August 11, 2008

Sunday Summations: Answers to the 64 Things that would happen in 2008

First, a quick apology and begging of your pardon. I've been a little buried in summer fun and frolic. Also, I've been doing a few football things for CBS, little did I realize they would want some pigskin stuff from me. But I'm not complaining.

So I'm about three weeks too late with this post-season report on the 64 Things That Will Happen In College Baseball in 2008 and how they turned out. I guess this is also a way to keep you interested in some baseball garb in the off-season as well. So maybe I'm doing you a favor, in a weird way. Speaking of favors, special thanks to Brian Foley and his killer site: thecollegebaseballblog.com. He was nice enough to supply my column with a link, since it's nearly impossible to find on its own right now.

So with all that, here's the evaluation to my 64 predictions. I'll give a "right" and "wrong" answer for each, just to let you know how good of a prognosticator I am - or how bad I am. Hope you enjoy. And don't worry, I'll write more as the off-season goes on.

Let's get a quick lesson in reminiscing first. Ahhh 2008, you were a lot of fun. How did you go so fast?

Now, enough of that soppy stuff, here we go Stitch-heads...


PatCaseyArgue.jpg
(A picture is worth a million words. Not a lot of things went right for Pat Casey and the title defenders)

Continue reading "Sunday Summations: Answers to the 64 Things that would happen in 2008" »

July 07, 2008

Sunday Summations- Some Post-Season Extras

FRESNO'S BILLBOARD---
Yep, it's up already. Fresh on the heels of the 'Dogs winning the whole enchilada, here's a look at Fresno State's version of "The Intimidator" they've already erected at Pete Beiden Field on the Bulldog campus:
FresnoBillboard.jpg

It's now officially been 11 days since the 4th-seeded (in regionals) Bulldogs beat the 8th-seeded (nationally) Dawgs to claim the school's second-ever national championship. So really now, has it "sunk in" with you yet? (I always love that phrase.). Since then, Mike Batesole has picked up a couple of national coach of the year honors, Tommy Mendonca has already made some incredible plays at 3rd base for Team USA and most of us stitch-heads have wished it was still college baseball season.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- Some Post-Season Extras" »

June 16, 2008

CWS, Day2: Carolina throws a wet blanket on the upset-fest

North Carolina wasn't going to have any of that lower seeded-upset thing continuing through all four first round games. The Tar Heels didn't even want to hear about LSU's vaunted comeback ability. They just went out there and threw bee-bees at the Tiger bats and finally allowed one team NOT to pull the upset in this College World Series.

Meanwhile, Fresno State keeps on playing like they're from another planet, routing the CWS-experienced Owls in an ugly manner.

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(Kevin Muno slides around the tag of Rice catcher Adam Zornes)

Day two brings more surprises from Omaha.

Continue reading "CWS, Day2: Carolina throws a wet blanket on the upset-fest" »

June 09, 2008

Sunday Summations- Buster Posey, YOUR Player of the Year

(Word of warning: Today's column will most certainly be the one that makes you say I am such an ACC homer it's not even funny. Feel free to do so, I can take it.)

Ladies and gentlemen, it's Buster Posey's world. But he gratefully allows us all to live in it.

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(Buster Posey, the FSU catcher, has done everything but sell personal in-stadium air conditioners at Dick Howser Stadium this year)

The National Player of the Year - in case you didn't know, yes, he IS the best player out there - officially took over the national triple crown lead with today's 7th inning monster slam off the scoreboard in left field. After today's CWS-clinching win, BP's offensive numbers are staggering:

.460 batting average.
92 runs batted in.
26 home runs.

Those are all national bests (or tied-for the national best) as he heads to the Mecca of College Baseball. So we could be looking at a triple crown winner going to play for a national championship next week.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- Buster Posey, YOUR Player of the Year" »

June 02, 2008

Sunday Summations- 42 down. 22 to go.

I'm one of the lucky ones. There aren't many of you out there in Stitch-ball Nation that get to have two different regionals within driving distance of each other.

That's just what I did tonight, catching the San Diego win over Long Beach at Blair Field, then making the 22 minute drive over to Fullerton to see the Titans end Virginia's season with a 4-1 win.

With gas up in the $4.58 range here in SoCal (probably double what you're paying, right?), maybe it wasn't the smartest idea. But I'm a junkie, so I couldn't help myself. Across the L.A. basin I went in the name of stitch-ball's post-season. I'm sure there were plenty of people with similar frames of mind today at other regionals as well. We're all addicts.

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(How important is college baseball? Even Roy Williams stuck out a rain delay to take in the North Carolina game in Cary today)

So after seeing what I saw today, what's my synopsis as these two regionals head to Monday finales? I like the momentum and depth of both San Diego and Cal State Fullerton, who both had to come back from the loser's bracket and now will play one of six regional game sevens.

Here's the slate for Monday:

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- 42 down. 22 to go." »

May 26, 2008

Sunday Summations- The Home Sweet Home Regional Edition

"Just when things went right
doesn't mean they're always wrong
just take this song and you'll never feel left all alone
just one more night and i'm coming off this long and winding road."
- Motley Crue, "Home Sweet Home"

(Sorry, I don't usually quote sappy heavy metal ballads. I'll do better from now on)

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(Surprise! North Carolina State was awarded a home regional and will play in their fairly new revamped confines this weekend in the NCAA tournament)

When the post-season comes around, this is the way teams across the country feel about being rewarded for playing well and having a good season. They love playing at home. And until college baseball becomes like college basketball and can make things more fair by playing neutral site regionals, I guess we're stuck with these lucky SOBs playing at home this coming weekend:

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- The Home Sweet Home Regional Edition" »

May 19, 2008

Sunday Summations- A Day Only Spencer Tracy Could Love

Remember that movie Bad Day at Black Rock?

I saw it personally today. That famous Molotov cocktail has been aimed at a lot of teams this week, but perhaps no team went up in flames more than Oregon State, with their three losses at USC.

And this may be a totally crazy, out-of-left-field question: But could USC actually be within the grasp of an NCAA tournament at-large bid?

I know that's absurd, right? I know. I know.

But after seeing the Trojans complete a highly-unlikely weekend sweep of defending national champion Oregon State, that light at the end of the tunnel is still slightly glistening. In today's clincher, USC's Hector Rabago collected three RBI, including the game-winner with two out in the 9th.

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(Hector Rabago and USC are all smiles after his game-winning hit)

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- A Day Only Spencer Tracy Could Love" »

May 12, 2008

Sunday Summations- A Mother Of A Day in College Baseball

The Big 12 title. The National seeding. The regional hosting. The bickering back and forth about who has the better farmer mascot image. There was a lot on the line this weekend in Lincoln.

In the end, Nebraska and Texas A&M gave college baseball a great series. What, with Friday's 16-inning white-knuckler, a rain day to recoup our senses and then a pair of improbable Husker comebacks today... what a panic this series was.

In the end, Nebraska got the drop, pulling out comeback wins number 18 and 19 on the season to down the Aggies 9-8 and 13-10 at Haymarket Park today.

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(The Cornhusker Nation explodes after Mitch Abeita's winning RBI in game one)

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- A Mother Of A Day in College Baseball" »

May 05, 2008

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.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- A painful month of May begins" »

April 28, 2008

Sunday Summations- TCU makes minced meat of SDSU pitching

TCU wrestles the Mountain West lead with 13-6 Sunday win on Montezuma Mesa.

TCUClintArnold@SDSU.jpg
(Clint Arnold paced the Frogs with four hits and, get this, scored from 2nd base
on a sac bunt. Yes, he scored from 2nd on a sac bunt in the 8th inning)

It's no exaggeration to say that when the Horned Frogs WEREN'T facing the pitching of San Diego State ace Stephen Strausburg, they schooled the Aztecs this weekend.

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April 21, 2008

Sunday Summations- Lots of runs, not enough innings and no handshakes

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.-- It was an ignominious end to great rivalry weekend.

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(Stand-up guy Blake Tekotte, actually waiting for post-game handshakes from Florida State that never came.)

Let's start with this: Time just ran out on Florida State. That's the best way to describe today's 11-10 loss to Miami after just seven innings of play.

Once again, the dumbest facet of college baseball, the curfew rule, cost the Seminoles a chance at getting a win over Miami today. And it also cost the fans a chance to see what would've happened in the last two innings of an intense back-and-forth donnybrook.

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April 14, 2008

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.)

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- The "You Gotta Love Sunday Games" Edition" »

April 07, 2008

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)

Continue reading "Sunday Summations- The Monday Edition" »

March 31, 2008

Sunday Summations - Arizona gets out of the sick bay, picks off UCLA

Historic Sancet Stadium and Kindall Field.

I've been wanting to make it to a game here for a long time. After spending the last three days in Phoenix doing the basketball side of things for the West Regionals, I was able to catch the getaway game between UCLA and Arizona.

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(C.J. Ziegler and Brad Glenn celebrate Glenn's 7th inning home run that clinched the win for Arizona today)

Truthfully, I couldn't wait to get down here to see just what the hell UCLA was doing, playing possum all season long and now, all the sudden, becoming the monstrously good team that everyone expected. The Bruins entered today's game with 'Zona having a chance to sweep the Cats and really plant a flag in the grass that they were back.

Meanwhile the Arizona nine just reeked of desperation, to be honest. They really needed a win today, having dropped eight of their last nine to plummet from the No. 1 spot in one or two of the all-too-numerous rankings out there.

More on that in a bit, let's take care of some Sunday business first...

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March 24, 2008

Sunday Summations - March Madness reaches the diamond too

This March Madness thing is awesome. Each year I get this adrenaline rush just watching it. I just wish it didn't have to go on at the same time as college baseball. But we cant' have everything we want in this world. So we deal.

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(Kansas dancers put a perfect accentuation on March Madness
You know, college baseball could use some dance girls too.)

Let's get quickly to our best and worst of Sunday and then dive into that beloved Ouch List, 'coz frankly, there was a lot of pain doled out today on diamonds across the country.

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March 17, 2008

Sunday Summations - It's Salvation Sunday

It's Sunday. How apropos. What a perfect day for teams to achieve some salvation.

There were a lot of teams out there in the college baseball landscape that really needed an I.V. filled with a freakin' W. It's early in the season and already there are a lot of hurt egos and broken confidences out there.

I got a chance to see Oral Roberts regain some ground today after losing the first two games in Malibu against Pepperdine. The Eagles raced out to a big lead early, then held on to pull out a 13-10 win at Eddy D. Field Stadium. With the win, ORU ended the week going 3-2 including a pair of impressive wins over No. 12 Baylor and today's win over the No. 28-ranked Waves.

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(... buy me some peanuts and SPF, I don't care if I ever get back...)

So yes, you read it here first, ORAL ROBERTS GETS SALVATION! And it's not from some swimming-in-money TV ministry. Here are some more who found their stitched-ball soul today...

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March 10, 2008

Sunday Summations - The Ouch List makes its debut

The good, the bad and the Ouch List, it's all here on a Sunday full of college baseball games across the country.

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(Wake Forest had itself a good weekend, including a series win vs. Clemson)

Onto today's Ups and Downs:

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The Ouch List makes its debut" »

March 03, 2008

Sunday Summations - Best college baseball weekend until the post season?

I think stitch-heads all across the country can agree that Sunday concluded a great weekend of college baseball, with intriguing showdowns all around the country.

In fact, I'm working on a theory here. I'm starting to believe that the NCAA took a look around at all the crappy non-conference matchups that were being played in February of last year (except the Minute Maid Classic) and decided to cut out three weekends of the season because there were so many dead fish games out there.

Now, if there were more interesting weekends like this one we just saw here, maybe the NCAA would consider moving the start date back to late January. But because college baseball schedule makers started putting us to sleep, we fans had to pay the price.

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February 25, 2008

Sunday Summations - The College Baseball Oscars Edition

Welcome to this, the Oscar night for college baseball's grand opening weekend.

(Oh crap, wasn't I supposed to put one of those little copywrited "R"s with a circle around it after writing the word "Oscar"?)

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(The Streaker of '74 behind presenter David Niven)

So before the orchestra starts playing because their acceptance speeches have gone too long, here are the winners of this weekend's gala opening for college baseball.

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October 15, 2007

Sunday Summations - The Coaches Making News Edition

If there's been one over-riding theme to this off-season, it has to be all about the coaches. Including the crazy carousel that has them shuffling around, the programs they're starting, the upgrades to stadiums they're making and the letters to the NCAA that they're writing.

This hasn't been your typical quiet off-season.


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(George Horton, as he appeared during the telecast of the Cal-Oregon football game. More on this below.)

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The Coaches Making News Edition" »

June 11, 2007

Sunday Summations - The Self-Plagiarization Edition

Is it okay to plagiarize myself? Or more specifically, I may be plagiarizing Glenn Tanner instead.

After he saw UC Irvine play in last week's Regional at Round Rock, Tanner said this Anteater team was tough, played flawless defense and showed remarkable poise for a team not used to the post-season pressure, much less playing against Texas.

Well, after watching their win at Wichita State today, guess what my synopsis of Irvine is? They're tough, play flawless defense and show remarkable poise.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The Self-Plagiarization Edition" »

May 28, 2007

Sunday Summations - The What-You-Expect-Me-To-Sleep? Edition

Conference Tournament Sunday. Hmph. This always brings me conflicted feelings over its passing. I mean, I love the intensity of elimination baseball. But I hate that it also eliminates some deserving teams, even to the point of missing the NCAA post-season altogether. Don't get me started on that.

So as I write this, we're about 12 hours away from the announcement show. Why do I feel like a kid trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve when Santa is making his rounds? Maybe I should just make this an all-nighter instead of actually trying to feign like I'm going to get any freakin' sleep. Damn.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The What-You-Expect-Me-To-Sleep? Edition" »

May 21, 2007

Sunday Summations - The Wrap-up from Bigfoot Country

Nine freakin' hits. Nine. Need it in numeral form?... here you go: 9.

The defending national champions are used to getting nine hits in a half-hour afternoon catnap. But instead, that's what Arizona State allowed in three games here in Corvallis this weekend. I was there. I saw it with my own bloodshot eyes. And this isn't the bootleg hooch talkin' either.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The Wrap-up from Bigfoot Country" »

May 14, 2007

Sunday Summations - The Happy Mother's Day Edition

First off, my salutes on this Mother's Day to the greatest Mother of all - Frank Zappa. As the bandleader for the Mother's of Invention in the late 60s and early 70s, this composer was nonpareil in the disciplines of musical talent or as a visionary satirist.

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Zappa. A true renaissance man.

Okay, another great weekend in the books in college baseball. Man, the conference races around the country are freakin' nuts! Plus, I can't believe we're down to the last weekend before the post-season. Gah! Where does the time go?

And everybody raise a frosty stein of brew to Lafayette (32-17), the second team to go in for a tux fitting as they punched their ticket to the Big Dance with a 7-3 win over Army.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The Happy Mother's Day Edition" »

May 07, 2007

Sunday Summations - The New "Rosenblatt" Edition

So Omaha is looking into building a new downtown stadium now, huh? (Roll the eyes, give that dismissive look) Well, here we go again. Over the years, I've heard this bandied about time and again. However... (stop and raise an eyebrow) this time, this magical edifice won't just be a new stadium. Tah-dah! It's going to be a stadium with Metamorpho-like qualities.

This newest iteration will reportedly be an 8-9,000 seat joint when the Royals or Creighton Bluejays play there. But - and here's the rub - now it will also "expand" to 20,000 or so when the big circus called the College World Series comes to town. Hmph.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The New "Rosenblatt" Edition" »

April 30, 2007

Sunday Summations - The Dirty Dancing Ouch List Edition

Okay, so there are good weekends and there are bad weekends.

Since we dole out so many positive props with the Teams of the Week awards each Monday, I decided I'd take another Sunday to talk about some of the teams that had really bad weekends. Just in case you missed them.

So we introduce our Sunday Ouch List today for some of those teams with exceptionally bummed out psyches. You know, the ones that had really rotten weekends. Ummm... lemme see here, how bad of weekends were they? How about this? The only way these teams could have had worse weekends was to have their team buses play the special 20th Anniversary Edition DVD of "Dirty Dancing" on constant loop to and from the games.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The Dirty Dancing Ouch List Edition" »

April 23, 2007

Sunday Summations - The It's-never-too-early-for-a-weekend-preview Edition

Pepperdine at San Diego.

What? You think it's too early to preview a series that doesn't start for another five days?

Sorry stitch-heads. You know there are no rules here. Hell, send in your own preview. I'll post it. (Well... if it's good... okay, and if CSTV lets me.).

It's just that today, I was able to talk to USD head coach Rich Hill (met with him before the Toreros game at LMU) and then made the drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to talk to P'dine's Steve Rodriguez (after catching the last five innings of the win over Santa Clara). They both touched on the upcoming showdown between the WCC favorites that starts on Friday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium on the San Diego campus.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - The It's-never-too-early-for-a-weekend-preview Edition" »

April 16, 2007

Sunday Summations: The Jackie Robinson Edition

April 15th. To me, it's more about Jackie Robinson. Less about the tax man.

Since this is the 60th anniversary of Mr. Robinson's first Major League game and stadiums everywhere are paying homage to it, I felt it only right to go out on this bright sunny SoCal afternoon and see his alma mater play at USC.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations: The Jackie Robinson Edition" »

April 09, 2007

Sunday Summations - Easter prayer for better weather

Easter out here on the left coast was rather boring with all the local teams sitting Easter Sunday out, going with the Thursday-to-Saturday scheduling instead.

Around the country, weather still played too big a role in this Easter weekend, completely wiping out the Minnesota-Michigan series I was so looking forward to, along with taking out a lot of other Midwest and Northeast games. Elsewhere it was still uncomfortably cold in a lot of locales, but at least the action was hot on the diamond.

(Ew! Even I'm embarrassed that I wrote that last line. Please disregard that. I'll think of better lines in the future.)

On to the Sunday action...

Continue reading "Sunday Summations - Easter prayer for better weather" »

March 26, 2007

Sunday Summations, The I Have a Dream edition

I have a dream.

I have a dream of the greatest day in a college sports lovers life. A dream that is not an unattainable dream. A dream that we, as college sports lovers, can all share. And it goes a little something like this...

Continue reading "Sunday Summations, The I Have a Dream edition" »

March 12, 2007

Sunday Summations, Chasing the sun with the Titans

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North Carolina, just moments before they swept up Miami on Sunday


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You ever hear that semi-famous quote from Muhammad Ali, who once stated while flying, "This plane ain't gonna crash, I'm on it."?

Tonight, on my way back from Raleigh, North Carolina, I was on the same non-stop flight as Coach George Horton and the Cal State Fullerton baseball team. No worries, this guy's won a national championship and has the best program in the West. Nothing to fear.

Only, it doesn't seem as if George's boys are too golden right now, coming off a three-game sweep at the hands (and butt-kickin' feet) of East Carolina this weekend.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations, Chasing the sun with the Titans" »

March 05, 2007

Sunday Summations, A one-hitter in Fullerton

CSUFurena.jpg

Cal State Fullerton's Sean Urena tossed a complete-game one-hitter against No. 6 Rice at Goodwin Field today.


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First off, today was possibly the best day of the college baseball season so far. What a wicked collection of close games all up and down the board. There were eight one-run or two-run games in those involving ranked teams alone. As a college baseball fan, you've got to love that. Sorry, I'm grandstanding here.

As an aside to that, what I got to see was one of the best pitching performances of the first month of the season as the Titan freshman shut down the Owls.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations, A one-hitter in Fullerton" »

February 26, 2007

Sunday Summations, the Oscars edition

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
"I'll get you my little pretty, and your little dog too."
"I could've been a contender. I could've had class and been somebody, instead of a bum."
"SAY HELLO TO MY LI'L FRIEND!"
"C'mon blue! How could you miss that call!"

Ahhhh, the most memorable lines that always come up at this time of year.

Welcome to the red carpet. I know college baseball hasn't exactly jumped to the college sports main stage yet, seeing how tonight is Oscars night here in Fakeland and I know we're all about to be diagnosed with March Madness in the next week or two. But this weekend ends the first full month of the baseball season, so put on your tux and tails and let's take a quick whirl around the country.

For starters, the first limo that pulls up is Cal State Northridge.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations, the Oscars edition" »

February 19, 2007

Sunday Summations from my favorite stadium

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Obviously, another beauty of a day at Pepperdine.

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I gotta say, it wasn't the most marquee weekend of the young season. Just not that many blue-ribbon series between ranked teams, except for Arizona-Fullerton and a trio of west vs. central matchups; Stanford-Texas, Pepperdine-Wichita State and Long Beach State-Rice (according to the NCBWA poll). And each of those saw a 2-to-1 result.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations from my favorite stadium" »

February 12, 2007

Sunday Summations, The Houston-to-L.A. edition

Taking the 9:30 flight from Houston to Los Angeles tonight, I happened to be on the same flight as the Cal State Northridge baseball team, who just finished up a weekend at the Citrus Tournament down in Edinburg, Texas.

They didn't look overly joyous, to tell you the truth. Then, I realized they must've lost today. Sure enough, they did, 6-4 heartbreaker to Lamar after giving up three runs in the bottom of the 8th. (CSUN did go 2-1 on the weekend to improve to 6-3).

Read on...

Continue reading "Sunday Summations, The Houston-to-L.A. edition" »

February 05, 2007

Sunday Summations

Not a bad weekend of action. Certainly some big headlines were made by some of the top performing teams. But it will still be all that much more fun when more teams join the fray next weekend.

For now, we'll take a quick spin at some of the top teams who's performances are worthy of mention here.

For the Top 5 teams of the week, read on.

Continue reading "Sunday Summations" »

 


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