Teams of the Week, April 23rd to 29th
Okay stitch-heads, before we get to our weekly honors, here are some of the teams that got close, but no cigar, as far as consideration for the Teams of the Week roll call. So you fans of these teams, don't be mad. Here they are:
North Carolina (5-1)
St. John's (4-0)
Notre Dame (3-1)
James Madison (4-1)
College of Charleston (4-0)
Austin Peay (5-0)
Southern Illinois (4-0)
Cal Poly (3-0)
and of course, lest I forget, my beloved St. Peter's (3-1).
Now on to our weekly sweep of the country's best.
Team of the Week: Brown (6-1)
W7-3, W12-7 at Dartmouth
W11-6 at Holy Cross
W13-2, W8-5, W2-0, L7-5 vs. Yale
Busy week, eh? The Bears not only won their final seven Ivy League games that mattered, they also clinched the Red Rolfe Division title and the home spot in next week's Ivy League Playoffs vs. Penn. And get this, in the title-clinching 2-0 win on Sunday, Jeff Dietz, who was starting his third game in eight days, threw a complete-game five-hitter. It was Brown's first shutout of the season. Don't take this the wrong way Brown fans, but if college baseball was more popular, the Bruins would be the toast of Providence, Rhode Island after this performance. Instead, they're just the toast of my weak little column.
Honorable Mention: Delaware (4-0)
W6-1 vs. LaSalle
W16-5, W11-5, W8-1 at Northeastern
This one was a real head-scratcher. I mean, Northeastern had been piping-hot lately. But then again, so have the Blue Hens, now winners in 12 of their last 14 and with the three game sweep of NU, vaulted them from 8th place in the CAA all the way up to 3rd place. UD also outscored the Huskies 35-11, paced by Adam Tsakonas, who went 8-for-19 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBI.
Team of the Week: Central Florida (4-0)
W11-5 vs. South Florida
W7-6, W4-3, W8-4 vs. Tulane
Wasn't it just a week or two ago that paramedics were sent to Orlando to check to see if the Knights still had a pulse? I mean this team had one (1) win in C-USA play before this weekend. The Black Knights overcame three-run deficits in each of the first two games against the Green Wave. Matt Horwath had a game to tell the grandkids about on Friday. His 8th inning double not only supplied the winning run, but it also completed UCF's first-ever hit-for-the-cycle performance. Where has this been all season people?
Honorable Mention: Troy (4-1)
W6-5 at Jacksonville State
W5-4 (16inns) vs. Auburn
W27-11, L8-7, W9-4 vs. Louisiana-Monroe
This is almost a dream-like week for Trojan fans: beating your fellow "mid major" rival, then taking down your "big brother" rival in turning-the-knife fashion in front of the largest crowd in school history and wrap it up with a series win over fellow a Sun Belt contender that helps you vault into second place. As an ex-boss of mine in Dallas used to say, "That's bloomin' nice." Beau Brooks sent a two-out, botttom-of-the-16th shot to right field to end the Auburn marathon. On Friday, both Kevin Weidlich and Bryan Miller had six RBI on 4-for-4 and 5-for-7 days respectively. Troy is now on a 9-1 tear and sit two games back of SBC-leading UL-L.
Team of the Week: Texas (4-0)
W11-1 vs. Texas-Pan American
W3-2, W7-2, W7-0 at Oklahoma State
This is Texas just being Texas. They've got a palpable, growing confidence you can just see taking over this team. As you've probably read, this was the first three-game sweep the Pokes have suffered at home since the first 2-by-4s were hammered at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium back in '81. Austin Wood was the culprit in Sunday's shutout, going six innings and surrendering just three hits. Wood also earned the W against the Broncos last Tuesday to go 2-0 and was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. And just as a general statement, I love the hitters on this team. Someone always steps up.
Honorable Mention: Central Michigan (4-0)
W14-5 at Michigan State
W13-1, W11-10 (10inns), W20-8 at Toledo
Someone throw a pail of water on this offense before someone gets their feelings hurt. The Chips outscore the Rockets 44-19 and earn their fourth weekend sweep of the season. CMU has now gone 22-3 since March 20th. Keep an eye on OF Tyler Stovall, who has a 17-game hit streak and went 4-for-5 with a three-run dinger on Sunday. CMU is 16-2 in the MAC and has a huge showdown at 14-2 Eastern Michigan this coming weekend.
Team of the Week: San Diego (2-0)
W10-3, W5-0 vs. Pepperdine
(And even if it doesn't technically count for last week, they also beat the Waves 7-3 on CSTV today too)
I think Josh Romanski just earned his way into my Player of the Year voting. The two way star won Sunday's game on the mound with a complete-game shutout. In the first two games of the series he was 5-for-8, with two doubles and five RBI on offense. He also had two of the best diving catches in center field that I'd seen all year on defense. The Toreros got the sweep of the Waves this afternoon (though it doesn't count for last week's consideration) to make for their first-ever sweep of their Malibu rivals.
Honorable Mention: UC Riverside (4-0)
W3-1 vs. UCLA
W3-2, W7-1, W5-4 vs. Cal State Fullerton
This team is as hot as the nearby wildfires that kept dropping ash on the Saturday crowd at the Riverside Sports Complex. Though Coach Doug Smith seemed to downplay the ramifications, the Highlanders now find themselves at 27-16 overall and should improve their RPI from its No. 61 spot going into the weekend. Both Friday and Saturday starters (James Simmons and Marc Rzepczynski) should earn some kind of player of the week honors. Simmons threw a complete-game 8-hitter with eight Ks and two earned runs and Rzepczynski threw a complete-game three-hitter with nine Ks. My oh my.
Okay, that'll do for now. Hope you guys come close to agreeing here. Thanks for reading stitch-heads.