Championship Sunday Of The Big East Baseball Tournament
These are the moments that you do this job for. I love baseball, and I love capturing the plays that make baseball the great game that it is. What is even more fun is capturing the emotion of a baseball game. When it is Championship Sunday then that emotion is amped up even more. St. John’s knew that they were in the NCAA Tournament most likely no matter what happened on Sunday. Seton Hall needed a win to get into the tournament. It is that emotion that made the final day of the Big East baseball tournament my favorite.
Seton Hall Wins Game Sox To Force a Game Seven
I am sure that most people working the games would probably have rather seen St. John’s win game one of the day in a nice easy fashion. That would have ended the tournament and everyone could have gone home. Seton Hall would have none of that though as they jumped out to a huge lead to force a game seven. Their 19-2 victory was impressive to say the least. They came out and just put the pressure on from square one. The could only muster one run in the 13 innings of the first game that they played in the tourney, but their bats really came alive after that.
St. John’s Wins Game Seven To Clinch The Big East Title
It would be easy for St. John’s to have just rolled over in game two of the day after getting rolled in game one. Maybe rolled over is the wrong way to put it. St. John’s had all of the pressure on them. You would not have known it though as they came out and controlled the game from square one. Jeff Belge pitched what had to be the game of his life. At one point I started thinking about how to cover a potential no-hitter while clinching differently than just the clinching moment. He was dominant when his team needed him most, and St. John’s left Prasco Park with the hardware.
When Things Go Wrong At The Worst Time
When St. John’s recorded the final out the scrum was on. I ran out to the field to get the dog pile with my 11-24mm lens. I had an epic shot in mind. When I got to the edge and pressed the shutter button nothing happened. Every second that ticked by was a few moments lost. I quickly unmounted and mounted the lens and the camera worked fine. I only lost a few seconds, but that could have been much worse. I got a dog pile shot, but one that was much more forced and in a panic than I would have liked. I still don’t know what happened. Something must have gone wrong on the run out to the pile. I need to find out what that was and stop it from happening again.
Going Wide For The Opener
I knew that I needed an epic shot to start things off on Championship Sunday. I went to my 11-24mm lens to get just that as both teams stood for the National Anthem. The sky was perfect, and that combined with the beautiful field made for a cool photo. It was one photo in the can early on that I was proud of.
Getting In The Groove
I often talk about how I shoot better the more that I photograph. Part of the reason to shoot two minor league games the day before the tournament was to get that practice in. I have been shooting other sports so I needed to get back into baseball mode. I think the extra practice paid off as I was able to capture some great moments over the course of the tournament.
If you don’t care about the gear just skip to the next paragraph. It comes up often though so I thought I would share my load out for the Championship games here. To start the games I really changed things up. I had my Tamron 150-600mm lens on my Canon 1DX body. I wanted to get some tighter shots early in the game. The plan was to do just that and then switch over to my 400mm lens. I was having a good game though so I never switched off of the 150-600mm lens until the final inning of game two. I went with the 70-200mm on that body for a little extra room and a lighter lens to run with. On my second body I shot with the 24-105mm lens for everything but the opening ceremonies and the championship celebration. It was not my normal baseball setup, but it worked very well for me on the day.
A Great Weekend
I do what I do for moments like these. I absolutely love tournament baseball. As of my writing this I don’t really see a path to photograph the NCAA Tournament. If my college season were to end on that field in Mason, Ohio I am okay with that. It was a great tournament all the way around. I don’t know that I had a bad experience over the course of the four days that was not of my doing somehow. I really hope that Prasco Park hosts again as I would love to do all of that over again.
The Week In Photos
If you haven’t been able to tell I had a fun week last week. You can view my favorite photos from last week here on my Exposure page. I was having so much fun that I really lost all track of what day of the week it was. At one point I had to guess. That usually means that I am way too engrossed into what I was doing. The end of the week saw me photograph nine baseball games in five days. That was a lot of fun, and something I need to do more often.