Professional scouts have been plentiful during Illinois' spring trip in Bradenton.
March 19, 2008
BRADENTON, Fla. - Hey Illini Fans!
We've passed the half-way point of our trip to Bradenton, Fla. It's always a lot of fun, and it's even better when we're winning. Yesterday we got a 5-0 win over Maryland-Baltimore County and Aaron Martin had a great day on the mound for us. He threw a complete-game shutout and did a great job against lead-off batters all day. After the game, the players went over to a gym to get in a weight lifting session. My workout consisted of lifting my sandwich and the television remote control.
On this trip we always stay in four-person condos that are near the field. It's nice to be on a trip and not be holed up in a hotel room. If you read Diamond Notes last season (and want to admit it), you know how these condos are set up. It's four players to a condo, which gives the guys a chance to live with some people for a week who they might not normally. The people who run these games here do a great job. Colleges from around the country come down for some games during their spring breaks. They have colleges in and out each week for about a month. It's quite the operation, really. In fact, we're not the only school from Illinois who spends some time in Bradenton. Illinois State, Bradley and Eastern Illinois also are either down here now or have been here this spring.
We're 3-1 so far on the trip and 5-5 overall, with three more games to play before heading north again. After we get back to Illinois on Friday, we have a midweek game at Indiana State next Tuesday before we open the Big Ten season at Michigan State. We've been on the road a lot so far and we're still a couple of weeks away from our home opener against Saint Louis on April 2. It will definitely be nice to get a home game in front of our fans at the freshly-turfed Illinois Field. We practiced on the new field a couple of times last week, and the guys are very happy with how it's been playing so far.
Well, just wanted to give a quick update on how things are going on spring trip in Bradenton. Keep checking fightingillini.com for all your Fighting Illini Baseball needs.