Lipscomb associate director of athletics Brent High checks in with a report on day four of the baseball team's mission to the Dominican Republic.
Day four was another productive one for the Lipscomb Baseball Dominican Republic mission team. Most of us rested extremely well Sunday night after discovering the perfect recipe for drowning out the roosters that crow all night, the multiple dogs that bark incessantly and the motorcycles and scooters that zoom by our open windows. The secret? Running an app that plays the sound of pouring down rain at full volume while simultaneously playing an iTunes playlist on a loop. Dominican Republic magic.
After a pancake breakfast we headed to the field to begin our work. The weather was absolutely amazing all day long. Mostly cloudy. Rain spitting most of the day. Temperature in the high 70’s. Absolutely perfect for the kind of work we were doing.
It’s been really neat to see all of the guys assume roles with what needs to be done. They have also shown an extremely creative side as well.
One team went to work mixing concrete and putting in the posts for the first base dugout. Another team set out to dig a new set of holes for the third base dugout. A third team worked on welding the crossbars for the backstop that will hold the chain link fence. Mike and Derek Smith and Rio Grande Fence Company may need to look into hiring some of these fellas! They’re that good!
While digging out an old stump near the backstop, I saw the ground begin to move on the side of the hole we had dug (the same hole I had my entire arm in 10 seconds earlier scooping out dirt) about 10 inches from the surface. The hole got bigger and bigger. Out came the most gigantic, thick, furry tarantula you have ever seen. We’re talking about Jack Hannah on late-night television, look tarantula up in the dictionary size. It was easily bigger than my hand. It scampered out of the hole. One of the locals terminated it immediately.
Caleb Woodson and Josh Lee decided to make a field drag out of a piece of the old chain link fence, some rocks, a scrap piece of metal pole and some rope. It did quite a good job smoothing out the playing surface. It also made for quite the enjoyable ride for a few of the kids.
The neighborhood kids jumped in and helped retrieve river rocks for a little ornamental wall they are building behind the backstop. They also helped rake rocks from the infield.
An extremely neat connection we’ve made, especially in the last two days, is connecting relationships that the Lady Bison basketball team established on their trip in March with the baseball guys. One of the little Dominican guys, I think his name is Elias, came up to me this afternoon and said, “Tu conoces Faith Leh-got-tay?” I laughed and said, “Yes, I know Faith Legate!” Through an interpreter he was able to tell me how kind Faith had been to him in August. I was happy to be able to tell him that Faith had sent along some photos and a present for him.
We’ve also admired the Lady Bisons work on the basketball court they built in August. We found their hand prints and all of their initials scratched in the concrete.
We worked until night again tonight. We had burritos for dinner.
The guys are settling down for the night. Tomorrow it’s our hope to finish the lion’s share of the backstop and dugout work.
Please continue to pray for our team and the people we are here to serve.
If you haven’t donated to our trip, please consider doing so. You can give online at www.lipscomb.edu/gift. Designate your gift to Dominican Republic-Baseball.