Sunday Summations - It's Salvation Sunday

It's Sunday. How apropos. What a perfect day for teams to achieve some salvation.

There were a lot of teams out there in the college baseball landscape that really needed an I.V. filled with a freakin' W. It's early in the season and already there are a lot of hurt egos and broken confidences out there.

I got a chance to see Oral Roberts regain some ground today after losing the first two games in Malibu against Pepperdine. The Eagles raced out to a big lead early, then held on to pull out a 13-10 win at Eddy D. Field Stadium. With the win, ORU ended the week going 3-2 including a pair of impressive wins over No. 12 Baylor and today's win over the No. 28-ranked Waves.

P'dineORU1stPitch.jpg
(... buy me some peanuts and SPF, I don't care if I ever get back...)

So yes, you read it here first, ORAL ROBERTS GETS SALVATION! And it's not from some swimming-in-money TV ministry. Here are some more who found their stitched-ball soul today...

THREE UP---
1- Those teams that saved face.
These teams needed, and got, vital wins today to avoid weekend sweeps
- Cal State Fullerton, won at Arizona 10-7.
Still, this 1-3 week will assure a drop out of the rankings.
- North Carolina State, beat No. 5 Miami 11-10.
Matt Payne blasted a three-run bomb in the 8th to end one of those stupid travel curfew shortened games.
- Mississippi State, beat No. 8 Ole Miss 4-0.
I'll be honest, with all the injuries to this team, I would've predicted a big loss today. Ricky Bowen!!... a complete-game two-hitter with 11Ks? Bitchin'.
- Clemson, beat Boston College 16-7.
An embarrassing weekend saves some face today. CU is still on a 5-6 skid.
- Texas Tech, won at Texas A&M, 9-3.
Tough place to play and they nearly pulled off the Friday win as well. A&M gets the Jim Belushi-like raised eyebrow.
- Minnesota, won 11-5 at Pacific.
Before today's win, the Gophers scored one run in the previous 18 innings vs. the Tigers.
- Oklahoma, beat Washington State 14-2.
The Big Red giant awoke today with the help of Andrew Doyle who improved to 4-1 with 7.0 innings of four-hit ball.

2- William & Mary.
Swept Old Dominion, including 7-4 today.
Ssshhhhhh! Don't tell anyone, but the Tribe may be the best-kept secret in baseball. They are now 15-4 on the season and just got done sweeping the pre-season Colonial favorites. Friday and Saturday's wins were both by a single run. Say it with me... "clutch!" DH Robbie Nickle was gold all weekend, getting two hits in each game and seven RBI overall.

3- Eastern Michigan.
beat Wright State 11-2.
Entering today with an 0-17 mark (five of which came by a single run), the Eagles left no doubt this time getting 8.0 strong innings from Matt Shoemaker, who surrendered eight hits while striking out nine on the day. Odd stat of the day: Somehow Todd Graves and Jeff Davis combined to go just 1-for-5, but garnered eight RBI.


.
THREE DOWN---
1- Georgia Southern.
One day after setting the NCAA record with 14 home runs... guess what? The Eagles get routed, 11-3, by that same Columbia team. And this game was as ugly as it sounds with CU racing out to a 5-1 lead after two innings and never looking back. In all, the Lions belted out 20 hits on the day. The Lions take a 2-to-1 series lead with game four coming on Monday. Which team will show up between these two Jekyll and Hyde's?

2- Hartford pitching.
Lost to Western Carolina 32-3 in game one of a DH.
Okay, I know it's not nice to pick on a team that's only played three games and goes down to play a WCU team that has played 14 games. But still, the Hawks gave up seven home runs, walked eight and plunked nine Catamount batters. To the Hawks credit though, they came back and had a late 3-2 lead in game two of the DH, before falling 5-3.

3- The SEC West.
Auburn was swept by Florida, including a 6-2 loss today.
LSU was swept by Tennessee, including a pair of 7-3 loss today.
Alabama was swept by Kentucky, including a 5-1 loss today
Arkansas lost two of three vs. Georgia, including a 13-2 loss today.
The only SEC West team to win today?... Mississippi State, who beat Ole Miss, who is, of course, another SEC West team.

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THE OUCH LIST FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 16
- USC.
Lost all three vs. Long Beach State.
Not sure if anyone is doubting the quality of the Dirtbags, but the Trojans needed at least one W here to make sure people know they're turning the corner in 2008.
- Georgia Tech.
Lost all three at Florida State.
It's happened before, we've seen a Tech team win all their home games against a group of tomato cans, only to get their come-uppance in conference roadies. FSU scores 36 runs against what had been a good pitching staff.
- Virginia.
Lost to Duke 4-1.
Let's take a quick look at UVa's profile: Playing at home: 12-0. Playing on the road: 2-4. Again, it's early and there are plenty of home games ahead. Cavs will regoup.
- TCU.
Lost all three at Wichita State.
After beating top 10 Ole Miss two-of-three last weekend, the Frogs went stone cold in Dorothy-and-Toto country, scoring just four runs all weekend.
- Santa Clara.
Got swept at home by UC Davis, including a 12-7 loss today.
After a 9-1 start to the season, the Broncos have gone 1-5, including losing four to the Aggies this weekend.
- Maryland.
Lost two one-run games to a good Wake Forest team, 5-4 (10inns. continuation of a suspended game from Saturday) and 4-3. Not that losing to Wake is any kind of "ouch" but losing both games in Wake's last at-bat is a pain.
- North Florida.
Got swept in three straight at Belmont, including twice today. The Ospreys have gone cold. Despite a season-opening series win over Mississippi State, UNF has gone just 6-7 since.

ORUmartinez.jpg
(as the scoreboard reads, Oral Roberts' Juan Martinez had a big day with a pair of two-run doubles that help pace the Eagles out to a big lead early at Pepperdine)

Okay, I hope you guys have had a great college baseball weekend. I don't know if you can tell, but I'm extra giddy about this coming week. I've been assigned to work the NCAA basketball regionals in Omaha this coming weekend (LOVE the energy of post-season roundball), so I should be able to catch a few Nebraska stitched-ball games up there as well. Can't wait.

In the meantime, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

G'night.

Comments

Eric, I'm from Omaha and go to school in SC. I gotta admit, I'm real jealous that you are going to be taking in tourney teams at the Qwest.

I know you are from Omaha originally, but if you can get to the new "Old Mattress Factory" across the street from Qwest for some grub and some brews, you won't regret it...

Eric-

I know it was a late score coming in from the Islands, but USD frosh Kyle Blair, 8 in, 2 hits, school record 16k's. USD, 5-0 last week, think they are back on track...

I live on the East Coast and am excited about seeing San Diego play next month while out there on business. Unlike DJ, though, I'll have to see the Toreros consistently beat stronger opponents than Hawaii-Hilo before being convinced that they are ready to approach last year's success.

Jeremy- believe me, I keep having to pinch myself to make sure I'm still really lucky enough to go to Omaha to write about the roundball stuff. Can't wait. I'll probably eat too much Sortino's pizza to eat anywhere else this week.

DJ- Yeah, I think I got the notice about that USD 16-strikeout performance too late to include it in here. But Blair is supposed to be big time. I haven't seen him pitch yet, but look forward to catching him at Pepperdine later on this season.

Robbie- I'm actually in the same boat as you on USD. They've been all over the place so far. I saw them beat Oregon State, but the Beavers aren't as good as they'll be later on. So I'll take a "wait and see" approach too. I'm not one of those people that see huge stats put up against weak-sister teams and get all giddy about that team being a national power or anything. But just like the 14-homer game by Georgia Southern, they do deserve some mention for that, no matter who it's against.

Thanks for readin' and writin' peeps. Mighty boss of ya'.

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