Tuesday, May 11, 2010

From the Dugout with Cole Catalano - Journal #6

ILB has asked senior RHP Cole Catalano to write a weekly journal giving the Lion Nation a peak of what it is like to be a member of the Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team. Cole is a Senior RHP who hails from Covington, LA. To read all of Cole's weekly journals you can click on his picture on the left menu.

Here is journal #6 for the 2010 season.

Hey Lion Fans………

Sorry for the delay. As you all may know we are nearing the end of not only our school year, but we are in the home stretch of our baseball season too. This is the time where we as student- athletes have to really manage our time efficiently. Finals are starting in a week, and we also have three conference series left to play before we enter the postseason. As a student athlete you can’t blame having bad grades on baseball, and you certainly can’t blame poor play on the field due to an overload of school work. You simply find ways to get things done!

The next few weeks are going to be a little bittersweet. As you all know I am a fifth year senior and graduation is right around the corner. I honestly never thought I would see the day I would be receiving a college degree. You see, I was never one to really excel in the classroom. I always had to work twice as hard to make the grades that some students put no effort into making, but I did it and nobody can take that away from me. I have met so many wonderful people, and made a number of great relations being apart of the Southeastern family. People always ask me, why do you love Southeastern so much? My answer has been the same since day one……”It was close to home, it was a school that had descent size student body, and it was an opportunity to play baseball.” Now that my five years here have come and gone my answer has certainly been lengthened a little bit, but this school is officially on the map. I feel it is no longer the school that has been stuck between LSU and Tulane. We are on the road to success and I see nothing but great things in the near future for Southeastern.

Let’s catch up on some baseball shall we………….

Two weekends ago we had to travel; which seemed like an eternity; to Corpus Christi Texas to face the Islanders. That weekend was a tough pill to swallow. There are no excuses for the way we played that weekend. The first two days they simply outplayed us in every aspect of the game. They certainly did not play like a team that was flirting with the last place spot in the conference. Now it could have been easy to blame our play on the poor field conditions, (which there was) but good teams still find ways to win….NO MATTER WHAT! We knew what we had to do, and Sunday was a different story. We came out and played our traditional Lion baseball and salvaged the series with an 11-3 victory.

Following our weekend series coach held a team meeting in our squad room stressing to us the importance of finishing our season in the same fashion as we started. He challenged us as a team. At the time we had 14 baseball games left, and the challenge was to win 10 out of the next 14. It’s hard not to think of the post season even though we still have games to play in our regular season, but we want to assure ourselves that automatic bid into a regional. In order to do that we have to meet coach’s challenge, which will give us a regular season record of 40-16!

After the weekend series against Texas A&M Corpus Christi we were set to face off against Southern University for the second time this season. What the average fan does not know is how important these mid week contest are. Mid week games are vital due to the fact that they are the games that get you ready for the weekend series ahead. We were entering Tuesday night looking to sweep the year of all opposing SWAC teams. Knowing we had to take care of business, we came out swinging the bats very well early on and our pitching shut down the Jaguars offense to give your Lions the victory with a score of 11-6. This also meant we have won the first game of our challenge coach had set for us. We now have nine more to go.

Next on our to do list was to face off against the Nicholls State Colonels. This series is always fun because it is a home and home series. This means each team will play at least one game at home. This year it was our turn to be considered the away team so we traveled to Thibodeaux on Friday and Sunday, while the Colonels were forced to play at “The Pat” on Saturday. I personally always enjoy facing off against Nicholls because it’s a chance to see an old coach of mine. For those who don’t know Coach Seth Thibadeaux, he was an assistant coach under Coach Artigues for five years and I had the privilege of playing under Coach Thib for two seasons. Playing against someone you know and respect regardless if it’s a player or coach, really makes you itch for the series win that much more.

What can I say about Friday night’s ballgame? Their starting pitcher probably threw the best game of his life. You got to tip your hat to the guy; he struck out sixteen of our hitters and also threw a complete game. The score ended up being a typical Friday night box score. After losing that game by a score of 5-3, there is nothing more you can then swallow your pride and prepare yourself for the next ballgame. Saturday was a different story because now Nicholls had to come play us at “The Pat”. With another solid pitching performance by Chris Franklin your roaring Lions came away with a convincing 9-4 victory. Sunday was the most important game of the series. The winner of Sunday contest will win the series, and as the end of the regular season approaches every ballgame is a must win. We are competing for a Southland Conference Championship, and Nicholls is fighting for that eighth spot in the conference standings. Having to travel back to Nicholls on Sunday and with a steady mist the entire game; I have to give all the credit to our hitters. They swung the bats that day like they were on a mission to kill. Especially in the conditions we were forced to play in….job well done hitters!!

The next game on our schedule was probably one of the most anticipated games we had on our schedule all year. This past Tuesday we traveled to Baton Rouge to play LSU. LSU was coming off of a seven game losing streak, and there was nothing I would have enjoyed more then to extend their streak to eight games. Your Lions definitely came out ready to play. LSU did jump out to an early lead, but as you all know by now, NO lead is safe when you are playing against the Lions. This game started out exactly the way I expected it to, but ended the way I hoped it wouldn’t. Your Lions were in total control the entire game until a three run seventh inning by the tigers which ultimately put us in a hole we could not get out of. The final score ended up with the Tigers beating the Lions 9-5.

On a side note……I mentioned a couple weeks ago that we had lost a long distance Lion fan, being that my Aunt had lost her two year battle of Leukemia. While your Lions were taking care of business against Sam Houston State this past weekend, I was attending the services of my Aunt Nel. This was definitely a tough decision to make, but it was a no brainer. When it comes to things that matter most in my life, FAMILY is #1. I unfortunately had to miss the entire weekend series against Sam Houston, but there was no question in my mind that my teammates were going to handle their business and sweep those Bearkats. You better believe I was screaming at the top of my lungs during every game we were playing. It is with out a doubt a different perspective when you are listening to games on the radio then sitting in that dugout which I am so accustomed to doing. I think it is funny, because I go out of town for three days and we played great baseball the entire weekend which lead to a great sweep. I might just have to go out of town more often if that’s the case…HA.

I also want to take the time to express my love and appreciation to my mother Kerry Catalano. As you all may know, another Mother’s Day has come and gone, and where would we be with out you special women in our lives. Since the day I was born my mom has been my biggest fan and has supported me in every decision I had made over the years. Mothers are the ones the give you the unconditional love no matter what the circumstances are. MOM…..all I want to do is simply say I LOVE YOU!!

Well that’s all I got for you this week Lion fans….once again I sorry for the three week delay!!

Until next time…


Cole Catalano #31

1 comment:

Kerry Catalano said...


Thank you for your sweet words. As I'm reading your journal tears are rolling down my face. A mother's love for her children is truly unconditional and Cole.....

I'm so proud of you. You have given me so much love, joy and happiness. The importance of Mother's Day is not the gifts, but the love that I receive from you and Chad and the precious times we share with each other. God had blessed me with two wonderful sons that I truly ADORE.

I know this Mother's Day was a sad time for our family with the loss of Aunt Nel, but I know she was so proud of you and Chad and loved you both so much. I was happy to have been able to spend some one on one time with you and how much it meant....I did miss Chad, but I know he's out of town working hard and long hours and I'm proud of him also. So thank you for sharing time with me.

Now about baseball. I can remember you starting at the age of 4, playing baseball and look at you now...playing college ball, not too many people can say they accomplished what you have. I know graduation is today and not being able to walk across the stage, but playling a weekend series with your teammates is where you want to be. Baseball will be coming to an end, but even though you may be finishing soon playing, I know you will continue to have baseball a part of your life. Through coaching or teaching you will do something you love and give something back to children who love the game as much as you have. I've enjoyed going to every game..even sitting through long practices and I know if you continue to stay involve with baseball....I will continue to be your #1 FAN.

I love reading your journals and have saved them so one day you can look back and remember the good times you had a Southeastern and the great friends you made through playing ball. I do have to say how proud I am with your writing and how you should have taken up journalism. You have done a great job Cole. Just think, one day we could be reading articles in the paper under the SPORTS SECTION, I know...I'm sounding like a proud mom, and I am PROUD!!!!

Thank you Cole for the joy you've given me and a lifetime of wonderful memories. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful life and most importantly I've been blessed with three special men in my life..Dad, Chad and You.
Life is wonderful!!!!!

I Love You Sweetheart,