Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Oriole?

My son is an Oriole, ironically enough. Here are some of the pictures from the first few weeks. They had two weeks of fundamentals and practice by themselves and then a game, then they had a team picture night (first two photos are from that night). Then they took a night off on Memorial Day (even though Dad -me! - didn't know they had the night off). Finally they played the Rangers this past Wednesday.

He does a pretty good job hitting the ball off the tee. As you may be able to tell, the tee is placed too high for these boys - it's about at their chest. My son asks for the tee to be lowered a little bit each time, so it ends up being closer to his belly button. Every time he hit against the Rangers, it was a line drive/hard ground ball that went through the middle of the infield ... and the outfield. He was the last batter in their last inning, so it ended up being a home run - otherwise they only get to take one base for each hit. :(

Here's the big guy waiting on third to score. He's a bit intense about it. Which is a bit different than the other kids. He played second base for one inning last Wednesday and got three balls hit to him. The first one he stopped and tried to throw to his teammate who was playing first base - the teammate ducked! The next time, he tried to throw it more gently - the teammate ducked again. The next time, the ball was hit closer to first, the firstbaseman missed the ball, my son fielded it and ran to first, beating the batter/runner. He asked me after the inning why the runner wasn't out. I told him that he was - they just let everybody run :(
So, tee ball will not be the greatest gift God gives the world, but at least he's on a team like he wants to be. The coaches care about helping the kids improve. And maybe next year we'll play coach-pitch :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2pm at Centennial Today!

Gotta get two wins over Centennial to advance. Wish us luck!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nice Sunday Morning

It's a nice Sunday morning in Sun Prairie :) Especially nice to know we'll be going to my God-daughter's first communion today, and enjoying my cousin's high school graduation in Onalaska as well.

Though, the best part might be that we finally beat Osseo yesterday, 9-1 :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We lost to the Orange Birds ... again

We lost 5-2 when we could've won. We led 1-0 after a 1/2 inning. Then it was 2-2 for much of the game. If you want more on Park Center Baseball, check out my new blog at I'm going to try to keep this blog more oriented to family - but of course, I will continue to post some Pirate results and Redbird results ... and hopefully Oriole results as well (my son's tee ball team is the Orioles - how ironic? huh?). Anyway. Those close to me might want to call and check in on the interesting day it turned out to be. We ended up losing a captain today, and starting two freshmen along with our normal sophomore in right field. Needless to say, I spent a little energy today without even working out.

Preschool Celebration / Graduation

Zane and his entire group (4 classes) saying "Thank You" to their teachers and reciting the Lord's Prayer. It was pretty cool to hear all the 3, 4, and 5 year-olds praying together.

So Proud!

Thank you to three wonderful teachers. What a proud night for Dad (Me)!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Is it Memorial Day weekend yet?

So, life is short ... but these two weeks feel long. Amateur ball started on Saturday, but high school ball is still going. My son started tee-ball two weeks ago, so he had his first game Monday night. (He says that they won because one of his teammates caught one of the fly balls, so the other team scored one fewer run - which might actually be correct.) My wife's been in Omaha, Harrisburg, and San Diego. Playoff games are Thursday at 4pm and Saturday (possibly two games, starting at noon, up at Centennial). First Communion for my God-daughter in Madison on Sunday morning. High school graduation for my cousin in Onalaska (near LaCrosse) Sunday evening. (... deep breath ...)

Okay, so I'm ready for summer. But hopefully that doesn't happen until after the PC Pirates win a few games and finish the season on a nice note. Banquet was last night. It went nicely. Edinburgh does a nice job of putting it on. And it seemed like just about all of the boys went home with a door prize. Our booster club board is great. I'm already excited about next season - and that's with some of this season left to go. Baseball is a great game - and a mystery at the same time :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Prairie Dawg!

Thanks, cuz.

Maple Grove Night Game

Well, we gave up 2 in the first inning, 3 in the second, then settled down, even scoring 3 runs in the top of the fifth to make it a 5-3 game. But they scored 3 in the bottom half of the inning to bring it back to a 5-run game. We came back and scored 2 in the top of the 6th to make it 8-5. Then they scored a 6-spot in their half of the 6th and shut us down in the 7th - 14-5. They're a pretty good team. I don't think they're 9 or 10 runs better than us, but that's the way things played this season. Maybe we'll see them again in sections and show them what we can do.

JFeezy and Caleb each broke out of their little slumps and each had a double to help us score some runs. Jordan drove in a run with a base hit and so did Pitts with a sac fly. Kochie (Cookie?) drove a nice base hit down the left field line. We showed some life at the plate that we didn't seem to have against CP. We'll see what we can do this weekend down at Eastview.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spray Paint

So, our son knows how to use a spray paint can, apparently. Everyone (and that means neighbors, babysitter - everyone) was out back playing and my son and his friend came to the front yard, found the garage eventually, and started "pretending" to spray paint. Well, that turned into "actually" spray painting things - things like the recycling container which was at the end of the driveway, the friend's bike, the garage floor, our daughter's tricycle, a NEW BAT that I had just bought for our son. Spray paint was all over - apparently. I say apparently because my wife came home before dinner to take over for our babysitter and had to deal with all of it. I was at baseball. By the time I got home, most of the spray paint was taken care of with paint thinner (thanks, nice neighbors). Needless to say, our garage smells like a combination of spray paint and paint thinner - so no extended stays in the garage without the door open.

I know this is partially due to how much independence we give our son, but man, I did not see that coming. I guess hard work doesn't just apply to the job or baseball. Hard work is ment for taking care of the kids as well - and I know this - just needed a reminder I guess. God does let us know about our misgivings at times, doesn't he? I love our kids dearly, and I need to put in the work. They are little products of their parents, aren't they, after all?

Got 10-runned by Champlin Park

It's a good thing it was senior night. I left some of the words I will need to say, unsaid. We had one of those nights. We almost got no-hit. The Rebels took advantage of everything. Ockuly pitched pretty well for CP. And even though we hit a few balls hard, we couldn't get a break at the plate. The Rebels made good plays in the field. We did not. Champlin hit almost every mistake pitch. We couldn't catch much in the outfield. Bad hops in the infield. They beat out infield singles. We couldn't buy a hit until Wags got a two-out single in the bottom of the 6th (right before the game ended on the 10-run rule). We did get out of the first inning without allowing a run ... at home ... for the first time. And we even took our first lead at home in the second, with a walk, a pick-off that had our runner hit in the head and end up at second, a sacrifice bunt, and a wild pitch that didn't go too far but the catcher fell down trying to retrieve. You think of it, it went their way besides that inning. I'm not sure if the boys are embarrassed enough to practice hard over the next week and "Deserve Victory", but I sure am. We'll see what happens. Baseball is a funny game. I just want to work hard enough in practice to earn what we get. So far, we have earned everything we've achieved - which is not up to our expectations or goals. WE NEED TO WORK HARDER! I've always loved a set of four phrases that I learned in high school, but that I've seen many good coaches use as motivation.

Play hard. Play smart. Play together. Have fun.

In that order! Because if we do give it our all, think about what we're doing and learn from previous experiences, work together instead of putting each other down - then we will have fun. Sometimes fun is the by-product of working hard and getting better at a game we love.

And I do love this game!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Darn Orange Birds ... Again

Nick Wagner pitched a nice game for his first varsity start, going 5 innings, allowing 2 earned runs, and giving us a chance to win. We scored in the top of the 4th, but they matched us in the bottom half. We scored again in the 5th. Then they came back and scored 3 runs to start the 6th inning. At 4-2, we mounted a quick comeback in the 7th inning, scoring 2 runs to tie the game. Pitts was again at the center of things, driving in the first run, then stealing third and scoring on the catcher's throwing error - to tie the game. In the bottom half of the seventh, the first batter walked, went to second on a wild pitch, then the next two hitters struck out. Which brought up their number 4 hitter (who already had two RBI). We quickly IBB'd him. But then, their catcher made up for his throwing error, by hitting a pitcher's pitch down the third base line to score their fifth and deciding run. We deserved victory ... we just didn't get it. We will.

Tonight is senior BBQ night. The weather looks bleak, but hopefully the rain will hold off and we can have a nice night, beating the Rebels, and having a cook out to honor our seniors and their parents. Go Pirates!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day!

Just some gardening and painting pics and video. Happy Mothers' Day to all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Coon Rapids beat us 13-3

We just make too many mistakes. Back to the fundamentals today at practice. Our kids want to improve and they have the right attitudes right now. Hopefully we keep improving and peak as the playoffs start in another 2 weeks.

Five games next week, including the 4-team tourney at Eastview. Lots of baseball left. With our competitive drive, we need to keep going and strive to end the season the right way for the seniors. "Deserve Victory."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mr. Hyde showed up again tonight ... lost to Blaine (9-2)

We cannot seem to win at hope. We are a completely different team. We committed 5 errors and couldn't hit the ball. Seems like that happens every home game. Zero wins at home. Blaine played a nice game, but we could've played with them had Dr. Jekyll showed up instead of Mr. Hyde. We'll try again tomorrow night versus the Cardinals from Coon Rapids. We all had fun going to Buffalo Wild Wings after the game. I'm glad we can be proud of our program at least. We will keep working ... and we will "get there."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Beat the Elks

We beat the Elks last night (after getting roughed up by the Huskies last Thursday at home). Our road success (home struggles) continue. Jumped out to a 6-0 lead, then protected it until they scored 5 in the bottom of the 5th inning. Tyler pitched a heck of a game. Pitty was hot again, going 3 for 3 with a walk, a double, an RBI (plus his courtesy runner scored three times). Got some hits from other sources as well: Zach went 2 for 4 with an RBI; JHoll went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run. We still got work to do, though. We'll see how the rain treats us, as we got some last night/this morning. Hopefully we'll get the games in on Wed/Thur. Our field's ready for some rain anyway.

Special Weekend

We had a fun weekend with our family this weekend. First Communion, Baptism, soccer games, basketball in the driveway, all the cousins getting together. Fun, fun fun. Special thanks to our brother (uncle) and sister (aunt) for having us stay with them. We were blessed with pretty good behavior from our kids (who travelled pretty darn well!) and nice weather (only rained when we didn't really care (Friday night). Here are some pics of everyone gathered. Sorry, our camera didn't get everything, but hopefully these show how much fun we had.