"On the Bump" w/ Cole Thompson
Monday, April 18, 2011
Welcome back to another week of "On the Bump". Well it was a tough weekend for the Gents as we squandered away a lead in all 4 games against South Dakota State. This week I will break down each game for you, and tell you about our week of preparation leading up to the game, including a surprise dinner visit to Centenary Athletic Director Dave Voskuil's house.

Monday was an off -day for us as we took time to rest our bodies and catch up on schoolwork from the past weekend series at Oral Roberts. The week began with a very positive vibe because we knew we would have our first true home series of the year at the end of the week. It was nice to know we would actually be in town all week and have a chance to normally prepare for our upcoming series, instead of using Thursday as a travel day.

On Tuesday we came out and had a solid intersquad scrimmage. We play very well during the mid-week scrimmages, and we just need to carry over that success to the weekend. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves in games, we just need to relax and play the game. Baseball is a pretty simple game. You catch, throw, and hit. Sometimes we tend to over think the situation when really we just need to play the game one pitch at a time.

Wednesday night we had a very nice dinner at Athletic Director Dave Voskuil's home in Shreveport. He grilled burgers and bratwursts for us, as well as providing chips, beans, Gatorade, and ice cream. Dr. Voskuil hails from Wisconsin, so you know we had some grade-A bratwursts prepared for us. It was nice to break up the in-season routine and take a night to enjoy a dinner with the team and the Athletic Director's family.

After dinner, we had our first game of our pitchers (the Bad Body Bullpen) vs. position players wiffle-ball World Series. The position players won the game in extra innings. Peter Rajkovich threw a good game for the position players. He was throwing knuckleballs and all kinds of nasty pitches that dropped left and right. The position players were led by home runs from Jeff Schaffert and Kyle Morton (you know that ball was foul).

We had another solid practice on Thursday, which we hoped to carry over to the weekend series. I know you may think I am just feeding you the typical "we practice good everyday" spiel, but we really have been practicing really well lately. Our tempo, performance, and mentalities have been really good recently and we are playing much better as a result.

Friday marked the beginning of our series with South Dakota State, and we played well, but not good enough to win. As you read these recaps, you will see a recurring theme that haunted us all weekend. We jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 1 inning after Mark Gillean, Matt Creamer, and RJ Talamantes opened the game with back-to-back-to-back singles. We carried a 6-4 lead into the 8th inning, but a 4 run 8th inning for South Dakota State killed us as we eventually lost 9-6. We played a decent game, but we have to be able to win the close games. RJ Talamantes (3 hits) and Mark Gillean (2 hits) paced us at the plate on Friday night.

We came to the yard Saturday confident, ready, and eager to win. Game 1 was a pitching duel featuring our Seth Lugo vs. Blake Treinen of South Dakota State. Both guys are considered MLB draft prospects, and there were a handful of scouts on hand to watch the game. The guys put on a show for them, as we led the Jackrabbits 1-0 after 6 innings. However, a 3 run 7th inning took the wind out of our sails and we once again lost a close one, by a final of 4-1. Treinen went the distance for South Dakota State, throwing a complete game 4-hit shutout. Lugo threw really well for us, but we just ran into a hot pitcher at the wrong time. Game 2 was another solid game, but we were eventually defeated 4-3. We had a 3-0 lead after 3 innings. But we went cold from there. Senior Derek Dalzell threw a good game for us, going all 7 innings and giving us a good chance to win. We had a chance to put them away, but we failed to do so and allowed the Jackrabbits to come back and take a win from us. We know that we can't fall into a mid-inning lull, but that is our downfall right now.

After losing a lead in the three previous games over the weekend, we came out on Sunday wanting to play a complete game and "put the petal to the metal" for a whole 9 innings. Unfortunately, we found ourselves down 4-0 before we even got to grab the bats in the first inning. However, Kyle Morton jumpstarted the offense with a 2-run homer to right field (this one was fair, unlike his home-run in our Wednesday night wiffle ball game). Nic Parrott came in and threw a solid 4.1 innings of relief for us in the middle innings. After being down 4-0, we found ourselves up 10-6 going into the 7th inning. But as the weekend would have it, we failed to hold yet another lead. It was unfortunate that we lost this game, because we played well offensively as we outhit them 16-14. Every starter in our lineup recorded a hit, and RJ Talamantes, Jeff Schaffert (2B & HR), Matt Creamer, Tyler Neporadny (2 2B's), and Peter Rajkovich (2B), all recorded multi-hit games. As you can tell, it was a tough weekend for us. Yes, we are playing much better recently, but we aren't happy with that. We came here to win baseball games, and right now we are not accomplishing that. We are on the brink of getting over that hump, but we aren't quite there. I believe winning one close game will really set this team off and rolling. But until then, we just need to focus on playing a complete game and the results will take care of themselves.

This next week we will welcome IPFW to Shreveport as we prepare to take on the Mastodons in a 4 game series. They are currently 4th place in the Summit League standings, so we are looking forward to the challenge of facing another quality ball club. We have played the 2 toughest teams in the League according to the preseason polls, so now we really need to focus up and take care of business against teams lower down in the standings.

This week I took the time to interview freshman pitcher Trey Lavespere. Lavespere is an active member of the "BBB" and he adds depth to our bullpen. He may also be one of the funniest members of the team. Thanks for reading and I hope to see y'all make it out to a few games next weekend.

Trey Lavespere - Freshman/Pineville, Louisiana
Q: What is your major?
A: Psychology

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

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: Green Bay Packers

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Tosh.0

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

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: An established lawyer

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Transformers

Q: What are your walkout songs this year?
A: "Take me to jail" by Boosie and "115" by Elena Siegman

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Going hunting in Alaska

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: "What....You think I just came out here one day and was like BOOM!?" - Jason Stephens

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: I batted in high school

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: it picked me

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A: Falling out of my desk in class

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Billy the Kid, Abraham Lincoln, Davy Crockett