By: Rob McCabe
As the 2013 fall semester continues, student-athletes at UMBC are hard at work preparing for their seasons ahead or competing hard on the playing field for the black and gold. After our first month of fall baseball, we are really starting to come together as a team and beginning to play well with each other. After our scrimmage on Thursday, Oct. 3rd against CCBC-Catonsville, we proved to ourselves that we will be a much more explosive offensive team than we were last year. While the game was a chance to prove ourselves as a team and see where we still need to make improvements, it was also a chance for our freshmen to get their feet wet against collegiate competition and see how different the game is at this level.
Our schedule is certainly a grinding one in the fall because we need to best simulate how our bodies are going to feel after playing 40 games in the spring. Between lifting three times a week, attending class every day, and practicing Tuesday through Saturday, our schedule is enough to make an iron man tired. Our fall season is short but demanding and we only have a few weeks left to make sure that we are ready for the spring. We have a goal every day and every week at practice, and it is posted in our dugout when we arrive to practice. The goal is to get better every day and if we achieve that goal every time we step in between the lines then there are no limits on how far our team can go this year.
Homecoming weekend is quickly approaching and although we do not have an alumni game, we do have two games scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12th against Navy. This will be a real test for our team due to Navy’s quality pitching staff which is always one of the top in the country. Homecoming weekend is also a great time to see alumni that you have played with throughout your career here and meet alums who have shaped this university and our team.
By: Shane Vlasic
It has been almost six months since my MRI showed that I had a torn labrum in my right shoulder and what a long six months it has been. After I found out it was torn, I sought out multiple opinions. The first doctor I saw suggested surgery, which would put me out eight months. After that I went and got a second opinion from Dr. Timothy Johnson, who was the Baltimore Orioles’ team doctor. He told me that surgery was not needed, and that I just needed to rehabilitate the shoulder. I went with the rehab option and have been trying to get my shoulder healthy ever since. Most kids on our team got to spend their summer playing baseball, while I was stuck at home working and going to physical therapy three times a week- not exactly how I wanted to spend my summer.
Although physical therapy wasn’t the most fun thing in the world, I was lucky to get to work with Dr. Marc Meadows who really helped me through the process. Most of the stuff he had me doing was strengthening my shoulder, but also had me working on my core strength and flexibility. He told me that part of the reason I tore my labrum was because my flexibility was not good, which was putting all the stress on my shoulder when I pitch.
After about two months of physical therapy, I was finally able to throw again on July 15th. Although it was only 45 feet, it felt great to throw the baseball. I started throwing further and further, and my arm was feeling stronger. Most importantly, it was the first time in a while that I was throwing without pain. By the end of the summer, I was able to throw up to 200 feet. I cannot remember the last time I threw 200 feet without any pain.
Since I have been back at school, my arm has felt much better. I am throwing bullpens every week and get to face hitters for the first time in over six months. My shoulder has been sore a little here and there, but overall, I feel much healthier than last year. I know the spring season is over five months away but I cannot wait to get started.
By: Shane Vlasic
My name is Shane Vlasic and I am currently a pitcher on the UMBC baseball team. I am a media and communications studies major and earning minors in American s
tudies and e ntrepreneurship. I am an Ashburn, Va. native, and am currently doing my i nternship within UMBC’s Athletic Communication Department. As of now I am mainly working with the m en’s s occer team and the w omen’s c ross c ountry team. Once b asketball season starts I will be helping out with those games also. I do things such as tweet at games, put together highlight clips, and update the website. I am getting a lot of experience and could not be happier working in the a thletic d epartment.
As our fall season gets underway our players and coaches could not be more excited to get started. After a tough couple weeks of conditioning, lifting, and skill work, we are finally getting into full team practice. This is where we separate ourselves from the rest of the teams in our conference. Although we have five
freshmen joining our team, I still see us as a very experienced team, which helps out tremendously. Last year we had a lot of new guys, so we spent a lot of time in practice learning new things. This year, we have so many returners that we are taking the things we learned last year and perfecting them. We have four games scheduled this fall against outside competition, and are competing in inter-squad scrimmages every weekend. The fall is grind, but we are getting better every day.
Personally, this season is going to be a very important season for m since.
I am coming back from a shoulder injury that I suffered after sophomore year. Since the injury I have been doing everything I can to make sure that when spring season starts, I am able to pitch and help this team reach the America East c hampionship. After a spring, and summer full of rehab, (which is not fun) I am finally starting to throw off the mound again. Although it is not at 100 percent, it still feels good to be throwing pain-free. If everything goes to plan, I should be able to compete this spring.
From my freshman year to my senior year, I have watched not only this team, but also this pitching staff make major improvements. We are returning every pitcher from last year, and adding five guys
that did not throw last year. We made improvements, but are still not satisfied until we get that conference championship trophy. Right now we have a group of 15 on the pitching staff that we know we can count on.
Things are looking up for baseball team, and I feel honored to be a part of this transformation. We have a team full of guys that know that we can win an America East Championship this year.