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Ben’s Blog
Jacksonville, Fla.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

8:00 a.m.
We woke up early this morning after two big wins yesterday against George Mason and North Florida. The forecast for called for rain all morning and with an 11:00 a.m. scheduled start we are hoping to get our window to get the game in. 

Rain delays in the game of baseball produce some of the funniest and memorable moments of any given season. This stems from the fact you are confined to a small dugout with all your best friends and look for ways to stay loose and pass the time. This particular rain delay was no exception as Eric Best and Dan Burkhart provided the rest of us with some comic relief.

The funniest single rain delay memory I can recall was a couple years ago when, during a rain delay at Bill Davis Stadium, I witnessed a former student athletic trainer take a dead sprint from dugout to the rain-soaked tarp and produce a belly slide worthy of a perfect ten across the infield. 

11:15 a.m.
We finally got the game against UCONN started as the sun came out and gale force winds dried the field. In addition to drying the field the winds provided us with the opportunity to put up some beastly power numbers and we took advantage. (Editor’s note: Ohio State hit five home runs in the bottom of the third inning which ties for the seventh-most home runs in one inning all-time in Division I history. The record is seven. Ohio State also hit seven home runs in the game and now has 15 on the year.) 

430ish p.m.
Our ability to finish out the weekend the way we wanted with four wins in four games left everyone in a good mood as we left Harmon Stadium to catch the chartered bird back to Columbus. Yours truly snaked an exit row seat.

Back in Columbus we will have Monday off to reenergize and will be back at it Tuesday looking toward our return to Florida Thursday with a trip to Winter Haven. 

(Editor’s note II: Ben, one of the best pinch hitters on the team, answered the call against UConn and promptly singled to right field. Good job, Ben. Good blog, too! Thanks.) 

Friday, Feb. 27, 2009

9:00 AM
Most of us woke up early (in college student terms) and grabbed continental breakfast this morning after a good night’s rest. It was a pretty standard continental breakfast selection of food.

I have to mention the hotel staff here at the Springhill Suites Marriot. Not only are they some of the nicest people, they are very excited to have us staying with them. They actually made a banner welcoming us to Jacksonville and held it and greeted us as we walked in yesterday. Just not something we see very often and a nice showing of hospitality.     

12:00 Noon
The morning was spent relaxing throughout the hotel. Most of us got some homework done, read a book or played video games to pass the time. It goes without saying which one of these activities Eric Best participated in.

We will be leaving for team meal this afternoon at 3 p.m., which will be a short walk away at Golden Corral…affectionately known as G.C. an acronym that may also stand for Gastrointestinal Cleansing. G.C. offers some good choices but you must choose wisely. They’re probably most well known for their banana pudding, which is a team favorite.

10:30 PM
We just got back from tonight’s game with North Florida. Everyone is happy and enjoying the victory until tomorrow when we have two more tough games. Guys are grabbing a quick bite to eat before calling it a night and getting ready for George Mason tomorrow afternoon.

On a side note: The bus drivers name is officially Lester.

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009

11:00 A.M.
We left for the airport this afternoon at 11 a.m. sharp. Everyone was looking forward to our first chartered flight of the year and a return to the warm weather of Florida.

Chartered flights are amazing and we really appreciate the generous donations our program receives to make these flights possible. I love the fact that I don’t have to touch my bags after placing them on the bus at Bill Davis Stadium.

Just after 12:00 P.M.
We departed the gray skies of Columbus bound for Jacksonville. Some of the younger guys flocked to the back of the plane to get schooled in euchre as most of us reclined as far as our seats allowed and passed out for the 1.5-hour flight.

1:23 P.M.
Touch down in Jacksonville. We were greeted by partly cloudy skies and a perfect temperature of 72 degrees. After we parked, we were met by a brand new double decker “Gucci” bus. Think double decker tour buses like you’d see in London, England, but all black and brand new.

 

I witnessed Mike Arp staring in admiration at this glorious ride and heard Coach Todd proclaim “This is just what we asked for!”

We were also surprised to see we had the same bus driver as last weekend in Tampa: Lester or Clarence. We aren’t quite sure of his name but I’ll find out for sure.

2:30 P.M.
We arrived at the hotel and immediately got ready to leave for practice at 3:15. After practice we will grab something to eat and get to bed for a good night’s rest and begin preparations for our game against North Florida tomorrow night.