Brad Winter is a sophomore first baseman for Kent State who will contribute a
weekly journal to CollegeBaseballInsider.com in 2007. Winter, a native of
Bellefontaine, Ohio, started 37 games as a freshman, homering twice and driving
in 29 runs. In 250 chances at first base, Winter made only one error.
Feb. 20, 2007
Left in the Wake
Late Thursday afternoon after a light practice in the field house, we packed
up the bus and left a cold and very snowy Kent, Ohio.
Long bus trips can either be a lot of fun, or they can be miserable. But it
seems like our guys are always finding something to keep themselves busy,
whether it is playing cards in the back; listening to music or watching whatever
movie is playing at the time.
I, on the other hand, entertain myself by challenging Coach Daeley to a game
of Connect Four. This bitter rivalry started last season. He pretty much owned
me all last year, so there has been a lot of trash talking going on since I
arrived on campus in August. I was looking forward to a little revenge! But
Coach Daeley silenced all talk by dominating me for a good hour. I finally gave
up and went back to my seat to watch the end of “We are Marshall.”
After a seven-hour trip we arrived in Winston-Salem. We got off the bus at
our hotel and went to our rooms for the rest of the night. We were just hours
away from playing our first game of the season.
The Flashes started the opening game of the season the right way by scoring
first. But the Deacons fought right back and answered with three runs in their
first at-bat. The game went back and forth all the way until the ninth inning;
we had a 7-5 lead and it felt like we were going to pull this one out. But three
walks and a couple of infield hits later, the Deacons were celebrating on the
field. The final score was 8-7, the Flashes lost a heart breaker. But I thought
for being our first game and for it being the first time we have been outside
all year, we played really well. Defensively we were solid, and we swung the
bats well enough to keep us in the game.
Saturday's game started out rough as the Deacons took a commanding 5-0 lead.
We battled back to within one, but in the end, the Deacons' offense was just too
much. They scored three more runs to make the final score 8-4.
After two hard losses the Flashes, were anxious to get their first win of the
season on Sunday. It was a beautiful day, and it just felt like it was going to
be a good day for the team.
Wake Forest had other ideas; they once against jumped out to an early 7-0
lead. Through the first five innings, we couldn’t get anything started, but
finally we got a couple of base hits and suddenly we were on the board. We
fought hard, scoring six runs in three innings making the score 8-6. Wake
brought in their highly regarded closer, Ben Hunter, who put us away "1, 2, 3"
and the Flashes left Winston-Salem without a win.
Starting 0-3 was not the way we wanted to open the season. But there were
some positives that came out of the weekend. Offensively, we hit the ball really
well and gave ourselves a chance to be in every game, defensively we made all
the routine plays and sophomore Chris Tremblay and redshirt sophomore Greg Rohan
highlighted the defensive effort with two spectacular diving plays.
Leaving Winston-Salem without a win made the bus ride home a little less
enjoyable. But we have a week of practice to figure things out and get ourselves
ready to play the University of Florida next weekend.
(photo courtesy of Kent State Media Relations Office)