"On the Bump" w/ Cole Thompson
Monday, March 28, 2011
Hey Centenary fans and welcome back to another addition of "On the Bump". This week I will discuss our last two days in Hawaii, as well as the adjustment back to school, baseball, and life in Shreveport, Louisiana.

We woke up early Monday morning in Waikiki to head over to Pearl Harbor, which was about 20 minutes away from our hotel. It was a really cool experience for our team to have the opportunity to visit one of the most historic sites in the United States. We were able to take a shuttle boat out to the USS Arizona Memorial and stand right above the sunken battleship. After shuttling out to the Memorial, we had the chance to walk around the mainland museum, which consisted of a walk-through museum and several displays such as old torpedoes, missiles, and submarines. All in all, it was a very interesting trip that our guys will definitely remember for as long as they live.

Monday night was our final game in Hawaii. Senior Derek Dalzell made the start for us on the mound, his first start since his senior year of high school. "Dazzle" came up clutch for us as he went a solid 4.2 innings while keeping us in the game. I relieved him and got us into the 6th inning, where with two outs and Hawaii leading 5-4 I faced Kolten Wong, Hawaii's All-American second baseman. I got him down 0-2 in the count and then he worked it to a full count. I should have thrown a breaking ball in the dirt because 1st base was open after an earlier pitch was in the dirt, however I tried to beat him with a 3-2 fastball. I threw a fastball on the outside corner in the location I wanted it, but Wong turned on it and put it over the wall in right-center field. It was a great piece of hitting because I thought I made my pitch. In hindsight, I should have pitched around him and tried to get him to chase a pitch out of the strike zone. However, I wanted to go after him and get him out. Sometimes you just need to put your personal interests behind you and do what's best for the team. Ultimately we lost the game 8-4, but we had several bright spots. We executed our offense and had several clutch pinch hits. Like I said last week, a guy coming through in a pinch hit at bat is a huge emotional boost for your team. On Monday night, Kyle Mauch and Dan Lazarou came through with back-to-back pinch-hit doubles. Furthermore, Kyle Mauch, RJ Talamantes, and Seth Lugo each had a multi-hit game.

Tuesday was our last day in Hawaii, as our flight left at 7 PM that night. Most of the guys woke up pretty early in order to enjoy our last day in paradise. Several of us made our way out to Waikiki beach to get our surf on. Let me tell you one thing about surfing, it is not as easy as it looks. It was pretty tiring to paddle out to where the waves were breaking. We didn't pay for lessons either, so we were learning on the fly. I was able to get up one time, and I rode the wave for about 15 seconds. It was definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life and well worth all the work it took to surf. After surfing, we went up and packed our bags because we had to check out of the hotel room by 11 AM. After 11, some of the guys went back out and surfed more while others hit up the shops by the hotel. At 4 PM, it was finally time for us to pack up and head out to the airport to catch our flight to Dallas-Ft. Worth. Needless to say, it was a great experience for everyone. Yeah, we wished we could have played better and won a few ballgames, but at the same time you have to take a step back and realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and enjoy the moment while you can. We had a great time in Hawaii and it was a very memorable trip for everyone. On a positive note, we played a little better each day of the trip.

We arrived back in Shreveport around 11 AM on Wednesday morning. It was a pretty rough trip back, considering we changed 5 time zones forward as well as a 6.5 hour flight from Hawaii to Dallas, which left Hawaii at 7 PM (Hawaii time) and landed in Dallas at 7 AM (Central time). To be honest, I am just glad we made it to Shreveport in one piece. The flight from DFW to Shreveport was a pretty brutal flight, as it was a very bumpy flight because we hit several patches of turbulence.

The coaches gave us Wednesday and Thursday off as a chance to catch up on schoolwork and rest. It is pretty tough to balance academics and athletics in college, so it was nice to have two days off to catch up in all our classes and workloads.

Friday and Saturday were great days for baseball as we got out in the nice Louisiana sun and scrimmaged 7 innings both days. We carried over our level of play from Hawaii, and we came out looking sharp both days. We continue to improve at the plate, in the field, and on the mound each day. I look forward to next weekend, because it will be our last test before we begin Summit League play. As I have said before, our season really begins when we start conference play. Our ultimate goal is to make the conference tournament, and we are using all these non-conference games to prepare and learn from our mistakes in order to be successful in conference.

We had Sunday off as well, which gives us a chance to plan out our week academically before we head south to UT-Pan American on Thursday for a 3 game series. UT-Pan American is a pretty salty team that will be very competitive. We played a 3 game series with them last year in Shreveport so they are not completely unfamiliar to us. I remember them as being an aggressive team that will put pressure on you and take advantages of your miscues.

That's a wrap for the week. Check back next week to see how our series against UT-Pan American went and to hear about our week of practice in Shreveport as we prepare for our last week of non-conference play.

This week I had the chance to interview two of our freshmen from San Antonio, Texas, Derrick Hernandez and JoAnthony Cantu. Hernandez has been one of our first right-handed hitters off the bench to pinch-hit in clutch situations. He also plays a majority of the infield positions and is a key utility player for us. JoAnthony is an outfielder that's a very solid guy for us. He plays the game the right way and brings the right attitude to the field every day. "Jo" recorded his first hit of the season at Hawaii, and I know he will have many more to come this year.

Derrick Hernandez - Freshman/San Antonio, Texas
Q: What is your major?
A: Business Management

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: Headphones

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: FC Bayern Munchen, San Antonio Spurs

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Jersey Shore

Q: Who is your dream girl?
A: Jessica Alba

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Have my own place and making a nice living

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Baby Boy

Q: What are your walkout songs this year?
A: Waka Flocka Flame- "Hard in the Paint", Prince Rick & Treal Lee- "Mr. Hit That"

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Cruise to Jamaica or the Virgin Islands

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: "When life throws you a curveball, take it oppo"

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: I HATE football

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: My high school coach gave it to me and it stuck

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A: Getting a brand new phone and dropping it in the toilet

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Dave Chappelle, Bob Marley, and Brian Wilson



JoAnthony Cantu - Freshman/San Antonio, Texas
Q: What is your major?
A: Undecided

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: My iPhone

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: New York Yankees & Dallas Cowboys

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Sports Center

Q: Who is your dream girl?
A: Kim Kardashian

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Somewhere famous

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Friday and Hardball

Q: What are your walkout songs this year?
A: "Can't tell me nothing" by Kanye West and "Juicy" by Biggie Smalls

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: A cruise with family and friends

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: "Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even." Ali

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: The doctors wanted my mom to end her pregnancy, so I was almost unborn

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: Because 3 and 2 were taken.

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A: I try not to get embarrassed

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Michael Jordan, Kanye West, and my dad