Corbett. Also for all the Wildcat fans to feast their eyes on the new energy-filled team they'll have in front of them.
We kick it off with Tulane this weekend, a team we really don't know much about. But with our coaching staff grinding on a daily basis and the leadership of guys like Banni, Boyd, and the savvy one that is Bryce Tyler Crawford, we'll be fine. Another weekend full of great starting pitching and wreaking havoc on the base paths should help too. Along with great dugout dudes like Roper, Ming, Soroko, KLew, and Sawyer we should be fully equipped to take the Tony Gwynn storm and come back to Tucson VICTORIOUS!
On a final note: The team lost a close friend a few weeks ago. Josh Weaver and his family meant a lot to the team and keeping him and his family in your prayers would be awesome. He was a little dude with a deep love of the game and his passion was felt by all of us every time he came around.