Sunday Summations- The Monday Edition

"Get your hands off me you damn dirty apes!"
charltonHestonApes.jpg

After what we saw this weekend on the diamond, I bet a lot of Top 10 teams felt like Taylor does in this scene from The Planet of the Apes.

Just look at the de-humanizing traps that many of the top 10 teams found themselves in this weekend. Arizona State, UC Irvine, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Long Beach and Missouri all had lost weekends. Man, I don't know about you, but as soon as I pick my jaw up off the floor, we'll discuss it further. What the Sam Hill, people!

(Oh, and more about the passing of the great Charlton Heston below)

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SHORT MEA CULPA---
This edition of the Sunday Summations is late. My bad.

I would go into all the reasons as to why my Sunday entry is being finished on Monday morning instead, but there are too many to mention. But here's a short list:
- The Final Four
- The Final Four parties
- That whole Central time zone thing
- Internet connection problems at the hotel
- Internet connection problems just about everywhere else too
- Lazy

First off, on the "off-day" from games at the Final Four, I was able to make it up to see Texas State play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (this is the third time this week I've seen the Islanders. Think I'm becoming "South Coast Bias" now?). I was also joined in the stands by the inimitable Glenn Tanner, another CSTV baseball correspondent and current Texas State professor Finance as well.

TSU won the game 13-4, dropping Corpus Christi to 0-3 in games I've seen them play.

TxSt.HR.jpg
(Texas State's Spenser Dennis gets the home plate salutes after crushing a grand slam as part of a 3-for-4, 5RBI day)


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THREE UP---
1- The "clutch work" of Florida State.
Beat Virginia 3-2 in 10 innings, not once. But twice!
Jack Rye and Tyler Holt provided the game-winning hits in the two contests and - get this - Luke Smierciak was the winning run crossing the plate in the 10th inning of both games after starting both innings by getting plunked. I suppose if you follow college baseball long enough you see just about everything in due time.

2- Stanford
Won today 10-2 vs. Arizona State.
Who here could've seen a pair of blowouts to end the streaks of the red-hot Devils? The Trees earned coach Mark Marquess his 1,300th career victory with the W at Sunken Diamond today. And just think, SU was 90 feet away on Friday night from sweeping this series.

3- The Rebels and Dawgs.
Ole Miss finished off a sweep of Vanderbilt, 11-6.
Georgia finished off a sweep of South Carolina, 4-2.
The Rebels might just be - emphasis on "might" - getting back to the dominant form we were all expecting them to be at this season. This could be one of those wins that sees a team turn a corner on a season.

And same goes for Dave Perno's Bulldogs. This was a dominating weekend for UGa. And an UGa-ly weekend for Carolina. Keep an eye on the SEC-leading Dogs, especially after the bullpenners ran their non-earned run streak to 10 games now.


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THREE DOWN---
1- The ACC pretenders.
- Clemson lost at Miami, 7-6.
- Virginia lost at Florida State 3-2 and 3-2 (both 10 innings)
- Georgia Tech split with North Carolina 4-10 and 4-1
Collectively the three road teams went just 1-8 in the showdowns of ranked teams this weekend. To be honest, I'm concerned about the Tigers. It's weird to see a Jack Leggett team struggle like this. Then again, if ANYBODY ranks this team again this week, I'm going to be concerned about those rankings more than about Clemson.

Virginia should still be okay, although the jury's out until they can put together some impressive wins on the road. Or, well, let me re-phrase that, until they can put together some impressive wins period.

And give Tech some props for pulling out a win in Cary. Zach Von Tersch went 7.0, giving up just four hits to the potent UNC bats and Chris Hicks picked up save No. 8.

2- Arizona.
Lost at Washington 5-1.
Before their No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown with Arizona State three weeks ago, UofA was hitting .336 as a team. Now, after getting just five hits vs. Washington's Sunday staffers, the Cats are hitting just .300.

3- The Sunday pitching of Mercer and Jacksonville
Here are the two line scores from Sunday's double-header in J'ville:

Mercer- 20 23 2
J'ville - 15 13 2

Mercer- 10 16 0
J'ville - 11 13 3

The Bears combine for 30 runs and 39 hits and the Dolphins get 26 and 26 respectively. In all, 19 pitchers were used in the two games. And, considering game one started at 1pm on Saturday (before getting delayed by rain and pushed to Sunday), the two games took nearly 29 hours to complete.


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THE OUCH LIST FOR APRIL 6TH---
1- Arizona State
Result:
Lost two of three at Stanford.
Why it hurts:
Because now, everyone in the nation knows that ASU is just 1-2 in road games this season. Yes, 'vulnerable' is the new word in the Valley of the Sun.

2- Long Beach State
Result:
Lost two of three to UC Riverside.
Why it hurts:
Losing a series to UC Berkeley on the road? That's understandable. Losing a series to 7-15 UC Riverside? Not understandable. Beach is now 1-8 on its 10 game road swing.

3- Clemson.
Result:
Lost all three games at Miami.
Why it hurts:
The Tigers have come up goose-eggs in tough games this season, including this weekend's 0-3 mark vs. Miami. They also went 0-2 vs. Georgia and 0-2 vs. South Carolina. Their ranking should have been taken away weeks ago, but now their legitimacy is at risk.

4- Virginia
Result:
Lost all three games at Florida State.
Why it hurts:
Like the Tigers above, UVa seems to be losing all the tough games on the schedule, going 1-2 at N.C. State, 1-2 at Duke and this sweep at FSU. Staff ace Jacob Thompson got roughed up in Friday's showdown (a 10-3 loss). The Wahoos need a shot-in-the-arm weekend soon, in a big way.

5- UC Irvine
Result:
Lost two of three vs. Cal State Fullerton
Why it hurts:
Not a big "ouch" here, to be sure. But Just when the Anteaters were starting to get all the national pub, they drop this OC series. But it was nip-and-tuck most of the weekend. Like Thompson, Scott Gorgen got rough treatment from his Orange County rivals, getting just his second loss of the season, giving up six hits and four runs in 6.0 innings.

6- South Carolina
Result:
Lost all three games at Georgia.
Why it hurts:
Cocks drop to 1-5 on the road in the SEC, scoring just 12 runs in those five losses. All five of their runs in Athens this weekend were solo home runs.

7- Texas Tech
Result:
Was swept in three at Nebraska
Why it hurts:
Tech was on a roll entering this weekend, fresh off a series win over No. 6 Missouri, coach Larry Hays' 1500th win on Wednesday and ready to get some healthy players back to the lineup. Then, they met their fate in Lincoln. They didn't get embarrassed or anything, but their top four batters in the order went a combined 7-for-44.

8- Central Florida
Result:
Lost all three games at Houston.
Why it hurts:
UCF was outscored 29-11 this weekend. Since starting the season at 19-1, the Black Knights have gone just 3-10, including seven straight Ls. Of those seven losses, they've given up double-digit run totals in five of them.

9- Vanderbilt
Result:
Lost all three games at Ole Miss.
Why it hurts:
We've gone into the reasons already, but figure this out: Vandy is now in last place in the SEC East. But the good news is that Pedro Alvarez returned to the lineup this week, going 5-for-19 with a pair of home runs.

10- Loyola Marymount
Result:
Swept in three straight at San Francisco
Why it hurts:
LMU was leading the WCC going into this weekend and had a resume that includes victories over Oregon State, San Diego, Cal and USC. With the three losses here, the Lions plummet to 4th place.


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THE REASON BASEBALL IN CENTRAL TEXAS IS SUCH A HAPPENING---
Spotted these two billboards along I-35 on the drive from Dallas down to San Antonio this weekend.

BaylorBillboard.jpg

TxSt.Billboard.jpg


Really now, when's the last time you saw a college baseball team get its own billboard on a busy stretch of interstate?

And I also think it's really freakin' cool that a school like Texas State is smart enough to actually market their college baseball program with outdoor advertising. Now if they only had a cool stadium to watch games in. Oh well, guess you can't have it all in beloved sport.


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THE PASSING OF MOSES---
I'd like to give a special R.I.P. to the late, great Charlton Heston who passed away this weekend. Those Planet of the Apes movies and his rendition of Moses parting the Red Sea are cinematic moments that made an incredible impression on my early movie-watching experience.


Okay, that's enough. I'm going to get ready to work what should be a wicked-good national championship game tonight here at the Alamo Dome. My pick? I'm going to say Memphis, 85-80. I can't imagine KU is going to put two incredibly good games together in a row. That's just my hunch.

See you guys again with more baseball stuff in a couple of days - after my long, arduous drive back to Los Angeles.

Exactly WHO thought this driving to and from the Final Four was a good idea again?

G'night. Er... I mean, G'day.

Comments

Cool new Texas State stadium will be built in the off-season. It will be open for the 2009 season so come back and enjoy. Grounds and drainage work starts in June, new stands go up in September along with new dugouts, restrooms and a food court with a green park-like pic-nic area between the new baseball and softball stadiums. The only thing missing in this initial phase will be the new building that will house locker rooms and coaches offices, that will come later.

Texas State will begin construction on the new baseball and softball stadiums THIS summer. The plan is they will be ready for next season. Hopefully next time you come down, it will look quite a bit different.

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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