Men's Baseball Blog | November 2011

Day 6: Royals/Beach

Nov 25, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 8:04 pm | Updated: November 25, 2011 8:37 pm | Permalink

Today was our last game of the series in the D.R. We left the hotel at 8:00 a.m., for the Royals' compound. However, we weren't expecting the delay we encountered. We were on two buses, the first carrying a trailer full of the baseball equipment. The road we were traveling on was a dirt/clay road and with all the rain they've been getting, it was extremely muddy. Needless to say, the road won. The team had to unhook the trailer and push the bus back onto the road. Then they had to drag the trailer back to meet the bus. We all ended up having to walk down the road for quite a while until it was dry enough to get back in the bus. At least the players got a good warm-up in before the game!

Since we were late to the game, we only had about an hour to do stretching and BP. The guys took advantage of what time they had and made the most of it. We won the game 4-3. It was the toughest game we played in the series, but our guys battled through it and came out on top. Cameron Keysor got the win and Marc Oslund secured it with a save.

After the game we were able to go to a beautiful private beach in San Pedro. There were only a few street sellers there to try and barter with us, but for the most part we just got to enjoy the warm ocean water and white sand. The guys didn't waste any time jumping into the water right when we got there. Some played football in the water and others had a pick-up volleyball game going on the side. It was a welcome relaxing time after a week of baseball games and lots of service activities.

When we got back to the hotel we had a very nice Italian dinner planned out for us on the beach. Since tonight is our last night, the guys have the rest of the night as free time to visit local shops next to the hotel and watch some softball going on nearby, too.

The guys did a phenomenal job here in the D.R. They played great baseball and the locals have loved having them here. Tomorrow is our last day here. We'll head over to the field behind our hotel to conduct a clinic in the morning. Then we'll pack up and head to the airport.

--Jen

Game 4 Line Score

Nov 25, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 12:48 pm | Updated: November 26, 2011 6:39 pm | Permalink

BYU 4, D.R. Royals 3
BYU   000   200   020--4  8  0
DRR   020   000   001--3  5  1
Miller, Milke (3), Keysor (7), Hutchings (9), Oslund (9) and Guenther.
Rosario, Brazoban (4), Fernandez (8), Polanco (9) and P. Gonzales.
WP-Keysor
LP-Fernandez
Save-Oslund
2B-Belter (DRR), Bueno (DRR)

Click here for game story now posted.

Day 5: Red Sox/Thanksgiving

Nov 24, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 8:47 pm | Updated: November 24, 2011 9:20 pm | Permalink

We got on the bus at 8:00 a.m., and drove for about 40 minutes to the DR Red Sox complex. They have nice facilities with a couple of fields and dormitories for the players. Today felt like the hottest day so far that we've had since being here. We aren't quite sure what the temp was, but it had to be in the 90s at least. Coupled with the humidity, the players were drenched in sweat within minutes. Hot day, but a great one because we won, 16-2. Lots of guys were able to contribute with runs and hits. The DR's first pitcher was throwing mid to upper 90s and our guys got seven runs off of him. They did a fantastic job. This team is going to be doing great things this year, that's for sure.

After the game, we were treated to Thanksgiving dinner by the Red Sox which was really great. We missed out on the standard stuffing and yams, but we got rice and beans, so it was nice!

The rest of the day was filled with free time. Some players went to the beach, swam out 400 yards to a private island of trees, some tried to conquer the ride on a banana boat, and some simply slept. Every night there are a bunch of locals that get together at the field behind the hotel to play softball. So right now there's a group of Cougars out watching them play. It's nice to have a little free time to relax.

Tomorrow we are off to play the last game of our four game series in the DR. The DR Kansas City Royals will meet the Cougars tomorrow and then we'll be stopping by a nice beach.

--Jen

Game 3 Line Score

Nov 24, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 6:10 pm | Updated: November 24, 2011 8:01 pm | Permalink

BYU 16, DR Red Sox 2
BYU   250   016   011—16  22  0
DRR   001   000  100 — 2  10  3

Poulson, Coombs (6), Welch (7), Parry (8) and Guenther, Hernandez (6).
Montas, Torrealba (2), Perez (4), Garcia (6), Abreu (6) and Suarez.
WP-Poulson
LP-Montas
2B-Guenther (BYU), Caldwell 2 (BYU), Hall (BYU, Garcia (RS), Margot (RS)
3B-Brugman (BYU), Lopez (BYU)
HR-Estrella

Click here to read a more detailed game story.

Day 4: Service

Nov 24, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 5:28 pm | Permalink

Today (Wednesday) was full of service opportunities for the baseball team.  Five Star Legacy Foundation organized the entire day for us to provide things to those in need throughout the day.  It was a long and busy day, but we got so much accomplished.

We got on the bus at 8:15 a.m. and drove  about two hours to Higüey.  Our first stop was an inner city school in a dangerous part of town with children in 1st-8th grades.  The players split into groups and spent time with each classroom.  The students had prepared letters for pen pals at a school in Utah and they were able to give those to the team to take back with them.  The players spoke with the children about the importance of school and staying away from violence.  Some players even sang and danced with their classroom of children.  It was a mob scene as we were leaving the school because the children didn’t want us to go.  It’s so hard to leave the people we go to visit. We’d always like to stay longer but we know there’s more service to be done.

Next, we got back on the bus and headed out into the middle of the sugar cane fields.  There are several villages of people that live in small communities within the sugar cane fields. They all work in the fields and there is extreme poverty among them. Most of these people will never leave their villages in their lifetime, as it is far from town and they have no means.  The village we visited was called Los Tocones.  The people had been told the night before that we would be coming to deliver bags of food and hygiene kits.  Because these people were in great need, they were so excited to have us come and were waiting to greet us as we arrived.  All were patient as we quickly sorted out the items.  We then split into groups and delivered one bag of food which will last 2-3 weeks and 6 hygiene kits to each dwelling. There were 128 dwellings in all.  It was such an amazing and humbling experience to provide basic essentials to people who have such need, something we know we’ll never forget.

After finishing at the village, we returned back to Higüey where the players conducted a baseball clinic for over 200 local kids.  The children were so excited to meet the baseball team and learn from them.  BYU infielder Bret Lopez said about the clinic:

“They have a lot of raw talent, but leave out a lot of the fundamentals. So we are here today to hopefully teach them some discipline and fundamentals of baseball that will take them to the next level.”  They were able to split the kids up into position groups and run through drills. It was a fun couple of hours with the kids that ended in providing bags of gear to 24 different youth baseball teams in the area.

Following the clinic we headed down the street and made a stop to eat some “street burgers”, and then conducted a brief fireside at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Higüey.  Speakers included Coach Vance Law, Alex Wolfe and Austin Hall. It was a great way to end the day.

On the way back to Boca Chica, we were almost to the hotel when a tire blew out on the bus.  The driver did a great job of maneuvering the situation, although anyone who was sleeping definitely awoke with concern.  Since we were so close to the hotel, we just kept driving.  Never a dull moment in the DR!

Now it’s time for bed so we can prepare for another ball game tomorrow. We play the DR Red Sox at about 11:00 a.m. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

More Info on BYU Baseball Facebook Page

Nov 23, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 2:40 pm | Updated: November 23, 2011 3:28 pm | Permalink

You can get more information on BYU baseball's Facebook page, like this photo below from the Domincan Republic.

You can see more photos on this other Facebook page we have mentioned before.

Day 3: Rangers/Historic Tour of DR/Dominican Pro Baseball Game

Nov 23, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 6:23 am | Updated: November 23, 2011 7:38 am | Permalink

There's never a dull moment in the DR. At least there hasn't been for us. It was another busy day full of great activities.  We started out the day at 8:00 a.m., as we headed to the DR Rangers' compound for BP.  They had two nice fields as well as dormitories and training/weight rooms. The Marlins' facilities were also right next door.

The game began at 10:30 a.m., and got off to an interesting start when during the second inning, suddenly in the middle of play, players and coaches from the DR Rangers team started jumping to the ground while yelling "Bajo! Bajo! Bajo!", meaning for everyone to get down to the ground. All players, coaches and fans immediately fell to the ground, not knowing why but understanding it was serious. Being in a third world country makes one consider warfare as the reason, so it was a comforting moment when all realized it was due to a swarm of killer bees passing through the field. Brock Whitney had been on first base and spotted the first bee which was subsequently followed by a swarm the size of a minivan.  It was apparent that the DR staff has dealt with this before, since all of them knew the protocol. The Cougars were a little less experienced in the killer bee situation, but now they know and are prepared in case it ever happens again in the DR or even in Provo.

Other highlights from the game include Brugman getting two hits and three runs, one of which was a home run. Robinson had another great game with two runs, three hits and three RBI. Chauncey also finished with two runs and Wells had one. Our pitchers (Anderson, Westensee and Howard) were all very effective today and helped us pull off the win. The team is playing very well out here and having a great time.

Following the game, the team returned to the hotel for a quick lunch and then departed on two buses into the city for a historical tour of Santo Domingo. We had a great tour guide who showed us several historical buildings dating back to Christopher Columbus and the establishment of the Dominican Republic. Pizza was delivered to us at the end of the tour, and after eating lots of rice and beans all week, it was a welcome treat. 

Next we traveled a few minutes further into town and arrived at Estadio Quisqueya (a Dominican Professional Baseball League stadium) to watch a professional ballgame between Licey and Aguilas. It was the loudest sporting event most of us had ever been to in our entire lives. Baseball in the DR is different than baseball in the U.S. During the entire game there was a constant buzz of loud noise makers and cheering all around.  There wasn't a lull in the level of noise at any time. it reminded us of the soccer World Cup and how loud those games can be. Several of the players acquired noise makers and contributed greatly to the loudness.

On a separate and random note, if you'd like to feel closer to the team, start listening to the song, "Que Tengo Que Hacer" by Omega.  Our bus driver seems to have it on "repeat" every time we get onto the bus to go somewhere. 

On Wednesday, BYU Baseball in conjunction with Five Star Legacy Foundation will be passing out 1,100 hygiene kits to individuals in the community of
Higüey, Dominican Republic. Five Star Legacy Foundation has organized a day of service for the players where they will attend school with children, deliver food to families in need, conduct a baseball camp with over 200 kids and hold a fireside with youth in the area.

Game 2 Line Score

Nov 22, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 9:47 pm | Updated: November 22, 2011 10:58 pm | Permalink

BYU 8, DR Rangers 2
BYU   003   021   200--8  12  0
DRR   100   001   000--2  5  2

Anderson, Westensee (6), Howard (8) and Guenther, Jarvis (7)
Pena, Rojas (3)

WP-Anderson. LP-Rojas
2B-Whitney (BYU)
3B-Frampton (BYU)
HR-Brugman (BYU)

Click here for a more detailed account of Game 2

On BYUtv's True Blue

Nov 22, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 3:03 pm | Permalink

Click Here to see the Nov. 21 BYUtv feature on Coach Vance Law's trip to pick up his son Adam from a mission to Zimbabwe; also featured in the third segment of the program are some of the photos you have seen regarding the Dominican Republic Tour.

Victory Over Rangers

Nov 22, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 10:41 am | Updated: November 22, 2011 10:47 am | Permalink

BYU defeats DR Rangers, 8-2, on Tuesday morning.  The Cougars got 12 hits.  Lefty Mark Anderson started and was the winning pitcher with 84 pitches.  Jaycob Brugman scored three runs, including a homer.  Brugman had two hits and two RBI.  Dillon Robinson scored three runs, had three hits and three RBI.
 

The Cougars are scheduled to bus to Santo Domingo to tour the Historic Colonial Zone this afternoon, then bus to Quisquia to watch the Pro team Licey play its game tonight.

More to come later.