Matt Scheerer: February 2012 Archives

NIU-UT BASEBALL TRIP - ENTRY ONE

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DAY ONE WITH NIU BASEBALL

Day one of Northern Illinois' first baseball road trip was a simple one - travel. The Huskies travel party of 27 players, four coaches, one special assistant to the coach (Mickey Mathey), one trainer and myself, made the 10.5 hour, 613 mile trek to the Hilton at the Knoxville Airport.

As we boarded the bus, we were handed a sandwich, a bag of potato chips and a bottle of water. The players started the trip with two hours of study hall and the student-athletes took advantage of that. It was quiet and plenty of the players had their required readings in hand. Following the study hall, coach popped Moneyball into the DVD player - naturally, the bus was silent during the flick.

Our first stop of the trip was in Shelbyville, Ind., where we switched bus drivers. And no there wasn't a monorail or a lemon tree (wanted to give a shout for all you Simpsons fans out there). From there we kept on driving and watched Contagion following the first movie. In perfect timing, the movie ended and we stopped in Lexington, Ky. for dinner at Fazzolis, who may or may not have run out of breadsticks and pasta following our arrival. The final movie of the trip was Ides of March. While some watched the movie, a good portion of the team in the back of the bus played multiple games of Mafia until we reached our destination at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time.

The good news is, it's beautiful in Tennessee today. The low temperature here is 10 degrees warmer than the high in DeKalb right now. We're looking at a partly sunny day with 59 degrees - looks like a good day for baseball to me.

THE NEW PLAN

With the high probability of inclement weather on Sunday, the series finale between Northern Illinois and Tennessee has been moved up and the two squads will now play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon.

Both games will be nine-inning contests with approximately 45 minutes in between.

The Huskies and the Vols will kick off the 2012 campaign this afternoon at 3 p.m. Central at Tennessee's Lindsey Nelson Stadium. NIU senior southpaw Tom Barry will take the mound against UT's right-hander Drew Steckenrider.

To watch the Huskies-Volunteers series, visit www.UTSports.com/allaccess and for in game updates follow @NIUAthletics on Twitter.

A NEW ADDITION

For all you Tweeps of @NIUHuskies, you might have seen a new edition to the NIU Twitter family in @NIU_Baseball, run by myself and Assistant Coach Ray Napientek. Be sure to follow us for road trip updates, news, notes, and of course, your occasional laughs. This was a favorite of mine during the trip, with Mike Grindstaff and Ben Neumann playing Bejeweled on an iPad.

HUSKIE SENIORS ARE CONFIDENT HEADING INTO 2012

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With the baseball season only three days away, the Northern Illinois Huskies have some pep in their step heading into the 2012 opener at Tennessee. The Daily Chronicle released its season preview in this morning's edition, talking to Head Coach Ed Mathey and seniors Kyle Glancy, Alex Jones and Troy White. The NIU players made it clear in their interviews what their intentions were this season and Glancy said it best at the end of the article...


"We're feeling confident. It seems like that year we can really go to the next level and win the MAC championship and hopefully get an NCAA berth."

FORMER HUSKIE TALKS ABOUT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

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As you may remember reading earlier in the year, a pair of former Northern Illinois baseball players, Chuck Lukanen (2009-10) and Brian Smith (2005-06, '08, '10) won the Frontier League Championship with the Joliet Slammers. As the baseball season begins to warmup, the Joliet Slammers featured Lukanen, talking to him about his breakout season and reflecting on the championship.



HUSKIES A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH IN THE MAC

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Though we haven't rolled up the tarp here in Illinois and boughten our peanuts and Cracker Jack, or even worn shorts since October for that matter, baseball season is right around the corner. In exactly nine days, the Huskies will open their season in SEC country to take on Tennessee in a three-game series with the Volunteers. So naturally, with the season around the corner, baseball publications have been releasing conference previews for the past couple weeks formulated from questionnaires from all 300 NCAA Division I baseball teams.


CollegeBaseballInsider.com released its Mid-American Conference baseball preview today and several Northern Illinois players made several of the "Best" lists, as polled by all 12 MAC coaches. Huskies Alex Jones and Troy White tied for the Best Defensive Infielder, and also shared the Best Infield Arm honor, while teammate Jeff Zimmerman was named amongst the "Best Pure Hitters" and one of the "Biggest Power Threats" in the Mid-American Conference.


Needless to say, 2011 is going to be an exciting on the diamond for NIU. Check back for more updates as they're released.



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Northern Illinois' sophomore goalkeeper Amy Carr will embark on an adventure of a lifetime this coming May when she travels to Cape Town, South Africa to teach and coach school aged children ages 5-to-13 english and soccer, amongst other sports. Carr, a two-year starter for the Huskies and a native of Hemel Hempstead, England, has started a website to chronicle her journey this summer in Africa. Check out the website and see what she has in store. 


More information to follow on NIUHuskies.com


WHITE CONTINUING HIS OUTSTANDING WORK IN THE COMMUNITY

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White_Troy Mug


Senior baseball player Troy White has continued his outstanding contributions to the community with his affiliation in the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Over the Holiday break, White along with representatives from the Chicago Cubs and Citi Bank, spoke to Chicago area youths about the importance of their education and speaking to them on improving their confidence.


To read about the account, click here.


White has been a member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation since the conclusion of his freshman year.

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