Sunday Summations - Easter prayer for better weather

Easter out here on the left coast was rather boring with all the local teams sitting Easter Sunday out, going with the Thursday-to-Saturday scheduling instead.

Around the country, weather still played too big a role in this Easter weekend, completely wiping out the Minnesota-Michigan series I was so looking forward to, along with taking out a lot of other Midwest and Northeast games. Elsewhere it was still uncomfortably cold in a lot of locales, but at least the action was hot on the diamond.

(Ew! Even I'm embarrassed that I wrote that last line. Please disregard that. I'll think of better lines in the future.)

On to the Sunday action...

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What I saw on TV today, part I---
South Carolina - 8
Florida - 6 (11inns)
- This was a great, great conference series with two straight down-to-the-last-out decisions. Today, it was SoCar getting the upper hand, rallying for three runs in the bottom of the 9th (quite dramatically, might I add) and getting the winning runs on an 11th inning home run.

- Knee-jerk reaction? Man! South Carolina is a team full of strappers. Much like the LSU teams of the mid-90s, they look like they just came out of the weight room. Smoak, Darnell, Havens, Disher, Jones etc . These guys are scary. Will Kline's game-winning, 11th-inning home run was just another example of a power bat in their lethal lineup.

- The 'Cocks have plastered 57 home runs already this season, well ahead of the pace of the 93 they hit in '06.

- Travis Jones could be elected student body president after his performance this weekend, collecting nine hits and four home runs against the Gator arms. Today, the Carolina slugger hit a solo shot in the 5th, a three-run bomb to tie the game in the 9th and then got the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th. And yes, I saw him smiling huge after each hit... who could blame him.

- As announcers Mike Gleason and Kyle Peterson pointed out, there is no real defined closer to this Florida team, which is a bit of a worry considering the potent bats they face each week in the SEC rigors. It's not shocking that they are 20-15 overall.

- I was bummed to not see the real Matt LaPorta I've been reading about lately. In fact, the first time I saw him today was when he harmlessly bounced into a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play in the 5th, which was followed by a pop-out in the 8th and an E6 in the 10th. LaPorta ended up 1-for-4 for the day.

- Carolina reliever Jim Jeffords went a career-long 6.2 innings, to get his third win of the season (now 3-0). He wasn't dominant, but efficient, giving up just three hits and one run (none earned) along the way.


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What I saw on TV today, part II---
Bethune-Cookman - 11
North Carolina A&T - 14
- I TiVo'd this one. The Aggies got out to a huge 13-3 lead before allowing the Wildcats to go on a run. But in the end, reliever Ronald Phelps came in to toss 1.2 innings of hitless relief to pick up his fourth save of the season. A&T improves to 4-5 in the MEAC and 10-21 overall. B-CC dropped behind Delaware State by half a game in the MEAC at 5-1 (15-22 overall).

- Noticed that NCA&T coach Keith Shumate didn't have the team hats fitted with embroidered "Omaha" on the back, like they did last season. Is the dream gone, people?

- I didn't realize how bad Florida A&M's program has gotten. A graphic at the beginning of the game showed that the Rattlers, believed to be MEAC contenders coming into the season, are laboring at 4-30 overall and 2-4 in conference.

- The game was played in historical War Memorial in Greensboro (make that chilly War Memorial) before a crowd of just 75 fans. The 44 degree temps and gusting winds up to 25mph kept a lot of people at home as well.

- Coming into the game hitting .417, I was thinking about giving Aggie leadoff hitter Philip Brewington some love in the weekly CSTV Player of the Year voting, but the right fielder made a pair of bad errors in the field late in the game, so I can't go there yet.

- It was good to see John Primus, a 2005 Frosh All American who went 7-3 with seven complete games, get the win today. Primus improved to 2-3 with 5.1 innings of eight-hit, six-run ball. He also struck out six along the way. Not exactly a stellar performance, but considering the Aggies terrible season, a win over the conference favorites is pretty good.

- Five-hole hitter Joe McIntyre (no, not the former New Kid on the Blocker) led the Ags going 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles and four RBi on the day. CF C.J. Beatty had the biggest shot, nailing a three-run home run bomb to give A&T its 13-3 lead in the 5th inning, pretty much signaling the end of the game.

- On a side note, I really like North Carolina A&T's white cleats they wore with the white pants and black tops. You just don't see enough white cleats anymore.


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Sunday Salvation in the Top 25---

Alabama - 5
Vanderbilt - 3 (10inns)
Again, the Tide is not a great team by any stretch, and Vandy let them off the hook by allowing them Crimsons to outscore them 4-0 in innings 8-through-10. Vandy's Casey Weathers surprisingly gets the loss, going two innings and giving up two hits and three runs along with two walks and a hit batsmen.

Florida State - 6
North Carolina State - 5
Noles pull out the series win... a road series win, no less. Jack Rye hit a two-run bomb, Brandon Reichert hit a bases-clearing double and FSU was the recipient of three walks and a wild pitch as part of a game-deciding five-run 6th inning.

Mississippi State - 3
Arkansas - 9
With Nick Schmidt on the mound the Hogs look like a different team. Schmidt gets win No. 7 (against no losses) but gives up nine hits and three runs along the way. I'm still not sold on this Hogs team as they are starting to look vulnerable with Schmidt on the mound too. Not good.

Rice - 8
East Carolina - 6
Owls complete the sweep with another come-from-behind win in Greenville. You have to wonder about ECU's confidence now. After looking like world beaters a month ago during a sweep of Cal State Fullerton, the Pirates are now 1-6 in their last seven. As the Doctor of College Baseball noted in his blog from the game, "Hard to believe that the East Carolina team that swept Cal State Fullerton a month ago has now lost six of seven."

Oklahoma State - 7
Nebraska - 5
OSU nearly got run out of Lincoln with three straight losses. So would you guys in the media and coaches polls please drop this team to lower that freakin' No. 11 now?! Nebraska isn't that good to begin with, ya' know. (disclaimer: please note that I'm not saying these teams are bad. They are good teams. It's just that neither of them are playing at a Top 20 level.There, so please no hate mail.).

Creighton - 1
Wichita State - 7
A lot of good signs here for the Shockers. First, they pull out a hard-fought series win over the rival Bluejays. Second, All American Damon Sublett is starting to assert himself, leading the team with a .375 average, including today's 3-for-5 performance. Third, Sophomore Rob Musgrave improves to 6-0, 2.44 with just six walks in 51.2 innings of work. WSU is now 7-2 going into a tough weekend at Southern Illinois.

Clemson - 5
Virginia Tech - 2 (10inns.)
Catcher Doug Hogan, who came into the '07 season hitting 6-for-46 in his Tiger career, cleared the fence with a three-run yard call to seal the road series for CU.

Coastal Carolina - 6
Troy - 7
After winning 13-6 on Friday, the Chanticleers ran into a buzzsaw, losing two straight one-run games to the Trojans. Troy rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 9th, keyed by Steven Felix's bases-loaded, two-run single to end the game.

Georgia - 0
Mississippi - 9
The Rebels pull out a two-to-one series win and knocked Dog pitching around all day long, chipping away with 12 hits, all singles. Nathan Baker, Justin Cryer and Cody Satterwhite combine on a four-hitter for the Rebs. UM is now 24-10 and 7-5 in the SEC. UGa is now 11-21 and 4-8.

Tennessee - 1
Kentucky - 3
Of all the teams in the rankings today, this UK team needed a win more than any other, especially with Greg Dombrowski on the mound. The Vols took games one and two already yesterday, but Dombrowski picked up his fourth win going 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits and just one run. Dombrowski has still walked just four batters in 44 innings of work this year.

Memphis - 5
Tulane - 8
While I say how important the win for Kentucky was today, ditto for Tulane as the Green Wave have been 0-2 vs. the Tigers so far this weekend. Despite the win, this was an ugly series, as Tulane's arms staff came away ripped to shreds, giving up 37 hits in three games.

Ohio State - 5 10
Illinois - 8 7
The Buckeyes were finally able to hit the dirt and grass today after weather ravaged most of the Big 10 schedule this weekend. On the frozen tundra, OSU was able to salvage a split at Illinois Field. I was actually thinking of making plans to make a flight out to Columbus for this coming weekend's Michigan series, but with the way the weather has been this April, I'll wait and make my Big 10 trip later on in May.

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One last off-field note---
Why the song "What I Like About You" is so over-used in TV advertising:
During the South Carolina-Florida game on TV today, I saw that Hampton Inn is the latest capitalist outfit to use the Romantics song in their ads. Turns out that way back when, in 1980, when the Romantics recorded the song, their management farmed the song out to advertising ventures, unbeknownst to the band. When Budweiser used the song in their national TV ads in the mid-80s, the band sued their management to get the royalties. That lawsuit lasted until 1995. In the meantime, advertisers found they could use the popular anthem at a cheap price, so the song showed up in ads for Bud Light, HBO, Fridays and the NHL among many others. That's why it is, quite possibly, the most over-heard song ever.


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Not a bad weekend all-in-all. I'll be back with the Teams of the Week notations on Monday night. Hope you all had a great college baseball weekend.

I'm gonna go rest my eyes for a while now.

G'night.

Comments

I notice miami - ga tech was not on your list of games watched on sunday. thats a shame. mine either. even though i pay directv a fortune to send me every sports event on the planet, and i pay the ACC for ACCselect webcasts. hhmmm. it seems comcast is the problem here. it seems i cannot watch the webcasts because i am "in the CSS viewing area" (whatever the hell that means), even though neither directv nor either of the cable companies available to me (brighthouse and adelphia) carry CSS. in addition, it seems comcast has prevailed on directv to black out CSS events when they are picked up by CSN or CSNW, where i watched miami games last season. i have phoned and emailed and am getting the run-around from both the ACC and comcast. needless to say, these fools are alienating an audience that one would think is most precious to them.. people actually willing to pay cash to watch college baseball broadcasts. i know you must have some insight. who is at fault here? the ACC? comcast? does comcast hate directv because its FOX? i am a programmer and in 3 hours i could build a database by zip code that would not violate anyone's broadcast rights and would actually let these morons EXPAND their audience rather than reduce it. oy vey. ignorance drives me crazy. HELP!

D-rod,

Man, don't get me started about cable companies. Those pussies. I'm soooo glad satellite television came around to knock them off their high-freakin-horse. It was like they went from practically printing money one day to begging for people to buy into their antiquated technology the next. Maybe karma DOES work once in a while.
My advice? Jettison the cable and hook up with satellite TV for now.

thanks Dave

Eric

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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