Saturday Statements - Yes!! (part deaux)

Upset weekend continues. And it just gets better for those hoping to have something interesting to write about.

USDMeadorCongrats.jpg
(Pinch hitter James Meador was the unlikely hero in San Diego
taking down No. 19 Oregon State today.)


Check out the latest carnage in the Top 30 rankings:

TCU 5 - No. 2 Mississippi 4
Duke 13 - No. 3 North Carolina 4
Stanford 6 - No. 7 Texas 5
North Carolina State 2 - No. 12 Virginia 0
Wake Forest 13 - No. 14 Clemson 10
No. 21 San Diego 10 - No. 19 Oregon State 5
Georgia Southern 12 - No. 23 Michigan 3
East Carolina 6 - No. 23 Michigan 5

Here's more of the good and bad from Saturday's diamond work across the country:

THREE UP---

1- Duke and Brown.
These two split DHs with North Carolina and Florida.
Duke came into today with an 11-0 mark. But unlike their roundball counterparts, they were able to bury the Heels with a 13-4 rout in game one. Jeremy Gould went a combined 7-for-8 with four RBI in the two games for the Dukies.

Brown? Going down to Gainesville and getting a W? Believe it. And they did it in dominant fashion, with an 11-2 runaway. And get this, the Bears almost pulled the trick twice, losing in the bottom of the 9th in game two by an 8-7 count.

2- Arkansas State.
Beat Louisiana-Lafayette 3-0 and 9-5.
It's been quite a week for the Indians, having already beaten Ole Miss. But this... this was much more than anyone in the Sun Belt circles could've guessed. Chase Ware throws a complete game three hit shutout in game one, striking out six as well. ASU also overcame a 4-0 deficit in game two to improve to 7-4 on the season.

Odd stat of the year? UL-L is currently hitting just .203 (yes too-oh-three) and is off to an unthinkable 4-8 start.

3- Arizona pitching.
Beat Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Shutting down the Islanders, in and of itself, isn't necessarily a feather-in-the-cap accomplishment, but let's give it to the Wildcat pitchers for their second straight day of clampdown mound work. Yesterday Preston Guilmet struck out 12 South Alabama Jaguars while giving up just four hits in 8.0 innings. Today David Coulon went one step better, K'ing 11, walking just one and giving up only a single hit in 8.0 innings of work. Hmmm, maybe there IS somebody out there who can stop Arizona State's bats?


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THREE DOWN---

1- Michigan.
Lost to Georgia Southern 12-3 and to East Carolina 6-5.
Unlike most recent years, it appears as if Michigan won't have any good marquee non-conference wins, unless the Wolverines are able to take down Coastal Carolina next week. After getting routed in game one, they blew a 5-3 lead in game two by allowing the Pirates to score three runs in the 7th and 8th inning.

2- The pitching of Texas-San Antonio and College of Charleston.
UTSA won game one 20-12 and CofC won game two 20-16.
This was a good matchup of expected conference contenders that turned ugly in every way possible. Like, scary ugly. Of course, it didn't help that the winds were recorded to be gusting from 40-to-50 mph straight out to center field. The two teams combined for 68 runs, 68 hits, 15 errors, 29 walks and 12 home runs. The Cougars Michael Harrington hit a grand slam and a three-run home run in the second game alone and accounted for a school record eight RBI. The two games took a combined total of eight hours and nine minutes to complete. (Give that umpiring crew a raise).

3- San Diego State.
Lost to LMU 7-2.
After opening the season with a 3-1 mark vs. San Diego and following that up with wins against decent teams in USC and Cal Poly, the Aztecs have gone just 1-5 since. Today's loss to Loyola Marymount was supposed to be their gimme W of the weekend. But Lion pitchers Martin Viramontes and Lee Roberts combine for 15 strikeouts and gave up just six hits to drop SDSU to 6-6. Now the Fighting Gwynn's will take on Oklahoma State and Oregon State to finish out the SDSU tournament. Tough chore.


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TOREROS WIN, BUT NEITHER TEAM WAS SHARP
at Cunningham Stadium.
Oregon St. - 001 103 000 - 5 9 3
San Diego - 110 030 41x - 10 10 3

WP- Ricardo Pecina (1-0)
LP- Blake Keitzman (0-1)

To use Kendall Rogers' favorite phrase, less than stellar. Both teams entered today's game with .500 records and neither USD nor Oregon State looked all that smooth on this sunsplashed Saturday. It almost looked more like they were two snowbelt schools just stretching their legs and gloves out for the first time this season, even though each had played a good bit of games. Lots of small hiccups throughout. A trio of errors each. Some untimely walks, hit batsmen and a balk. A couple of mental errors per side.

But there were some key hits and actually some nice defensive gems along the way as well. USD broke the game open in the 7th inning with the help of two singles, a backbreaking double and two walks.

Key Play:
In the 7th inning, with the score tied and the bags juiced with Toreros, Oregon State went to the pen and brought out lefty Kraig Sitton. SD coach Rich Hill must've had a notion, because he decided to bring in James Meador to pinch hit. Sure enough, Meador sliced a double down the line to bring in two runs and put USD up to stay at 7-5.

Starters looked a little rusty:
San Diego's Matt Couch and Oregon State's Jorge Reyes both had some rough spots out there as neither factored into the decision. Couch, an All-WCC selection in '97, lasted 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with six Ks. Reyes, the CWS MVP, went 5.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits and gathering only one strikeout. San Diego's bullpen pitched more effectively than OSU's parade of relievers that got mind-numbingly tedious after a while. A.J. Griffin was the best pitcher of the day, sitting down six of the seven guys he faced, the only base-runner coming from an error.

Fair or foul?
At the time, I couldn't see it because I was taking pictures next to the Torero dugout, but apparently Meador's game-swinging hit looked awfully foul to many of the Beaver fans in Cunningham Stadium. As you can tell from this picture, Coach Pat Casey didn't agree with the umpire's view on the play either:

OSUCaseyComplaint.jpg
(Pat Casey hopes this guy doesn't work in Omaha this June)

Another thing Coach Casey wasn't all that crash-hot about.
As if the hit-and-miss pitching and questionable umpiring wasn't bad enough, for the two innings I sat down by the Oregon State dugout, three times I saw Coach Casey have to yell at the OSU batter to remind them to look back at the dugout to get the signals from the coaches in between pitches. Ah... Freshmen.

Fielding oops.
As I wrote about in the fall series between USD and Long Beach, Torero 3Bman Victor Sanchez is the real deal. The SuperFrosh made a handful of bare-handed plays to retire the bunt-happy Beachers. But today, had a mental breakdown on a 4th inning bunt by John Wallace when both he and Matt Couch went for the ball, then one of them yelled for it (hard to tell which one), but both ended up backing off. Wallace would score on Drew George's double immediately after. On the other side of the ledger, O-State SS Joey Wong, who made a series of highlight-reel plays in the post-season last year, fumbled a sure-fire inning-ending double play ball in the 5th that allowed three runs to eventually score. Very un-Wongesque.

Another reason to like Josh Romanski.
Not only is he a balls-out center fielder, an All American candidate on the mound and a solid bat (.310 with three home runs entering the game), but he also chose to have Jimi Hendrix as his coming-to-bat music. Gotta love brother Jimi playing that backward guitar.

USDRomanskiSanchezHill.jpg
(Josh Romanski and Victor Sanchez made some big plays for Coach Hill today)


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Texas Tech's home schedule.
The Red Raiders have now lost eight home games due to circumstances beyond their control. In week one Northern Illinois cancelled a four-game series in Lubbock because of the campus shooting that had taken place a couple of days before. Then, this past weekend, Illinois couldn't get out of O'Hare airport because of a bad winter front that had locked up the city of Chicago and had to cancel its four-game set at Dan Law Field.

TTU managed to set up some games with - ironically - Northern Illinois and Texas State down in San Marcos this weekend instead.


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4:19am to 7:07am.
That's the time difference of when last night's Hawaii-Long Beach game ended (according to East coast time) and the beginning of today's Georgia Southern-Michigan game (according to West coast time).


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Man it's late now. I got my college baseball writing interrupted by some stupid party tonight. So now it's like 1:55am... wait, isn't this that whole daylight savings time thing? Oh crap, in five minutes it's going to be 3 o'clock!

G'night... er, I mean, G'mornin'

Comments

Hey Eric, Glad to see you in the sun yesterday. Maybe you could work on that tan a bit more....

Glad to see the Toreros coming around, they need to find some run support from there 7-9 batters, then they will be on their way. Thanks for coming to Cunningham, Toreros love CSTV!

Thanks DJ.

And you're right man. My Scandanavian winter "tan" is in full force. Just call me shark-bait. But like a northern team in May, it will improve as I get out in the sun more. Thanks for readin' and writin'. I think both of those teams we saw yesterday will eventually be back in the national conversation.

E.

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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