Saturday Statements, Feb. 10

Let's start our Saturday wrap-up by paying homage to one of the great people behind the scenes in college baseball that just doesn't get the due SHE deserves.

A tribute to Cindy.

"Blue velvet America
Half glimpsed in the headlights between the trees
Who punctured the beauty
And invited monsters such as these?"

-Billy Bragg "Cindy of a thousand lives"


Jeremy Mills started his brilliant college baseball scoreboard back in 2003 (www.ncaa-baseball.com), mainly because he was bored with a slow job and not getting updated college baseball scores. So now that he's a busy body at ESPN, it's his wife Cindy who has been given the job of updating the site every 15 minutes or so. Much to her chagrin at times, I'd wager.

Sitting next to Jeremy during today's ASU-Vanderbilt game, he called his wife about 8-10 times with adjustments and suggestions for her. At one point, after leaving a message on Cindy's voice mail, he turned to me and said, "Now she's gotten so tired of me calling her, she's having me just go straight to voice mail."

The hard work for Jeremy on the site has paid off. Today, between the hours of 3-and-4pm, his site got over 1,500 hits. That's nearly equal to May Saturday afternoon's in the past few years. For the day, Jeremy says he estimated his total hits in the 8,500-9,000 mark. So his site is freakin' blowing up! (I asked him if he was ready to start charging a buck per hit.).

With the ravenous nature of college baseball freaks like us wanting to be constantly updated on out-of-town scores, I can assure you Cindy, you're truly doing the Lord's work.

What I saw here at the Astros College Classic:

Vanderbilt 7
Arizona State 6 (10inns)
A wild one and a long one. Ike Davis threw the ball to the backstop on an intentional walk, allowing the winning run to cross. The top of the order came up huge as David Macias, Alex Feinberg and Pedro Alvares got eight of the 'Dores nine hits.

Houston 2
Texas A&M 3
Kyle Thebeau and Jordan Chambless combined to throw 14 strikeouts and giving up just one walk to quell the Cougars. Nine-hole hitter Brodie Greene got the game-winning hit in the 6th, plating two runs.

Rice 7
Baylor 0
Caught in Bear trap all night, BU only managed six hits. Seven of the nine innings saw Baylor go either three-up, three-down or four-up and three-down. Rice got wicked 4-bag smashers from Adam Zornes and Travis Reagan.


The biggest buzz in the Minute Maid press box today:
The South Dakota State-Kansas series.
SDSU and KU decided to move their series to the Metrodome in Minneapolis this weekend, instead of have the games cancelled. But since there was already a Division II tournament going on in the BaggieDome, the two teams decided to take the only time slot available: at 1am this morning.

The Jackrabbits pulled the middle-of-the-night 6-5 upset in game one of the DH. Game two went to the 8th inning with KU leading 3-2, but had to be stopped because at 7am, the stadium crew had to begin preparing the field for the D2 tournament. So they'll continue the rest of that game at 3am tomorrow. Game three will be played immediately afterward.


Best series of the weekend so far:
UCLA 8
Miami 9
Yesterday it was a pitcher's duel. Today, it was monster offenses going hack-for-hack. This just in: Yonder Alonso is becoming the biggest monster of them all. He went an uncontrollable 4-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI tonight. Miami takes a second straight one-run win from Bruins. Nice blog work Adam Aizer.


The working definition of the Hangover Effect:
Mercer 0 2
Bethune-Cookman 5 9
Well don't be shocked. You knew the Bears might come out a little flat after last weekend's wins at Miami and the media converging on them all week long. And needless to say, the Mercer bats were limp noodles in Daytona today. B-CC's Francisco Rodriguez went the distance in game one, giving up just five hits, striking out nine and out-dueling Brantley New. Then in game two, Dustin Blackwell was the man, going 8.0 while giving up just two hits. Taylor Negron was 3-for-4 with four RBI.


Southern bliss:
Vanderbilt.
Today's remarkable 10-inning win over Arizona State was the second straight win over a Top 10 team in as many days (yesterday's win over Rice included) for the 'Dores. Besides winning the game on a wild pitch of an intentional walk, the most amazing thing about this Vandy team is how in each game they've taken over in the middle innings and pulled out the win in the latter innings. The middle relief has been a central part of their Ws. Even coach Tim Corbin said afterward, "The difference in the game was Cody Crowell. He came in, settled us down and gave us a chance to win." Crowell gave up just two hits in 3.2 innings and got out of a pair of dangerous bases-loaded situations with minimal damage. Pedro Alvarez has also had a knack of getting better with each at bat, including a two-run homer in the 7th and a double in the 9th.


Southern blues:
Tennessee (1-4)
Apparently yesterday's 7-4 win over Eastern Michigan was a mirage. Today the listless Vols lost to EMU 6-3 to fall to 1-4 on the young season. And it's not like the Eagles didn't try to help, committing four errors, walking six batters, hitting a pair of batters, stranding 12 baserunners and allowing two passed balls. Still, UT wallows. For a good write-up on the situation, see Jeremy Mills' blog page: http://ncaa-baseball.blogspot.com/

Georgia (0-2)
Second day in a row the bullpen imploded and allowed defending national champion Oregon State to come-from-behind and get the win at Foley Field. Yesterday, it was a shockingly bad performance by Josh Fields, today a pair of relievers - Dean Weaver and Iain Sebastian - that allowed for a seven-run 8th inning for the Beavers.

Georgia Tech (1-1)
Lost to Georgia Southern today 11-4. Not just a loss, but a bad loss. Last year, when the Jackets gave up a lot of runs, they merely sat back and relied on their point-a-minute style offense. This year, it's probably not going to be a good M.O.

Florida (0-2)
Geez. Should we already cancel those thoughts of Florida winning the national title trifecta in June? For the second day in a row the Gators took it on the chin from the Keydets, this time 7-4. And again, errors played a part as UF committed three and VMI had two unearned runs. Matt LaPorta did manage to break the Florida career home run mark with his 55th bomb, surpassing Brad Wilkerson's old mark.


Sort of like that old Sooner Magic of the 70s and 80s:
Texas 8
Long Beach State 9 (10inns)
For the second day in a row The Beach makes a huge comeback to beat UT. After being down 7-0 at one point, the Dirtbags scrapped back into the game as only a Dirtbag can scrap. And for the second day in a row, it was All American Danny Espinosa who was the hero. Today, he smacked a two-out double to keep hope alive. Then scored on a single by Brian Capon, his first hit in Division I baseball.


Sooner Magic II:
Oregon State 7
Georgia 3
Alright, anyone having any doubts about last year's national champs, go ahead and file them away with your crappy Warrant albums, 'coz the Beavers just won at an SEC stadium for the second straight day. This time, they made a wreck of the Bulldog pen again by scoring all seven runs in the 8th inning, started by Jordan Lennerton's bases-loaded, bases-clearing double that tied the score. He would eventually scare the winning run too. OSU has now outscored Georgia 15-2 in the 8th and 9th innings of the two games.


Transfers are good:
Oklahoma State 7
McNeese State 0
Even going back to the Gary Ward days, the Cowboys have always relied on transfers, seemingly more than just about any other program. Saturday, you saw why. In the win over the Cowboys, J.C. transfer Tyler Mach went 4-for-4 with two ribs, N.C. State transfer Matt Mangini went 4-for-5 with two ribs and J.C. transfer pitcher Oliver Odle struck out 10, gave up three hits and no runs in 7.0 innings.


Trojan cuchon de lait:
Arkansas 8
Troy 13
Let's keep an eye on Arkansas' second day pitching as this is the second straight blowout loss on a Saturday for them. Troy scored 10 runs in the first two innings to put things out of reach early. The Trojans also scored six runs on UofA walks and two hit batsmen. Clint Robinson and Ben Woods launched three-run bombs. The rubber match is tomorrow.


How we know some people are tougher than others:
Today's Longwood-Virginia Commonwealth game was cancelled because of cold weather, as the high was only expected to reach 42 degrees in Richmond. But the Northern Colorado-Air Force double-header went on as scheduled because the high was expected to reach 44 degrees in Colorado Springs. UNC won both games 12-10 and 11-5.


One last strange one in a day filled with them:
Lamar 8
Illinois-Chicago 9
The Flames scored all nine runs on five hits and four walks in the first inning to rush out to a 9-0 lead. After that, UI-C got exactly zero hits the rest of the way, but still held on for a 9-8 win.

More tomorrow.

G'night.

Comments

Thanks K-Horn.
This Astros College Classic has been wicked so far. That Vandy-ASU game was entertaining as hell. And great googily mooly! Don't get me started on the NCAA and lack of football playoffs! You hit the nail on the head - as usual.

Do Vandy, Rice and Arizona State all make it to Omaha? I've been impressed with Arizona State's offense and Vanderbilt's balance. And we all know Rice has the talent to make it back; they just have to get the engines revved.

Do Vandy, Rice and Arizona State all make it to Omaha? I've been impressed with Arizona State's offense and Vanderbilt's balance. And we all know Rice has the talent to make it back; they just have to get the engines revved.

Hmmmm. Good Q, JT. At this stage of things it's impossible to tell. I know that's a cop-out answer, but man, it's so true. I mean who would've thought Miami would make it last year after losing three straight early on to Florida. All three have great chances, especially Vandy, with it's prime-time pitching staff and experience. ASU's offense is awe-inspiring. But they've got to have a few pitchers to match their prowess. Rice needs to get healthy, but the thing I love about them is coach Wayne Graham. He knows how to get a team to play "up" in the post-season.

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is CSTV.com's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert