Saturday Statements - Like Homer, A little beer and a lot of TV make for a good day

Sometimes it's good to just sit on your fat butt and watch all the great college baseball games that come on satellite TV. Welcome to my world this Saturday. No traveling. No credentials to make arrangements for. No long drives on crowded freeways with drivers paying much more attention to their cell phones than their lane changes.

(Alabama's Kent Matthes made the play of the day, robbing an Auburn home run)

So here's what I saw from the comfort of my couch today. (I know, I need a life. I hear ya'.)

On the Big Ten Network:
Ohio State - 6 13
Northwestern - 4 1
In my pre-season preview I talked about when I was up at last year's Ohio State-Minnesota series, I heard grumblings from the Buckeyes that they weren't real happy with their Nike bats, feeling they seemed "dead" to them. Well sure enough, the announcers on the Big 10 network talked about how the Bucks are last in the Big 10 this year with just 10 home runs.

On Sports South:
Auburn - 4
Alabama - 5
Great defense for the Tide, especially the outfielders. There was Bama right fielder Kent Matthes making one of the best catches so far this season, robbing Auburn's Joseph Sanders of a home run in the 4th inning of the game. Then there was center fielder Tyler Odle making a dramatic diving catch in the 9th inning to protect the precarious one-run lead. And has Bama added on to Sewell-Thomas Stadium? I don't remember there being stands all the way down the right field line. But this is a big time program with a big time fan base, so I'm not shocked.

St. John's - 6
Notre Dame - 4
The Johnnies over-take the Big East lead with their second straight win at Eck Stadium over the Fighting Irish this weekend. In the 9th, with Redmen... er, Storm, at 1st and 3rd, a crucial, ho-hum grounder to third was wildly thrown to first, allowing Gino Matias to score from third to provide the winning run for St. John's. The Johnnies improve to 13-4, 31-9 overall and lead the Irish, who are now 12-5 in Big East play. Game three will decide the conference leader tomorrow.

On Fox Sports West:
Arizona - 3
Oregon State - 4
This may have been freshman Tanner Robles' coming out party today for OSU. The fireballing OSU frosh went 7.2 innings, giving up just two hits, striking out seven and retiring the last 12 Cat batters he faced. It was interesting to hear the comments of OSU's Pat Casey during the game (even though I hate those in-game interviews) when he said, "Arizona probably has the deepest pitching staff in the country with six quality guys." Just something to file away come post-season time.

On CBS College Sports:
Fresno State - 1 3
U. of Nevada - 4 7
I was looking forward to seeing the WAC leaders in one of the best settings in college baseball, Peccole Park in Reno. Unfortunately, what we saw was the first double-header loss in WAC play for Fresno all season. Not good. Announcers Tom Hart and Kevin Stocker also reminded the viewers of a terrible situation for the conference, in the fact that the post-season tournament is going to be held in Ruston, Louisiana, hosted by Louisiana Tech. Problem is that right now the under-achieving Bulldogs are way, way down in last place at 3-18. Since only the top six teams make the WAC tourney, if the season ended today, the home town Dogs wouldn't even be able to take part in the tourney. I'd imagine that'll be an easy ticket to procure.

1- Miami and Virginia's pitching.
Well, mostly Miami, for pulling out another W by beating UVa 4-3 in 10 innings.
But let's give it up to the pitching staffs of both teams for the last two days. Like Friday's 1-0 Cane win, the two teams once again combined for just nine hits today. But it was another painful ending for the Cavs as shortstop Greg Miclat sailed a throw to first over the head of the first baseman, allowing Jemile Weeks to score the game-winning run. With the W, Miami improves to 19-2 in ACC play, equaling its best conference win total since joining the ACC in 2005.

2- LSU.
Won the South Carolina series with an 11-10 white-knuckler that went 11 innings.
The Tigers showed what they haven't showed in quite some time - dare I say, the Bertman era - and that was a fair amount of chutspa. Down 7-0, the air had gone out of the crowd. But the Bayou boys weren't done bashing. Nick Pontiff roped a two-run bomb to tie things at nine in the 7th. Gamecock errors in the 11th allowed LSU to re-tie the game at 10. Then, with the third error of the inning, Chris McGhee scored the game winning run to sink Carolina and put the Cocks in a 2-0 hole for the weekend.

(Maybe, just maybe, the Gamecocks are really intimidated by the Intimidator?)

3- Kent Matthes, Alabama.
Because of the Tide right fielder, Bama beats Auburn 5-4.
Not only did the right field ace steal the home run from Joseph Sanders in the 4th inning, he also kick-started the Crimson offense with a two-run double in the 1st inning. Then he culminated the W with an absolute strike from the right field corner to throw behind the runner at first to get the last out of the game and preserve the one-run win.

(Player of the Game Kent Matthes got a shaving cream pie to the face during the post-game interview)

1- Ole Miss.
The Rebs get swept in two games, 13-11 (10inns) and 12-4 by Arkansas.
Remember when the Rebel pitching staff was supposed to be the bee's knees? Well, with the two losses today, Mississippi drops to 11-9 in SEC play and 28-16 overall. In other words, rather ordinary. The Rebs combined for five errors in the two losses and surrendered 26 hits in the two games. To their credit, the Rebs came back from an 8-1 deficit in game one, so they've got this no-quit facet to their game. But still, the Rebels shouldn't be a middle-of-the-road team in the southern super-conference.

2- Northern Iowa.
Lost twice at home to Southern Illinois, 7-5 and 11-7.
The Panthers went into Saturday with an 11-2 mark in the Missouri Valley, a game and a half ahead of second place Wichita State. But somehow, UNI dropped both games to the 7th-place Salukis. Game two was decided when SIU scored seven runs in the top of the 9th. After this weekend, Northern has the now-1st place Shockers, 3rd place Missouri State and 5th place Bradley remaining. This team might've been one of those textbook fool's gold teams.

3- Butler.
Blew a 13-0 lead and lost in 10 innings to Valparaiso, 16-15.
In what may be the worst defensive performance of the season, the Bulldogs commit eight errors and allow the Crusaders to put together a 7-run 9th inning that tied the game. VU won the game in the 10th on a Ryan O'Gara sac fly with the bases loaded. Butler committed five errors in the last four innings to help the comeback. Then the Bulldogs went out and blew another lead in game two and lost 7-5 to complete the ignominious sweep. Zach Rodeghero went 7-for-10 on the day and Andrew Quinnette smashed three home runs to pace the game one win.

Here's a screen grab from the Fresno State-Nevada game today. See? There are two women in this picture that are obviously drinking beer. Hopefully in a responsible manner.

(That does it! I've gotta make the trek to Reno for a game sometime soon)

It's late. Time to hit the rack. Hope you guys had a great college baseball Saturday.



Why is it that only women seem to be drinking beer in the stands in Reno? Maybe that Axelrod dude who made the angry comments about your Mike Martin interview needs to go see a game there and have a brew or two to chill out.

Eric, if you can't make it off your sofa and the UNC-FSU game is on anywhere, it should be a good rubber game to watch. Over 4,300 made it out to Cary for last night's game- everyone, it seems, but the FSU Cowgirls.

Warner, brother. You're preachin' to the choir. And, you can't quite see it, but the two guys in the hats on the back row were also swillin' the brew. So don't worry, it's a coed activity.

And KC, believe me, if the CSTV lear jet wasn't being used for the lacrosse crowd this weekend, I'd SOOOOO be there in Cary. Nice crowds too. Didn't realize that stadium at the USA complex was that big. Heels will obviously host some post-season there. Cheers.


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