June 08, 2008

Saturday Statements - The Agony of Defeat strikes Fullerton

There will be only one thing missing from this year's big party in Omaha. The lights of the Fullerton house across the street from Rosenblatt.

It's ironic that on the day that the venerable Jim McCay passes on to that great announcer's booth in the sky, Cal State Fullerton is the only Super Regional team to experience the ultimate Agony Of Defeat: being the only team to go 0-and-2 in the Supers.

Now Titan fans know how Yugoslavian ski jumper Vinko Bogataj felt on that fateful aborted jump that graced the Wide World of Sports opening all those years.

AgonyOfDefeat.jpg
("Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport. The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. The human drama of athletic competition. This is ABC's Wide World of Sports.")

The Titans dropped their second straight loss to Pac 10 power Stanford at Goodwin Field tonight, 8-5, to end their season at 41-22.

Elsewhere, the survivor rate was impressive. All three ACC teams that lost yesterday, came roaring back today with brutal offenses as Miami, Florida State and North Carolina State all rebounded with big wins, pushing their weekends to a third day.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The Agony of Defeat strikes Fullerton" »

June 01, 2008

Saturday Statements - Took some Pepto, not quite as upsetting of a day

Since day one of May-to-June Madness was all about the Earth-tilting upsets, I thought maybe we'd start our summation of today's action in the NCAA tournament by pointing out some of the surprising results from day two. But in the end, today started to bring a sense of normalcy to the tournament.

RichHill-TomLaSorda.jpg
(Tommy LaSorda tells USD coach Rich Hill, "You know Rich, I've never told anyone this before, but I've always liked college baseball way more than pro baseball. Crazy huh?")

But there was still some stunning news, both on and off the field in college baseball today. Here's the best of the best...

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Took some Pepto, not quite as upsetting of a day" »

May 25, 2008

Saturday Statements - It was dogpile Saturday

Lots of celebrating out there in stitched-ball land. Of course, that also means lots of hearbreak too. But we're going to accentuate the positive here instead.

Texas Southern got the dogpile groove started earlier this week with it's improbable run through the SWAC tournament. This means the Tigers will be taking their dog and pony show to the Big Dance stage this coming week. More power to 'em.

NCAA-TxSouthern.jpg

Coach Candy Robinson said he realized his team was a "pretty good ball club" after they gave Texas a good run of it back during a 7-4 loss in early April. It was still a rough ride for TSU most of the season, as the 16-32 record indicates. But now, the maroons have a six-game win streak going and visions of another first round upset, like the one they pulled vs. No. 6 Rice back in 2004. I can't wait to find out what happens.

Now to the rest of the Saturday happenings.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - It was dogpile Saturday" »

May 18, 2008

Saturday Statements - It's a Crowded House for those trying to make the post-season

The mad crush for conference tourney positioning is not for the meek of heart. A lot of teams are making their last mad dashes toward that with today's pivotal games.

But before we get to that post-season stuff, let's address the biggest storyline in college baseball today: Mr. Ron Polk

RonPolkLastGm.jpg
(Ron Polk's last game didn't turn out as he hoped, but he's still a hero in my book)

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - It's a Crowded House for those trying to make the post-season" »

May 11, 2008

Saturday Statements - A Saturday of Miracles

"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"

1980UShockey.jpg

Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly Lake Placid and the Ruskies in 1980 (my sincere apologies to Al Michaels here). But it was certainly another upset Saturday in college baseball. Make no mistake, the pressure is getting to teams all around the country. You'll see what I mean as you read on.

So here with the good and bad of today's action is our usual Three Up-Three Down list.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - A Saturday of Miracles" »

May 04, 2008

Saturday Statements - When TV calls, you answer

In my attempt to look at college baseball teams from all four corners of the country (I'm still working on getting up to Maine), I turned my attention to the team that is housed in the farthest Northwest corner in Division I: The Washington Huskies.

UW-AaronRussellHurt2.jpg
(UW 1Bman Aaron Russell had a bloody scary moment after taking a pitch to the dome)

Actually, the boys over at CBS College Sports Tonight, the nightly two-hour wrap-up of college athletics, contacted me on Friday about doing some more quick-hit snippets for features to run on the show in the next few days. So since the Going Yard guys, Brody and Jason, were out at today's USC-Washington game at Dedeaux Field and have some video equipment to shoot with, I was sent there to make a trio of videos for the show after today's game was over.

Here are the three subject matters they wanted me to touch on:
1- My prediction on the national seeds for the upcoming NCAA tournament.
2- My surprise teams in college baseball.
3- The most important upcoming games in the last few weeks of the season.

Not to ruin the features when they air or anything, but here were my answers:

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - When TV calls, you answer" »

April 27, 2008

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.

BamaMatthesCatch.jpg
(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'.)

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

April 20, 2008

Saturday Statements - FSU punches back, gets Miami to tap out

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Round two of this heavyweight fight goes to Florida State, 9-5.

DickHowserStadium2.jpg
(A stadium record 6,789 fans packed Howser Stadium tonight)

You've gotta give it up to the Seminoles tonight. Coming off the heels of last night's train-wreck 11-4 loss to Miami and then falling behind 4-zip tonight, you could just feel the crowd collectively gasping "Oh boy. Here we go again!"

But the Seminoles got four two-out runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning and then three more runs in the bottom of the 6th to surge back. And then the bullpen boys put on a clinic, limiting the lethal Hurricane bats to one single hit in the final five innings to salt the game away.


Miami- 301 100 000 - 5 9 1
FSU - 004 003 02x - 9 14 1

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - FSU punches back, gets Miami to tap out" »

April 13, 2008

Saturday Statements - Long Beach runs down UC Irvine and other tall tales

EspinosaRundown.jpg
(Danny Espinosa and the Long Beach State Dirtbags kept No. 7 UC Irvine on the run today)

The Dirtbags aren't dead yet. In fact, they looked a lot like the Dirtbags of old today. Scrapping, scratching, huffing and hustling their way to a workman-like come-from-behind 5-1 win over No. 7 UC Irvine here at Blair Field today. The win evens the weekend series between to SoCal rivals, improving the 16th-ranked Beach to 19-13 and 2-3. UCI drops to 22-6 and 4-4.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Long Beach runs down UC Irvine and other tall tales" »

March 30, 2008

Saturday Statements - Top 10 carnage

At the conclusion of net-cutting ceremony for UCLA's cagers at the West Regional final between the Bruins and Xavier, I made my way out to Packard Stadium lucky enough to see the final two innings of another Arizona State bloodletting. Sheesh! What's new?

ASUscoreboard.jpg
(This pretty much tells you what I walked into at Packard Stadium tonight)

Man, this is one ugly weekend for USC and Chad Krueter's rebuilding project in Troy. But the good news is that this is the only time all season that the Trojans will have to face off with the Sun Devils.

Speaking of ugly, check out what happened in the Top 10 today. We'll address them in the Three Down. First this...

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Top 10 carnage" »

March 23, 2008

Saturday Statements - Not Enough Time

Sorry, I've been immersed in the action on the hardwood for three days now. I don't really have time to do a whole write up of college baseball for today. Just know that I can't wait to get back home and crank up the Three Up-Three Down feature and the Ouch List for Sunday. (I have a sneaking suspicion that Kentucky will be involved).

Anyway, for the time being, I took this picture of a yard sign along 13th Street across from Rosenblatt Stadium earlier today, on my way to the Qwest Center:

SaveRosenblatt.jpg


More tomorrow.

G'night.

March 16, 2008

Saturday Statements - Going Yard... part 14

Imagine you're Columbia. You are a decent Ivy League team, probably going to contend for the Gehrig Division title. You just got your first win of the season over a superior Georgia Southern team, 8-5, at their place and everything. You have to expect some measure of revenge from the Eagles, right? But do you really expect a 26-8 bloodletting? How about 54% of that production coming from bee-bees hit beyond the outfield wall?

Well don't worry, you're an Ivy League school. You can always pull out the old, "We're smarter than you" credo. But GSU did much more than retort to that.

Lemme explain further...

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Going Yard... part 14" »

March 09, 2008

Saturday Statements - Yes!! (part deaux)

Upset weekend continues. And it just gets better for those hoping to have something interesting to write about.

USDMeadorCongrats.jpg
(Pinch hitter James Meador was the unlikely hero in San Diego
taking down No. 19 Oregon State today.)


Check out the latest carnage in the Top 30 rankings:

TCU 5 - No. 2 Mississippi 4
Duke 13 - No. 3 North Carolina 4
Stanford 6 - No. 7 Texas 5
North Carolina State 2 - No. 12 Virginia 0
Wake Forest 13 - No. 14 Clemson 10
No. 21 San Diego 10 - No. 19 Oregon State 5
Georgia Southern 12 - No. 23 Michigan 3
East Carolina 6 - No. 23 Michigan 5

Here's more of the good and bad from Saturday's diamond work across the country:

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Yes!! (part deaux)" »

March 02, 2008

Saturday Statements - The Urban Invitational Trumps All

UCLA, USC Win But C'mon, They Still Fall Short Of The Southern Band

SUbandleader.jpg
(The Southern U. band won tonight, heads down)

One of the best things about being in Southern California as a college baseball fan is being able to see a wide variety of teams from around the country that come out here to play non-conference games in the early part of the season. But I've never seen anything as fun as what I saw today at the Urban Invitational in Compton.

What a great, great atmosphere it was tonight. It was possibly the coolest college baseball event I've ever attended... well, this side of Rosenblatt of course.

More about that in a bit, let's quickly do the Three Up and Three Down for this Saturday in college baseball first.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The Urban Invitational Trumps All" »

February 24, 2008

Saturday Statements - The Devils send Vandy to Hell

Okay, if Arizona State isn't No. 1 in at least five of the eight or nine rankings that will be released on Monday, then they're just not giving the Devil his due.


KaiASU.jpg
(Kai Murphy, the coach's son and ASU batboy, gives Coby Cress some pointers on his batting stance)

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The Devils send Vandy to Hell" »

February 10, 2008

Saturday Statements - The What, you didn't go to a college baseball game today? version

This new common start date is absolutely the best thing for college baseball. Especially when I decided to drive down to San Diego to see an NAIA game between No. 2 ranked Azusa Pacific and Point Loma Nazarene. I mean those poor boys had to play a double-header under Mother Nature's fury of bright sunshine and biting cold 74-degree temperatures.

HomePlateViewPLN.jpg
(Point Loma Nazarene's Carroll B. Land Stadium. Yes, that's the Pacific Ocean beyond the fence.)

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The What, you didn't go to a college baseball game today? version" »

June 10, 2007

Saturday Statements - The Need More Cowbell Edition

Do you hear cowbells? I swear I hear cowbells.

Or, like Christopher Walken might say, we need more cowbell.

MoreCowbell.jpg
(MSU fans + cowbells = Omaha)


That's because the Bulldogs of Mississippi State will bring their cowbell-wielding fans to an invasion of Omaha for the first time since 1998, after the Dogs disposed of Clemson 8-5 today in front of a record crowd of 13,317 at Dudy-Noble Field. They'll be joined by the Rice Owls, after they dropped Texas A&M for the second straight day. So far, that is the only two teams that have completed their Super Regional series.

But what is the main reason as why State is going back to the World Series again? I point to head coach Ron Polk.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The Need More Cowbell Edition" »

May 27, 2007

Saturday Statements - The Muse of Augie Edition

Augie Garrido is not Texan.

He doesn't sound Texan. He doesn't talk Texan. He doesn't look Texan.

I don't think I'm making fodder for the nightly news with that statement either. No matter what his paycheck says at the top, this guy is pure Californian. And if not, then he's the brother from the planet Lovetron along with Darryl Dawkins or something like that.


Augie.jpg

He was at his Zen best today following the Longhorns' 5-4 win over Nebraska in game No. 10 at the Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Check out these gems from the post-game presser today:

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The Muse of Augie Edition" »

May 20, 2007

Saturday Statements - Pat Murphy, NCAA tournament selection committee member (not a typo)

When I interviewed Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy in April of '06, he told me that this year he was going to be a member of the NCAA's tournament selection committee for the first time.

But he also told me of his re-occuring dream where he's in the room with all the other guys and he's talking up a blue streak... but nobody is listening.


PatMurphy.jpg
The former pugilist is now putting on the gloves for West coast love.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Pat Murphy, NCAA tournament selection committee member (not a typo)" »

May 13, 2007

Saturday Statements - In the shadow of the world's biggest mall

Okay, it's really late already (damn central time where "late night" comes so early). I probably won't write a lot tonight because I spent a good portion of the evening swilling beers and trading war stories with an old bud of mine. So now it's past midnight already and I've gotta hit the hay soon.

And despite the lack of drama here in Minneapolis - and I mean a reeeeeaaaaal lack of drama (Ohio State scorched the Gophers for a pair of runaway drillings at Siebert Field) - it was still a very intriguing day across the college baseball landscape.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - In the shadow of the world's biggest mall" »

May 06, 2007

Saturday Statements - This Beach Ain't Crashing

If there's something called a "second wind" during the season, I've got to believe that Long Beach State has caught it.

A 16-12 start has given way to a 13-2 sprint to the top of the Big West standings, at 9-2, and an overall record only a home regional could love. Sure, 29-14 doesn't sparkle like a Hollywood starlet, but as is the case just about every season, the Dirtbags have a root canal-of-a-schedule (No. 2 nationally) and a usually black-and-blue won-loss mark.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - This Beach Ain't Crashing" »

April 29, 2007

Saturday Statements - Got my CWS tickets and also found out UCR is for real

Okay, I am officially fine with Nebraska making the College World Series now. Ordered my Series tickets off of Ticketmaster.com this morning, so I don't care who makes the field of eight now. It's just that last year I got some grief from Husker fans for my comments about the College World Series tickets being easier to get after they got eliminated. (I'm a Nebraska native, so I'm never against NU making it.)

Me and the entourage of college baseball freaks that I go to Omaha with each June were able to get on six different computers across the country and nail down some reserved seats tickets for all of the first nine sessions of the June Classic. Most years those tickets are snapped up so fast we can barely get three or four sessions of games.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Got my CWS tickets and also found out UCR is for real" »

April 22, 2007

Saturday Statements - The "I Saw Kelly Leak Today" Edition

I spent most of the day immersed in college baseball la-la land at home, zombie-like, in front of the tube and pounding away at scores on my computer... okay, that and playing chase-the-tennis-ball-and-bite-the-hell-out-of-my-hand with my dog too.

So I finally got weary of that and finally realized it was time to take my shiftless butt out the front door and go up to Loyola Marymount and see how San Diego was faring with the Lions in game two of their DH.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The "I Saw Kelly Leak Today" Edition" »

April 15, 2007

Saturday Statements - Setting an NCAA record in Irvine

About a half-hour after all the fans had filed out of Anteater Ballpark tonight, Barry Faulkner of the Irvine Daily Pilot turned to me and said, "It's not often you get to see an NCAA record set." Sweet. I gotta agree. This was cool.

What I'm talking about is, tonight, I made the trek down the coastline to see UC Irvine beat Cal Poly 3-2 in game two of their three-game series. But the real news of the day was Anteater reliever Blair Erickson, who shut down the Mustangs 1-2-3 in the 9th inning to earn the 50th save of his career, setting a new NCAA record.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Setting an NCAA record in Irvine" »

April 08, 2007

Saturday Statements - The hot-and-cold edition

Say it with me, when you're hot, you're hot. When you're not, you're not. That's what I found in college baseball today. But first, this...

Quick opening note:
A team that was on the bubble at best, but got an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, ended up winning the hockey national championship on a goal with 18 seconds left in the game on Saturday night. It was a scintillating performance by Michigan State, who beat Boston College for the title 3-1 (the last goal coming on an empty-netter with two seconds left) in a high-drama hockey final in St. Louis today.

Man! Would I love to see a No. 3 seed win the national title in baseball in similar white-knuckle fashion this June.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - The hot-and-cold edition" »

April 01, 2007

Saturday Statements - While I'm s'posed to be working on basketball stuff

Shhhhhhh!

I'm here in Atlanta and the Final Four has now become the Final Two. But don't tell anybody I'm doing this baseball entry. I'm still on the basketball payroll this weekend. But you stitch-heads know me by now... I can't tear myself away from the horsehide completey. So I'll make this fast and make this a short entry.

I was able to go to a couple of innings of today's 16-6 washout of Maryland by Georgia Tech. I didn't stay long, mainly because it wasn't much of a game and I had to get down to the Georgia Dome for the basketball finals today. Plus, the encroaching heat had me starting to sweat after about 30 minutes or so.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - While I'm s'posed to be working on basketball stuff" »

March 18, 2007

Saturday Statements - Talking to a program builder

Other than St. Peter's making the quantum leap of improvement from last year (already 8-10 after going 10-43 last season), the second biggest off-the-radar story of the season is probably the vast improvement of Stephen F. Austin of the Southland Conference.

In just its second year back from an 11-year hiatus, coach Donnie Watson has turned a 15-41 team from 2006, into a competitve, .500-playing outfit already this season.

On my day off from covering the NCAA basketball tournament games in New Orleans, I managed to make it out to Alumni Field on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. There, the Lumberjacks were playing game two of their SLC weekend series against the host Lions, trying to add to their respectable start to this season.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements - Talking to a program builder" »

March 11, 2007

Saturday Statements, From Wake to the Cat's Cradle

HooksStadium.jpg


Virginia dominates and I win a trivia contest at Hooks Stadium today.

I've been to millions of college baseball games. But I'd never won a giveaway, a drawing or hell, even a game of bingo. That is, until today. At Hooks Stadium in Winston-Salem, my name was called out in the 6th inning as the winner of the Wake Forest trivia contest. I correctly guessed (yes guessed) that Tommy Gregg was the all-time hitting leader in Decon history. So after years of getting the Charlie Brown rock, I won a very nice Wake Forest T-shirt.

Gotta tell you though, UVa won everything else today.

The Cavaliers got a little angry from the 8-3 logging they took from Wake Forest on Friday and way-laid the Deacons by a 13-5 score at Hooks Stadium.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements, From Wake to the Cat's Cradle" »

March 04, 2007

Saturday Statements, March 3

If you were looking for good games, today wasn't really your day. Sure there was a close game or two here and there on the schedule, but the marquee matchups just didn't measure up. Most of those games were stinkers on the intrigue scale because of blowout results.

I happened to be at one of them tonight. Unfortunately.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements, March 3" »

February 25, 2007

Saturday Statements, February 24

Ever heard the expression "the best thing about freshmen is they become sophomores"? Well excuse USC coach Chad Krueter if he wants his youngin's to stay youngin's for a while.

Today, his Trojan newbies Grant Green, Brad Boxberger and Robert Stock all played key roles in their 4-3 win over Tulane at Dedeaux Field, the second win in as many days for the Men, er... boys of Troy.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements, February 24" »

February 18, 2007

Saturday Statements, From Arizona to Fullerton

Woke up in Surprise, Arizona. Went on another early morning desert hike. Then, after getting back in the truck, I looked at my dog's face and realized she really wanted to get home. So I drove back to Los Angeles today. But all was not lost, because I made my way out to Fullerton for game two of the Cal State Fullerton-Arizona game tonight.

Before I get to that game and the rest of the college baseball world, a few quick notes about the road I travelled the last few days.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements, From Arizona to Fullerton" »

February 11, 2007

Saturday Statements, Feb. 10

Let's start our Saturday wrap-up by paying homage to one of the great people behind the scenes in college baseball that just doesn't get the due SHE deserves.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements, Feb. 10" »

February 04, 2007

Saturday Statements, Feb. 3

While still glowing over the fact that after 10 years of reading his off-beat, on-target stuff, I've finally made Dr. Dan's Diamond Notes. It's a whimsical and informative addition to every Long Beach State game program. Thanks again Dr. Dan. Now I can die.

For a look around the country on Saturday, read on.

Continue reading "Saturday Statements, Feb. 3" »

 


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