June 11, 2008
Various members of the 2008 Georgia Tech baseball team are participating in summer ball in the Cape Cod, Northwoods, Coastal Plain and Cal Ripken Leagues while others have already signed pro baseball contracts. Every week throughout the summer a different Yellow Jacket will blog about their experience. This week’s blog is by rising sophomore LHP Zach Brewster.
The end of the college baseball season is just the beginning of two and a half more fun-filled months of baseball. These months are filled with non-stop wooden bat baseball throughout various summer leagues across the nation. Guys in these leagues play almost just as many games as the regular season, only in a shorter amount of time. The various leagues’ teams are filled with the top college talent in the nation. As usual, many of the Tech baseball players have been shipped out following the conclusion of the season to play summer ball and improve their skills.
For the summer, I was invited to play with the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Following the tough end to our season I had just a couple days to pack and head up to Massachusetts. Even with such a short turnaround from one season to the next, I was extremely eager to get to the Cape and being playing. I was sidelined much of the 2008 season with an injury that took a while to recover from; however I finally started getting back into shape towards the end of the year.
For me, summer ball will be a chance to make up some of the time I lost while hurt and a chance to improve against the best college players in the nation.
June 4th was the day of my flight to Boston. My 12:40 p.m. flight out of Atlanta would take me to Philadelphia where I would catch a connecting flight, scheduled to arrive in Boston about 5:30 p.m. Little did I know flying up would seem to take as long as driving would. Shortly after boarding in Atlanta, the flight was delayed because of weather conditions in Philly, so we sat on the plane for an hour before departing. Upon arriving in Philly around 4 p.m., I had 25 minutes to catch my flight to Boston, but yet again the plane coming in was delayed and arrived 30 minutes late. We quickly boarded the plane hoping we could still get to Boston at a reasonable time, but Mother Nature yet again had something to say about that. Soon after getting to the runway the pilot announced the inability to take off due to weather in Boston. Fortunately, soon afterwards, exhausted from the past few days and long day of traveling, I fell asleep on the plane. I vaguely remember the take off and very little of the flight. I eventually arrived at my host family’s house a good two flight delays and three hours later than I was supposed to.
After a great night of sleep, I got prepared for the first day of practice with my new team for the summer. The first day of practice was a little cold, very comparable to early spring in Atlanta where shorts and a light fleece could be worn comfortably. There were just a few guys there as many were still traveling and heading up to the Cape. After practice I returned to my host family’s house for the night. The night at the Dias’ consisted of dinner, watching the Celtics game, and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my roommate and college teammate Cole Leonida. Cole’s night consisted much of doing activities I had completed the previous night; unpacking, getting to know the Dias, and finally relaxing.
Following two more abnormally hot days of practice and just hanging out with our host family, our first preseason game was against the Columbus All-Americans of the Great Lakes Summer League this past Sunday. I was excited about the start of the season, since I had got the chance to start a game for the first time in over a year. I threw three innings in my first start since my injury, pitching extremely well given I hadn’t much previous mound time. It certainly gives me a starting point to work off of to improve and help not only my summer team but the Yellow Jackets in the upcoming year.
All in all, this summer is very exciting for me because I am back on the mound again and working to get better. It is also a great time to meet many very good players from across the nation and to get a chance to play against fellow Yellow Jackets also in the Cape.
I hope all of the Yellow Jacket fans have a great summer, and keep checking back to our website for updates from more of my teammates this summer as we prepare for the 2009 baseball season. See everyone in the fall! GO JACKETS!