Dan Spencer is entering his 11th season as an assistant at Oregon State. The associate head coach and pitching coach of the Beavers, Spencer has been instrumental in helping the Beavers to back-to-back College World Series appearances and the 2006 National Championship. He joins CollegeBaseballInsider.com for the 2007 season.






April 6, 2007

10 Days


We flew to San Jose and bussed to San Luis Obispo on March 23, the last day of winter quarter finals. We had scheduled a three-game series against the Mustangs for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.


Today, April 1, we fly home from Phoenix after bussing from Tucson.


Initially, we were very concerned about this trip coming immediately following finals and playing six games on the road against two good clubs. The normal baseball routine had been changed due to finals week.


Coaches have a natural concern that your kids’ play will suffer due to lack of practice and that they will be mentally spent from the studying and test taking.


Naturally then it makes sense that we would not play very well at Cal Poly. We left Cal Poly at 23-3 and played as well for the weekend as we had all year.


Now, we had a week to prepare for Arizona with no school and no distractions. I felt like we had dodged a bullet at Cal Poly and would then play well in Tucson after a more normal week of work.


The problem was it was not a normal week. We played a Saturday through Monday series at Cal Poly and took Tuesday off by NCAA rule. Then we flew to Tucson on Wednesday morning and practiced there that afternoon. We practiced again on Thursday and started our series on Friday evening. By the time we started our series in Tucson, we had spent seven nights in two different hotels in two different cities.


On a personal note, when we left Corvallis my oldest son had missed a week of school, sick with a viral flu. It turned to pneumonia over Spring Break and my wife now had him, plus siblings, home for a week of Spring Break. Five days into the trip, and now my wife is sick and still holding the fort down.


So after a so-called “week of rest” we get beat three times in Arizona. We lost as many games in a weekend as we had all year.


USC comes to town on Thursday, and they will not feel sorry for us. I do think the length of the trip affected us in the desert. I also know that other factors were equally important. Arizona is very good, especially at home and they played well.


Things have been running smoothly for a long time, and then we hit a giant pot hole and got shaken up. Everything gets re-evaluated and sorted out. Egos get put back together, concentration levels are heightened, and a higher degree of focus is demanded.


Nothing gets your attention like getting beat.


Character is revealed in defeat and how it is responded to. That will be the next chapter in our season.


Dan Spencer


Previous Entries

Relationships (3/20/07)

Home Stand - Finally (3/9/07)

Travel (2/22/07)

Neutral Counts (2/8/07)

Opportunity Knocks (1/2/07)

Recruiting Athletes (11/27/06)


(photo courtesy of Oregon State Media Relations Office)