Sunday Summations- The "You Gotta Love Sunday Games" Edition

Ahhhh. Sunday baseball. Lots of runs, Lots of defensive lapses. Lots of pitching changes. Lots of pings. Lots of errors. Lots of walks. Lots of throws over to first. Lots of called time outs. And then, a few more pitching changes.

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(Look at all those crooked numbers. You've gotta love marathon Sunday games.)

Maybe you were at one of those kind of games today. Maybe you saw Cal State Fullerton beat Cal State Northridge 17-15, or saw Texas-Pan Am beat Texas Southern 14-12, or saw Dartmouth beat Brown 16-14, or saw the double-header treat where Northern Illinois beat Akron 14-11 and 14-10, or saw Northern Iowa beat Illinois State 24-7, or at the Texas A&M Corpus Christi win at Stephen F. Austin 19-16 or at any of the games in the SWAC, where all five contests went into double digits (well, actually, Alcorn State owes every one in the league a beer for being the only team NOT to score 10 or more, losing to Alabama State 11-7).

I was lucky enough to be in attendance to see who would take over the lead in the Big West standings between UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara, up the coast in Goleta. Oh then there's the addition of unseasonably hot temperatures, even in pleasantly cool coastal Santa Barbara.

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WHAT I SAW AT UC SANTA BARBARA TODAY---

UCD - 013 005 022 05 - 18 21 1
UCSB- 300 101 701 01 - 14 21 1

Let's see, there's UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, even UC Riverside. When it comes to college baseball success in the UC system, UC just about everybody else BUT UC Davis. But the landscape may be changing in the Big West, because with today's win, the Aggies have now climbed to the top of the standings where UC teams like Fullerton, Long Beach and Irvine below them.

But when it comes to today's game at Cesar Uyesaki Stadium, one thing is certainly true, the offenses for both UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis were certainly as hot as the weather. The two Big West leaders combined for 32 runs and 42 hits in a game that included seven lead changes, went 11 innings and an SPF-bending four hours and 10 minutes. And as any fan at a broiling hot baseball game will appreciate, there were 11 pitchers used in the game.

Ultimately, it was those over-achieving Aggies that rallied for three runs in the 8th and 9th innings and then buried the Gauchos with five runs in the 11th to break the game open.

The biggest bats of the day belonged to the top of the Aggie order:
1- Ryan Royster: 2-for-6 with 4RBI
2- Ty Kelly: 4-for-7 with 2RBI
3- Jake Jefferies: 5-for-7 with 6RBI

But five-hole hitter Ryan Scoma may have been the most clutch batter of the game, gathering four ribbies in his three hits on the day.

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UCDTyKelly2.jpg
(UC Davis' Ty Kelly comes in for landing with the go-ahead run in the 11th inning)

After getting picked 9th out of nine teams in the pre-season Big West poll, Davis has quietly toiled in anonymity as the Northernmost school in the SoCal heavy conference. But at 5-1 in conference play and 23-11 overall, it's time to take a look at the Aggies when talk turns to conference contenders.

UCD owns wins over Fresno State, Washington State and Stanford as its marquee Ws, but it certainly has big tests still ahead as the Ags will play at Cal State Fullerton in two weeks and follow that up by hosting Long Beach State in the first weekend in May.

So UC, you're now under the microscope Davis. Let's see how you under the big lights.


Now on to other things nationally.


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THREE UP---
1- CST... er, I mean, CBS College Sports choosing to show the Army-Navy game today.
The two All American pitchers - Army's Cole White and Navy's Mitch Harris - put on a clinic in Annapolis. White got the W (strangely, just his first of the season) by tossing a complete game 1-hitter with 6Ks and 5BBs. Harris was no slouch, going 7.2 (it was a scheduled 7-inning game), striking out seven and giving up just three hits in getting his first loss of the season.

ArmyColeWhite.jpg
(Cole White reverted to his All American form of 2006 today on the mound)


2- Stanford.
Won 6-3 at Oregon State.
How 'bout this? Ugly ole Stanford, with their old-school pullover jerseys and wart-like 17-11 record, now lead the Pac 10 (well, technically tied with Arizona State, but the Trees did beat the Devils two out of three.). Plus, just give SU plaudits for being a clutch team and winning a series in Corvallis to begin with. Coach Mark Marquess said, "We've been able to play very well this season, particularly when there is a lot on the line." Jeffery Inman improved to 5-0 with his fourth straight Sunday victory.

3- Texas A&M.
Beat Oklahoma 12-2 in a run-ruled game.
With the three game sweep of OU, A&M has finally put to rest that whole Northern Colorado snafu to start the season and have ascended to first place in the Big 12. The Aggies win today marked the third straight Big 12 weekend sweep and runs their win streak to 13 games. Clayton Ehlert threw A&M's first complete game of the season, improving to 5-2 on the season.

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THREE DOWN---
1- Washington State.
Lost to No. 3 Arizona State 16-13.
It's not that the Cougars lost, but HOW they lost. Wazzu had a chance to hand ASU its second straight road series loss, but surrendered eight runs to the Devils in the 9th inning. So a 13- 8 lead quickly became a 1-2 series loss. Special mention to ASU's Ike Davis, who was monstrous today. The No. 3 hitter went 4-for-6 with 7RBI, including a double and two home runs. As if that wasn't enough, Davis also picked up the win on the mound with 2.2 innings of work to improve to 4-0 on the season.

2- The Great Pretenders
Georgia Tech, Clemson and Kentucky all finished getting swept this weekend.

Tech, you can totally understand that. They hosted top-ranked Miami and dealt with the loss of a fallen teammate. No shame there. I think we'll see the Jackets back in the ACC discussion before long.

Clemson hosted No. 4 North Carolina, but today's 8-4 loss saw 2B Kyle Seager continue to rake the Tiger arms, going 3-for-5 with 3RBI, including another double and another home run in a hot weekend.

Kentucky played decent, losing a one-run game and today's two-run game (6-4). But today the Cats could only manage four hits, this from a team that came into the weekend hitting .350.

3- Charlotte.
Lost to Xavier 10-9.
The 49ers allowed the X-men to score six runs in the 8th and 9th innings combined to lose the series two games to one. Keep in mind this is a Charlotte team that came into the weekend 26-5 and with wins over South Carolina and Wake Forest.


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WHAT'S NEXT? HARVARD WINS A NATIONAL TITLE IN BASEBALL?
You have to love being a sports fan in Boston these days. The Red Sox, the Patriots, the Celtics, all their teams seem to be in title contention. Even Boston College football team had a great season and was ranked at No. 2 in November. Well, now we get the BC hockey team winning the national title at the Frozen Four in Denver this weekend. The good thing about the Eagles winning it was that this was their third straight trip to the title game, but first win in those trips.

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(BC head coach Jerry York hoists the national championship trophy surrounded by a bunch of screamin' Eagles)


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I have to cut this Sunday Summations a little bit short, because of the length of the drive to Santa Barbara (and the length of the game itself). So I tell you what, we'll save the weekend Ouch List for Monday. Hope you don't mind.

G'night.

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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