"On the Bump" w/ Cole Thompson
Monday, January 31, 2011
Hey y'all welcome back and thanks for reading this week.

The season starts up in 19 days but it has never felt so far away. I know that our team is ready to get out on the field and show the nation that Centenary baseball won't fade in our last season at the Division 1 level.

This past week was our last real "down week" for the year. From here out, we will be practicing, playing, and travelling non-stop. I love when the calendar turns to February because it means that the next 4 months, and God-willing 5 months, will be an indescribable experience for our team.

On Tuesday night our team got together to put the finishing touches on the batting cage. We put the little black pellets in the turf and spread them throughout the rest of the cage. We also painted the poles and hung the nets in the cages. The newly renovated batting cages are a great addition to our facilities.

The pitchers had a pretty solid week in my opinion. We did one of my favorite things on Monday, long-toss. Long-toss is great for pitchers because it allows you to stretch out your arm to its full capacity. Long-toss really forces you to get all the power out of your legs that you can possibly generate. As pitchers, we are able to take this muscle memory to the mound and replicate the force needed to throw a ball 300+ feet. On Wednesday and Thursday we threw bullpens. For those that don't know, a bullpen is a 20-50-pitch session where the pitcher throws to a catcher. A bullpen is basically the pitchers' equivalent to batting practice for a hitter. Bullpens are very important because this is where we make our big mechanical adjustments. Come game time, it is too late to fix mechanical flaws.

As for our position players, they spent the week hitting on the field and working on their defense in individualized groups. We had really good weather for the week so it was great to be out on the field and take advantage of the sunshine to get better. Our defense is looking solid and I believe we will be one of the better defensive teams in the Summit League this year.

Now, I will introduce to you our 2011 Centenary Gents infield. Behind the plate, we are captained by defensive leader Jeff Schaffert. Jeff is a redshirt junior and he brings experience and a great knowledge of the game to our team. We also have Marc Martinez and super-utility man Tyler Neporadny behind the dish. Tyler is a newly converted catcher and he has done a great job of taking the time to learn the position and all of the minute details that come with the territory of leading a team. A catcher really is the leader of a defense because they are the only position that can see the whole field. A catcher is relied upon to make calls before a play, such as picking what pitch the pitcher should throw as well as bunt coverages. They also have to make split-second decisions such as whether to cut a relay throw, redirect it, etc. At first base we have our big Canadian Kyle Morton. "Morty" has been a great addition to our team because he provides a powerful bat in the middle of the lineup as well as solid defense at first base. Around the rest of the horn, we welcome back Matt Creamer and Derek Dalzell, and bring in Peter Rajkovich, RJ Talamantes, Derrick Hernandez and Ryder Ward. Matt Creamer is my only fellow sophomore on the team, so we are very close because we were roommates on the road last year. Matt has done a great job of improving his defense and he will be a guy we really depend on to make clutch plays for us. Freshmen Peter Rajkovich and RJ Talamantes have really stood out as well, and we will need them to step up for us throughout the year in order for our team to reach that upper tier level of the Summit League.

Also, remember you can follow the Centenary Gents baseball team on Twitter @CentGents. Fellow pitcher Kelby Langston is running the account and he will give y'all little updates on games, travel, and any other interesting aspects in the daily life of a Centenary Gents baseball player.

Well that's all for this week. Check back next week for a report on how our 1st week of full team practice goes.

This week I interviewed our last 2 returners that we have not met yet, junior Seth Lugo and sophomore Matt Creamer. Lugo and Creamer are both native to the Shreveport-Bossier City area and bring experience and leadership to the ball club.

Seth Lugo - Junior/Bossier City, Louisiana
Q: What is your major?
A:Geology

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

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A:Texas Rangers

Q: Favorite TV show?
A:South Park

Q: Who is your dream girl?
A:mystery

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A:no clue

Q: Favorite movie?
A:Tropic Thunder

Q: What are your walkout songs this year?
A:Balls to the Wall

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A:Cancun, Mexico

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: *************: Kenny Powers

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A:just about everything

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A:7 was taken

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A:not telling

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Jimi Hendrix, Andrew Jackson, Han solo

Matt Creamer - Sophomore/Shreveport, Louisiana
Q: What is your major?
A: Biology

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: my phone and pillow

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: Atlanta Braves

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Friday Night Lights

Q: Who is your dream girl?
A: Carrie Underwood

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: hopefully being a physical therapist and supporting my wife and kids

Q: Favorite movie?
A: 8 Seconds

Q: What are your walkout songs this year?
A: Watch This by Plies and In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: A cruise in Hawaii

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: Live each day like it's your last

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

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: favorite number besides 3

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A: In the middle of one of my high school baseball games, my shoe lace got caught on my spike and I fell in front of everybody and had the nickname "laces" for the next two years.

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Chris Tucker, Derek Jeter, and my dad