Teams of the Week
Although roughly half of the teams in Division I have yet to play - or, if you're Niagara, Buffalo, St. Bonaventure or anywhere near the town of Mexico, New York, you haven't even practiced - we're still going ahead with our first Teams of the Week honors for the 2007 season.
As will be the modus operandi all season long, we'll split the country up into four sections, based on conference location, and give props to those who are worthy.
So here's what we've got this week, going East to West:
Team of the Week: Miami (3-0)
W1-0, W9-8, W7-3 vs. UCLA
You really couldn't have asked for a more even series, honestly. Unlike the previous week vs. Mercer, the Canes had the bullpen step up huge to hold off the Bruins just enough. Each game, even Sunday's 4-run win, went down to the wire. 1B Yonder Alonso proved he could be the best big time slugger in the game, by going 4-for-4 with 4 RBI, including a pair of home runs on Saturday.
Honorable Mention: Virginia Military Institute (2-1)
W5-3, W7-4, L7-0 at Florida
The Keydets barely edged Bethune-Cookman for this honor as they had to have press box cronies across the country slapping their foreheads with Friday and Saturday wins in this series. Kevin Crum picked up saves in both of the first two games combining for 2.0 innings of work and allowing just two hits and one run.
Team of the Week: Vanderbilt (3-0)
W7-3 vs. Rice
W7-6 (10inns.) vs. Arizona State
W7-4 vs. Baylor
As Coach Corbin said after game three, it really didn't matter if they went 3-and-0 or 0-and-3 this weekend, but gaining the confidence of beating three quality opponents is the biggest thing to take away from this weekend. Especially the two wins over Rice and Arizona State. Nice work Commodores.
Honorable Mention: Georgia Southern (2-0)
W11-4, 9-6 vs. Georgia.
It wasn't just the fact that the Eagles swept UGa for the first time since 1996, it was that they made minced-meat of the Tech pitching while doing it. Frosh A.J. Wirnsberger tied a school record with three doubles on Sunday and fellow classmate Brian Wilkerson got the W.
Team of the Week: Texas State (3-0)
W3-2 vs. Rice
W7-2, W9-4 vs. Prairie View A&M
Three wins over 2006 NCAA tourney teams is wicked enough, but the Bobcats upped the ante by making No. 1 Rice one of those victims. Holding the Owls to just five hits is damned impressive too, man. As was the crowd of 1,812 that went nuts at the last out. And did TSU really dogpile after the last out? Hmmm. Bad karma.
Honorable Mention: Missouri (3-0)
W12-6, W15-7, W3-2 at Florida International
Ryan Lollis hit a grand slam in game two and Frosh Kyle Gibson pitched three inning of perfect relief in game three to help the Tigers push out to their first 3-0 start since 1992. But the schedule gets no easier as UM travels to Surprise, Arizona to face the likes of Arizona State, Oregon State and Gonzaga in the Coca-Cola Classic this weekend.
Team of the Week: Oregon State (3-0)
W10-8, W7-3, W6-2 at Georgia
Vaunted reliever Josh Fields was no match for the defending national champions as they hung three hits, six runs and three walks on the Bulldog stud in just one inning of work on Friday. Big comebacks were the rule of the day as OSU rallied with a 16-2 advantage in innings 8-and-9 on the weekend.
Honorable Mention: Southern California (3-1)
W5-2 at Loyola Marymount
W3-2, L12-6, W4-3 (10inns.) vs-at San Diego.
The Trojans just edge out Long Beach State for this H.M. honor because the team they went 2-1 against this weekend, beat the team that the Dirtbags beat 2-to-1 (Texas). Robert Stock picked up the first two saves of his college career on Friday and Sunday. The Trojans committed four errors in Saturday's loss, but just two in the other three games.