Teams of the Week, March 26-April 1
Interesting weekend on the diamond, including upset Saturday that saw many of the Top 10 teams take it on the chin. Sorry this will be a tad more brief than most Teams of the Week write-ups, I've been dealing with a time crunch that seems to have taken over my life since the beginning of the weekend.
So here's the Reader's Digest version of the weekly honorees, starting with Arizona's amazing sweep of the defending national champions. Going from left-to-right geographically, here are the best of the best this week.
Team of the Week: Arizona (4-0)
W6-5 vs. Arizona State
W5-4, W8-2, W17-14 vs. Oregon State
Arizona fell off the pace for a while there, especially after a 5-6 stretch in February. But here, the diverse Cats get it done in pitcher's duels and track meets, disposing of their Pac 10 rivals in four straight, stretching their win streak to 11. This was the best performance of any team this weekend.
Honorable Mention: UCLA (4-0)
W8-3 vs. Pacific
W8-2, W16-11, W10-4 at Stanford
I know this isn't your father's Stanford Cardinal, but for the struggling Bruins to sweep three straight in Sunken Diamond is really impressive. UCLA still stands at just 13-14, but this could be one of those weekends that turns a season around. Tyson Brummett was named Pitcher of the Week for his third complete-game
of the season.
Team of the Week: Texas (3-1)
W6-4 vs. Rice
W4-3, W3-1, L5-2 vs. Oklahoma
Pitch. Pitch. Pitch. That's all these Longhorns ever do. UT holds their ranked foes to just a .213 average for the week in posting a 3-1 mark. Texas is now starting to hit its stride at 25-9 on the season and at its usual perch atop the Big 12, at 7-2.
Honorable Mention: Texas-San Antonio (4-0)
W7-3 at Texas-Pan American
W5-1, W6-3, W14-5 vs. Southeastern Louisiana
The Road Runners ran over one of the Southland favorites at home in helping them get past some recent struggles to improve to 17-11 overall. UT-SA has now won 11-of-12 games including its 9-0 start to SLC play and have hit .355 since March 5th.
Team of the Week: Vanderbilt (3-1)
W14-2 vs. Middle Tennessee State
W4-3, W12-1, L8-2 at South Carolina
I hate to keep glossing these guys, because it's starting to look like I'm grandstanding for the Commodores. But they really do deserve it again, having just completed a key portion of their schedule with series wins over Ole Miss, Arkansas and now South Carolina.
Honorable Mention: LSU (3-1)
W6-3 vs. New Orleans
W5-4, L5-2, W7-3 at Alabama
Probably one of the most hackneyed expressions of the last two baseball seasons is writers like me saying, "don't count the Tigers out yet." Friday's down-to-the-last-strike, three-run dinger by Michael Hollander jump-started the Tigers weekend in Tuscaloosa. LSU is now 17-12-1/3-5-1. Bama REALLY gets the Jim Belushi raised eyebrow now, at 18-12/4-5 and just not looking very good in general.
Team of the Week: Harvard (4-5)
W5-1 at Eckerd
L7-3 at Central Florida
L10-9 at Florida Atlantic
L13-6 at Florida International
W10-5 at Barry
L6-4, W4-2 vs. Pennsylvania
W9-4, L5-1 at Columbia
Hell, I got exhausted just writing all these results down for the Crimson. So let's give it to them for just being able to hold it all together in an insane 9-game week. Coincidentally, Harvard also doubled its season's win total (now 6-10) in a matter of seven days. Whew!
Honorable Mention: Georgia Tech (5-0)
W10-2, W6-2 vs. Georgia Southern
W5-4, W16-6, W4-2 vs. Maryland
Quietly playing in the shadow of the Final Four hoopla in its hometown, the Jackets pour a huge bucket of ice water on red-hot Maryland and put themselves back in the conversation for ACC title contention with an 8-4 mark (19-11 overall).