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A look at the Richmond RiverRats 2013 Season

Greetings readers,

A few days fresh of my last home broadcast in Richmond, Indiana, I like to tell you what I saw for the 2013 season.

It was the fifth season of existence for the RiverRats, a summer collegiate team that calls Don McBride Stadium home. The organization had something fun planned out for every home game this season, just like the previous four years. After thirty games, the ‘Rats welcomed in nearly 26,000 for the season.

Opening Day 2013 took place in Northern Ohio, with the Lorain County Ironmen hosting Richmond. After a season-opening series split, Richmond came home to welcome in another Ohio team, the Chillicothe Paints. While the first game required extras, the ‘Rats were able to sweep their first opponent at home. Richmond went 4-2 in their first six home games, splitting with the Butler BlueSox and the West Virginia Miners.

The RiverRats would close out June with a 13-17 record, coming home for six straight home contests. To start July, the RiverRats went 2-8 in their first ten games, including a 1-5 homestand. The ‘Rats would bounce back after that homestand, going 10-14 in their last twenty-six games with some very close games.

After the final out in West Virginia, the RiverRats finished 24-36. Seventeen of those wins happened at McBride Stadium, while the ‘Rats were only 7-23 away from Richmond.

As a team, the ‘Rats batted .257 and had an ERA of 4.40. Leading the offense was DePauw Tiger Robbie Stein, batting .303 in 231 at-bats (with eight doubles, two triples, and one home run.) Berea College Mountaineer Ryan Akins had five home runs to lead the team, with Ohio State Buckeye Jacob Bosiokovic leading the team with 31 RBIs. On the pitching spectrum, it would be Ole Miss Rebel Scott Ashford leading the team in appearances with twenty-four on the season (all in relief.) Indiana Wesleyan Wildcat Shane Bryant had the most wins with five (finished 5-4 after ten starts and three relief appearances.) Trey Garrett (Rend Lake College) lead the team with five saves.

Numbers and wins aren’t everything, folks. The team improved from the slumps and worked around the injury bug. While it was a team of about eight everyday players, it was a talented bunch of ball players.  These players will head back to their college baseball teams, with improved skills and a collection of memories of their experiences in Richmond, Indiana, Wayne County, U.S. of A. I wish every RiverRat the best in the future!

Debuting for the first time in 2013 were gold jerseys for the ‘Rats. These were wore about 4/5ths of the home games, with the white and navy sets used sparingly.  The gold tops were combined with navy letters/numbers with a white trim. Personally, I liked the gold jerseys. I believe gold hats were also introduced for the first time, too.

In this 2013 season, I have seen two reviews on McBride Stadium. One is from The Sports Traveler, who made the trip for the June 15th match vs. West Virginia. The other is from Stadium Journey, which the review doesn’t specify when the visit was (but I believe this was the first portion of the season.) Both of these are positive reviews but very good reads on the old ballpark.

As a second-year broadcaster with the Richmond RiverRats, I feel like I improved greatly in terms of baseball commentary. I learned that not every second must be filled with my voice. I learned to relax and flow with the pace of the game. I improved my game during those thirty games.

I worked with amazing folks and I met some great people as they made their way up into the small press box. I had a lot of help from the Media Relations Intern, who would join me for two games on-air. He helped out with game notes and was the guy who done a lot of jobs in the press box during game time.Hopefully, I’ll be back for the 2014 season enjoying another season in Richmond, Indiana. I also spent some time talking with Josh and Jesus from the Pal-Item about various sports in Eastern Indiana; great guys.

With the books shut on the 2013 season in Richmond, time to focus on what’s next in my career. Next stop: Back to the University of Dayton as the Public Address Announcer for the soccer teams. This career never stops, but why would I want it to?

Until next time,

-Lee

The Flying Voice

Greetings readers,

Wow, how one month flies. Sorry for the silence once again, but it’s been a good month for sports. I’ve called two playoff series, a conference championship, and a couple of arena football games. There’s also a new job for me this Spring.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I am a Public Address Announcer for the Dayton Flyers baseball team.

Now why on earth would I think this would be interesting to talk about? There’s a few reasons.

1) I like talking about new opportunities for myself. That sounds so much like a vague statement, but I feel blessed for everything new chance to prove myself.

2) I often think how cool it is for a graduate of a rival college to have this job. Does it mean anything? No, not really. It doesn’t matter where you graduated from if you work your hardest. I just get a kick out of it (and so do some of the Flyer staff, even having one telling me that I’m on waivers.)

3) This is a great job to have. It’s a great, laid-back environment, and I feel accepted into the group. I get to work with great people each game. I also have talked with a few Flyer fans at the baseball games, and they have compliment me on my work.

In case you’re not familiar with the Dayton Flyers, they are a NCAA Division I school that call the Atlantic 10 their conference. This is the same conference where Virginia Commonwealth and Butler jumped to last year, and the same where Butler and Xavier are departing for the new Big East. (In case you didn’t hear, George Mason is coming to the A10 now.)

The Flyers call Time Warner Cable Stadium their home, right at the corner of Interstate 75 and Edwin C. Moses Boulevard. It’s a nice stadium, with a good size press box and also a luxury suite next door. The seating is concentrated behind home plate, between the dugouts. There is a nice grass patch between the home dugout and the indoor batting cages.

As of March 26th, I have done nine games so far.

I am incredibly blessed to have this job and grateful for the connection that I have for this job. One thing I didn’t mention is how I got the job. One of my friends that I work with at the Dragons, Scott, also works at UD. He heard that the Flyers needed a PA Announcer, and the rest was history.

I’m incredibly lucky to have this job. I wanted to share with the world (again) about my new job. What will this lead to? Only time will tell.

Picture from the Dayton Flyers website.

Until next time,

-Lee

Raiders of the Lost Pool

Greetings readers,

Today I’d like to share with you an organization that’s been in the Dayton area for a while and recently made the news on a big purchase. This organization is the Dayton Raiders.

The Dayton Raiders have been in the area since 1981 (actually longer than that if you count the Dayton Dolphins and the Wright State Raiders, which you can read the entire history here.) It’s an organization for younger people who would like to train and receive coaching all year long.

Recently, the Raiders bought the Beavercreek YMCA for a training site starting this May. While the Y off of Grange Hall Road will still close, the community programs will stay and the Raiders will use this pool to train. For the 2012-2013 season, the home meets are at Wright State University (the pool’s right next to the bookstore.)

The Raiders have won a lot of awards and accomplished a lot of records  as a team, including breaking the American record for the 200 backstroke in short course meters, three Raiders winning U.S. Juniors National Championships, several hundred representatives in the Ohio High School State Championships, and many Raider reps went on to swim on the collegiate levels (including Wright State University.)

There’s also opportunities for people interested in helping out the team. The Raiders use a volunteer point system, to make sure everyone chips into the team.

The 2012 senior class of the Raiders include many reps from Centerville and Beavercreek High Schools, as well as a few reps from Yellow Springs, Miamisburg, Vandalia-Butler, Oakwood, Northridge, Tippecanoe, and Fenwick High Schools. These seniors have decided to go to college, including one to Wright State.

While never a rep of this swimming organization, I’ve seen a plentiful amount of Dayton Raiders gear since I was a kid. I saw a lot more of this in college, and I always wanted to ask what the Dayton Raiders were (I knew it wasn’t college related, since UD is the Flyers.) Turns out, it’s a big organization reaching out to the Miami Valley for swimming.

This purchase of the Beavercreek YMCA is a great one for the Raiders, as it continues to give the swimming organization a good link to Greene County (Wright State is another link to Greene County.) It gives the team a pool to practice swimming and prevents another building turning empty.

If you’re in the area and want to give your kids a chance to learn swimming, give the Dayton Raiders a shot!

Sources of information from WDTN Channel 2 and the Dayton Raiders. Picture from the Dayton Raiders.

Until next time,

-Lee

Two for the One-and-One

Greetings readers,

The Premier Basketball League and the Independent Basketball Association have merged forces for the upcoming 2013 season. With the IBA-PBL combined effort, that gives the league seventeen teams which range from Missouri to the state of New York.

Before the merger, the PBL planned to start later than normal. Usually the first tip-off is the last day of December and the rest of the teams open up after New Years Day. This year, the tip will be in March.

If you read this week’s (the week of February 3rd, 2013) release of the Weekly Sports League and Franchise Reporta long paragraph was written about the teams excluded and included in the combined league. If you look at the Premier Basketball League’s old/current site, you can see how the teams are matched up in their divisions. The Eastern Division has nine teams, whereas the Central Division only lay claim to eight. This is the same division split from last year, just with more (and some different) teams.

Representing the PBL are the Lake Michigan Admirals, the Rochester RazorSharks, the Indianapolis Diesels (last year based in Columbus, IN and just the “Indiana Diesels”, and the Bloomington Flex (last year’s Central Illinois Drive, now under new management.) From last year’s IBA, it’s the Indiana Splash (last year’s Gary Splash), Lansing Capitals, Kankakee Soliders, Albany Legends, Lake County Stars, and many others. Joining the frey are the West Virginia Miners and the New Jersey G-Force.

A couple of PBL teams did not make the cut, including the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Steamers and the Dayton Air Strikers. A quick Google search did not bring up a single thing about these teams folding, so I suppose this will end on a cliffhanger.

There are some positives about this merger. With the two divisions, teams will not have to make long trips (I’m talking from New York to Missouri.) You have good rivalries that can build up, such as Lake Michigan vs. Lansing and Indianapolis vs. the former Gary Splash.

Will this merger help bring basketball to markets who don’t have sports? While time will tell this tale, one last thing can be said. It worked for the NBA, didn’t it?

Sources of information from Dan Krieger/Our Sports Central and the Premier Basketball League. Picture from the Independent Basketball Association.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Thunder Dome

Greetings readers,

There’s another indoor football team in the Miami Valley. Playing at South Metro in Centerville for 2013, the Miami Valley Thunder look to get their season rolling this March. The Thunder will travel for their inaugural game to New York.

The Thunder gives fans from the Miami Valley another option to catch some indoor football.

Currently, the Thunder will play six home games (with a TBD home date and an unofficial game where the Bud Girls take on the Hooter Girls.) Miami Valley will host Chicago twice, as well as New York, Fayetteville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis (possibly), and Preble County (who are members of the Crossroads Football League, who play football outside.) The Thunder are scheduled to travel to Chicago, New York, and Indianapolis.

Currently, the Thunder aren’t in a league, but that will change in 2014 when the Midwest Indoor Football League will become active. From the grape vine, I’ve heard at least sixteen teams were interested in the league.

The Miami Valley Thunder currently train at the No Limit Sports Academy in Troy, Ohio. The Head Coach will be James Scott, the same coach who led the Dayton Silverbacks to the CIFL Title game last season.

Like the Dayton Sharks, the Thunder were on television. On Living Dayton, the Thunder got the word out about tryouts (on February 3rd) and about the team. General Manager Michael Lause and Wide Receiver Julian Hardy were on hand to talk about the tryouts.

Fans of indoor football have two options awaiting them. This is a plus for fans, because they have the Dayton Sharks at Hara Arena and the Miami Valley Thunder at South Metro in Centerville. There’s great football in both sides of Montgomery County. Starting March 23rd, the Thunder will touchdown into the world of sports when they play at New York.

Sources of information from the Miami Valley Thunder website and the Facebook page, as well as WDTN Channel 2. Picture from the Miami Valley Thunder.

Until next time,

-Lee

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