WARNER: BYU baseball going to bat in the Dominican

2011-11-17T18:52:00Z 2013-11-06T21:45:11Z WARNER: BYU baseball going to bat in the DominicanNeil K. Warner - Daily Herald Daily Herald
November 17, 2011 6:52 pm  • 

Play a few baseball games in the Dominican Republic, do a little charity work, hit the beach, take in some sightseeing and bring a baseball Thanksgiving to those who are in need of something to be thankful for.

Sound like the trip of a lifetime?

It is.

Where can someone sign up?

Sorry, it's just for BYU's baseball team.

BYU's baseball team is about to embark on a trip that's unlike anyone on the team has ever experienced.

Some members of this team may go on to play in the minor leagues and perhaps some may even make the Big Leagues, but the trip the Cougars are scheduled to take on Nov. 18-26 will an adventure impossible to recreate.

"Our baseball team is excited about the opportunity to take a foreign trip to a country where baseball is truly their national past time," said BYU coach Vance Law. "Baseball isn't the only reason we are going, although we will have the chance to see our players, especially the new ones and the ones back off missions, compete against some talented Dominican players."

One of the players who should feel right at home is former Timpanogos High School shorstop Bret Lopez, who was the Daily Herald Valley Player of the Year in 2007.

"I'm really excited. I served a mission in Puerto Rico, but I was in the MTC in the Dominican Republic and my mission changed to include Aruba so I served in my last area in the Dominican Republic," Lopez said. "It's going to be a lot fun to go back. The people there is so loving, they will do anything for you. It will be really fun to give out equipment to kids who really need it. I think we have enough to help a whole league."

The schedule for BYU will consist of playing four games, a fireside, a baseball clinic and a visit to a school for starters.

"We will also take the opportunity to visit an orphanage, hand out hygiene kits to a poor community, and spend a day with school kids and put on a big baseball clinic," Law said. "It is a chance of a lifetime for many of our players to interact with young people and give them hope for a brighter future which can come with baseball, education, and the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Members of the team assembled the hygiene kits thanks to arrangements made by 5 Star Legacy Foundation.

The 34 Cougar players and coaches arrive in Santo Domingo on Saturday via New York City and will do two firesides on Sunday evening, one in Higuey and one in Santo Domingo.

The trip will also be a good opportunity to check on on the progress of BYU's pitching staff. Juniors Chris Capper (3-6, 4.91) and Mark Anderson (4-2, 5.03) will be BYU's starting pitchers on Monday and Tuesday. Sophomores Desmond Poulson (6-0, 4.15) and Adam Miller (3-3, 4.04 in 2009) are scheduled to be on the mound to start Thursday and Friday's games.

The four games are scheduled for the mornings on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday against professional organization academy teams that are part of the Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Royals organizations. The games will be played at stadiums in Boca Chica area.

"Many pro teams have developmental academies located in the Dominican where they sign players as young as 16 who show great ability but have not yet polished their skills,"said Law. "These are the teams we will be playing. It will be a chance for our guys to face some hard throwing young pitchers and some talented young hitters and for us as coaches to see and evaluate our team's progress thus far."

On Wednesday, the scheduled off day, the Cougars will conduct a baseball clinic with up to 30 teams and deliver the 34 bags of baseball equipment.

"I cannot thank the people enough for all of the donated items we are able to take with us. It will be a joy for our players to give away all the bats, balls, gloves, shoes, and uniforms that has been so generously given," Law said. "Some of these kids will have their first real glove ever, having only used a flattened milk or juice carton before."

Several crates of those donated items were a result of an Eagle Scout project by Casey Spencer in cooperation with Orem Youth Baseball.

Following the game on Thanksgiving Day, the Red Sox will host the team for a Thanksgiving meal. The Cougars return to Provo on Saturday at which time the fall practice segment will have concluded and they will go back into individual and small group skill work prior to finals.

 

Copyright 2016 Daily Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Latest scores and more from all sports

MLB:  News | Scoreboard NFL:  News | Scoreboard NBA:  News | Scoreboard
NHL:  News | Scoreboard NCAA FB:  News | Scoreboard NCAA BK:  News | Scoreboard
Golf:  News | Leaderboard Auto Racing:  News | Results Tennis:  News | Scoreboard
Other: MLS  |  Womens NCAA BK  |  WNBA  |  CFL  |  Minor League Baseball  |  NFL Draft  |  NBA Draft