Posts tagged ‘Rob Cooper’

Penn State Baseball Experiences Cuba

Photo via Kelsie Netzer

Photo via Kelsie Netzer

Penn State baseball had quite the Thanksgiving break, as the team became the second American squad at any level to play baseball in Cuba. It made history on the eight-day trip, as its 9-3 win over Mayabeque marked the first time that an American team has ever beat a Cuban National Series club.

“We talked all along on the lead up to this trip that I felt like it was gonna be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them,” head coach Rob Cooper said at a press conference at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday. “I think it was all that and more. The people of Cuba could not have been nicer to us, more accommodating to us. The baseball experience was great, but just to really to be able to see Cuba and the history and the culture and to get to know some people down there is something that I think everyone associated with the program will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

In four games, the team compiled a 1-3 record and played in three cities – Havana, San José de las Lajas, and Matanzas. The level of competition was quite high, as Cooper pointed out that one of the teams that the Nittany Lions played is Cuba’s version of the New York Yankees.

This trip wasn’t just about playing a few baseball games. As two members of the team explained, seeing how little the people of the Pearl of the Antilles had was a culture shock.

“Seeing the look on a kid’s face when you give them a ball, a t-shirt, a hat, or even, like, a pair of spikes, like I know some of the teammates did, that was probably the best experience,” junior outfielder Nick Riotto said. Riotto also commented on how surreal it was to get off of the plane in Havana and take in the country for the first time.

“You could get a feeling for how little they really had,” junior pitcher Tim Scholly said. “A lot of them were asking for baseballs, anything, to shoes to belts to hats, anything you could possibly take, they were asking for.”

The team wasn’t the only group of Penn Staters on the trip. It was joined by eight students and three faculty members from the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. According to the Curley Center, 10 places published pieces by students on the trip, including MLB.com.

If you’d like more information on the trip, stay tuned – we’ll have a lot more on it in the March/April edition of the magazine.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

December 3, 2015 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

The Penn Stater Daily — April 18, 2014

No place like home? A team of astronomers that includes Penn State scientists might beg to differ after the discovery of Kepler-186f, the first Earth-sized planet orbiting a star (not our sun) in a “habitable zone” that would allow for the presence of liquid water. Astronomy and astrophysics professor Eric Ford is co-author of a paper on the discovery, which utilized NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. It’s a big deal, although probably not somewhere any of us should plan on relocating to anytime soon: Kepler-186f is about 500 light years from Earth.

How their garden grows: Here’s a cool example of collaborative learning and making a positive impact in your community, compliments of students and faculty at Penn State Berks. Undergrads Melissa Sauer and April Moore, both future schoolteachers, were looking for a way to contribute to the local elementary school where both are student teaching. The decided to create a garden, and with the help of Berks faculty from social sciences and biology, as well as classmates majoring in biology, they turned the idea into reality. Now, the garden at Glenside Elementary is a hit, inspiring hands-on learning among a growing number of young students. Says Sauer, “some of the shyest, most withdrawn students are the most involved.”

Diamond days: The State College weekend forecast is 60s and sunny—not quite Blue-White Weekend warm, but still perfect weather for some baseball. The Nittany Lions, who host Illinois in a three-game series starting tonight at Medlar Field, are off to a great start under first-year coach Rob Cooper, including an 8-0 mark at home. I met Rob recently and came away impressed by his positive approach to building a winner in Happy Valley; he also claims to have beat James Franklin to the “dominate the state” recruiting motto, although, as he laughingly admits, “When Coach Franklin says it, they put it on the front page of the newspaper.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

April 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm 1 comment


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