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Diamond Diary by Kevin Cooney

Feb. 20, 2003

Another FIU Goose Egg!

Good pitching stops good hitting. That's the old baseball clich? that we all are accustomed to hearing. For the second straight Wednesday night it held true, as Josh Banks did it again. I thought Groundhog Day was over! The problem with facing such a good pitcher is the sense of urgency as the game progresses and you have not scored, or worse yet, the opponent has scored. As much as you tell your kids to hang tough and keep battling, they aren't ignorant. It's tough to play from behind against a dominant pitcher.

The best approach is to have good at bats, play solid defense, and get a well pitched game from your own pitcher. Much to the dismay of us all, Randy Beam received little defensive help and we were down three early. I don't think anyone quit, but the way we surrendered the runs took some air from our sails.

Last February we were not a very good defensive team and it hurt us badly. Last night was one of our poorest performances in some time, and it was embarrassing for us all. Not escaping blame, a coaching error resulted in a misplay that delivered FIU an undeserved run. We had incorporated a new defensive play this Fall, but neglected to prepare our kids for every possible contingency. That hurt us. Randy deserved better.

Now our attention turns to a three game series with Siena College from upstate New York. Located just below Albany, Siena lives through some real cold winters. I was in nearby Troy, NY for two collllddd winters. These guys will be happy to be back in sunny Florida. They were swept last weekend by FIU. Sound familiar? We need to come out on fire and get things working again. Last weekend should prevent us from looking past this weekend's opponent.

My brother Pat spent some time at Siena as a Franciscan seminarian. He was the fair haired son studying for the priesthood, while I was being kicked out of the choir for throwing paper airplanes onto the congregation from the choir loft. He and some fellow seminarians would go into Albany each night and tutor underprivileged kids. Problem was that they would put off their own studies until returning. The late hours caused them to start missing morning Mass, which got them called on the carpet. Their argument that they were doing God's work at night in Albany fell on deaf ears and led to the departure of Pat Cooney from the path to the priesthood. Trouble with authority figures seems to have some sort of genetic link. Ask any umpire. KC



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