Steve Englert is an assistant coach at Boston College. Each week, he will provide a journal of the previous week's happenings from Chestnut Hill.






April 15, 2003

Snow, Hokies Make for Tough Week


Early in the week, it seemed as though not even the power of a "Reverse Curt" could turn the weather. The wet conditions limited us to one light workout on the gridiron turf in the $#%@&%! snow. Around here, the word snow cannot be uttered without $#%@&%! preceding it. You have words such as curveball, knuckleball, knucklehead, meathead, Title IX - now you have #$%@&@!snow. Upon conclusion of this winter, Webster's is sure to include this new compound word in its 2004 edition.

The position players managed to get in a few swings in the softball cage, located under the football stadium. The cage is like hitting in a shoebox, and throwing regular BP is out of the question. The tempo was very slow, with most guys going through the motions with underhanded front toss drills. To pick up the pace and not waste the day, we set up a competition where line drives off the L-screen, or "the dunking booth" as we call it, earned points. BP immediately turned into a yap fest with everyone chirping about how many points he would tally. We made the most of what we had to work with and had some fun.
On Thursday, "Curt Gowdy" finally came through in the clutch. (I was worried there for a while.) The sun popped through like a zit on a teenager's face, and we squeezed in a doubleheader versus Northeastern. The team was very much looking forward to playing under blue skies with temperatures in the 60s.
The early stages of the game exposed the rust of not being on a baseball diamond in more than a week. Northeastern had us down quick 6-2, but as the game progressed, we found our rhythm and pulled off an 8-7 come-from-behind victory. The second game turned out to be a dogfight, going into extra innings. After an inning-ending double play on a tremendous defensive effort on an attempted squeeze in the second extra frame, the Huskies, in the bottom half of the inning, left us on the field with a string of hits and won 3-2.
We were hoping to get two there, and that split was a bit disappointing knowing that an all-important midweek win had escaped us. On the bright side, the team was able to get out on a field and play a couple.
The week's Big East matchup found us journeying to Blacksburg, Va., to take on Virginia Tech. The weather was tremendous (60s and sunny) all weekend in Hokieland, and it was great not having to put on 15 layers to play ball.
Saturday was an Ernie Banks day - great day to play two. In the first game of the set, the team rode a tremendous pitching performance by freshman All-American Chris Lambert, who dealt us to a 3-1 victory.
The great start to the weekend was short-lived. In the second matchup, Tech took advantage of a few defensive miscues and consistently put up numbers offensively to win 12-3, leaving Sunday's finale as a much-needed victory.
The bowling tour was put on hold with no alleys near our hotel. The staff had no choice but to settle in for the night with some Papa John's delivery, flipping between the Masters and the Red Sox/Orioles game.
The team had a great pregame BP, where the final hitters' round was extended, hoping to get the bats going. Each lineup guy got two game-ready swings, concentrating on hitting a line drive or hard ground ball. It seemed to work as we jumped out to a 7-3 lead. The defense was solid, and we were settling in on the mound. But the momentum began to shift, and the Hokies started to chip away and finally tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. In the extra innings, Tech made more plays than we did and sent us home in the bottom of the 12th with an 8-7 loss.
We had them on the ropes but couldn't finish them off. It was a very disappointing defeat, especially when you consider we put up 15 hits and had a pretty good lead. But hey, that's baseball. You need to play hard for nine and put a team away when it presents itself or it will come back to bite you. The hope is that the players can come away learning from this game and come out flying next week.

Steve Englert


Previous Entries

Curt Gowdy Brings Snow Back to Northeast (4/8/03)

Eagles' Wins Rise with Temperature (4/1/03)

Return to Florida Not as Rewarding (3/25/03)

Weather or Not... Eagles Battling Elements (3/18/03)

Wins Bring Fun in the Sun (3/11/03)

Hanging with Nomar and the Gang (3/4/03)

Working the Kinks Out (2/25/03)


(photo courtesy of BC Media Relations Office)