RIVERSIDE – The dozens of card online games, hundreds of lunches and road journeys all about the continent, the thousands of hrs of discussions on each and every ingredient of the video game of baseball when they were Los Angeles Angels teammates and this is what Troy Percival remembers the most about Darin Erstad.
And no, it wasn’t the clear link you’d think. It wasn’t Erstad placing absent Kenny Lofton’s fly ball – 1 induced by Percival on the mound – for the ultimate out of the 2002 Earth Series.
“I recall I arrived into a video game to get a courtesy inning,” Percival explained. “He had just occur off a concussion and produced a diving participate in that gave him an additional concussion. So I go to the healthcare facility to see him and talk to him, ‘What are you carrying out? That video game was about.’ He goes, ‘No. The ball is never slipping.’
“I’ve never neglected that. In particular when you are on the mound, the ball is never slipping. That is just who he is. It’s entertaining to view what he turns his teams into. They observe a fantastic chief.”
Erstad’s Nebraska Cornhuskers followed their chief into Riverside this weekend for a 4-video game series with Percival’s UC Riverside Highlanders. It’s the 3rd season in a row the two previous Angels teammates have started their collegiate seasons playing each and every other by coaching their respective alma maters, but the to start with time they’ve introduced the series to the Riverside Athletics Sophisticated, wherever Percival’s retired No. 40 capabilities prominent on the heart-field wall. The prior two seasons, the teams fulfilled at the Angels’ spring-teaching sophisticated in Mesa, Ariz., splitting 4 online games.
Nebraska captured Friday night’s video game, 21-6. The teams break up Saturday’s doubleheader, with UCR profitable the opener, 10-9, driving 3 hits from freshman Alec Arnone and two hits and two RBI from freshman Damian Sanchez, and Nebraska getting the nightcap, 10-6.
Placing aside the ebb and move of a very long college or university baseball season, practically nothing has ebbed in the move of the marriage involving Percival and Erstad that commenced when Erstad joined the Angels in 1996 and lasted via and over and above the finishes of their expert careers in 2009. The two designed a friendship that amazed no 1 who understands them and their extreme, centered personalities, having frequent lunches, performing out alongside one another and asking queries of each and every other about their respective disciplines.
“I respect him probably more than any person in the world,” Erstad explained. “We’re on the phone a lot anyway. Each of us being head coaches, you deal with problems with teams and you are seeking to understand from absolutely everyone and what diverse individuals are likely via. He’s naturally received a big pitching qualifications, so I have constantly picked his intellect about it.”
Percival hasn’t been shy about carrying out the exact, specifically since viewing what Erstad has turned the Cornhuskers into since getting the task at his alma mater in 2012. The previous Angels heart fielder entered his eighth season profitable 58 % of his online games, together with a Major Ten title and 3 journeys to the NCAA Regionals.
“As shortly as I received the task listed here, I referred to as him and started obtaining information, simply because this is not an quick task to do if you were never an assistant,” Percival explained. “I picked his mind really significantly 4, 5 situations a 7 days. I was contacting him asking queries like ‘How do you get started the program? How do you get your affect into the team?’ Just everything major to bottom and he was constantly there to remedy the phone.”
Erstad answered the phone during the offseason, when Percival referred to as to inquire about – in a natural way – obtaining hitting philosophy from a player who, in 2000, strike .355 with 240 hits. Erstad told his previous teammate about a e-book referred to as “High Scoring Baseball” that Percival and his coaches devoured and included this season in an hard work to go next-level offensively.
That e-book stresses situational hitting, execution and placing the ball in participate in. In otherwords, Erstad and Percival have occur entire circle when it arrives to producing the ball fall.