Saturday Statements - The hot-and-cold edition

Say it with me, when you're hot, you're hot. When you're not, you're not. That's what I found in college baseball today. But first, this...

Quick opening note:
A team that was on the bubble at best, but got an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, ended up winning the hockey national championship on a goal with 18 seconds left in the game on Saturday night. It was a scintillating performance by Michigan State, who beat Boston College for the title 3-1 (the last goal coming on an empty-netter with two seconds left) in a high-drama hockey final in St. Louis today.

Man! Would I love to see a No. 3 seed win the national title in baseball in similar white-knuckle fashion this June.

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Okay, back to the stitched-ball.

What I saw at Goodwin Field today---
UC Irvine - 12
Cal State Fullerton - 6
Before I went on my basketball sojourn for March Madness, the last Sunday game I saw was Fullerton beating Rice 6-1 here at Goodwin Field. In that game, Sean Urena, the Titan Sunday starter, put on a serious clinic, going the distance with a one-hitter against that potent Owl lineup.

Today, Urena went cold, lasting all of 1.1 innings as the Anteaters came at him in waves in the second inning, lacing him for five hits and five runs. In that inning, the 'Eaters sent 11 men to the plate, got seven hits and scored eight runs, while capitalizing on a Titan error and a walk.

So now, in this hot-and-cold college baseball world, it's UCI that's heated up like a witch's cauldron. They've put Dirtbags and Titans in that boiling pot the last two weekends, winning both series by 2-to-1 advantage. That puts the Anteaters at 23-8-1 and 4-2 in Big West play. Fullerton drops to 19-12 and also 4-2.

I've got to say, the Anteater lineup was more wicked than I expected, after seeing them in person for the first time this season. Cody Cipriano was a tough out, even though he didn't have a great day. Clean-up hitter Bryan Petersen went 2-for-3 and handled the bat really well. But the player I was most impressed with was No. 7 hitter Ollie Linton, who showed great ability with the bat while going 4-for-5 and scoring on a suicide squeeze play in the 2nd inning. You know, the kind of play that Fullerton has been known for in the past.

Ironically, the only player in the lineup NOT to get a hit was Player of the Year candidate Matt Morris. His .407 average will take a hit after going 0-for-2 today. But he did gather two RBI and score once himself. So all was not lost. He also showed a number of good hustle plays out in left field.

I'm still waiting for Blair Erickson to break that saves record. But that's one of those matter-of-time type of things.

Nice win Irvine. You get the "legit" stamp after these last two weekends.


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What I saw on Fox Sports this morning---
Georgia Tech - 2
Miami - 5 (11inns)
Nice win for the Canes as they put a stop to Tech's eight-game winning streak on the strength of Mark Sobolewski's three-run dinger. Here are five things I noticed while watching the first six innings on TV (yes, I missed the game-winning home run, sorry):
1- Who are all those freshmen starting for Miami? (Because of injuries, four field starters for UM are first-year guys. Kind of explains their 19-14 start.)
2- Yonder Alonso came into today's game hitting just .217 in ACC games.
3- All American Jemile Weeks, who was struggling at .270, has now missed the last six games with an injury.
4- St. Louis product Jason Hagerty, the starting catcher, is the second straight Missouri Player of the Year to come to Miami, following Blake Tekotte (Columbia).
5- Speaking of youth running rampant, five of the six pitchers Miami used in Friday's 9-2 loss to Tech were freshmen.


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Now a quick breeze through the hot and cold college baseball world... or as much as I can get to before I get too sleepy and go to bed tonight.

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Here's Who's Hot---
Nebraska.
Through 18 innings, the Huskers have held Okie State to four runs and Tony Watson, Johnny Dorn and Matt Foust have combined for 24 Ks. Andrew Brown hit for the short cycle today (missing a HR), going 3-for-4.

Tennessee.
A pair of blowout wins over No. 20 Kentucky by a combined 23-7 make for a great holiday weekend. Do you think the Vols enjoy having J.P. Arencibia back? He went 5-for-10 with four Ribs on the day. Strangely, game one of todays DH was halted in the 8th inning so that the scheduled TV game could start. So game one - if you're following here - was completed after game two was done.

Memphis.
The Tigers have improved an awful lot this season (now 19-11) and now they've already taken two straight from Tulane at Zephyr Field. They've ripped TU pitchers a new one, gathering 27 hits in two games. Leadoff man K. K. Chalmers and Michael Murray have combined for 11 hits and eight RBI so far. Game three is on CSTV Sunday afternoon. I'll be tuning in.

Charlotte.
Unlike Memphis, the 49ers have done it on the mound, pitching their backside off all weekend long. No, I mean big time! In moving their record to 26-5, Charlotte threw three straight shutouts against St. Joseph's, 9-0, 4-0 and 13-0. That runs the season total to nine shutouts in all.

McNeese State.
With two of three wins over Southeastern Louisiana this weekend, the Cowboys have now won eight of their last nine. This coming after a horrific 3-22 start to the year. At 7-4 in the Southland, MSU is now in second place in the East Division. Derek Blacksher (a good name for a cowboy, don'tcha think?) struck out 14 Lion batters in a complete game effort.

Arizona.
With today's 5-3 win over Cal, the Cats have now won 14 straight games to improve to 28-6 and 6-0 in the Pac 10. UofA rallied from a 3-zip deficit today eventually getting the winning runs in the 7th inning on a C.J. Ziegler two-run double down the line. Ziegler finished going 2-for-3 with three RBI on the day.

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Here's Who's Cold---
Mother Nature.
She's been a bitch this week. I can't believe how cold things have gotten in this global warming world we live in. But it's the extremes that Al Gore was talking about as the Doctor of College Baseball told me, temperatures at East Carolina today (where he was blogging) were expected to dip into the 20s after sundown. But back on Wednesday, in his hometown of Durham, it was 80 degrees.

Maryland.
With today's 8-6 loss to Wake Forest, the Terrapins have now gone 1-6 since I interviewed coach Terry Rupp before last weekend's opening game at Georgia Tech. Today, UMd out-hit Wake 15-8, but issued six walks and hit four batters along the way. UMd is now 19-14 and have dipped to 5-9 in ACC play.

LSU.
After last week's series win at Alabama, you'd figure they'd have all sorts of brass now and respond with a hurting on the reeling Plainsmen. Nah-ah! Auburn has now beaten LSU by a combined 13-1 in two games at Alex Box.

Tulane.
I'm not going to sugarcoat it, ever since losing two of three to open the season against Southeastern Louisiana and then losing two of three to both LMU and USC, I've had my doubts about the Waves. But I was pretty shocked to see staff ace Sean Morgan get roped so bad on Friday (10 runs on nine hits). After taking two of three from East Carolina, this Memphis series has been a step back.

Kentucky.
In case you didn't notice, once the Wildcats started playing people with a pulse, their record has gone from 19-0 to 5-6-1 in their last 12. Today's double-blowouts suffered at the hands of Tennessee shouldn't be a big shock. And it gets worse, with Vanderibilt coming to town next week.

Stanford.
The Trees are now 3-10 in their last 13 games, including this weekend's three-game sweep at the hands of Arizona State. It's just weird to see a Mark Marquess team struggle to a 13-15 record. And it's absolutely Earth-is-off-its-axis to see that the opposition is hitting .314 against them. Gah!

East Carolina.
This was the "it" team in college baseball up until two weeks ago, now, with two straight losses at home to Rice, ECU has lost five of its last six games and falls to 4-5 in C-USA games. Now I see what Coach Godwin meant after the Friday win vs. Fullerton when he told the gaggle of media gathered there, "This season is a marathon, not a sprint. And we'll have plenty of peaks and valleys." Okay, not to state the obvious here, but we're seeing the valley now.


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Back on "fraud" alert---
- Florida State.
3-4 in their seven road games after tonight's 8-6 loss at N.C. State. But there's still the opportunity to win the series tomorrow.

- Arkansas.
The Hogs have now lost two straight to Mississippi State. At home, no less! But Duke Welker did have a no-hitter going until the 7th and finished with 11 Ks.

- Virginia.
With the 13-9 loss to Duke, the Wahoos have now lost two of three this week to fall to 28-7.

- Cal State Fullerton.
Just when things were improving lately, the Titans lose two of three to UCI, including yet another loss for ace Wes Roemer (now 4-4).

- Mississippi.
Again, losing a series to Wright State was bad enough, now they've lost to Georgia (4-3) after needing extra innings to beat them Friday night.

- Maine.
The overwhelming favorite in the America East, but the Bears lost two to Stony Brook today by a combined 19-5 count. UMaine is now 5-18 overall.

- Louisville.
The Cards lost the last two games vs. Pitt, including today's 6-2 loss to drop to 21-10 and 6-3 in teh Big East.


. Damn weather---
Here is the forecast for Sunday for some of those locations that had games cancelled this weekend:

- Ann Arbor, Michigan (Minnesota at Michigan): Snow showers, high of 33.
- Lubbock, Texas (Texas A&M at Texas Tech): Scattered snow in the morning, high of 45.
- Champaign, Illinois (Ohio State at Illinois): Cloudy, high of 43.
- Richmond, Virginia (Old Dominion at VCU): Sunny, high of 55.
- Omaha, Nebraska (where North Dakota State and South Dakota State moved their series to) Sunny, high of 44.
- Buffalo, New York (LeMoyne at Canisius and Siena at Niagara): Cloudy, mid-30s.
- Dallas, Texas (Texas Southern at Dallas Baptist): Cloudy, high of 54.
- Portland, Oregon (Gonzaga at Portland): Cloudy with scattered showers, high 62.

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Okay, my eyelids have become anvils.

G'night.

Comments

Florida State's road record went to 4-4 after the loss to N.C.state, not 3-4. (1-1 vs florida, 2-1 vs duke, 0-1 vs jacksonville, 1-1 vs N.C. State)

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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