COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sophomore catcher D.J. Hanlin, from Worthington Ohio, and Thomas Worthington H.S., wrapped up his blog from Winter Haven today.

Blogging with the Buckeyes
D.J. Hanlin, So. Catcher

Sunday, March 8, 2009

9:00 a.m.
Woke up and met down stairs for the team meal.  Breakfast was awesome, even though we lost an hour of sleep due to the “Spring Forward” time change; sausage, eggs, home fries, biscuits and gravy, fruit… all the amenities.  We “waddled” back up to our rooms to pack and left for the field around 11 a.m.

11:30 A.M.
The team started to take batting practice in the cages at Chain of Lakes Field down the right field line.  Unlike Saturday’s batting practice, Coach Pete Jenkins was not humming the tune from Thursday’s flight attendant.  I guess Coach Cypret wasn’t the only coach to have the tune stuck in his head. 

We were all relaxed today, having some fun during batting practice.  Soon after batting practice, we took infield and started the game.  We ended up pulling through “Get-Away-Day” with a victory. (Editor’s note: Every Buckeye starter had a hit and scored a run in the 16-7 victory over Central Michigan. D.J. got to play for his first collegiate experience behind the plate.) During the game, outfielder Michael Stephens hit a foul ball, flying clearly out of the stadiums dimensions and landing near the front entrance and parking lot where Lester, our bus driver, always drops us off.  Coach Cypret is sitting on the bench and exclaims, “Well, I think that just hit Lester.”  Another voice from the dugout remarked: “Hope that didn’t hit our Gucci’ bus.”

6:00 p.m.
We just arrived to the Orlando airport after about an hour’s drive from Winter Haven.  Our flight takes off at 6:50.  This doesn’t allow us a whole lot of time to get checked in and through security.  Not to mention that the line at the check-in counter was about 100 people long. (Editor’s note II: The line included the entire Duquesne baseball team and its equipment, too.)  As we go through security it is now about 6:30 and not everyone has checked in yet.  We all eventually get on the plane and fly safely back to Columbus.  We’re all hoping that our bags made it on board.  Most were lucky, but a few of us, including myself, were not so lucky.  But hey, at least we didn’t have another flight attendant sing to us!

Editor’s note III: It was great that D.J.’s mom and dad, Kim and Mike Hanlin, made the trip to Winter Haven and were at the game to witness D.J.’s first collegiate action. Thanks for blogging this week, D.J.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not much to say about today.  We fought hard in our game but came out on the short end of the stick. 

We will get some food and rest tonight to be able to focus and play two tomorrow.

(Editor’s Note: there wasn’t a whole lot of talk after the game today against Rhode Island. The Buckeyes led the Rams, a very good team that defeated No. 8 Miami on Tuesdat, 6-3 but committed a total of five errors in the game and lost, 8-6. It was the team’s first loss of the season after opening 7-0.) 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

1:00 p.m.
As we prepare ourselves for the weekend, guys show up to Bill Davis Stadium for extra hitting and a few bullpens before we depart.  Everyone is antsy to get back on the road for yet another weekend in Florida, to continue what has been a great start for us. 

Around 4:00 p.m.
We take our seats on the plane and await departure.  In the mean time, everyone who has flown knows about the “schpeel” Flight Attendants give throughout the cabin on the safety regulations. Today, we are greeted by a singing Flight Attendant.  We ended up hearing three ballads and a spoken word bit about seatbelts and floatation devices.  The ‘toons to the ballads of which I still cannot get out of my head.  I don’t think Coach Cypret can either. 

6:00 p.m.
We land in sunny Orlando. 

As we pull up to our gate, the singing flight attendant comes on the loud speaker once again, singing her way through the closing flight instructions.  She wishes us fair well and good luck on our upcoming weekend, still singing by the way.  She also makes a point to wish a young, spry 80-year-old man a happy birthday.  Still awakening from my mid-flight nap, I hear a gentleman, who is sitting directly in front of me exclaim, “Hope that’s not ya’lls shortstop.”

We find our bags and make our way outside to the bus.  None-the-less, Lester (the same bus driver we’ve had for three weeks in three different cities) is back with the “Flashy Gucci bus!” according to outfielder Michael Stephens. 

Consensus of the team:  Lester also flew the plane down from Columbus.

8:00 p.m.
We arrive to the hotel.

After we put our bags in the rooms, everyone splits up for dinner, but most take a B-line to Outback Steak House.  We share a few stories while relaxing over dinner.  Throughout the meal, a few of us at one table are laughing hysterically, which draws a little bit of attention.  We are laughing at Burky.  The kid ordered an appetizer, a salad, and an entre and finished at least two guys’ entre’s and a few more appetizers.  He throws down his napkin and gives all of us his “full-face” look.  The guy can put down some food.

We leave Outback, with a full stomach and head back to our rooms to get a good night’s rest.