Teams of the Week, March 5-12
This was the last weekend of full-fledged non-conference play. Well, for the most part, that is. Power conferences like the SEC and the Big 12 join the ACC and dig into full-time conference play this coming weekend. So we'll turn the page on that facet of the 2007 season.
To be honest, we just haven't had enough good non-conference three-gamers here in college baseball-land so far. And I guess we won't. But the closest we came was this past weekend. As a fan, I couldn't be happier. This week ruled.
Here are the best of the best for the past seven days.
The Teams of the Week for March 5th through 11th.
Team of the Week: North Carolina (4-0)
W14-0 vs. Temple
W7-5, W3-1, W11-7 vs. Miami
Maybe Coach Mike Fox should take time off for personal reasons more often. After missing a couple of games last week, Fox returned to see his charges dominate in four games this week. He can also thank relief ace Andrew Carignan saved all three games against the Canes. And the Heels also found their bats, hitting .341 in the four games.
Honorable Mention: Wake Forest (4-1)
W5-4 vs. Gardner-Webb
W6-5 (10inns) vs. High Point
W8-3, L13-5, W7-6 vs. Virginia
This team doesn't seem to be bothered by much. The Deacons won three one-run games this week to improve to 11-5. The only wart on the week just happened to be the game that I was at, the blowout loss to UVa. Willy Fox, who was the only Deac to hit on that Saturday, had two game-winning, jog-off hits on the week to get ACC Player of the Week honors.
Team of the Week: East Carolina (4-0)
W7-4 vs. North Carolina A&T
W6-1, W3-1, W13-5 vs. Cal State Fullerton
As mentioned in a previous post, this could very well have been the best weekend any team has had at any time this season. What an effort. I saw an incredible performance by T.J. Hose on Friday night, with his going 7.0 innings and giving up just three hits. This sweep should pay huge dividends at the end of the year. ECU makes its return to the rankings, checking in at No. 27 in the NCBWA poll.
Honorable Mention: LSU (3-1)
W2-1 at Centenary
W2-1, W15-8, L5-3 vs. Southern Mississippi
No out-of-conference performance will help the SEC's legitimacy more than LSU's 2-to-1 win over USM. Why? Because, according to Boyd Nation's pseudo-RPI system, this was a series win over the top-rated team in America. Yes, the Eagles were No. 1 in the RPI before this weekend. For a Tiger team that most likely won't reach the post-season (though that could change if THIS keeps up), this gives the SEC a good bit of clout. LSU is now 11-7 before going to South Carolina this weekend.
Team of the Week: Texas A&M (3-1)
L6-5 vs. Oregon State
W7-1, W13-5, W6-1 vs. Florida
Okay, excuse the OSU loss. The Aggies rallied to cut it to a single run before the Beavers' travel plans got in the way of a great comeback. Meanwhile, just like last year, the Aggies sweep Florida again. Only this time, Coach Dave Childress doesn't expect his team to fold their tents afterward. Florida's tents? That's another question.
Honorable Mention: Nebraska (4-0)
W6-2 at Stetson
L8-0, W4-3, W6-5 at Alabama
As Mark Etheridge documented on Touching the Bases, that must've been some kind of ripping the team received from head coach Mike Anderson in the outfield following horrible blanking on Friday night. Nice response. Huskers keep their cool and capitalize on the Tide mistakes enough to beat them in a 3-game series for the second year in a row. Considering last week's losses to Iowa and Notre Dame, this is a much better week.
Team of the Week: Long Beach State (2-1)
L7-6,W8-7,W16-9 at Arizona State
Quite un-Dirtbag-like, the Beach blasted out 47 hits in three games at ASU, hitting .425 as a team. Brandon Godfrey (the Big West player of the week) and Danny Espinosa went absolute nuts at the dish, combining to go 15-for-27. LB lives up to its tough-guy image, continuing its brutal slate, going to UCLA and to Wichita State this week. Every team should have this kind of guts.
Honorable Mention: Oregon State (4-0)
W6-5 at Texas A&M
W9-2, W6-2, W3-2 vs. Evansville
This was a good week for the Beavers, starting way back on Monday with a travel-shortened win at A&M, much to the disapproval of the thunderous Aggie student section. The EU weekend included a pair of come-from-behind wins over a good MVC team. Against a pretty good schedule, the OSU team ERA is 2.91. And now the Beavers find themselves back up at No. 5 in this week's poll. Where they should've been all along if you ask me.