Winning. This term has been thrown around a lot recently mostly do to the on-air antics of Mr. Charlie Sheen but despite his apparent insanity, you can’t blame the guy for seeking a positive outlook on his life that seems to be falling apart. If the Wild Thing is simply doing what all of us should want to do every day: whether if it’s in the work world, on the baseball field, or playing tittly-winks with a kid you should always be motivated to win. (Side note: If Two and a Half Men were half as entertaining as the Charlie Sheen interviews in the past month, I would be upset about his shows impending doom)
This motivation is something that the Guilford Baseball team has had over the first month-and-a-half but the wins have been hard to come by. Before this past Saturday, the team was 4-12 overall and 0-2 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). These losses were not a result of our lack of motivation, but rather a result of the fickle nature that the sport of baseball offers to its participants. This weekend, the conference schedule had us lined up against one of the top teams in the ODAC in the form of the Hampden-Sydney College Tigers. With our backs against the wall in terms of conference contention, this was a weekend where we needed at least one win. The result was something that nobody in our conference saw coming.
Over the course of two games, the Guilford College Quakers struck for 33 runs off of 49 hits to sweep the Tigers by the scores of 15-11 and 18-3. We had four players with at least seven hits on the day and our first baseman Kyle Wooden went 8-9 on the day with four doubles, six RBI and a home run in his first at-bat upon his return from a toe injury that sidelined him for about three weeks. This was a day that was simply a result of the determination and motivation that we kept throughout the rough times finally erupting to put together two wins that the team desperately needed. While this day was a breakthrough game for the team, this day also signified a turning point for me as well.
My last three starts following my Day Two win over Piedmont College had been less than ideal, resulting in two no-decisions and a loss. As a result, my coaches tapped two other starters for the weekend, relegating me to the bullpen in anticipation of starting the equally-important midweek conference game this Wednesday. Sounded like a solid plan until our starter on Saturday had a line drive force him out of the game after the first inning. After not expecting to start, I ended back in the starters role with my team down 5-4 at a point in the season that was “make or break” everyone standing on the field.
My outing lasted five innings, where I allowed four runs and struck out five. It was enough to earn the win but I owe that win entirely to the guys holding the bats. With 15 runs to back you up, it sure makes it a heck of a lot easier to win a game. Following a bit of a lull in the past games, this performance against the Tigers has me back on the right path and confident that there is nowhere to go but up for the remainder of the season. The key was that throughout all of this adversity, just like the rest of the team, I never let the struggles get me down and simply looked for the next chance to compete.
Unlike Charlie Sheen, the guys from Hampden-Sydney could not continue their “Winning” ways just because they had Tiger Blood running through their veins. (This trash talk is directed towards Mr. Michael Blackwell (and I suppose the entire Blackwell family) who is the coolest Hampden-Sydney alum I had the pleasure of knowing)