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.
March 21, 2008
Beaches and Ballads
At least once a day around practice and games, Coach Hill can be
heard shouting, "Another Day in Paradise!" to anyone within an
ear's reach. And if you've ever been to our campus, you'd
probably agree. Not to mention, San Diego is the sunniest city
in America. So when I heard Coach yelling his coined phrase, I
was caught off guard because we were on the road. But since I am
writing from Hawaii, I was quite understanding.
up the six-day trip is difficult, but I will do my best. The
trip included a perfect 5-0 record with four games over
Hawaii-Hilo and a final victory over UH. Notably, Kyle Blair
broke a long-time school record in his start, striking out 16
hitters through eight innings. We also learned that Vic Sanchez
hits balls really far, and James Meador can't get out. And for
anyone who is curious, I finally got a couple hits Tuesday
night, so I won't be going 0 for March - Ha ha!
For seniors Matt Couch, Kevin Hansen, Jose Valerio, Luke Roniger
and I, we came full circle upon arriving at Uncle Billy's Hotel
in Hilo as we made the same trip our freshmen year. For us, that
meant immediately making the walk to the famed, Ken's House of
Pancakes. My freshman year, we ate at least two meals a day
there for five straight days and loved every second of it. I
joke that if possible, I'd pay $20 to have their boysenberry
shake shipped out to California!
An interesting moment of the trip was trying to record three
outs to finish the fifth inning in our final contest against
Hawaii-Hilo amidst two rain delays and a lightning delay. Many
college players through their seasons at school and in summer
ball have all seen some fun ways to pass the time during a rain
delay but the Toreros played a new game this trip.
It started when Coach Valenzuela came in the locker room and
said, "You guys want a game? I'll give you a game. Pitchers over
here and hitters over here." So with each group in their
respective halves of the room, we were set to play what we
intelligently dubbed, "Rain Game."
The game starts with a third party (the assistant coaches in
this case), coming up with a word (our first word was "rainbow")
and one team has 30 seconds to come up with a line from a song
with the word in it and sing it. Then, the next team tries to
match them back and forth until a team is stumped, thus awarding
the other team a point. The game ended abruptly with Coach Hill
notifying us of a break in the rain, so we ran out of the locker
room to the field elated from the most-fun 20 minutes our team
has had together off the field.
Once we were out there, some of us realized that fans, opposing
players and the umpiring crew probably heard our screaming
renditions of our songs and the ensuing laughter.
Long story short, we finished the game in time to make our
flight to Honolulu. But all it took was a delay in our flight
due to the rain to continue our intense game of "Rain Game" to
start up in the airport terminal. With civilian on-lookers,
coaches recording video of the performances on their cell phones
and cheers from airport personnel the position players continued
their dominance over the pitchers, ending the game with a score
Kevin Hansen, "Sik-Vic" Sanchez and I may be "Rain Game" Hall of
Famers if we decide not to take over the billboard charts. The
no-holds-barred competition included quality vocals that at
times turned into dancing and embarrassing amount of passion and
effort from the hitters in our performance of songs from Mariah
Carey's "You'll Always Be My Baby" to the Barney theme song.
After our flight touched down, we unloaded our vans in front of
our hotel in downtown Honolulu in the middle of the St.
Patrick's Day nightlife debauchery. The next day, many players
ventured around town and Waikiki Beach before our night game at
UH as more of a sneak peek at our fast-approaching off day on
I think it takes a jam-packed schedule that has us constantly in
a bunker with academic responsibilities, baseball
practice/games, travel and not to mention necessities such as
eating, doing laundry or God forbid, some sleep to really
appreciate an off day in Honolulu. We really soaked it in with
some players taking on surfing, snorkeling, sightseeing, having
great meals with family and/or other teammates, etc.
Most of us will be cautious of our sunburns when throwing our
DeMarini backpacks over our shoulder to head to the airport
today, but every good trip has to come to an end, right?
(action photo by Brock Scott)