Friday First Takes - The "Jail the Rich" Edition

Is there no respect for the rich?

(poor little rich hotel heiress)

If we learned anything today, it's that the rich people in this country just can't get a freakin' break. First Paris Hilton has to go back to jail in tears after originally being released. Then we see a continuation of roughed-up rich boys on the mound - David Price last week (by a .188 hitter no-less), and this week it was soon-to-be rich guy Daniel Moskos of Clemson and then almost-as-rich-to-be Robert Woodard of North Carolina.

(Then again, going to punk clubs for years I've always seen stickers that said "Jail the Rich" on bathroom doors and light poles. So I don't feel sorry Paris. Besides, I've seen movies like "Chained Heat," prison life ain't so bad for chicks.)

What else did we find out today? You can almost disregard what happened in the regular season now. I mean, when do the post-season results stop being "surprising" and just become shrugged shoulders and a quick, "eh, that's the post-season for ya'." The early games today were of particular interest to the upset-minded set as Mississippi State overcame it's pitching woes and Mr. Moskos to push Clemson to the brink of elimination. Then Louisville put a hurting on Okie State to signal a new power in the Big East.

Here's a quick synopsis of the games today and a few thoughts to go along with them.

Clemson - 6
Mississippi State - 8
The Dogs, a team I had been mostly unimpressed with, now reminds me of that 2004 Cal State Fullerton team; scrappy, mentally tough, unintimidated. Chad Crosswhite did a decent job and the rest of the staff gets a C+ for backing him up fairly well, but it was the offense that stepped up and answered every time Clemson put up numbers on the board. Daniel Moskos, with one eye on being picked No. 4 in yesterday's MLB draft, pitched like he was still basking in the glow of being a rich professional athlete soon. He got roped for nine hits and six runs in 5.0 innings of work. The stadium record of 12,620 in attendance eclipses any Super Regional crowd in any venue ever. That's worth a cowbell rattle.
- Is this series over?
Not at all. The Tigers have been a hot offensive team the last few weeks and No. 71 overall draftee David Kopp is still in the arsenal. But MSU has Justin Pigott toeing the rubber and just hoping he's got the "on" switch going as he's been hit-and-miss with a 6-6 mark and 4.31ERA. But against Florida State last week, he was tough as nails.

Louisville - 9
Oklahoma State - 0
I truly believe if anybody had reported this final score as OSU winning by a 9-0 count, nobody would bat an eye. But UofL winning? Go mid-majors man. That's pretty wild. The Cards ran roughshod and spread the wealth with all nine men in the lineup getting a hit and seven of them getting an RBI. And get this, seven OSU hurlers were used, none to great acclaim either. The L'ville mound studs were the big story with Zach Pitts going seven innings and giving up just four hits to improve to 10-3. Gavin Logsdon did a solid job giving up just two hits in two innings. So that's six hits in 32 Cowboy at-bats. I wouldn't have guessed that man. And have I mentioned the crowd? Oy vey, we're talking 4,023 at Patterson Stadium.
- Is this series over?...
No. Mainly because nobody thrives on momentum like Oklahoma State on offense. This teams bats could catch fire at any moment. But, and this is a big but, with No. 56 draft pick Trystan Magnuson yet to throw, you have to like the Cards here.

South Carolina - 6
North Carolina - 9
This is bad. Really bad. Like, Madonna attempting an acting career bad. SC had NC more than on the ropes, down 6-0 thanks to a grand slam from a .236 hitter. And they were bashing All American Robert Woodard at that! Then, the two things that have been the Gamecock bugaboo all season long, reared their ugly heads; poor bullpen and leaky defense. UNC scored, according to CSTV blogger Kenny Cook (the Doctor of College Baseball), all nine runs off the Gamecocks with two outs in the 6th and 7th innings. And both innings were extended with bonehead errors that opened the floodgates. This is a mental crusher for South Carolina. Arik Hempy takes the mound tomorrow and he simply needs to pitch his best game of the season. Otherwise, this is a return engagement in Omaha for UNC without a doubt.
- Is this series over?:
The fat lady is stepping up to the mic and rolling up her sleeves. But I don't ever like to count out a team that can bash like South Carolina. Needless to say, SC needs to jump out ahead again on Saturday, and then never let their foot off the pedal.

Texas A&M - 2
Rice - 3 (10inns)
Jordan Dodson should just go ahead and run for mayor now. This is one popular Houstonian, after scoring the game0tying run in the bottom of the 9th and then knocking in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th to help Rice get the jump on the Aggies in the best-of-three Super Regional. The Owls nearly bit the dust despite leaving 11 guys stranded on base, but were the beneficiaries of six walks, four hit by pitchers and three A&M errors. Worst part for the Aggies? They used their two best pitchers on the day; David Newmann (who started) and Kyle Nicholson (four hits, two runs in 3.2 innings). Now who do the Aggies turn to? Freshman Scott Migl? Do we really think a greenhorn like that is going to out-duel the experienced Owls?
- Is this series over?
Despite what I wrote above, no. The Aggies lost the opener in the Big 12 tourney and the second game of the Regional to Louisiana-Lafayette. But both times, they battled back to come out on top. This team is used to be written off. They'll come out fighting tomorrow.

If I was Brian Bosworth, I'd be wearing...---
A t-shirt that said "NCAA: National Communists Against Athletes". Okay, I'm kidding (does anyone remember the Boz wearing that t-shirt on the sidelines of the Orange Bowl after the NCAA disqualified him for testing positive for steroids?). But I am disappointed that the boys in Indianapolis decided to not allow CSTV the right to do live blogs during NCAA tournament games this week and during the CWS. Last year, in Omaha, as long as we didn't specifically mention the score of the game, we were allowed to write about the atmosphere and goings-ons and stuff. But this year, we can't even do that. Too bad. But I'm not wearing a t-shirt over it. And surely not that gawd-awful hairstyle either.

Just waiting to throw their backs out---
UNC's Robert Woodard and Mississippi State's Chad Crosswhite.
Both have that freaky-lookin' herky-jerky motion that happens so suddenly you'd think they're going to pull a muscle on the next pitch. But what the hell, they're young. They can get away with it.

My own YouTube moment---
I didn't know CBS did this, but somehow they put one of my video clips that we shot in New York last Sunday up on Here's the link if you wanna check it out:

Luckily, I didn't pick my nose or utter the ubiquitous cuss word while working with Penn Holderness with the red light on. I'll give you a little hint though, as mentioned, this was shot on Sunday night when I knew that Texas was on the ropes vs. UC Irvine. So that's why I mention ASU and Rice as my picks to stalk the national title. Had this blurb been shot any other time last weekend, I would've said the UT was my pick to win the whole sh-bang.

Given the results of the draft, who should be shaking their heads the most that they didn't make it?---
The Hogs had three pitchers taken in the top 82 picks of the draft (Nick Schmidt at No. 23, Duke Welker at No. 68 and Jess Todd at No. 82). Damn, even with a minimum of offense, those studs should be enough to get three wins in four days. Arkansas lost twice to Oklahoma State to be eliminated last weekend in the Regionals.

Tomorrow is double-packed with action as four other Super Regionals get started, mostly out West.

I'll be at the Fullerton-UCLA grudge match, so I hope I don't miss a lot on TV. It should be a beauty. Especially if this kind of unpredictability continues.



Re: the draft
I'm shaking my head over UC Riverside. They had seven players drafted.

This was exceeded, however, by NAIA champion Lewis-Clark State, who had eight taken. I'll give you a heads-up; Matt Fitts will do great things for the Astros.

NAIA followers are scratching thier heads, however, over the eighth Warrior taken, Donnie Ecker in the 22nd round. He only had five hits all year, and was primarily a courtesy/pinch runner.

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert