On the Bump: Layton Tromba
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hi Gent fans, and welcome back to week four of “On the Bump”. This week will be the first week of the video blog as well as I will briefly interview starting catcher Chris Zapata and starting pitcher Holden Novak. I plan on doing this each week throughout the season to give everyone a deeper look into our program and the personalities on this team. I hope the video will be both informative and humorous as well!

This is probably my favorite blog yet, simply because I get to write knowing that our first game is less than a week away. February 6th against UT-Tyler has been a date I believe many of my teammates as well as myself have been waiting on.  There really is no better time of the year. To be honest, yes, I am finding it troublesome to sleep well at night just because of the excitement level. The best time of the year is back finally!!!

I guess it really sunk in just how close we are to the beginning of the year when doing the SCAC media days with Coach D this past Thursday. Just talking about the team and all of the things that we are ready to accomplish together just got me a little more pumped than I already was. It’s great to talk and preview the team, but it will be even better to stop the previewing and just get out in between the white lines and see just what we are all about. Friday cannot get here fast enough!

Our last full week of practice before the opener went very well I thought.  We got a ton of practice in preparing us for anything we may encounter this upcoming week in San Antonio.  The guys really treated practice in game-like scenarios, but more than anything, we are just becoming a bit more polished as a group.  The fact of the matter is that we do once again have a very young, talented team and we are only going to become more dangerous as we see competition and some of the young guys get their feet wet in a game situation.

We are still trying to identify some of the roles these guys will play to start the season as there has been more competition this year than I could ever remember in my first two years here as a Gent, which I think is healthy. Competition should bring out the best in everybody, challenging themselves to always be in a game mindset during each rep in practice.  All of our guys knew how important our last full week of practice was for that reason and for the starters whom are established to get their confidence boosted and ready to go.

The lineup we start the season with on opening day most likely will not be the same lineup we have towards the end of the season. Coach Diaz has always told us this and it is true. The underlying message behind that statement is to continue to work hard no matter whether you start the year as a starter or not, because more times than not, opportunities come knocking. With baseball, there are tons of ups and downs throughout the season, but it is the guys that rise and persevere through hard times that should find themselves in a vital position when it comes time for a postseason run.

I take the example of Cardale Jones, the National Championship QB for Ohio State all the time. I have to imagine that if he wasn’t ready or preparing himself to be a starter at some point, there is no way he would have succeeded the way he did and propelled his team to the title. He did not get down on himself. He stayed the course and when the spotlight was on him, he was most certainly ready to deliver. I hope our guys keep that in the back of their minds because there will be tough days, but those days are the ones that define a player.

This upcoming weekend we will have a doubleheader Friday, February 6th, first taking on Ut-Tyler and continuing with a 7 p.m. start against George Fox on Friday night. We will wrap up in Seguin on Saturday with a 3 p.m. start against Concordia. All of the teams we are scheduled to play appear to be pretty solid, so this will be a great first weekend for us on the road with some challenges. That being said, I love where we are at now and I love the guys we have battling for us every day out on the diamond.

We will continue to push hard through Wednesday with practice before we head off Thursday for San Antonio. I think we are becoming more and more ready each day to be where we want to come Friday. It has been a great fall and a solid spring thus far, but it is only just beginning. The best days are yet to come for us as we try to assert ourselves as a force to be reckoned with and wind up with a conference championship at the end of the road. Until next time, Go Gents!!