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Postcards from Omaha, Day 4

June 17, 2006

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Junior pitcher Lee Hyde, coming off an outstanding start in Georgia Tech’s loss to Clemson, talks about his pitching coach, Bobby Moranda. On their off day Saturday, the Yellow Jackets went to a picnic with their hosts, the local Kiwanis Club, at a nearby lake house, and Moranda showed off his water-skiing skills. Then it was off to practice at Millard West High School, where Moranda, head coach Danny Hall and volunteer coach Bryan Prince ended the workout with a few swings in the batting cage.

“Coach Mo always talks about skiing, especially snow skiing. He brings in videos of he and his buddies skiing out in Utah and Colorado or wherever it is that goes. He always talks about how good he is. He saw those guys water skiing on the lake and started telling us about what he could do. We wanted to put him to the test. He told us if we flagged down that boat, he would show us what he could do, so I went out there and flagged them down. It was pretty funny watching him trying to get up the first couple of times – that boat didn’t look like it was strong enough to get him up. But once he got up, he was pretty good.

“He doesn’t brag about himself as a baseball player, mostly just skiing. I guess he’s a better skier than he was a baseball player. He played outfield in college, and he says he could hit a little bit, but he mostly talks about skiing when he’s around us. [Editor’s note: Coach Moranda got in the batting cage at the end of Saturday’s practice and hit a home run.] That boat was struggling, though, so I’ll give him credit. It was funny watching him go, he’s pretty good.

“He’s a great guy. He loves us all of us, and he loves his job. He spends hours and hours watching video and working on scouting reports and just puts his whole heart and soul into it. He’s really helped me a lot. He’s someone I can always talk to. We’ve gone through a lot of mechanical changes and finally come to a point where we both think my mechanics are right. He’s just been there.

“Other than the way the game ended yesterday, it’s been a lot of fun out here. It was a great experience seeing Rosenblatt for the first time and pitching in the first game. I know we lost yesterday, and that stinks, but other than that, it’s been a great experience so far. It’s my job to go out there and give us a chance to win. I wish we could have had a different ending, but we’ve got a lot of heart on this team, and I know we’re going to turn it around.

“I think we were all really bummed yesterday, but that picnic today helped put us in a better mood. Now we’re going to go practice and get ready to go tomorrow.”

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