The Inside Pitch: Navy Baseball Blog
March 4, 2013
Navy Baseball Blog No. 1
After many months of hard work and of preparation, the 2013 baseball season has arrived. The thrill of college baseball is moving across the country. Needless to say, everyone is excited, especially the Navy baseball family.
We players started in August with the mindset to win. The baseball and strength coaches integrated a new workout regimen. We took that new plan to the weight room - pushing ourselves hard to be stronger, faster and better. The extra winter effort and the excitement we shared should translate to the field.
We opened up at Norfolk State by taking two of the three games. This was the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The energy and passion we carried from winter workouts helped us to open the season on a high note.
We then traveled to Kinston, N.C., to take on one of our academy foes, the United States Air Force Academy, in the third-annual Freedom Classic. Down there, it's more than just about baseball. There is a pregame ceremony that recognizes and pays tribute to the brave soldiers who have paved the path for us. It is a city-wide event attended by hundreds of townspeople too. It is truly a special event for both of the teams. It's a great event, and the city of Kinston treated our team and families with extraordinary care.
Having an opportunity to interact with the Air Force team is special, but aside from the joint passions of two serving forces, the team knew we were down there for business. On Friday night, we went right back to work winning game one in hard-fought and exciting battle by scoring in the top of the ninth to break a tie.
Following that passion-filled game, we had the opportunity to visit Woodman Community Center, where we ate dinner with the Air Force team. During that time, we had the opportunity to meet with the local kids, sign autographs and play basketball and volleyball with them in the gym. Having the opportunity to interact with the fans both young and old was an awesome experience, and I know that each player felt great about their time with those boys and girls.
The tournament committee invited both teams along with friends and family to have breakfast at Kings BBQ on Saturday morning. During the breakfast, the 19 seniors from both academies had the opportunity to introduce themselves and announce their respective service selections. It's awesome to hear where today's foe is heading, wondering if your paths will cross as comrades after the baseball season ends. Following a hearty meal, a man who grew up in Kinston spoke about leadership and teamwork. Lin Dawson played football for 10 years with New England Patriot, including in the 1986 Super Bowl. He is physically a big man and as you can imagine he caught everyone's attention from the moment he started speaking. What Mr. Dawson spoke about captured everyone: developing leadership and building teams. Not only did he speak about teamwork and leadership on the athletic field, but he spoke about teamwork and leadership in life and how it's important for our personal success. Once he concluded, we were able to shake his hand and talk briefly. These were significant moments for all who attended.
Later Saturday and Sunday, we played three more games. In the end, we won two games apiece. All of the games were exciting, filled with passion, and determination. We are determined to get better by applying some early lessons. Everything is in place. Never Be Satisfied!