Friday night, Marco's friends from Italy were visiting, as well as Kaan's friend from Istanbul, so we all went to Delirium and Celtica for a few beers and to show them Brussels nightlife a bit. I left to go to bed early, mainly disappointed that Pizza Hut closed at 10.
Saturday was a baseball day. We traveled to Hoboken (near Antwerp) and played on their pretty grass field. I played center and batted fifth.
In the first inning I hit an RBI double down the left field line. In the third I singled on a hard ground ball up the middle. In the fourth I singled on a looper into left center and scored on a balk. In the fifth I grounded out softly to third. In the seventh I singled on a ground ball between first and second, moved to second on the throw to the plate, and scored on Elio's two out, two run single. And in the eighth I singled on an absolute bullet again between first and second, again moved to second on the throw home, and again scored when Elio delivered with two outs, a double to right center.That put me at a cool 5-6 on the day, and we won 17-4, putting us at 4-0 on the year. The game was called after 8 due to the 10 run slaughter rule.
In center I made 3 catches, one a shoestring grab on a sinking liner to end the third.
Saturday night Marco and his friends made a huge pasta dinner, inviting everyone that was around, so we all enjoyed trying different pastas (the best was the curry) and getting to know the Italians.
Sunday I had to leave church early because the Reserves were playing an away game. We played in Mortsel (near Antwerp) and the opposition was really really good. Full of experienced players, including an American who got his degree in Economics from Yale in 2008 (while playing baseball), Mortsel predictably crushed us, winning 18-4 in a 6 inning game.
The game was not without its high points though: fifteen year old Avery played a good shortstop, pitched well, and had two hits; Guillaume absolutely hammered the ball twice; our baserunners ran well, stole a few bases, and didn't make any blunders. Our outfielders caught all but one or two catchable balls. We only balked once. For the most part we didn't chase pitches out of the zone, and forced Mortsel to use three pitchers.
I entered in the bottom of the third, as the shortstop, so that Avery could go in and pitch. That inning, with one out and a runner on third, I caught a looper in left center, turned, and threw home for a double play. I then led of the top of the fourth, and on a 1-0 pitch a hammered a fastball to deep center, where it flew past everyone and I ran all the way around for my first home run in 8 years - the last one was also a line drive to deep center, also on a field with unreachable fences, and also in Belgium. From then on Mortsel started really piling it on, I made only one other play, a 6-3 assist, and singled to right-center on a slider in my second at bat.
Sunday night I got home and got to work, completing my corporate finance group project with Lidiya and Minttu. For the record we did awesome, earning 8.15% over our initial investment, and our portfolio's Sharpe Ratio was over 6! That performance, coupled with the fact that I'm the only native English speaker in the class, means that our report is probably better than most.
Monday morning, of course, I woke up and watched the new episode of Game of Thrones. As always, captivating, exciting, and cliffhanger-ing. Good thing I've already read the book and know what's gonna happen.
For practice on Tuesday I'm gonna work on cutoffs, backups, and hustle. On every play, all 9 players have a job to do, and I want to make sure each and every one of them knows what that job is. Also we will probably work on hitting.
Next weekend Hilary comes, so I'll finally have a real fan at one of my games!
Oh, and here are some pregame pictures from Saturday's game:
|Nathan, the club's president|
|Davey, 1st base|
|Elvis, pitcher/head coach|
|Team Asia: Toshi, Shu, Takumu|
|i.e. Catcher, second base, shortstop|
|Benjamin, in his first game with the A team|
|Guillaume, who pitches for me on Sundays|
|Kevin sad because Max couldn't make it Saturday|
|He has an attitude problem|