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

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

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.