Beavers On The Road - Day Two, Part Two

June 3, 2010

Photo Gallery

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – From “The Swamp” to The Swamp, it was a busy Thursday for the Oregon State baseball team in the state of Florida.

Confused with that first line any? Perhaps, and yea that was kind of my intention (I’ll explain it below) as the day begins to near its end. A couple hours remain on the calendar for Thursday, June 3, and the team is slowly beginning to get ready to call it a day, one that contained some amusement and well, to be honest, a great deal of humidity.

Can’t speak for anyone else on the team, but it was hard to get out of bed this morning. An 8 a.m. alarm sure felt like 5 a.m., and in the middle of practice, at 1:30 p.m., it had the feeling of an early-morning workouts. Nonetheless, the club was certainly active and excitable as they worked out at McKethan Stadium, site of the weekend’s regional. The Beavers started practice at about 1 p.m. and went the allotted 75 minutes, ending just as Bethune-Cookman was set to take the field. OSU was lucky to end when it did, however, as the clouds opened up 20 minutes later and forced the Bobcats indoors. Such is the chance you take in Florida.

The Beavers were treated to a guided tour by an Florida staff member after practice. Less than a football field away stands the stadium that housed many of Tim Tebow’s touchdown passes for the last four years. Officially known as Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, it’s affectionately known as “The Swamp.” OSU got the chance to spend a few minutes inside the stadium, and it was pretty obvious they were in awe of the size. Of course, it seats more than 90,000 so that’s to be expected. They had the chance to go on the field and take a few team photos in the stands, which you can find in the photo gallery, which is linked above. There’s about 25 images from the stadium and practice. Hope you enjoy.

The club had a few hours to go back to the Hilton Garden Inn, which is about a 10-15 minute drive from McKethan and campus. That enabled some of the players to grab a quick snack at a nearby convenience store while others hit the books again. The team had a 90-minute study hall session before practice, but there always seems to be the need to study more.

The Swamp, part two, came to fruition at 6:30 when everyone reconvened for dinner. It’s located across the street from campus, and was highly recommended by the Florida staff and other clubs who have been to Gainesville. It’s one of those places that everyone seems to know about. Yours truly, however, didn’t have the opportunity to visit the restaurant as five of us, including head coach Pat Casey and associate head coach Marty Lees, took a trip back to the ballpark for the mandatory NCAA meeting that precedes each round of the postseason. The purpose is to meet with umpires, talk about rules and regulations, get notified of any changes to the way the NCAA runs a regional, and other various points of interest that need to be covered. It lasts about an hour, and if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all. But the head coached and support staff at each of the 64 schools participates in them, so at least everyone gets to meet one another.

It’s almost 10:30 p.m. here, so it’s about time to end the blog. Some of us will be getting to the ballpark early tomorrow, so we need to get some sleep. That, and it’s about time for the players to turn in as well, so we might as well do the same.

Oh, but there is an update. Marty informed me on the ride over to the meeting that he could confirm a gator at a like on campus. Apparently, he saw one that was about three-feet long on the ride over to practice when riding the bus. It was on the banks of the lake and didn’t really show itself to be of danger to anyone, which is what is normally the case from what I hear anyway. So just another unique feature on a pretty interesting and nicely maintained campus.

Remember, the game tomorrow is at 10 a.m. in Oregon and on the West Coast. There’s no TV and no streaming, but Mike Parker will have the game on the radio. We will also have a live Gametracker feed going on, and for anyone following us on Twitter, expect updates as usual. There are a few more responsibilities I have to undertake in the postseason, so the updates may be whittled down a bit, but we will still try and hit the high points.

For those of you not following, go ahead and follow us at twitter.com/beaver_baseball. I promise you you’ll enjoy it.

So for now, Go Beavs!
Hank Hager

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