The Lewis and Clark Community College’s baseball and softball teams are both headed for warmer weather this March.
The men’s baseball team will be traveling to Panama City, Florida on Mar. 4, while the women’s softball team will be headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Mar. 12.
Both teams will be engaging in a series of training games against other community college teams throughout the week. The game practice and experience helps tune the L&C teams for upcoming regular season in the Mid-West Athletic Conference.
“The biggest benefit is the great weather and strength of competition. Playing teams like Gulf Coast who have sent several players on to professional baseball and the highest levels of NCAA Baseball, is a very good measuring stick for us,” Assistant Baseball Coach Jess Trask said.
However, while the trip focuses on the stiff competition and valuable extra reps for the players, the typical day is more detailed than playing in between the chalk lines.
Many returning Trailblazer players can attest to the time spent before and after the winner and loser has been determined.
Several second year players are looking forward to a similar experience to last year including: Kyle Case, James DeGeorge, Logan Mueth, Michael Mulder, and Ethan Ruff.
“Getting to know your team mates. A trip like this, to kick off the year, can go a long way towards building good team chemistry for the rest of the season,” sophomore pitcher Michael Mulder said.
The players day usually begins around six in the morning followed by breakfast.
During the morning anticipation for their upcoming opponent many of the players listen to music to lock into game-mode. By 8 a.m., the players have reached the field and begin their warm up.
After the morning game is in the books, the players venture into Panama City for lunch.
“We get some good pizza from the famous Hungry Howie’s. We eat as a team then eventually head on down to the beach and hang out down there and meet new people,” sophomore catcher Kyle Case said.
This routine is not followed on game days that consist of afternoon match-ups. Many players, like Case, fuse training and Panama City into one by taking an early morning run along the beach.
Very little time is left that doesn’t involve being on the field. Free time is spent enjoying the Florida weather, meeting the locals, and exploring the coastal city.
“We attend some of the live concerts they have. If we’re not there we are probably walking up and down the street checking out the little stores and local places,” Case said.
The men’s baseball team returned Mar. 10, with their opening home game to be against SWIC on Mar. 18 at 12 p.m.
The women’s softball team took the the field against SWIC for their first home game of the season on Mar. 10.
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