Wednesday Stuff - Columbia gets first dibs on the Dance

People, the first tuxedo fitting for the Big Dance is a Columbia blue one.

BabyBlueTux.jpg
(Ahhh, you've gotta love a Columbia blue tuxedo.
Now the CU Lions are ready to dance.)

Well, we've got one down and 63 to go as Columbia takes down Dartmouth for the Ivy League title today to make its reservations for the tournament.

Elsewhere, we've got more breaking hearts and waning chances for national seeds and post-season hosting slots. Here's the rundown of what happened on this Wednesday full of college baseball action.

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COLUMBIA WINS THE ANCIENT EIGHT TITLE, GETS FIRST TUX FITTING FOR THE BIG DANCE---
Columbia - 7
Dartmouth - 5
The once-lowly Lions roar into the NCAA tournament by beating the Big Green today in Hanover.

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WHY I'M GLAD COLUMBIA WON THE IVY LEAGUE TITLE---
- Unlike a lot of seasons, it wasn't a case where a team got hot and won its way to the NCAA bid. CU actually played well all season long, going 17-6 in Ivy League play.
- Always good to see new blood in the post-season. For the first time since, I don't know, maybe the dawn of mankind, it won't be Princeton or Harvard going to the NCAA tournament.
- Coach Brett Boretti is a good guy.

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WHY I'M NOT GLAD COLUMBIA WON THE IVY LEAGUE TITLE---
- I never like to see team's with a losing record get in the NCAA tournament (CU is now 22-25). And yes, it's usually slim pickins to find a team that doesn't have a losing mark in the Ivy, but Dartmouth at least had a winning overall mark (finishing at 25-17).
- Now that Coach Brett Boretti has led his Lions to the NCAA tournament in just his third year, he'll probably bolt for a better gig. Let's see... not from New York? Check. Not a Columbia alum? Check. Not at the University long? Check. Make that check mate.

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THE BATTLE FOR THE NATIONAL SEED GAME---
Oklahoma State - 2
Rice - 4
While Rice now sits at No. 5 in the RPI, this game meant a lot more to Okie State, that's for sure. The Pokes dropped anchor from No. 5 down to No. 14 after going 3-1 vs. Utah Valley State last weekend. So a win here could've healed those wounds a bit, but the Owls were too staunch. Matt Evers, Bobby Bell and Cole St. Clair combined to give up just one hit in the last 3.2 innings of the game.

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DO YOU THINK THIS PROVES THE ACC IS BETTER THAN THE SEC?---
Georgia Tech - 11
Georgia - 1
Ouch! This is win No. 2 for the ACC's 6th-place Jackets over the SEC-leading Bulldogs this season. And both times have been quite the decisive wins too. On April 9th, Tech won 9-4. Tonight, starting pitcher Deck McGuire, one of six frosh starters for the Techsters, went 7.0 innings, giving up just four hits and striking out nine 'Dogs. But it was a couple of upperclassmen that made the difference offensively as senior Brad Feltes went 2-for-5 with 4RBI and junior Luke Murton went 3-for-4 with 2RBI, both of whom homered on the night.

Dave Perno's charges also found out that stellar 2B Michael Demperio, a transfer from Texas, will be lost for the rest of the season to a knee injury. Damn.

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THEN AGAIN, ALL IS NOT ROSEY FOR THE ACC TONIGHT---
North Carolina State - 2
UNC- Wilmington - 3 (11inns)
Great win for the Seahawks as they down the Pack with a Rhett Miller walk and a Jes Snyder RBI double to end the game. And again, I've still got my doubts about NCSU and their here's-why-the-RPI-is-horrible ranking of No. 12.

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THE POST-SEASON HOST-KILLING LOSS---
Arizona State - 6
Wichita State - 1
Not that their hopes were completely pinned on a win over the No. 3-ranked Devils tonight, but this is yet another mid-week loss for the Shockers. In fact, this makes them 2-6 over the last four weeks. With an RPI that has dipped down to No. 27, things didn't look too positive in that department anyway. Mike Leake, a weekend starter on the mound, got his first save of the season tonight (boy, do they need Ike Davis to return to health) and also knocked in a pair of runs on two hits tonight.

ASU, always looking for some more pitching in its thin staff, got 6.2 innings of great 5-hit, one-run work from Matt Newman, who was making his first career start.

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THE UNDER-APPRECIATED THAT I'M KEEPING AN EYE ON---
Texas Tech - 7
Dallas Baptist - 16
It appears as if the Patriots have a legit shot at an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. With an RPI currently at No. 38, you could say that this win over a Big 12 team is actually not much of an RPI helper (Tech is No. 84). Either way, DBU picks up another decent W in a season where they need as many good Ws as possible. C'mon, don't you want an independent not named Miami to make the at-large field for the first time since 1992?

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THEY SAY IF YOU WATCH THIS GAME LONG ENOUGH YOU WILL EVENTUALLY SEE EVERYTHING---
So your team needs you to slam the door and close out the game and you get the call from the bullpen. There you are on national TV jogging in to gain the trust of your coaches that you'll close the door. Little do you know, your own barn door is wide open...

Tulane-XYZ.jpg
(C'mon dude, can't one of your
teammates tell you to XYZ ?)

This unidentified Tulane reliever not only ran out with his fly open, but it stayed that way for all four batters that he faced in his only inning of work. All for everybody on CBS College Sports to see.

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THE UAB BLACK EYE SEEPS OVER TO BASEBALL TOO---
Jacksonville State - 3 17
Ala.-Birmingham - 17 8
What's worse, losing two of three mid-week games to the Gamecocks to drop your record to 20-29, or realizing that your athletics program just saw its football team lose nine scholarships and its basketball team lose two scholarships to the NCAA's APR police? That's the indignity that UAB suffered as both totals were the most scholarships lost in each sport in the country.

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More tomorrow boys and girls.

G'night.

Comments

I would love to hear your opinion of how you rank Alaska, the North Woods and Cape Cod leagues, in terms of competition, reputation, fan support and facilities. The Cape is the most prestigious but horrible night lighting, high school fields and great pitching make it a lot of hitters' nightmare. Thoughts?
Also I am surprised to hear you praise Columbia's Coach Boretti, as I know two very good players who left that program because he was a small minded dink who cared more about his press than the kids.

Hmmm. Mac, you bring up some very interesting points.

First off, as for the summer leagues, yes the facilities are always questionable. Well, except in the Northwoods League where I've seen some bitchin' stadiums. And it's hard to beat their huge crowds. Then again, I was at a Cape game last year in Orleans that had an estimated 10,000 fans there. It was awesome. And of course, the Cape still gets the best players of the three. But the others aren't too far behind. And wouldn't you just LOVE the chance to spend a summer in Alaska. That'd rule.

As for Coach Boretti. There are always SO many sides to a situation like that, it's not even funny. Maybe a coach is great with members of the press, but are pricks to their players. Sure, I see that a lot. Then again look at the other side. A lot of snot-nosed 18-20 year olds have attitude problems (and I'm not saying that your two players you referred to were), so it's hard to fault a coach for the way he deals with these kind of players. It's also not so shocking to come across a coach that is, frankly, a real jerk in general.

All I know is that if Coach Boretti coached his team to the NCAA tournament without two of his better players that left the program, that's even more impressive of a feat.

Thanks for the interesting comments.

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