ORLANDO & MIAMI, Fla. The Buckeyes have won two more times since their big win over No. 2 Miami on Tuesday, but Chris Griffin takes us back one more time in the final blog entry of the 2009 spring break.
Tuesday, March 24 Written by junior Chris Griffin, from Pickerington, Ohio
Coming off of a disappointing loss to Rollins College on Monday, the Miami game would give us a chance at redemption. The atmosphere was definitely different playing the No. 2 team in the country. As the fans filtered in to Alex Rodriguez Park, we began to hear the chirps from the stands and the Ohio State faithful seemed to come out of the woodwork like they always do around the country. During batting practice and throughout warm-ups, you could tell the excitement continued to grow. That night we were able to take the victory (7-1), one that the team expected. The hitters seemed to take off as the game went on…getting clutch hits when they mattered most…taking advantage of the Miami pitchers’ mistakes. Alex Wimmers pitched great coming off only three days rest, making his outing evem more impressive. The team played well and showed a little of what are made of. The win capped a spring break trip to Florida nicely. The game was icing on the cake for a weekend that had a lot of good games and good laughs, mostly provided by Zach and the “stanky leg” and Mike doing Zach’s hair before dinner. Yes, I saw it with my own eyes. Next comes the Big Ten where we will be challanged to cross the next thing off our agenda this season: win the Big Ten regular season title.
Monday, March 23 Written by senior pitcher Jake Hale, from Albany, Ohio
We woke up this morning to eat breakfast in the hotel, with everyone being down there by 9:30 a.m. We then got our stuff packed to travel to Rollins College for an afternoon game before we headed to the “U” to play Miami. As you could just tell, we were overlooking Rollins College a bit, thus giving us our third loss of the year. Although that was a huge loss to us, we were soon back to our anxious behaviors in preparation to face the Hurricanes. After the Rollins game, we had a four-hour bus ride to Miami, which was very tiresome. I slept most of the way so it kind of went fast for me. On the bus we watched “Role Models” and part of “Step Brothers.” None-the-less, everyone started throwing out movie quotes the rest of the evening and some more than likely in their sleep. As we arrived at our hotel, everyone who was tired from the bus ride was soon wide awake and ready to play Miami right then and there; too bad we have to wait until tomorrow [Tuesday night]. All-in-all, our adrenaline levels are high and it is going to be tough to fall asleep. Signing off from 1350 South Dixie Highway / Coral Gables, Fla. / Room 265. Goodnight to all.
Sunday, March 22 Written by senior captain Justin Miller, from Dayton, Va.
After two big wins against Army yesterday, everyone got a good meal and some much needed sleep. We woke up this morning for breakfast at 8:30, which is one of the best hotel breakfasts around. At breakfast we got our instructions for the rest of the day. We left the hotel for the one block drive to the field at 9:25 a.m. After a nice warm-up and batting practice, it was time for the increasingly popular “stanky leg” routine. Joey Ciamacco proceeded to perform an amazing standing back flip. He’s such a great athlete. Next it was time for infield practice and Coach Pete was not on top of his fungo game today. He hit several line drives as opposed to ground balls to infielders which prompted Coach Todd to yell “Have a day, Pete!” from the dugout.
The game against Hartford was very tight for the first six innings, until the Bucks took control in the seventh and eighth innings. We hung on to win 9-8, keeping our winning streak going and putting everyone in a good mood for our afternoon off. Some of the guys laid out by the pool and some went to an early dinner. I was lucky enough to get to go to dinner and spend some quality time with my family. My dad and I checked out a bit of the Illinois game against Central Connecticut State and got to see the two teams clear the benches after a collision at the plate. There were no punches thrown, but I believe the Illini would have made the Big Ten proud and held their own.
Tonight we are all going to get some rest because tomorrow is going to be a long and busy day. We have to wake up and drive to Orlando for our game at Rollins at 1:30 p.m. After the game we will take a quick shower and then hop back on the bus so that Lester can drive us down to Miami for our game against the Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
Editor’s Note: Justin had four hits in the game Sunday vs. Hartford and led the team with three RBI. His four hits raised his average up over .300 for the season and his three RBI moved him into third place on the team with 21 for the season. Justin’s distinguished career at Ohio State now includes 55 multi-hit games and 35 mult-RBI games.
Saturday, March 21 – Written by junior catcher Shawn Forsythe, from Thornville, Ohio
Saturday morning started off quite early for pretty much every member of the team and I’m not talking about a 7 a.m. breakfast of some sort. As my roommate and I were ever-so-pleasantly jerked from our dreams by the ever-so-quiet fire alarm, I took a one-eyed peek at my phone and did a double take. It read 5:48 a.m. Everyone was in the hallway wondering what was going on and upon finding out it was a false alarm, we went back to bed. Coach Todd must have slept through it because he was not present in the hallway.
After waking up a second time for the morning, we enjoyed a great breakfast in the hotel lobby and shortly after it was off to the field for BP (batting practice) and then the double header with Army. A few guys Arp provided some comic relief to the late morning warm-up before BP which lightened the mood and brought some laughs to the quiet stretch time. Oh yes: and how could I forget the “stanky leg” performance by the outfielders before infield. Yet again, bringing about some laughs around the team. Thanks Hurley.
Last, but not least, we came out with two wins over Army: 3-1 and 8-4, which always makes everyone happy. We came down this week to win every game and this was another successful day toward that goal. I’m going to go ahead and say that pretty much everyone was exhausted after getting a bite to eat following the game because by 10:30 p.m. I didn’t see anyone but the roommate and he was sound asleep.
Another day of baseball follows tomorrow with an 11 o’clock scheduled start versus Hartford where we hope to add another check in the win column and another successful day toward the spring break sweep.
Editor’s note: Shawn made his first collegiate start in game two against Army. He took advantage of his opportunity, too. He executed to perfection a hit-and-run situation with Matt Streng on first, slapping the ball behind Streng for a clean base hit to right. Forsythe also scored and later he drew a walk. He also had what seemed like a 15-minute at-bat in his final AB to cap a busy day. Nice playing and writing, Shawn.
Friday, March 20 and Thursday, March 19 – Written by sophomore pitcher Dean Wolosiansky, from Uniontown, Ohio
We were all relieved to have no set breakfast time which meant most came down around 9 a.m.. Some took full advantage and were nowhere to be seen until later on in the afternoon. After breakfast many of us dreamed of hitting the beach or going parasailing like many other spring breakers. But we put our imagination to the test and laid out by the pool in the middle of the parking lot. Or should I say the oversized bathtub. The rays were beaming at 10 a.m. and the diesel smoke from the numerous team busses starting up made sure to give us a nice breeze. On a serious note, it was a nice change from Ohio weather! After being outside, it was time to cool off, and rest up before we switched over to the business side of things. For many of us, that meant relaxing in the air-conditioning, but for some it was taking a jog shirtless around the parking lot.
Pre-game meal started at 2 p.m. Our lovely nutritionist, Charlie, from Cici’s, made sure to keep the grease “lite” and the pepperoni heavy. Before we left we had to make sure “Burky” had his money’s worth and Hurley had enough salad. Overall, a dynamite meal. We were all ready to go and had 45 min to change and get ready for a fun game. Indiana is the only Big Ten team that we do not play this year and is supposedly ranked on top in preseason polls. This was an opportunity to show what we have,
I think from our hotel room on the 5th floor I can honestly see home plate on the field that we will be playing at all weekend. However, we will be conserving energy and taking the bus for a 10-second drive to the field. When we got there the game before us started late and pushed back our game till a 7:30 p.m. start time. We were more than ready for the Hoosiers.
The game was tight but we ended up on top. A great performance by Wimmers on the bump and timely hits from our hitters made us come out with the W. Superstition and same seats proved to be a key factor as well! Now we have to re-energize with some good food and some rest so we can march on to Army tomorrow! And in the words of Bruce “that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
Well, another wonderful Thursday get-away day. Flying commercial the Thursday before spring break put everyone in a great mood and an atmosphere that beat most past flights. Finals are over and everyone is heading to the south for spring break, either for fun or for business. We are fortunate to do both. We were graced with Lester’s (the bus driver) presence coming out of the airport but unfortunately his “whip” (Double Decker bus) was nowhere to be found. It was comforting being back with Lester and knowing he would be hauling … to make a hour drive to our hotel, in about 40 min. Now you have to understand the last time we ate was at 2 p.m. before the flight, so we were famished going on 8 o’clock needless to say. We were familiar with the hotel and surrounding area, considering we were here just two weekends ago. There was no need to scramble and look for a place to eat. Since there is an Outback 50 feet away with March madness in full swing, it was the favorable choice for a good meal.
Dinners are always entertaining with some characters on the team … Anywhere from Best asking for “Diet Sprite, please” not once but two times, to everyone teasing Ross about the waitress, to inappropriate stories when the meal is done. Sometimes I wish I had a video camera with this team for later blackmail purposes. Everyone did their own thing at night, mostly relaxing and enjoying entertainment. Overall a good start to our last Florida trip.