Sunday Summations- A painful month of May begins

Spent the day out at the unparalleled confines of Eddy D. Field Stadium to see San Diego put some distance between itself and the rest of the West Coast Conference with a solid, typically pitching-heavy 2-0 win over the Waves at Pepperdine.

Frosh fireballer Kyle Blair went 7.2 innings, giving up just two hits and striking out seven to pace the Toreros to the victory and weekend series win. It also means that USD is very nearly assured of being in the WCC playoffs and, barring a big tank job, should go in as the regular season champions and host the best-of-three vs. the No. 2 team.

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(Kyle Blair 2-hit performance proves USD has a helluva third starter)

Overall, it was both a surprising and painful Sunday for many of the teams around the country. So we'll start with the good and bad of things from all over Division I.

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THREE UP---
1- LSU.
Swept Kentucky in Lexington.
Allow me to type that again, swept Kentucky in Lexington. The Tigers are on a track all their own now. Nine wins in a row? Nine? Whoa. Today, the planets-are-in-line Tigers got a two-run home run from Matt Clark to complete a 6-run comeback and pull LSU's first back-to-back SEC sweeps since 1998. Jared Bradford continued his hot streak on the mound, saving his second game of the weekend.

The Bayou bashers now find themselves in first place in the wacky, disfunctional SEC West with a 12-11-1 record. Are Paul Maineiri's young charges starting to believe or what?

2- The teams that could bash their way to Omaha.
- South Carolina hit three home runs to beat Florida 9-6. (Smoak, Darnell and Disher now have 19, 15 and 16 respectively)
- Arizona State went yard six times in its 11-8 win at UCLA. (Brett Wallace hit two, Jason Kipnis added his 3rd of the weekend)

For all of you who miss the Gorilla Ball era of mid-90s LSU or late-90s USC, here are the teams that you can rekindle your primate/aluminum love. I fully believe these two teams are a little bit thin in the pitching department - though the Devils have to love the emergence of Tommy Rafferty, who picked up both wins at UCLA this weekend. But these two offenses have so much confidence in over-coming any deficit, which each team did this weekend, bashing their way and over-shadowing their pitching could become a reality.

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(We're getting used to seeing Brett Wallace on home run trots)

3- Georgia Tech.
Beat No. 15 Coastal Carolina, 11-4.
With today's win the Jackets get their best non-conference series W in a schedule that isn't so full of those opportunities. Derek Dietrich continues his play for top freshman in the country as he gathered three hits and 5RBI on the day to pace the Tech attack. For the season, Dietrich is hitting .339 this season and just hit his 14th home run in today's win, which is second on the team.

Tech improves to 33-14 and still hold out hope to a home regional, considering it the Jackets entered the weekend with a No. 21 RPI. Of course, when you go just 1-8 vs. the big three of Miami, North Carolina and Florida State a weekend like this will help immensely.


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THREE DOWN---
1- UCLA's late inning lack of luck.
Lost 11-8 to Arizona State by giving up four runs in the 9th inning.
If you take today's loss and add it to Friday's 10-5 loss, where ASU scored five runs in the 9th inning to win, the Bruins came within a few outs of sweeping the Sun Devils. Can you imagine the momentum swing from that? Gah! Instead, UCLA folds the tents in the 9th for the second time this weekend and now drops to 24-20 and 7-8.

2- Oregon State.
Lost 11-4 at Washington State.
Just as I started bragging that the Beavers are back and are one of my darkhorse favorites to make it back to Omaha, they go and lose their fourth straight and their sixth in their last eight games. As good as Tanner Robles looked vs. Arizona last week, he showed his freshman shivers by getting roped today in 1.1 innings of work where he gave up five hits, nine runs, four walks and not a single strikeout. Great gosh aw-mighty!

OSU is now looking at an overall mark of 20-18 and 8-9 in Pac 10 play. Welcome back to the bubble Beaver boys.

3- Purdue.
Lost 5-4 and 18-8 at Indiana.
The Boilers were the last remaining hope for the little nine to unrest Michigan from its impending Big 10 championship and hosting slot for the post-season tournament. But losing twice to the 8th-place Hoosiers is a bad way to go. Especially when PU allowed IU to score three runs in the final inning of game one and 11 runs in the first inning of game two, cementing both losses. The Black and gold now fall two and a half games behind the Wolverines.


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THE OUCH LIST FOR SUNDAY, MAY 4TH---
We'll start with a trio of off-the-beaten-path teams that really stepped in it this weekend.

- Prairie View
Results:
Lost all three games at Southern
Why it hurts:
The defending SWAC champs won't be defending their title now. With the three losses to the Jags, PV now has a --- record against their West division rival. And, this may sound crazy, but the Panthers are also in jeopardy of missing the 6-team SWAC tournament

- Rider
Results:
Lost three straight games at home against Siena.
Why it hurts:
The Broncs now go from a game behind first place Canisius entering the weekend plummeting to 5th place after the three Ls on their home field. And in case you didn't know, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has only four slots for their post-season tournament. So RU now has a LOT of work to do after this meltdown.

- Louisiana Tech.
Results:
Lost three of four to Nevada.
Why it hurts:
With another underachieving weekend in a season full of them, the Techsters fall to 5-21 in the WAC. But the worst part is that the Dogs are now assured of NOT finishing in the top six in the conference standings, which means, even though they host the WAC post-season tournament, they won't be participating in it. Good luck getting more that 200 people in attendance at this event.

- Coastal Carolina.
Results:
Lost two of three at Georgia Tech.
Why it hurts:
To be honest, the Chanticleers were THISCLOSE to going 0-3 on the big stage against an ACC opponent, since the Techsters left two men on base in the 9th inning of Saturday's 10-9 loss. This was a series CCU really could've used if it was hoping to get another home regional.

- Kentucky.
Results:
Lost all three at home to LSU this weekend.
Why it hurts:
Well if that 19-0 start against a weak non-conference schedule caused some raised eyebrows, then this weekend sweep at the hands of the formerly limping Tigers ranks right up there with those Bank of Nigeria Email scams. Not sure if many people are going to believe in this Wildcat teams now. Lots to prove here as they fall into a last place tie in the SEC East.

- Long Beach State
Lost two of three at UC Davis, including today's 3-2 loss.
Why it hurts:
The Dirtbags have now won just five of their last 17 road games. That doesn't bode well for their post-season chances, considering this series loss also puts a major crimp in their regional hosting hopes. The Beach is now 27-17 overall and tied for third in the Big West at 9-6.

The Beach lost both Saturday (5-4) and Sunday (3-2) by giving up big innings and losing late leads in the 7th and 8th innings respectively.

- Northern Iowa.
Results:
Lost all three at Wichita State.
Why it hurts:
Well people, this was their chance. This was where the Panthers needed to plant a flag and say they were for real. After all, two weeks ago the Panthers held down the first place slot in the Missouri Valley standings. But in the past two weekends they've gone 1-5, including the three losses to the Shockers here, 6-1, 5-3 and 6-5. Now they find themselves in fourth place at 11-8 in conference play and 25-18 overall.

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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