EBCA exchange Ronny Heymans Pomona Pitzer.

Last Day in Claremont.

Today will be my last day. Packing in the morning and heading for a jog with assistant coach Nick Sussman.

Yesterday's practice was also the last  one before the season starts. The Sagehens are playing their 1st season game on Friday.
The goal now during practice is to have everything covered before the first game.
1st and 3rd plays are reviewed and executed, pick off plays, baserunning, pop up communication. Pitchers got their conditionning in and hitters took BP.

After practice


EBCA exchange Pomona Pitzer Ronny Heymans

The weekend in LA

No baseball actually on the weekend.

We had double intersquad games to be played on saturday but none of them could be played. I don't know if it's me because I'm from Belgium where it rains every other day but it rained a lot saturday morning, well enough to cancel the full day. I could then enjoy a full day of shopping in a great shopping mall.
On sunday, got to Santa Monica and Venice. Really strange people out there, you have to see it to believe it. Then to Beverly Hills, Rodeo drive and it's incredible shops. it's amazing how clean and nice that place is.

Then on to Hollywood boulevard for the Walk of fame and Kodak theater. Captain America was there, Dark Vador, Super Jamie and Jack Sparrow where on hand.


EBCA exchange program Ronny Heymans

Day 4

Good day today!

Shopping at Sports Authority
Back for lunch at noon in the language dining hall and just got the news that I'm going to the LA Clippers - Timberwolves game...sweeeeet.

Practice was earlier and we did scrimmage game
I again threw early BP for 45'
Here's a video of the team warming up, pretty cool ending.

EBCA exchange Pomona Pitzer Ronny Heymans

Day 3 :

Morning dedicated to shopping. Coach Pericolosi picked me up to go to Dick's sporting goods. Great sho,p lots of quality items which is not usual.
Mexican eating for lunch in a place where tortillas are home made in front of you. The bomb.
Practice in the afternoon.
I threw a part of early BP, it seems that my arm is getting back in shape. While some pitchers where still long tossing, the majority of them participated in a sort of 21 outs : simulated situations where the coach is fungoing from the mound to all fields. A great drill because everybody is involved : outfielders have to chase gappers and hit the cut-off man, infielders move around for relays, cut-offs and base coverage and back-ups, pitchers back up bases and baserunners work on conditionning leads, breaks and turns.
 These baserunners go full out, no semi running, all sliding hard. Definitely different from europe!
Then back again for batting practice. Several groups get to rotate between hitting live, hitting in the cage, defense, conditionning.

Back home, shower and done for the day!

See you tomorrow guys!

Ronny Heymans


EBCA Exchange Pomona Pitzer Ronny Heymans

Day 2

This is what you can call a good long day.
It all started with some testing of players on the mile run.  Players  had to do this test at 6:30 AM . So I also showed up at the same time (5:30 wake up call)
Cold, still dark, you got to love the game…
At 7:00 AM weight lifting for 45’ and conditioning for 15’. Actually, when players are about to start their classes, they all have already done a good amount of work.
I then came back home and took the bike to drive around Claremont and see where we would head the next day for shopping in the morning.
Lunch at 12:00 in what is I believe a great initiative : A dining hall is devoted to language : You eat for free if you speak the language that is designed at that table. French, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Swahili, all the languages you can imagine. You get to know people and learning a language by discussing in an unformal way.
Early practice was scheduled at 2:15. I threw BP for about 35’ My first BP of the season. It didn’t went too bad despite some regular misses.
Then the official practice began at 3:15, 2 ex-Sagehens, now pro players are also showing for practice. 1 is pitching in the mariners organization and the other one is short stop in the Red Sox farm system.
•    Run stretch and throw
•    PFP where all infielders, catchers and pitchers are involved.
•    Individual work : I also got to work with some infielders for the first part and a little bit with the catchers.
•    I watched the pitchers do their mound work for the day
•    Then regular BP in groups where I get to hit groundballs to infielders.
End of the practice at 5:15
I need to mention this but it’s a great group of players, disciplined, helping each other, thankful for whatever you do for them. A great group of kids to work with.
Lots of players on the team talks to me about Nick Frederick who played for the Angels last year. Nick it seams that you left some good memories over here!
Back home for shower, and getting ready for the big basket ball game! The rivalry between the Pomona Pitzer and CMS, cross street rivals. Both teams are unbeaten.
A thriller in a packed house! Both teams played solid defense but Pomona lost after scoring a 3 pointer with 3 seconds left. CMS just got the best in what finished with a  55-57 mark. Things heated up at the end, sign that it was really tensed.
Tomorrow is another day…

Ronny Heymans


EBCA Exchange : Pomona Pitzer Ronny Heymans

Arrival day:

It was a long trip...
25 hours to make it to Los Angeles.
After a lay over in Philadelphia and an extra 2 hours delay I finally land at Los Angeles international airport.
The Beckett familly is waiting for me. Lisa is working at Pomona College as senior administrator. Dennis works in the LA area as an operations manager. They have 3 childrens, Danny Jo who plays soccer at Chico state, Holly she plays volleyball at Navy university. They also have a son, Henry, which plays ice hockey in Buffalo, New-York.
I get to have a taste at the American culture by  eating at In and Out burger restaurant, apparently a very good reference.

Day 1 :

Guess what? Blue sky, nice temperatures, great setting with the mountains. Frank, the head coah of the teams tours me around the campus. The baseball field, football fields, the 2 inside gyms, swimming pool, tennis courts, track and field, everything you can imagine.
Pre practice work consists of live BP. Since it's only the second practice of the season it's good to have those extra cuts to get the timing in. All players now are gathering and getting ready for the warmup. Good warmup, arms get loose, and there is the infield outfield. Afternoon practice will be mostly for pitchers to get their innings in. All 8 pitchers get to do their work by the time it gets too dark.
Practice is over time now for some mexican food... Got to ask Frank again what we had I don't remember exactly but it was really good!

Tomorrow will start early... 6:30 AM with the team testing for the mile run. Who said enjoy your holiday??? Then back again for the pre-practice at 2PM.