Friday, September 23, 2016

The Omaha Adventure Day 6 and Day 7

After a tough night where we stood (and sat) in the rain, we get up in the morning to go back to the fields for the tournaments last game(s).  I'm still thinking about why the game was cancelled.  If we win the first game, we play int he Championship.  If we lose the first game, we start on our trek home.  Unfortunately, since you see that I grouped both Day 6 and Day 7 together in one blog, you know where this was headed.

3rd Place Isn't Bad, I guess
Quick aside.  C's baseball coach always started the same kid in the big matchups.  If we had three marquee games all year, this kid pitched all three of them.  And he was not even in the team's rotation!  He would only pitch in the big games.  He was not trusted to pitch in the Division games that would get us into the playoffs, but once we got there...give the ball to him.  End aside.

This game was not going to be close.  We were playing the St. Louis Gamers, who scored 18 runs a game in the tournament and in the lead in group of games.  We kept it close though and ended up only losing 8-4. We made it game in the late innings as one of C's buddies hit our only home run of the tournament and we scored 4 late runs to make a game of it at the end. Not bad really.

And that's it.  I start to pack up the car and try to shuffle in the kids as quickly as possible.  I want to make it back to South Bend before the end of the night.  I give my World Series tickets to one of C's buddies who is not flying out until the next day, so at least someone gets to use them.  And our time of departure means that we are are driving through Chicago during rush hour.

"Come on boys, let's go." I implored as the boys were loitering around the ball field.  Finally, after about 15 minutes of pleading for mercy, the boys hopped in for the ride.  10 hours later we arrived in South Bend.  We went back to Legends for dinner and stayed at the hotel across the street from the hotel we stayed at on our way out.  I went down to the hotel gym and had the treadmills to myself.  I started thinking about the good times that we had.  Ping pong in Toledo, the Tiger's game, the inability to get to the Notre Dame, the three College World Series Games, the Tournament, all of the memories in between.  It started to hit me in a rush.  I had a great time.  Maybe the boys will think so when they get older, but i know that my time with them like this is starting to run out.

And as I wake them up the next morning I had the road to myself.  It was dark, early int eh morning actually and the boys were still asleep.  I had even more time to think about the last 6 days.  It was an adventure all right.  I hope they get the chance with their kids to do this. 

Now let's just hope a tornado doesn't touch down in Albany, Jesus!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Omaha Adventure - Day 5 - Playoffs and CWS Game 3

Day 5 started innocently enough.  C's team went 1-1 in pool play and was the 6 seed playing early in the morning against the Naperville White Sox.  While not the greatest seed, we did get a bye into the second round.  If we won, this would be the only game we play.  If we lose then we have one more game, but might as well go home because we aren't going to win anything.

The team started on of its top pitchers after C and as a result, we jumped to a 5-0 lead in the second inning.  Naperville proceeds to score a couple of runs in the 4th inning to make it 5-2.  To give him a confidence boost since he got killed in the first game against California, the coach brings in C to get the save.  After two innings of shut out ball, we win 5-2.  Now we are the semifinals playing against the St. Louis Gamers.  A team that had scored a ton of runs, but whose pitching seemed a little suspect.  Unfortunately, we would not be playing again until tomorrow morning so we had the rest of the day off.

After some cajoling, C talks me into going to a lake with a buddy of his while G and I look and see what there is to do around the greater Omaha area.  We settle on going back to the motel and hanging out.  Now we will be doing this for a while so I check to see what the deal is with Game 3 of the College World Series. Coastal Carolina and Arizona are tied up at 1 so this would be the deciding game.

So we head back down to Omaha and do our thing.  We park, and walk to the restaurant.  It's a little earlier in the day so G is not complaining as much about the walk.  He actually a pep in his step.  I figured that we would eat and then see if we can get better seats than the bleacher seats we were given by the Tournament directors.

As we park, I see some activity at the box office so I was hopeful that I would be able to trade in these seats.  Braving the 95 degree sun, I rush over there with my crappy tickets in tow.  Satisfyingly, I was able to change the tickets for pretty good seats along the third base line.  We just have to wait for a little while since we were about 4 hours early for the game.

As C comes back from his lake excursion, we meet up and head into the fan friendly area which was adjacent to the ball park.  How did I not see this before I thought to myself.  With Wiffle Ball home run derby, radar gun and face painting, this was actually pretty cool. Watching C trying to break 80 mph in his flip flops cracked me up (didn't happen) and watching Gray trying to hit meaningless home runs in wiffle ball just made me shake my head.  At least we were there with friends - friends who liked to drink beer.  We walk around, getting the CCU logo painted on our arms (OK, that was just me, but it was DOPE)

After getting some dinner and finishing up with our wiffle ball, we get into the stadium.  As we walk around, there is a buzz in the air.  There is delay.  Maybe Omaha thunderstorms are different than around here, but I look up int eh sky and see nothing.  I look at the radar and see nothing.  I shrug my shoulders and sit down.  After about 30 minutes of waiting around, the rain starts.  Holy crap was it rainy.  We get drenched looking for a place to hide from the rain.  We settle in seats covered by a overhang.  After about 20 minutes, the rain lets up, but the game appears no closer to being played event though the sun is back out.

Finally, after being in the stadium for about 2 hours, the PA comes on announces that the game has been postponed.  That was not good news, since we were going to be making our way back tomorrow, unable to see the deciding game.   The only way we will be able to see it is if we win the championship and we are staying over anyway.

Crossing my fingers...