The Hornets baseball program left Sacramento Sunday morning to travel to Vancouver, British Columbia to participate in the Collegiate Baseball Classic with a team from Vancouver and two teams from Japan. The tournament is set to begin on Tuesday, August 13 - full details are available online here.
With the team embarking on an international tournament for the first time in the program's history, the team will be sharing their experiences each day through individual player blogs. Follow all of the action and get the inside look from the players themselves. Below is the first post in this series, from junior pitcher Brady Rodriguez.
For the last 10 days, the new 2019-20 Hornets have been preparing to take on teams from Tokyo, Japan and Canada and today marked day one of this foreign excursion to the Great White North.
It started off with a fairly cold summer morning, and a car windshield full of dew. As we drove to the field this morning (Dylan, Dawsen, and I) all we could think about was Tim Hortons and how many freshmen were going to forget a belt. In this Day 1 blog, you will read how the travel day occurred through my eyes - Junior Pitcher Brady Rodriguez - with help from Connor Sparks.
It began at John Smith Field with sandwiches, yogurt parfaits, packing up the jerseys, and last minute gear checks. As the last guy threw their bags on the bus and the door closed, the excitement of a new season was in full force. It's easy to tell on this team when people are excited, because the bus is never quiet. I personally thought it would be quieter after losing pitcher Austin Roberts to the draft last year - he was always one of the most energetic guys on the team - but junior catcher Dylan McPhillips has really filled that role and became the person I wouldn't recommend sitting next too if you wanted to nap. Dylan McPhillips started his day with his go-to coffee drink, an iced caramel macchiato upside down with extra caramel drizzle (this has to be one of the longest named drinks anywhere).
The first bus trip of the year was full of games. From riddles, Mafia, and password. The freshmen had a lot to learn about road trips and team flights and staying entertained during the long haul across the border. The fun continued at night as the Hornets met with the team from Tokyo for dinner on campus. When we were with them, both teams were using Google translate to make conversation, as well as learning parts of a new language. Meeting their team was lots of fun, and cool to hear about their favorite movies, music, baseball players, and other sports teams.
After dinner, there was some time to check out the large campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC). Some players went to the beach while others took time to grab some snacks and check out the campus. One of the most interesting things I saw were cars that can be used like Jump bikes!
After day one and traveling, I'd say that the Hornets are looking forward to a week of competing against these teams, and representing the USA proudly.