February 10, 2018

On The Road with Jake Vance

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Feb. 10, 2018

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South Florida, sun and the boys.

Today was a good day. 😎#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/RFk7k8I7T0

— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) February 11, 2018

PUNTA GORDA – Another sign college baseball is right around the corner? The boys’ practice trip to Port Charlotte, Fla. The Ohio State baseball team traveled to south Florida Friday for two full practice days outside and underneath the sun to make final preparations for the 2018 campaign.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jake Vance is blogging this weekend. It’s awesome. To read his story, see below, and check back at OhioStateBuckeyes.com for more daily updates.

Flyin High Friday – Friday Feb. 9, 2018

The day started at Billy D, as we prepared for the Sunshine State. Everyone wore their khaki pants, except Carp [Carpenter], who decided to wear his brownies. We boarded the bus rushing towards the back because that’s where the cool kids sit (Captain Michalik). It wasn’t long before Woodby’s anger got the best of him due to Kobie stealing his seat. After enjoying some sub sandwiches on the way to the airport, the boys were ready to get the party started.

“Where should I eat next?” asked Seth Kinker. Everyone seemed to be snacking on either Yianni’s trail mix or drinking coffee to keep them awake while waiting for the plane to arrive. Unfortunately, our flight was on a five-hour delay. The boys stayed busy by playing cards, doing homework, making Instagram polls, etc. Ro, Yianni, and Carp stayed busy while they edited their LinkedIn accounts. One strength that Yianni decided to add to his profile was, “My changeup is sometimes harder than my fastball.” While some took advantage of this down time, others did not. Woodby slept for hours, while Dingler watched some of his favorite shows. Finally, the plane arrived and we were ready to leave. Holick, who was not sorry whatsoever, decided to cut majority of the line so he could get a decent seat near Morando. The Bucks took flight and were officially headed to Florida.

Once we landed, we grabbed our luggage and embarked on our journey to our one and only waterfront hotel. Upon our arrival the boys were quick to sing Happy Birthday to Coach Beals. Everyone then swarmed into lobby at the smell of warm pizza. Unfortunately, no ranch was provided, but it didn’t matter, we were starving. The pizza stood no chance as the boys devoured it, not only for themselves, but for strength coach, Dean Hansen. The family soon departed and went to their separate rooms, minus Ryan Fuelner. Ryan was spotted under a palm tree nearby the hotel doing his weighted ball program. Doesn’t matter, get better. As day one comes to a close, the boys dive into bed with one thing on their mind, baseball.

 

Day 1 pic.twitter.com/t8I081zV4k

Jake Vance (@jake_vance3) February 10, 2018

Saturdays Are For The Brotherhood – Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018
Day two began at 10:30 a.m. for the players, but 6:30 a.m. for Coach Holick. While the boys were resting up for the day on the diamond, Holick spent his morning pacing the bridge and performing hot yoga as the sun peaked above the horizon. Everyone was excited for the breakfast buffet, especially Coach Dan, who polished off a team-best of 5 helpings of eggs benedict. The boys finished up with breakfast, got on the bus, and hit the road. Captain Nemo, who was nervous about getting sunburnt, stated “Paul Dawson better have some sunscreen”. It was a major concern for some of the guys, but when we needed our athletic trainer the most, Paul provided.

Once we arrived at the field, the energy level was elite. After hearing the same playlist that was supplied the year before, the boys knew they were right where they belonged. Once we finished stretching out for the big day, Jon “The Janitor” Jahn, led the Bucks to a mediocre Fight Song. Happy Birthday Jahn. We proceeded to take double cuts, as well as batting practice. Nate Romans claimed that the “batter’s eye better watch out” once he steps into the box. While Nemo proceeded to shag fly balls, he angrily shouted, “FIVE YEARS AND I CAN’T REMEMBER SUNGLASSES!!!” BP eventually ended and it was time for the Bucks to play ball. Although everything seemed to be perfect, there was one issue, the bugs. These little black bugs seemed to be everywhere, but that didn’t stop Conner Pohl from hitting an opposite field bomb, as well as Brady Cherry casually putting one over the scoreboard. It wasn’t all about the hitters though, as the pitching staff was strong throughout the day, while the defense only committed one error on the diamond. Everyone seemed to be hustling on and off the field, including off day pitcher Alex Theis, who managed to make approximately 10 trips back and forth from the hitter’s dugout to the pitcher’s dugout refilling bottles to keep the team hydrated. There was a grand total of 33 gallons of water consumed throughout the day, while 13 of the gallons contained electrolyte powder. When the boys weren’t drinking water, they were chewing gum or spitting seeds provided by a walking gas station, Kyle Michalik. Luke Duermit and Griffin Smith were blessed with experiencing their first bubble hat as Buckeyes. A bubble hat is when somebody, usually Magno, chews a piece of gum, blows a bubble, and sticks it on the tip of somebody’s cap. Once Holick finished up doing a total of about 327 push-ups on the day, we departed back to the hotel.

The boys weren’t done competing though, as they quickly approached the sand volleyball court. Heavy hitter, Ridge Winand, led the charge as he bumped, set, and spiked all over his opponent. Once the sun went down, we headed out for some Mexican food. It was great seeing former Buckeye, Shea Murray, as he waltzed around like he owned the joint. His elegance is truly one of a kind. We headed back to the hotel to work on some homework, while guys like Malik and Ballgame [Seymour] worked on their video game skills. The clock struck twelve and it was time to get ready for round two. The bell must be answered.

Sorry Not Sorry Sunday – Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018
Sunday started off back at the breakfast buffet, as Curt [Irving] loaded his plate with enough gravy to feed a small village. Everyone seemed to have gotten quality rest, except Curlis, who spent the night wondering aimlessly around the hallways as he slept walked right out of his room. As he awoke from his deep slumber, he realized he forgot to grab his room key for his late night stroll and had to ask the front desk for a new one. Once we finished up eating, we packed our bags and departed out for a hot sunny day at the ball field. Morando fired up the boys on the bus ride with some country music, especially Big Tex, Noah McGowan.

It was a big day for roomies of apartment 403, Adam Neimeyer and Yianni Pavlopoulus, as they were set to battle it out on the mound. Everyone collectively played very well throughout the game, including hitters Dom Canzone, Brady Cherry and Tyler Cowles, who enjoyed watching their balls fly over the wall. Once we finished up getting roasted by the sun, we headed back to the hotel and nobody knew why. Some people assumed that Holick, who has never been sorry in his entire life, must have forgot his volleyball or former Buckeye pitcher Joe Stoll perhaps left his wallet, even though he graduated last year. It turns out we were actually getting towels, as we set off to a local high school to clean up. After arriving to the airport, we learned that our flight was on delay once again. Shocker. While going through security check, Kyle Michalik was sent to the back of the line after realizing he had the wrong ticket. The frown on his face said it all considering the line was longer than the time it took Kinker to finish running a pole. Everyone seemed to be either grinding on homework or stuffing their face with double bacon cheeseburgers while waiting for the plane to arrive. Woodby finished his burger in less than two minutes, while Pohl ate everything in sight. Finally, the plane arrived and we were ready for our first flight of the night.

“Is there a Kobie Foppe here?” asked the flight attendant. Kobie quickly raised his hand. The flight attendant announced, “We have your credit card if you’d like it back”. Not only did Kobie lose his card, but Dingler left his phone on the plane. Our volunteer video coordinator Matt Angle, who played a joke on the rookie catcher, asked him how his selfies have been turning out. That’s when Dingler knew that there was a serious issue, until Angle gladly returned him his phone. We landed in Baltimore and boarded our next flight back to Columbus. Most of the guys slept on the flight and time flew by. We were finally home. We departed back for campus with sleep on our minds. Everyone enjoyed the weekend down in Florida, especially Duermit, who claimed “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity”. We leave for Florida again on Thursday and everyone is excited to see what the Bucks are capable of in 2018.

Saddle up boys, it’s game week now. #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/68RHjTeKbv

— Ohio State Baseball (@OhioState_BASE) February 12, 2018