March 6, 2013
Army senior catcher Andrew Johnson will author a blog entitled "Catcher's Corner" throughout the 2013 season. Johnson, a two-year letter winner, is serving as one of the Black Knights' co-captains this spring. Check back weekly to follow along with the inside happenings of the Army baseball team.
We were finally able to see a weekend without rain or snow, so we got in valuable innings of experience down at Liberty last weekend. The temperature didn't get above 45 degrees, but thankfully we had dugout heaters that made it bearable. Liberty's facilities were under construction, but I can speak for all of the players and fans that were there when I say that complex will be one of the nation's best when it is complete.
I thought Brock Davidson and Gunnar Carroll set the tone for our pitching staff from here on out. Michael Sands came up with some big hits, and Alex Jensen had both of our RBIs against Siena to go along with his 3-for-4 day at the plate.
I've decided I will start taking different route with these blogs starting this week. I figured our baseball media expert Christian Anderson does a better job of recapping and writing than I do so I'll begin to focus more on the individuals and locker room. Plus, Kevin Epp from the lacrosse team puts my blog to shame. So I'll do my best.
This week we will be headed to Tampa for our annual spring break trip to the Yankee facilities. A huge part of the Tampa experience is choosing your roommate. This is the one trip of the year where we are allowed to hand pick our roommate and will be stuck with them for more than a week. Well the choices are in and now I'll breakdown and analyze the selections room by room.
Michael Sands and Patrick Mescher
This scares me. Mike Sands is one of my best friends on the team and I've roomed with Pat Mescher two of the past three weeks. This is a whole lot of testosterone for one room. Pat and Mike put on one of the most impressive combined athletic performances I've ever seen last offseason. The competition was for you and your partner to race down a full football field and back by throwing 20-pound medicine balls over your head, taking turns. Pat and Mike beat everyone else by 50 yards. I was in awe. I expect similar things from this duo during our time in Tampa.
Chris Rowley and Harold Earls
This is a repeat room from last year, and an obvious choice in my eyes. They combine to form Team Forsythe. Chris went to South and Harold went to West. I've met people from both of their high schools, and West takes the cake without any doubt. Sorry, Chris.
Jon Crucitti and Jacob Page
They enjoy talking about the wildcat offense, jump passes, triple option reads and both sleep in Cam Newton jerseys. Jon is a running back on the football team in the fall and was a high school dual threat QB, and Jake is known to be a high school Tim Tebow-esque legend. The first time I met Jon was on his recruiting visits and he was wearing his football state championship ring on a chain around his neck. I may have been jealous. This room will compete with Mike and Pat for best combined bench press weight.
Connor Love and Brock Davidson
Connor is a junior on our team and it seems this may be the first time he gets his own bed. You've finally made it Connor, congrats.
Taylor Goucher and Justin French
Our two submarine specialists match up to create an interesting room. Both have odd pitching motions and odd personalities, to be honest. I'm not really sure what submarine pitchers do in their spare time and I'm not really sure I want to know. I will probably stay away from this room just for my own safety and peace of mind.
Gunnar Carroll and Ryan Levenhagen
Solid room; I'd give it top-five honors. Gunnar was my roommate last year and Ryan is a fellow Midwesterner; can't go wrong with that. Will Ryan be a better roommate than me? Not a chance. And does Ryan's value as a roommate trump his liability as the bat bag carrier? Enjoy the bat bag taking up one-third of the room's floor space.
Daniel Cortes and Davis Marlar
This choice confused everyone, even Davis, who is confused all the time. No Marlars.
Dakari Cooke and Justin Reece
Team Nice Guy. If you need compliments or someone to tell you a really corny cheesy joke, pop your head in this room. Or if you want to read the motivational quotes Reece tapes to every inch of the walls.
Julian Larimer and John Malcolm
Someone had to do it.
Brian Hapeman and Patrick Gardner
Brian is one of the most talkative guys in the locker-room for better or worse. And then we have Pat. I've been dedicating some quality time to get Pat to speak more than five words at once. It really is impossible; he is the king of one word answers. I roomed with him and Garrison Franklin earlier this year and I might as well been in a room by myself. It was actually quite peaceful and relaxing. So in conclusion if opposites attract, this was meant to be.
Mark McCants and Jack Verrill
Team Nice Guy 2.0. It made sense Mark and Jack wanted to room together. Nothing but high-fives, butt slaps and fist pumps. Jack's more of a low key nice guy; more of a hug or back pat person. He should compliment Mark well. Solid choice here.
Andrew Flaherty and Erik Washburn
I expect this room to be trashed by the end of the week. Not because these two are pigs or reckless, but because they will knock over about anything they come near. Flaherty's arms and legs have minds of their own. This is common for someone with a 15-foot wingspan. And Washburn is known to have 80 percent of his body weight located in his rear end. Can't be fun dragging that thing around or going around tight corners.
Alex Robinett and Alex Jensen
Swag and Oregon. In their eyes this may be the most awesome room. And I guarantee it will be in their eyes only.
Jonathan Thiess and Garrison Franklin (to be joined by Frakes later)
Our only freshman duo matching up, but only for a few days of the trip. Garrison has the strongest accent on the team, and also some of the worst show-and-tell stories. Maybe by rooming with a Texan, and we all know how Texans are, it'll sprout some creativity. If that doesn't work, they'll have Special Forces himself coming into the room later on.
Manager, APFT super max, paw print tattoos, Special Forces selectee. Andrew Frakes.
Andrew Johnson and Grant Van Orden.
Wow, what a combo. Perfect 10. Heard we have the master penthouse Jacuzzi tub deluxe condo suite. Could just be a rumor, but I like my odds.
Special Mention: Nick Dignacco and Colin Briant
Two of our pitchers currently on the disabled list, but they love Tampa so much they actually booked a room at our hotel for spring break to be with the team and watch the games. It's hard to rate this room, however, as most of their time will be spent at Landers Steakhouse.
Tampa is always a highlight of every season. I'm excited to get down there and enjoy the sun, baseball and good times with my teammates. Next week, I'll look into different ABF traditions and rituals. But not all of them; some will remain secret.
Be Big Time,