May 24, 2007

Big 12: Get your glove down... get your glove down!

You've seen it a million times. A play so easy, even Gilligan could make it without foiling another rescue attempt.

A routine double-play grounder to Nebraska second baseman Jake Opitz that would've ended the inning goes right between the wickets and allows a run to score and everyone to be safe.

Next batter, Eddie Vasquez, lays down a great sac bunt that scores a second run for the Wildcats.

So after two full here, K-State has gotten the drop with a 2-zip lead on Nebraska. Ouch.

Big 12: Speaking of Joe Perry and the C-USA ground crew...

Joe Perry is a brilliant guitarist for Aerosmith. Easily worthy of Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame placement. Well... not that the Hall of Fame should ever be the be-all and end-all of respectability. Hell no.

Joe's best work was probably early on in the career of the Boston band. I'd venture to say songs like "Train Kept A Rollin'" and "Back in the Saddle Again" were the type of guitar blitzkrieg that has inspired generations of axe-grinders. His later work can't be taken for granted either.

But his biggest mistake was that damn collaboration with Run DMC. I mean, that spawed that whole horrible rock-rap genre and further exaserbated the over-use and total reliance of some "artists" to go over-the-top with the sampling thing. (Are you listening Tone Loc?... hell, EVERY rapper for that matter)

Good work Joe Perry.

Big 12: Just to show you how worthless post-game interviews are sometimes

Concerning Craig Stinson's game-swinging home run that put Texas A&M up for good.

Here's what Texas pitcher James Russell said about the pitch:
"It was a change up. I just left it up in the zone a little and you can't do that against a good hitter. He'll make you pay."

Here's what A&M's Stinson said about the grand slam pitch:
"Um, it was a change up that was low in the zone. And I was lucky enough to go down and get a hold of it."

Today's second game between Nebraska and Kansas State is about to start now.

On the mound:
NU: Charlie Shirek (2-6, 6.80, .321 opponents average)
KSU: Brad Hutt (8-4, 3.34, .267 opponents average)

Big 12: Aggies make quick work of Horns.

Kyle Nicholson gets Kyle Russell to strike out looking... making Russell bark at home plate ump Jeff Heinrichs for a number of paces. But that also ends today's first game.

Texas A&M wins 7-3, making both teams 1-1 in this tournament so far. This also means Nebraska is in pretty good shape to make it to the title game on Sunday, if they dispose of K-State tonight.

Texas - 3 7 1
TxA&M- 7 8 0

Now down to the interview room to see if I get as lucky as Jean Neuberger with a coach freakin' out on his players or on the media or an innocent table or chair. Channeling Bobby Knight please.

Big 12: Shoot! I missed a few half-innings

Texas is now up 2-1 as we go to the bottom of the 3rd inning.

I was talking on an Omaha radio show for the past 15 minutes or so. Sorry, gotta give my hometown the love people. Me and the talk-show host, Matt Perrault, were going back-and-forth about the need for a new baseball stadium to replace Rosenblatt. YOU got an opinion on it? Drop a line here.

It's still dark and overcast here in OKC. I took off my boxing gloves and am back to watching the game now.

Big 12: Thursday's first game

Things are about to start here at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Today's first game will see the two biggest rivals go at each other, Texas A&M vs. Texas.

Okay, who here would rather see this game played at Olsen Field and all the Aggie students going nuts? Hmmm. That's a lot of raised hands.

The weather has obviously kept the crowd to a minimum.

On the bump:
Texas- James Russell (8-3, 3.66, .252 opponents average)
A&M- Kirkland Rivers (1-3, 5.87, .299 opponents average)

I find it strange that the Aggies have yet to start either of their studs, David Nicholson or David Newmann. Guess they're going to bite the bullet here and hope for the best. But since this isn't a 2-loss elimination tournament, you'd figure they'd try to get their best pitcher against the best hitting team.

Adrian Alaniz is also being saved by Augie Garrido for a Saturday or Sunday appearance.

(the baseball gods have answered me) It's overcast and cool here today. In fact, on the drive up from Dallas this morning it rained like buckets on my freakin' head the whole way. The rain eventually stopped and now it's just cool. But I'll be damned if I didn't bring but one (1) long sleeve shirt. I do have a rain pullover though.

The p.a. is now playing Pheonix, Arizona's very own Gin Blossoms "Found Out About You". Good song.

May 23, 2007

Big 12: Here we go...

In the smartest move short of eliminating the post-season tournament altogether, the Big 12 went to four-team pool play last year. That allows teams to play three games each and then only the two top teams from each pool play each other for the Big 12 Championship.

No team plays less than three. No team plays more than four. Also throw in the luxury of knowing that each team gets one day off during the tournament, so that also helps in making sure no team wears its pitching staff to ribbons mere days before the start of the NCAA tournament - the tournament that really matters.

Continue reading "Big 12: Here we go..." »

May 22, 2007

Big East: Their Own Worst Enemy

The Johnnies threatened in the bottom of the third, but came away empty-handed thanks to some bad, bad base-running.

Continue reading "Big East: Their Own Worst Enemy" »

Big East: Conn Man

The Huskies have tied the game in the top of the first, although I think they may have defied the laws of physics to do it.

Continue reading "Big East: Conn Man" »

Big South Game B ... Radford vs. High Point

Bill Manion's again come up big.

He just lasered a three-run homer over the left-field wall, missing the foul pole by maybe an inch, to give High Point a 4-0 lead. Not that it wasn't expected ... Radford was 10-35 coming in ... but Manion hadn't gone yard all year.

It's looking bleak for the Highlanders.

Big East: Well Red

At the end of one, it's St. John's 1, UConn 0, as Gil Zayas doubled home Chris Joachim after Joachim singled and stole second.

Still, I can't help but say I'm a bit disappointed by the Johnnies.

Continue reading "Big East: Well Red" »

Big South Game B ... Radford vs. High Point

High Point catcher Jeff Cowan is in his second career game behind the plate ... Normal starter Billy Alvino woke up with a stomach virus today.

High Point takes a quick 1-0 lead in the first after doubles from Robby Kuzdale and Bill Manion. Kuzdale missed a solo homer by a half-inch, bouncing just under the wall's top and back onto the field.

I don't know if purple is really a great color for baseball unis. High Point's campus does a good job of using the purple in its buildings and banners and such, but there's a reason the Diamondbacks dropped purple from their unis.

Big East: Johnnies and Connies

OK folks, here we go with our last game of the day. It's No. 1 seed St. John's and No. 8 seed UConn. The winner gets USF tomorrow for a ticket to the group finals, while the loser gets an elimination game against Pitt.

The teams are ready, the infield is being watered's just about that time, folks.

Big South Game B ... Radford vs. High Point

Another handful of spectators ... I guess it's to be expected for two teams who traveled at least three hours to get here. Big South strikeout king Eammon Portice is on the hill for High Point ... when this guy's on, he's pretty nasty. Only 6-2, but could get a few looks from the majors after the season's over.

Right on target ... first pitch at 8:04. Scheduled start: 8 p.m.

MWC: Horned Frogs Favored in Vegas

There's a lot at stake when the Mountain West baseball tournament gets started on Wednesday with CSTV projecting TCU as the only MWC team to make postseason NCAA play. So if anybody else wants to keep playing, they've got to win this week in Las Vegas.

The Horned Frogs earned the top seed in Las Vegas and the No. 18 ranking in the country courtesy of their team record 43 wins. They finished at 20-3 in conference play, 3.5 games ahead of second place BYU and at least 8.5 games ahead of the rest of the conference. They're a well-balanced team with all but one of their regular starters hitting better than .300 (Bryan Kervin hits .298) and their three starting pitchers all maintaining an ERA of 3.80 or better. Keith Conlon always gives them a chance with a .386 batting average while cleanup hitter Austin Adams takes advantage of his opportunities with 12 home runs and 60 RBI on the season.

Not only is it tough to find a weak spot on the Horned Frogs, but they’re hot as well. They've won 10 of their last 12 entering tournament play and look like a very tough out this week. TCU gets a bye in the first round and takes on the lowest remaining seed on Thursday.

Continue reading "MWC: Horned Frogs Favored in Vegas" »

Big South Game B ... Radford vs. High Point

I've been at The Winthrop Ballpark for almost every home game the Eagles had this year and never once did it start at the scheduled time. It looks as if tonight's game against Radford and High Point (Game B in the Big South tournament) won't be starting at 8 p.m. either. At least the tinker toy behind center field (the in-construction sun screen) looks interesting.

Radford is also wearing some throwback unis ... plain gray with red stripes, no names, one script "R" on the right side and high socks. A good look.

Big East: Bulls Charge On

USF advances, having advanced Angelberger on a groundout to the pitcher, and then bringing him home on a throwing error by Pitt second baseman Brian Muldowney. The Panthers went down in order in the ninth, and now, they'll play early tomorrow against the loser of our final game of the day, which pits UConn against top seed St. John's.

That game starts at 8 p.m., and I'll be right back here with you for all the action between the Red Storm and the Huskies.

Big East: Here We Go Again

We're in the top of the ninth, and we're headed for anotther tight finish, our second of the day after this morning's beauty of a game between Louisville and Villanova. It's 1-1 through eight, which means we're in store for some ninth-inning heroics, or some more innings.

The Bulls have a runner on second with one out in Joey Angelberger, and the Panthers are making a pitching change, bringing in Kyle Landis to relieve Paul Nardozzi after an admirable performance by the senior.

Big East: Even Again

The Panthers and Bulls are tied once again, as Peter Parise doubled home Brian Muldowney in the bottom of the sixth. Another good inning for Nardozzi, and we're tied 1-1 at the stretch. Sing it, Harry!

Big East: In and Out of Trouble

The Panthers haven't exactly made it easy on themselves today, with four errors thus far, the most recent of which left Pitt to deal with a runner on third and one out. However, Paul Nardozzi got his team out of trouble when Nick Cardieri's bunt turned into a a low pop. The senior from Victor, N.Y. - which is a suburb of Rochester, by the way, and not anywhere near here - dove to catch the ball, came out of his roll, and threw to third to double up the runner, who had figured himself home free.

Still 1-0 USF in the bottom of the sixth.

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