Logan Gelbrich is a senior catcher at San Diego. He played in 60 games a season ago with 56 starts and saw action as designated hitter and in left field as well as behind the plate. A native of Los Angeles, Gelbrich was named first team all-West Coast Conference in 2007 after hitting .316 with 67 hits, including 16 doubles, and 38 RBI. Gelbrich handles one of the top pitching staffs in the nation.



February 7, 2008

'And then the mood all changed.'

It didn't take Coach Hill's lyrical warning, compliments of Eminem's "Lose Yourself," for new players to recognize that relatively mellow days of small-group workouts were over.

It's a Torero tradition to spend the first few days of full team practice back from break competing in the Torero Olympics and camping out at the beach.

The Olympics begin with a draft of two teams led by a select group of juniors. Nick McCoy and Josh Romanski headed Team Forehead Hunters, while Kevin Muno and Brian Matusz led the charge with Team Say It to My Face. Though the origins of the team names are secret, you can tell we have a good time competing against each other. Everything we did counted for points whether it was a baseball related contest or not.

As a senior, I was aware that this camping trip was no vacation. It's more of a team bonding experience by way of exhaustion, a test of mental and physical strength, Smores, skits, various contests and plenty of baseball.

If the new players didn't realize the mood had changed around the program when they arrived for their second practice of the day in sleeves and beanies under the lights, then they probably got the picture when they woke up from a purposeful terrible night of sleep in tents to the voice of Coach Hill shouting to wake up.

The early wake-up was the beginning of another long day that began with the notorious "Fun Run" about 1.5 miles down the beach, up Swamis Staircase and back to camp along the Pacific Coast Highway. Matt Couch took first in the race for Team Forehead Hunters.

Shortly after, we met back at the beach for Tug-o-war, then headed back to campus for a two-a-day of practice and intrasquads. After dinner, it was time for the skit performances.

Each team performed skits that left no player, coach, noticeable mannerism or tendency off limits. This year's showing was hilarious. I got ripped pretty good for wearing corduroys and for my pre-at-bat routine.

Yet again, we wake up to Coach Hill's voice, which was even more thrilling since the night consisted of some convenient rainfall and a desperate need for in-tent chiropractor service (turns out you can feel the rocks through your sleeping bag in this particular campsite).

Some baseball events were cut short due to the rain, but the triathlon went on. I did the first leg, which was a swim out to Coach Hill on his surf board and back, which was far from ideal in the high surf, rain and chilly water. I took second behind Kyle Blair, aka Wonderboy (we're still looking for something he's not good at). From there, we tag teammates for the run, which is more of an adrenalin-rushed fight for survival up the beach dodging rocks, stretches of thigh-high water and the unexpected underwater hole. The triathlon ends with a posture-unfriendly tire roll down the PCH to camp. 

With the camping trip behind us, I think we are a closer, tougher group ready to prepare for '08.


Logan Gelbrich 

(action photo by Brock Scott)