Kyle Brown is a senior outfielder at Le Moyne of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. In helping the Dolphins to last year’s NCAA Regionals in Wilson, N.C., Brown batted .338 with four homers, 24 RBI and swiped 25 bases in 27 attempts. Brown, from Schenectady, N.Y., was ranked 48th in Baseball America’s pro prospect list for the senior class. He is a sociology major and will provide insight from the Le Moyne program throughout the year.




Feb. 23, 2004

After 153 Inches of Snow, It's Time for Baseball


November, December, January, February and early March - these are the months that a Northeast baseball player dreads.


As the weeks fly by, our team is getting ready to get on the bus and take that half-a-day trip down south to face teams that have been playing for a week or two already. Meanwhile our team has not even seen the grass on our field since November. We’ve had 153 inches of snow in Syracuse, but the weeks have passed, the time is here to play BASEBALL!


With less than a week from our first game, our team is right in the midst of gym fever. We have been stuck inside our gym, and our batting cages, since the first day we came back from semester break. A team can only do so much inside. Our facilities allow us (a Northeast team) to do all the little things that are so important in winning. It is hard to believe that a team has done more hitting or gone over the little things as much as we have done in the past two months.


I believe it was 38 degrees outside today. It is cold, but to me it’s actually warm. There was a time in the year when our team thought that 38 degrees was no weather to be playing baseball in. Now, times have changed, as they do every year. Thirty-eight could be the temperature the first home game (March 31 vs. Buffalo). Would we take playing in that cold, instead of being inside? I can’t imagine any player saying, “No, I would rather stay inside longer.”


We work out daily in our cages, in the gym and at an off-campus facility that has turf and almost a full infield.


Having the right chemistry wins baseball games. Being able to stick together when things are not going the team’s way can make or break a season, especially as the hours count down till we open up at UNC Greensboro on February 28. The team is molding even more to understand each other and thinking about the one goal that everyone wants: “win.”


Feb. 20


Coach Owens has posted the travel roster for the trip to North Carolina. So, I know the trip is getting closer.


Today, we worked out in our gymnasium. Because the basketball teams were still practicing, we used the “back gym” to loosen up and stretch out before heading into the cages for some live and BP hitting.


At Le Moyne, we’re lucky to have our own space for hitting and live pitching. It’s a long, narrow, turf-covered area, and from personal experience, hard to hit in. But it makes you focus because it seems like the pitchers are on top of you. Without the field behind the pitcher, I focus more on the pitcher himself…and that has made me a better hitter.


Before we face live pitching, we do some tee work. Then assistant coaches Bob Nandin and Scott Landers throw some BP until our pitchers are good and loose and ready to throw live. I knew from the start of BP that my body wasn’t as loose as I wanted it to be. So I knew today was going to be a hard day to hit against live pitching. But, taking a positive out of it, I learned that I can still be productive by learning that I’m not going to succeed every time.


In my live at-bats, I faced Al Drechsler and Nick Marascia from our staff and my former teammate Andy Weimer, who is working out before heading south for spring training with the Devil Rays organization. They’ve faced me so many times over the years and so many times in the last two months that I think they know the pitches to throw to get me out. That makes me a better hitter because I’m seeing those pitches more and more.


After our practice we had to set up for tomorrow’s men’s basketball game. As a team, we pulled out the bleachers and played a game of “lights out” basketball as Coach Owens turned out the lights. Senior catcher Steven Suarez, from Miami, Fla., shows off his basketball skills by throwing up an air ball from half court. This leads into Jeff Justice, another senior captain, grabbing a ball and taking off to half court to show off his half court shooting ability. Meanwhile, the lights are fading. After Jeff misses, I grab the ball and display my ability…mine actually grazed the rim. After a good practice, our team ends it on the way to our cars with some type of joking around. It really makes our team close with one another, and it makes it fun to be on this team.


Feb. 22


When the day started off, I had to help out my roommate and teammate Tom Warner. He works the basketball games as an usher. As unbelievable as it may sound at 22-years-old, he has not yet learned to tie his own tie. So I tie it for him. How he’s going to survive in the real world as a teacher, I don’t know.


We won’t practice until after the men’s basketball game. Before the basketball game and after a hard night of hitting the night before in the cages and a trip to the Outback Steakhouse with my girlfriend, I got in some intense tee work.


I moved the tee around so I could cover all nine pitches in the strike zone (high middle, high in, high away, middle middle, middle in, middle out, low out, low middle, low in). Doing this drill has really improved my hitting. I’m working on staying back and driving the ball to all fields.


Our practices will be more focused on situations that we may encounter in our first week of games. We have worked for months on our fundamentals and doing the little things, but now it’s time to get ready for game situations.


We haven’t seen grass since November, but in less than a week, I’ll be smelling the fresh cut grass and that brisk, cold-but-warm Carolina air. Even if 40 degrees, our team will be playing like it’s 85 next week. I can’t wait.


Kyle Brown

(photo courtesy of Le Moyne Media Relations Office)