"On the Bump" w/ Cole Thompson
Monday, February 7, 2011
12 more days. Hey y'all welcome back to the virtual home of the Centenary Gents baseball at "On the Bump".

12 more days. All I have been able to think about this month is how close we are to the start of the college baseball season. It was great to get back on the field this past week, however Mother Nature toyed us with all week.

First things first, I would like to introduce y'all to the newest member of our coaching staff. Pat Jolley joins our coaches as a volunteer assistant. Coach Jolley is no stranger to the Shreveport-Bossier City area as he served as the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach at Bossier Parish Community College in 2004. Our hitters tell me he is very good at fixing minute flaws in their swings, which lead to much better pitch selection, at-bats, and ultimately better results. Now, back to an inside look at a week in the life of a Centenary Gent.

We were able to get out and have a solid practice on Monday. It was nice to get out there, knock the dirt off our cleats, and get rolling at game speed again. It was great baseball weather and it seemed as if the season was starting off perfectly. However, the rain and cold weather rolled in on Tuesday morning. We were forced to cancel practice Tuesday and Wednesday due to the rain. Sometimes it's nice to have a practice rained out because it gives us all a chance to catch up/get ahead on our academics. Centenary is a pretty difficult school, so time management is key to balancing your academic, athletic, and social life.

The cold front didn't bother to leave Thursday either. However, our pitchers braved the low 30's cold to throw bullpens to our catchers. I'd like to give a shout-out to Zach Christ. Affectionately known as "Zeus" or "Poseidon" around the baseball facility, Zach was our bullpen catcher last year as he was forced to redshirt due to NCAA transfer rules. This year, he is contending for a starting spot in our outfield. But on this chilly Thursday, Zeus was called upon to catch bullpens because all our catchers besides Jeff Schaffert had to attend a Founders' Day event on campus. Zach came up to the field and caught some bullpens for us without complaining one bit. I know he thought his catching days were long gone, but props to Zeus for getting out in the cold and helping out the team. We ultimately had to cancel Thursday's practice due to cold weather again.

Thursday night a majority of our team attended the men's basketball game in the Gold Dome to watch the Gents take on the North Dakota State Bison. Following the game, we helped our Gymnastics team set up for their meet that would take place on Friday night in the Gold Dome. I never knew so much work went into setting up a Gymnastics floor. It took us a solid 2.5 hours to set up the arena for them. It was pretty interesting to see how much work went into the setup, as well as how meticulous and carefully each event had to be set up. But it was definitely worth the time to help out our sister team. At Centenary, each sport is paired with a brother/sister team. We are paired with the Gymnastics team and as their brother team, it is our duty to support them at home meets, prepare goody bags for them on road trips, etc.

On Thursday night, a rare occurrence took place in Shreveport. We received a fairly solid snowfall from early Friday morning until early afternoon. We got the day off from school and several of the guys enjoyed the day outside soaking up the snow. Some of our Northern guys laugh at our idea of snow, and I am pretty sure they are right about laughing at our idea of "snow". But to us Southerners, snow and/or any form of ice constitutes snow and we reserve the right to get out there and feel like we live at the North Pole for a day.

Friday night our team attended the Ladies' Gymnastics meet. Sadly, the judges were not able to fly into Shreveport due to the inclement weather. As a result, the Southeast Missouri team chose not to compete that night. This sudden turn of events did not stop our Ladies' from experiencing a great intrasquad meet and a great Senior Night. They had a great turnout for Senior Night and it was nice to see the student body support an athletic team.

The weather took a turn for the best over the weekend and we were able to squeeze in some baseball related activities. On Saturday, our pitchers were able to throw to hitters in our newly turfed and caged hitting area. The renovated facility made it possible for us to get in a solid day's work even though the field was way too wet to practice on. We looked very good on Saturday in my opinion. Our pitchers did a great job of filling up the strike zone early in the count, while our hitters successfully worked the count and practiced situational hitting. Sunday morning was great weather as well. Our pitchers were able to get in some pitchers fielding practice (PFP) while our position players worked some defense behind us. PFP is one of the most important aspects of the game. While it may only happen once or twice a game, a failed PFP could lead to a disastrous inning. PFP's involve fielding bunts, pitchers covering first, pitchers fielding ground balls, and pitchers turning double plays on balls hit back to them.

Hopefully the weather cooperates this week and we will be able to spend more time out on the diamond. With Louisiana College only 12 days away, we need all the time on the field as possible.

Now I will preview for you the final part of our squad, the outfielders. To be honest, I have no clue who our starting outfield will be. But this is not a bad thing. We have some guys that our solid defensively, some guys that are fast, and some guys that can swing the stick a little bit. In my opinion, we will be well off in the outfield because we will have a guy available and ready for whatever situation the game dictates. We welcome freshmen JoAnthony Cantu, Nic Parrott, and Mark Gillean to the outfield, as well as transfer Kyle Mauch. As for returners, Zach Christ will make his debut in the Centenary outfield this year, and Seth Lugo, Dan Lazarou, and Derek Dalzell will join him in the outfield this year. I have faith that any guy that we roll out there will get the job done.

Thanks for reading this week and I hope to see a solid crowd on February 19th when we start up. Remember us in your prayers this week and pray that we get some decent weather this week.

Our subjects for the interviews this week are Junior College transfers Kyle Morton and Kyle Mauch. "Morty" and Mauch bring experience and leadership to the team. Even though they are new to the system, they are looked at as leaders on the team because they have experienced college baseball and can provide tips to our younger guys that will help make their transition to college baseball much easier.

Kyle Morton - Junior/Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Q: What is your major?
A: Business Accounting

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: Pillow, Blanket, Ipod

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Criminal Minds

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

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Hopefully playing professional baseball

Q: Favorite movie?
A: The Patriot, The Rookie

Q: What are your walkout songs this year?
A: Oh Canada - Classified

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Back packing through Europe

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: N/A

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: Was a big Volleyball player

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: Ken Griffey Jr.

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A: 0 for 5, 5k and an error at First in front of family members the only game they came to

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Joe Carter, Robin Williams, Elvis


Kyle Mauch - Redshirt Sophomore/Klamath Falls, Oregon
Q: What is your major?
A: Business

Q: You must always have _________ on road trips?
A: iPod and Beats by Dre headphones

Q: Favorite professional sports team?
A: Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Clippers

Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Man vs. Wild

Q: Who is your dream girl?
A: Mikaela from Transformers (not Megan Fox though)

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Living it up on a beach somewhere

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Into the Wild

Q: What are your walkout songs this year?
A: Welcome to Jamrock by Damian Marley, Turn Around by Flo Rida, and Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison

Q: What is your dream vacation?
A: Hike and bike Europe and Ireland for a couple months

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: "The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences." -Christopher McCandless

Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: I run a sports marketing website and also head marketing for some of the nation's best college and professional athletes.

Q: Why did you pick your jersey number?
A: Because freshman Peter Rajkovich couldn't fill out number 11 at the time so we traded... and 22 and 8 were already taken by returners.

Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A: Senior year of football I was a wide receiver and I got a concussion before halftime. Apparently I tried to play it off like nothing happened as I tried going to the wrong sideline once and continually ran the wrong routes the rest of the game. I didn't believe any of this until team game film the next Monday.

Q: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in history, who would they be?
A: Jesus, Mickey Mantle, and Jesse James