Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baseball and 37 degrees

WSU's Butch rocking a Sweets cap.
It isn't often that I can combine an opportunity to see my alma mater (Utah Valley University) play the closest D-I opponent in the state (WSU) and watch three of the players that will be playing on our club this summer (Brett Jacobs for WSU, Austin Heaps and Goose Kallunki for UVU). What made it even better? Here is the list: the 37 degrees (awesome - dripping with sarcasm), the fact that I was able to go with my family (they are hardcore - they lasted until the 8th inning, in spite of the spilled hot chocolate), the fact that I was able to see a former employee who is progressing towards her degree at WSU (what's up Mariah!), and the fact that I was able to experience a game in Pullman. Despite the spartan crowd (combination of arctic conditions and the start of spring break) the stadium was a fun place to watch a game and the community is your quintessential "college town". We even got a picture of Butch wearing a Sweets cap. Good times...

WSU won behind a dominating performance by LHP Adam Conley (probably 15 MLB scouts sitting by us behind the dish - all with radar guns). The lefty junior (read: draft eligible) touch 96 MPH last night while darting in and out of the strike zone with his breaking ball. I would be surprised if he is not selected in the first 12 rounds of the MLB draft in June. My heart was pulling for the Wolverines (alma mater prejudice). Heaps and Kallunki struggled, although Austin hit the ball hard - very hard - in his third at bat (and reached on an error in that AB), but the Wolverines early season offensive struggles continued. I will chalk it up to playing on a carpet (the whole field is field turf - a little weird!) and that it was weather better suited for football or outdoor hockey. Jacobs was a catalyst at the top of the order for the Cougars, going 2-4 with a run scored. It will be a great experience to have the Tri-Cities native playing so close to home this summer in Walla Walla. 

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