February 26, 2008

Big Blue Tie

There's no doubting that Michigan was ready for its exhibition game against the New York Mets on Tuesday afternoon. After all, they had just beaten up on Villanova in a three-game series at the Mets' Spring Training site over the weekend to the tune of 47-19. The Wolverines were able to hang on for a 4-4 tie with the Mets, something that I'm sure they'll all remember for a long time.

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February 24, 2008

Arizona State Beats Beavers 11-0

This isn't the game we were hoping for, but at the same time, Arizona State has showed this weekend that they are the No. 1 team in the country. The Sun Devils move to 3-0 with today's 11-0 win over the two-time defending national champs, as the Beavers head back to Corvallis at 1-2.

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57 for 75

Seth Blair started the game, he's No. 75 for Arizona State, and he's out of the game after not allowing a run in four innings while giving up three hits. Sometimes in these blowout games, they'll give him the win, we'll see.

Into the game is No. 57 Jason Franzbleau, a highly touted transfer from Winthrop. In two years with the Eagles, Franzbleau made 22 starts winning 12 games with an ERA of 3.20 ERA.

Blair finished striking out 2 strikeouts while walking none. He fared much better than his fellow freshman starter for Oregon State today, Greg Peavey who lasted just a third of an inning giving up 7 runs (4 ER).

We're in the top of the 5th inning, 11-0 ASU.

10 Spot

Things are getting out of hand here in Tempe, as Arizona State has scored 3 more runs here in the bottom of the third to go up 10-0. Freshman reliever Josh Osich is out, and is replaced by righty Josh Keller. Ike Davis knocked in a run in the inning, and Kiel Roling hit a 2-run double as well to increase the lead.

Keller actually had a part in that opening day no-hitter last year at Hawai'i-Hilo. That was a much better day than this one for OSU.

ASU Pouring It On

Things have only gone from worse to much worse for freshman Oregon State starter Greg Peavey. After giving up that leadoff home run, ASU has scored 6 more runs to take a 7-0 lead. Peavey lasted only a third of an inning in his college debut. Two errors certainly didn't help, as we'll have his final totals in a bit, but the biggest blow was a bases loaded double by SS Marcel Champagnie which made it 5-0 at the time.

Replacing Peavey is fellow freshman Josh Osich, a 6-foot-3 native of Boise, Idaho as the Beavers try to get out of the first inning trailing by no more than 7.

Wallace Rakes Again

Following yesterday's two home run, 7 RBI day, Brett Wallace just led off the bottom half of the first with a solo shot over the left centerfield fence. It was a laser beam that just cleared the fence. And it was great to see him go opposite field right into the wind. Yeah, he's good.

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Oregon State Takes On Arizona State

They meet every year in the Pac-10, and for the 2nd straight year, Pat Casey's Oregon State Beavers will take on Pat Murphy's Arizona State Sun Devils in a non-conference game early in the season. This is the final game of the 2008 DeMarini Invitational, as ASU looks to win the tournament that they have hosted hoping to go a perfect 3-0. The Beavers bounced back last night from an opening day loss to Vanderbilt, with a win over Miami (Ohio).

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Three in the 9th Wins it for Vandy

There's no quit in those Commodores. David Macias singled home two runs to beat Miami 4-3, as the 'Dores put up 3 runs in the inning to bring home the win, and head home to Nashville with a 2-1 record. For the RedHawks, this one has to hurt, as they were in position to win the ballgame, only to see an error severly hurt their cause. They go 0-3 here in the desert, but they should certainly be a contender in the MAC this season.

The winning pitcher is Chase Reid, picking up his first collegiate win in his first collegiate appearance. Bobby Oberschlake is handed the loss.

Coming up next, two Pac-10 rivals square off in a non-Pac-10 game, as Oregon State will face Arizona State in the final game of the weekend here at the DeMarini Invitational. That game starts at 3pm MT.

Miami Trying To Hang On

Miami is desperately trying to hold on here in the bottom of the 9th. Nick Kurash is out of the game, in favor of lefthander Bobby Oberschlake with Miami leading 3-1. Vandy has the tying runs on first and second with nobody out. Oberschlake had a 1.48 ERA in 30.1 innings of work in 2007.

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Erwood Out as Vandy Threatens

Miami starter Matt Erwood is out after a very impressive 6+ innings of work. I'll have his final line in a minute. Nick Kurash is in to replace him. The righthander got into 4 games, while starting 3, going 0-2 in 10.1 innings of work with a 4.35 ERA.

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Chase Gets Out

After loading the bases and going 3-0 on Evan Armitage, freshman chase Reid shows why Tim Corbin is so high on him. He struck out Armitage swinging, and got Jon Edgington to ground into a force out to end the inning as he makes sure this game doesn't get out of hand. Miami leads 3-0 as we head to the bottom of the 6th.

Chase's Debut

Nick Christiani's day is over as the Vandy starter, after going 5 innings, as he sees himself on the short end of things at the moment. The righty gave up 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks while striking out 5 batters. In his place comes talented freshman Chase Reid, who was a 42nd round draft pick last year of the Milwaukee Brewers. The 6-foot-3 righthander was injured in the fall and was limited, but coach Corbin feels he'll have an impact in the bullpen thanks to a pretty good curveball.

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Vandy's Turn To Escape

Already leading 3-0 and after a Tommy Nurre single with two outs, Chris Nadeau smacked a double down the rightfield line, and Miami head coach Dan Simonds sent Nurre around third. Dominic de la Osa's throw from right appeared to be late, with catcher Shea Robin getting the tag down after Nurre had touched home. But first base umpire, Dan Mascorro disagreed, and called him out. He was covering home on the play of course. Simonds came running down the line in protest, but to no avail. Although Mascorro did give him the whole time in between innings to say is spiel. So maybe he was safe. Either way, RedHawks still lead things 3-0 and are cruising behind big lefty Matt Erwood, who has continued the stretch of good pitching by Miami this weekend.

Erwood Escapes Jam

Miami starter Matt Erwood, all 6-foot-7 240 pounds of him, just got out of a major jam. After recording the first out of the bottom of the 4th, the lefty gave up three straight singles to load the bases, before he bared down. Erwood got both Shea Robin and Parker Hanks to pop up to second base to escape trouble and maintain Miami's 3-0 lead as we head to the 5th. A quick note on Pedro Alvarez. He keeps going out to warm up when Vandy is in the field. He trots out to left with his glove and catches throws from Vandy leftfielder Parker Hanks. But the key is, he's not throwing back. Steven Liddle also goes out, and Alvarez tosses him the ball to throw back to Hanks, without ever using his right arm. While there's no bandage or sling, it's pretty obvious which arm has been bothering Pedro.

Miami Capitalizes

If Vanderbilt goes on to lose this game, one play will stick out to Vandy. With 2 outs and Chris Nadeau on third for Miami, Blake Chaffee lifted a ball into right center. David Macias came up throwing to third and had Nadeau by a mile, but the throw was off, and third baseman Andrew Giobbi tried to take Nadeau before he had the ball on a swipe tag, and the ball got away, leading Nadeau to come down the line and score the game's second run. Miami leads 2-0 in the top of the fourth, they have 4 hits, while Miami's Matt Erwood has held Vandy in check to the tune of only one hit, a Macias single in the third inning.

Vandy Meets Miami (Ohio)

TEMPE, Ariz. - We've reached the final day of the DeMarini Invitational here in Tempe, and our first game features the RedHawks of Miami against Vanderbilt. Miami has come up on the short end each of the last two days, getting shutout by Arizona State on Friday, and falling to Oregon State on Saturday. Hopefully playing during the day will help them on Sunday. As for Vanderbilt, after beating Oregon State on Friday, they fell hard on Saturday, 18-6 to Arizona State.

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February 23, 2008

ASU Wins Big

TEMPE, Ariz. - It's hard sometimes for coaches to face one another when they're good friends. Just ask Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy, who had to face Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin on Saturday at the DeMarini Invitational.

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Wallace's World

Brett Wallace has warmed up. In a big way. It took him a day, but he's shooting up everyone's Player of the Year standings today. After his grand slam earlier, ASU's lead off hitter just hit another bomb, that I don't think has landed yet, and may be in the way of the landing pattern of PHX. ASU has put a crooked number up for the fourth straight inning, and in the process, lead 16-2 in the bottom of the 6th.

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Wallace Gone Bombing

For the first time in two days, the ASU crowd is really alive. Brett Jacobson is out of the game here in the bottom of the fourth with nobody out, and the bases loaded, and the great Brett Wallace is at the plate.

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Ike Plates Two

Much like opening night, it took a little while for the ASU bats to get going, but here in the third, they finally woke up a bit. Ike Davis knocked in two runs with a one-out double into the right centerfield gap. After going 0-for-5 last night, that must've been a relief to Ike for that to be his first hit of the young season. 2-0 ASU here in the third.

Jacobson Off To Good Start

Here's a good way to start your day: Strikeout Brett Wallace, Strikeout Petey Paramore, and have your All-American shortstop Ryan Flaherty make a diving grab in the hole and gun out Ike Davis at first on a spectacular play. That's what Vandy starter Brett Jacobson can say about his first start of the season. We're through one here, no score. Vandy has a hit, while Mike Leake had to get around two Sun Devils errors as well to keep it that way.

Game of the Weekend

TEMPE, Ariz.- What a difference a day can make. A day after drizzle and 50 degree weather, we have gorgeous desert sunshine with a temperature of 64 degrees. The game of the weekend is about set to get underway, with Arizona State hosting Vanderbilt in Game Three of the DeMarini Invitational.

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February 22, 2008

ASU Rolling To First Win

As we play in the bottom of the 7th, ASU has added two more runs to take a commanding 6-0 lead against Miami. With temperatures falling to around 50, this game can't speed up fast enough.

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There's The O

Finally. Pat Murphy's bunch has put some hits on the board, and by some I mean two. With that, ASU now leads 3-0 after a Marcel Champagnie RBI double into the leftcenterfield gap. The night is over for Chris Niro, who got a nice hand from the Miami faithful that made the trip from Oxford. Giving up only two hits against that lineup is certainly something to be proud of.

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Freshman Retribution...Not

It's freshman retribution here in the desert. A half inning after freshman John Edgington dropped a fly ball in left for Miami, freshman Adam Eaton drilled a Josh Satow fastball off the top of the right centerfield fence for a triple. It's Miami's 2nd hit of the game, and first hit of Eaton's career. So then it came down to Edgington.

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No Score No More

It took a Ryan Sontag lazy fly to left with two runners on to plate the first run of the ball game. Freshman left fielder Jon Edginton dropped the ball after taking a tough route to the ball, as the wind was blowing it back towards the foul line. Tough one for Chris Niro who has pitched his heart out, and has yet to give up a hit, yet is trailing this game 1-0. That's baseball for ya. So as we head to the fifth, the Sun Devils have the first lead of the game.

No Score In The Desert

Yes that's right, Miami starter Chris Niro has actually held ASU hitless through his three innings of work, while ASU starter Josh Satow has allowed a hit so far to the RedHawks.

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Vandy Wins Opener

TEMPE, Ariz. - On a day that saw rain falling, the wind howling in from centerfield and the temperatures falling through the low 50s, the fact Vanderbilt put up eight runs and 11 hits should be a warning sign to the rest of the nation that the 'Dores aren't messing around in 2008.

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David Who?

David who? Alright Vandy fans, you have a nice replacement for David Price. Mike Minor's '08 debut was great, going six innings, giving up five hits, 1 run, striking out six and walking none. The only run came in the 6th when he got out of a bases loaded, no-one out jam by inducing a double-play ball which allowed a run to score.

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Vandy Cruising

Thanks to a brilliant start by Mike Minor, the 'Dores are on cruise control as we go to the 6th. Vandy's ace has struckout six, given up two hits and walked none in his five innings of work.

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Parking One

Rain still falling here in Tempe, as Parker Hanks has given Vanderbilt a 4-0 lead with the first home run of the ballgame. Hanks' solo shot over the leftfield wall somehow didn't hit a car on the busy road, the Rio Salado Parkway, after it cleared the secondary fence.

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Around the Nation Part 1

I have to admit, and I know I'm not the only one out there, but I've been waiting to surf the daily scoreboards of NCAA-Baseball.com since last June. That's part of what makes a standard Opening Day special, so throughout the day I'll check in on the surprising, and not-so-surprising results. The big story already are the number of cancellations and postponed games. Just look at the weather across the Carolina's, Kentucky and even southern Georgia, yikes.

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A few more notes

A few more notes as we get settled in here in the top of the first inning. How about this for nostalgia? Oregon State starting pitcher Mike Stutes opened last season as part of a combined no-hitter, picking up the Beavers first win of the season at Hawaii-Hilo. Stutes then picked up his 12th win of the year in OSU's clinching game in the CWS Finals against UNC. A nice symmetric view of the Beavers 2007 campaign.

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Welcome to 2008

Through the rain and through internet problems here in Tempe, welcome to Packard Stadium on the campus of Arizona State, as we're set for the first annual DeMarini Invitational. Regarded as the best tourney in the country, three top 11 teams find themselves here to open the year, Arizona State, Oregon State and Vanderbilt. And of course Miami (Ohio).

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January 10, 2008

More Training

Here's a lesson: look past the first two days of spring training to find more college vs. MLB games!! I made that mistake yesterday while looking at the spring training schedule, and left off a couple.

Here's a look at the few I missed. My apologies.

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January 09, 2008

College Exhibitions

With the temperature in the 60s here in New York City yesterday afternoon, it felt as if we should be going home to watch some baseball on TV. Unfortunately, it's still only January, and we're still about a month away from the first pitch of the season being thrown at the collegiate level.

It was a tease.

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December 11, 2007

Wallace Award Watch List

We know we're getting close to the start of the season when the Wallace Award Watch List is announced, and luckily for all of us baseball fans, that was the case. Now we're just under two months from the first pitch of the regular season. Here's some analysis of the list.

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August 22, 2007

NCAA: Not His Place

Just a quick update on Dave Serrano. The O.C. Register is reporting that UC Irvine's head coach will stay with the Anteaters, and decline Oregon's offer to become the head coach of the ressurected program.

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NCAA: Costner For Mayor

Kevin Costner may have been born in Compton, Calif., but that doesn't mean part of his hart isn't in Omaha, Neb. of all places. As some of you may know, Costner is in town every time Cal State Fullerton makes a trip to the College World Series, supporting his alma mater. So who better, besides our own Eric Sorenson (born in Omaha), than to participate in the "Save Rosenblatt" TV commercial campaign.

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August 15, 2007

NCAA: So Cliche

Get ready for some really cliche headlines across the nation's newspapers on Thursday. That's becasue No. 1 pick David Price has signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The AP is reporting Tampa will give Price a six year deal worth $11.25 million. The former Vandy star gets a $5.6 million signing bonus and is guaranteed $8.5 million as part of the deal.

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NCAA: Feeling Blue

North Carolina head coach Mike Fox must be feeling a little blue at the moment. Two of his biggest pitching recruits have signed, with the latest being Madison Bumgarner. The 10th overall pick and N.C. native was slated to join Rick Porcello in the Tar Heels rotation, but Porcello signed with the Tigers last night as well. Bumgarner was the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year.

More to come as they are announced.

NCAA: Dot Your I's And Cross Your T's

August 15th marks a day where coaches across the country are holding their breaths, not to mention the GMs of major league teams who drafted players two months ago. Those players who don't have a deal in place by midnight tonight (everything done and in the books), except those who were college seniors last year, will not be able to sign this season, and will either return to school and be eligible in 2008, or head to school for their freshman seasons and not be eligible for another three years.

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August 14, 2007

NCAA: Ducking Out

Oregon may not have any players, a coaching staff, or even a place to play, but the OU is causing a stir in the college baseball world. After announcing that the program is returning in 2009, the Ducks have been on the search for a new head coach. Here's the latest on that news.

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August 13, 2007

NCAA: Boshamer News

If you've been waiting to find out how North Carolina was going to have the new Boshamer Stadium ready in time for the 2008 season like I have been, well, it's not going to happen. The Tar Heels will play their home games at the state-of-the-art Team USA baseball facility in Cary, N.C.

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August 09, 2007

NCAA: In The News

Despite it being the dog days of August, there is still enough news to make a blog post in the world of college baseball, with most of it having to do with coaches but also a sad note out of Philadelphia.

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July 31, 2007

NCAA: Scottie, Scottie

UC Irvine's Scott Gorgen has joined Team USA, replacing guys like Brian Matusz who will head home to rest their arms, and got off to quite a start on Monday. In his first start, Gorgen struck out eight and scattered three hits in 4 2-3 scoreless innings as Team USA blanked Russia 6-0 in Cary, North Carolina.

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June 29, 2007

NCAA: Wells Returns To 'Bama

Six days after telling Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore that he was retiring, Crimson Tide head coach Jim Wells was welcomed back on Wednesday with open arms. Wells is only 52 years old, and his decision to retire last week draw great eybrow raising in Omaha as I'm sure it did throughout SEC country.

Wells is the winningest coach in school history with a record of 553-272 in 13 seasons at the helm of the Crimson Tide. He noted that he couldn't sleep after making his decision to let the game go, and struggled to come to grips with the fact that he'd be leaving behind the program that he's put into the national spotlight.

He's made three trips to Omaha with 'Bama, won six SEC Tournament titles, and two SEC Championships.

Wells said he realized in recent days that he hadn't "lost my passion for the job" and wanted to come back.

"Over the course of the last few days, I knew I just didn't feel right about it," Wells said. "I came to realize that I had personally rushed myself into that decision, that I didn't allow myself the time needed to really consider everything I needed to."

Wells is a good guy and there's not too much else to say about it. He pulled a Dana Altman, except for the fact he didn't agree to coach another team before deciding to return, and upon his return yesterday, he apologized to the fans, players, and everyone else he may have shocked.

Sometimes these coaches get baseball in the blood and just can't get it out. When it's something that you've lived with for your whole life, and you literally eat, drink, beathe and sleep baseball, that's tough to let go. And besides, what else would he do down in there?

May 28, 2007

One Guy's Reaction

Throughout the week, we'll have plenty of opinions from a variety of people about the NCAA Tournament, but for now, here's what I think about the snubs, the best draws, easiest paths, and all that good stuff. First, let me send my best to the Decatur Daily's Josh Cooper (who has done some stuff for us), who is the Alabama beat reporter and was really hoping to travel somewhere this weekend. Get the golf clubs out, and keep the Nick Saban Google alerts coming (Only about 90 days left?) Anyway, here we go.

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Bracket Released

Brackets are out...Heare are the top eight seeds...

No. 1 Vanderbilt
No. 2 Rice
No. 3 North Carolina
No. 4 Texas
No. 5 Arizona State
No. 6 Florida State
No. 7 Arkansas
No. 8 San Diego

And for the Regionals...

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May 20, 2007

FIU Fires Danny Price

It's the end of an era in Miami today as Florida International has fired longtime head coach Danny Price. It can be described as a classic,"It's time for a change" type firing. Price has been the head coach of the Golden Panthers for 28 years. This 2007 season was only the third losing season during that span, but it was costly. FIU missed the Sun Belt Tournament, and missed the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year.

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Planting A Seed

It's hard to believe, but the regular season is over for many of the conferences across the nation, with conference tournaments getting underway at the beggining of the week. With that, there was a final flurry of movement to determine which team got which seed. So, as a service to you, here's a quick preview of what to look for this week.

More in depth previews from the conference tournaments that Touching the Bases will be at will start to appear on Monday. But for now, enjoy.

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May 06, 2007

Bombshell -- Replacing Rosenblatt?

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2798&u_sid=2378684

Say it ain't so!

March 09, 2007

Vanderbilt-UIC series: Vandy strikes back

After the Flames took the 1-0 lead in the top of the second, Vanderbilt responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Working with a relatively low strike zone from the home plate umpire, the Commodores were able to score when second baseman Alex Feinberg doubled to the rightfield corner scoring catcher Shea Robin. Robin had singled past short earlier in the inning after leadoff hitter Andrew Giobbi was called out on strikes. Overall, three Commodore batters were called out on strikes on three very close pitches.

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Vanderbilt-UIC: UIC takes an early 1-0 lead

Vanderbilt's David Price is a dominating lefthander that can really bring heat. However, like most lefties, if his heat is left up in the zone, it gets drilled. Such was the case in the top of the second inning as Illinois-Chicago designated hitter Mike Kaffel took a Price offering to right centerfield for a one-out homerun. The homerun was only UIC's second in 10 games played this season and only the .263 hitting Kaffel's third RBI of the season.

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March 03, 2007

The perfect storm

Harris Honeycutt held Clemson to a pair of hits and his offense pounded out three home runs in a 12-0 victory over Clemson. SC coach Ray Tanner said his team played about as well as they can play. Clemson coach Jack Leggett felt his team ran into the perfect storm. Either way you slice, it was all Gamecocks in Clemson today.

Honeycutt improved to 4-0. CU starter David Kopp fell to 1-1.

The teams meet again in Columbia at 1:30 ET Sunday.

The crowd is thinning

The road heading out of Doug Kingsmore is busy as the some of the 6217 in attendance are getting a head start on Saturday night. We are in the top of the ninth and the Gamecocks are cruising up 12-0. Clemson has just two hits.

Kingsmore

This is my first trip to Kingsmore Stadium. It is a nice scene with all the fans packed in. Standing room only has rarely been more appropriate. The stadium has a large grandstand with fans also seated in lawn chairs beyond the outfield wall. Unique to Clemson is an elevated slope leading up to outfield fence.

Its origin came from legendary CU coach Bill Wilhelm who liked the look and practicality of grass all the way around the outfield. It was modeled after Cincinnati's old Crosley Field.

Back to the game, where the stiff wind just gave Justin Smoak a two-run homer. It looked like a pop to short off the bat but the thirty mile per wind carried the ball over the wall.

The game is now 12-0 SC in the seventh.

No-hitter is gone

J.D. Burgess - a replacement for the injured Stan Widmann - came in 1-9 for the season. He just fought off a 3-2 two-out pitch singling to center for Clemson's first hit of the game.

Honeycutt went 4 & 2/3 innings before allowing his first hit.

Honeycutt dealing

South Carolina starter Harris Honeycutt isn't overpowering but it is hard to be more effective than the righty has thus far. He has allowed a pair of Tigers walks through four and there have not been many good cuts.

He go to the bottom of the fifth with South Carolina up 5-0.

A High Visibility Crowd

The 7000 or so packed into Doug Kingsmore Stadium here in Clemson are dressed in the best, bright orange. It is quite a sight for the orange with purple mixed in for this standing room only crowd. As I walked through an opening between rows of fans to enter the ballpark, they broke into a Clemson cheer. The excitement in this crowd is tough to top, as both sides want this one a little more than usual game.

South Carolina scored a pair in the first on doubles by Cheyne Hurst and Justin Smoak. The slugging Gamecocks followed with three more in the third on a long three-run home run by Phil Disher.

It's 5-0 visitors and the home orange is silently sitting waiting on a chance to explode.

March 02, 2007

Postgame goodies from Auburn

“We want to beat you in more than one way if we can,” said Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy. “We don’t want to rely on swinging big. In playoff-type baseball, swinging big is not going to do it. We are capable of (playing power baseball), but can also beat you in other ways.”

“It is a very good Arizona State club,” Auburn coach Tom Slater said. “They take tremendous two-strike approaches. Bryan did good job get to two strikes but just couldn’t put them away. They are very well-disciplined. I didn’t see a big cut all day. They‘ve got Ike Davis, one of the best players in the country, and have him sacrifice bunting.”

“Satow was outstanding,” Slater said. “We tried to take the plate away. Give him credit for sticking with his game plan.”

Arizona State held Auburn’s dynamic duo of Josh Donaldson and Mike Bianucci hitless in seven at bats.

“That was a focus,” Murphy said. “We saw them both last year. They both struggled last year against us. We didn’t give them much to hit. We made them chase. That is probably the best way to pitch to Donaldson. He can hit.”

Final from the Plains 8-2 Devils

Arizona State wins it 8-2 behind 16 hits and four Auburn errors. They stranded 13 to keep it close. Auburn found something to build on with a ninth inning pinch-hitter rally where they scored a pair of runs off Kelly Leake.

Pow, Boom, Splat, Satow

No that's not a comic book exclaimation, it is Arizona State's starter. Junior Josh Satow meets the criteria for crafty righthander - think Major League's Eddie Harris without the Crisco.

Auburn hasn't had many good cuts yet and just picked up its fifth hit of the game in the seventh.

Arizona State has 14 hits and has left 10 on base in their 6-0 lead. Auburn has left five on thus far.

B-U-N-T, bunt, bunt, bunt

Pat Murphy's team came in known for their big hitters. Instead they have put on a bat-handling display with a pair of bunt hits and an everybody's safe squeeze play. ASU leads 6-0 in the sixth and has chased Auburn starter Bryan Woodall. The new Tiger pitcher is Josh Blake - who began his career at Arizona State before transferring three seasons ago.

West coast baseball looking pretty good right now.

Baseball's a tough game

ASU leftfielder Tim Smith finally gets a start - just his third of the season. After a swinging bunt, the throw to first drew Auburn first baseman Joseph Sanders off the bag. Sanders stretched to catch the throw striking Smith in the face. Smith took the punch - wobbled and found his way back to the bag.

Auburn, apparently convinced Smith is sandbagging with his zero season steals, threw over to first at least six times. Smith dove back for several of them getting banged up in the process. After a brief stoppage he returned - only to draw another throw to first.

Two hits later - including a perfectly placed bunt single by Matt Hall, the bags were full for Jarred Bogany. Bogany had doubled his last time up, but this time popped to second to leave the bags full.

4-0 Devils in the bottom of the third.

Devils up 4

Arizona State breaks the ice first with a two-run single by Matt Hall. LSU transfer Jarred Bogany - who came in hitting .115 - just laced a double down the line in left. Bogany and assistant Turtle Thomas played in their park last season with LSU.

Andrew Romine followed with the inning's second two-run single that tipped off the glove of second baseman Robert Brooks. Brooks apparently let it carry over since he just booted a grounder that would have ended the inning. Woodall rebounded to retire Sogard to end the inning.

An interesting note is that ASU first baseman Brett Wallace, all 245 pounds, leads the team with six stolen bases.

The first guy up for Auburn in the second is Brooks, who was involved the defensive miscue in the top half, got Auburn's first hit. He then strayed too far off base and doubled up on a pop in front of the plate.

Its Ruth and Gehrig

Hey, I'm not afraid if hyperbole. Josh Donaldson and Mike Bianucci enter tonight's game hitting .422 and .477 with a combined 9 home runs and 36 RBI in their 12 games. They are the best Tiger duo since Gabe Gross and Todd Faulkner were slamming liners all over the park. The interesting thing is Bianucci wears #3 - like Ruth. Donaldson wears Gehrig's #4.

There's one out in the top of the second and we haven't had a ball leave the infield. Ruth and Gehrig went 0hfer in the first inning.

Underway at Plainsman Park

Andrew Romine just led off the game with a walk much to the chagrin of the 2500 or so already piled into Auburn's Plainsman Park. The hecklers are in fine form and just went wild as Tiger starter Bryan Woodall picked Romine off first for the game's first out.

Some lineup notes ... Auburn's Josh Donaldson is at third instead of catcher - he's been catching one game per weekend in the early season ... Woodall is 2-0 with no earned runs in 19 innings ... ASU starter Josh Satow is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA.

Oh What A Weekend

I'm glad it's Friday, and I'm glad that we have baseball tonight. I just wish i could be at any one of the games that Touching the Bases will be at all weekend long, instead of walking home in a torrential downpour here in NYC. It is one of our biggest weekends yet, with three series involving both teams in the Top 25. We will be at a total of 15 games when the last out is recorded on Sunday, so here's a look at Friday's schedule, with a little preview to boot.

Continue reading "Oh What A Weekend" »

February 25, 2007

Its 4:1 in ratio terms but that isn't the same as 20-5

Way back when I was flunking algebra, I learned that 20:5 is the same as 4:1. If only baseball were algebra, we would have had a great game. It isn't and we didn't. 20-5 is a letdown for a lot of the 2500 or so who saw the game on a pretty Sunday afternoon. Most are home by now, contemplating whether to fry their shrimp or steam them.

On the field Auburn served notice to the rest of their schedule that these guys can score. If they pitch, they will be a handful this year. We'll get a good idea what kind of club they have next weekend when the Arizona State Sun Devils visit Samford Stadium-Hitchcock Field and Plainsman Park.

Auburn is now 10-1. South Alabama is 4-4.

Mike Bianucci won the Coca-Cola Classic MVP trophy.

Chuck Norris can divide by zero

Auburn is taking batting practice in windy, Stanky Field in Mobile. In addition to a first inning grand slam, the Tigers have three two-run home runs in the fourth to lead 14-1. Mike Bianucci hit his fifth of the season. Ross Smith and Ryan Jenkins hit the other two.

Time to break out the blowout material.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris -- I mean Auburn hitters.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice. It still wasn't as long as this inning.

Touchdown Auburn

Auburn drove the length of the field for an early touchdown and extra point to lead South Alabama 7-0. The Tigers scored seven in the top of the first on five hits - including doubles by Luke Greinke and Josh Donaldson and a grand slam by freshman 9-hole hitter Eric Skinner.

South Alabama starter Brandon Sage lasted two-thirds of an inning. Kevin Nabors is on the mound for the Jags now.

Auburn starter Evan Crawford walked a pair in the first inning but sat the Jags down without a hit.

A nice parting gift

Michigan State didn't need to leave the south without something nice to take home. They got it today in the form of a 4-2 win over Jacksonville. Both teams went 1-2 this weekend.

Auburn and South Alabama coming up at 2:30.

Beheaded for jaywalking

Michigan State rallied with a three-run fourth to take a 4-1 lead over Jacksonville. We are in the top of the seventh now and the score has remained the same.

The Dolphins are without head coach Terry Alexander. The coach was ejected from yesterday's 14-4 victory over South Alabama. Atlantic Sun rules dictate an ejection results in missing the next game. In fact, if a player is ejected, the coach is also ejected and both will miss the next game.

That's pretty steep, especially since the opposing teams face no such penalty. Michigan State second baseman Steve Gerstenberger was ejected from Saturday's 11-6 to Auburn. Not only is he in the three-hole today playing against Jacksonville, his head coach David Grewe is in the dugout. If they were under A-Sun rules, they would both be MIA.

Jacksonville has a hit ... and now a run

The Dolphins just broke through with a blooper perfectly placed down the leftfield line by Pete Clifford. Mike McCallister followed with a single so the second through the order has been better for Jacksonville. Clifford came around to score on Alex Martinez sac fly.

1-1 in the top of the fourth.

Try the steamed platter

Mobile is famous for its Gulf of Mexico seafood and last night it did not disappoint. Down on the causeway on Mobile Bay past the Battleship, there is a restaurant called the Original Oyster House. My wife and I used to go back when we lived down here. Sometimes the palates change or the memory was fonder than the reality. That wasn't the case here, this meal rocked.

Continue reading "Try the steamed platter" »

February 24, 2007

Auburn closes the deal

The Tigers win 11-6 behind catcher Josh Donaldson's homer, double, single, and three RBI. Three Auburn pitchers combined to strike out 14 Michigan State hitters.

The teams are each in action again Sunday. The Spartans (0-2) open the final day at Stanky Field as they take on Jacksonville at 11 A.M. CT. Auburn and South Alabama follow -- hopefully at 2:30 CT.

Somewhere Sorenson groans

In honor of Eric Sorenson, I'd like to point out South Alabama serves beer at their home games. However, they can't sell it tonight because their liquor license expired.

The sound guy just played "Take on Me" during the seventh inning stretch. Well, the first word is the same anyway. They rushed an abbreviated "Take me out of the ballgame" as the batter came to plate. They turned down my idea of playing it at high speed -- chipmunk style.

Its 7-3 Auburn in the bottom of the seventh.

Sparty having trouble with Es

Auburn has a four run lead in the fifth. Starter Paul Burnside has a career high six Ks.

The Tigers are using the new computerized pitch signals where the dugout and catcher have the same codes, and the dugout sends a message to the catcher who checks his armband as if he was a quarterback running the two-minute drill.

On the field, Michigan State has committed five errors. They have equaled Auburn with six hits but their abundance of miscues have really hurt their cause.

Auburn jumps out

Auburn is flexing their muscles with a 5-2 third inning lead over Michigan State.

The teams swapped early home runs. Josh Donaldson slammed a no-doubter for Auburn and topped it off by taking a bow at the plate. That didn't exactly endear him to the Michigan State dugout where I was standing shooting photos. I wondered if there would be repercussions at his next at bat. There were not, and Donaldson singled.

Michigan State's Sean Walker hit a home run in the top of the second to tie the game at one.

Auburn scored again in the second and three times in the third.

Michigan State's Steve Gerstenberger was called out stealing and ejecting for reportedly questioning the legitimacy of the SEC umpiring crew. He was the second snap ejection of the day - the first in this game.

Can I play too?

Jacksonville is up 14-3 in the eighth and is emptying their bench. I see the batgirl getting her arm loose down in the pen. I think sportswriters are next - after the peanut vendor and the balloon animal guy.

TA, you're out of here

If one was going to guess which coach would get ejected in a 13-1 game, the smart money would go on the losing coach. Not today, as Jacksonville's Terry Alexander got run by base umpire Ricky Powell for a lengthy argument on a home run called a double with his team up a dozen.

It was Brad Simmons again who hit the disputed ball. Earlier in the game Simmons got a gift homer that was near the leftfield line. This one was to center and hit the second wall of ads behind the outfield wall and bounced back into play. If that is what happened, the ground rules state a home run. The umpire called it a live ball and Simmons pulled up at second.

For Alexander, it was the first time he had been tossed in at least three seasons and probably longer. His argument paled in comparison to USA coach Steve Kittrell's earlier dispute of Simmon's first potential home run. Apparently, Alexander's low-key but lengthy argument drew more ire than Kittrell's fiery demonstration.

Forget keeping it down - go for the K

South Alabama has decided just playing Jacksonville isn't challenging enough. They want to play themselves too. Fielding grounders is now an optional task - and coach Steve Kittrell - who wasn't in a good mood to begin with - could burst into flames at any moment.

In windy Mobile, Jacksonville now leads 9-1 in the bottom of the fourth. In these conditions, it is still anybody's game.

Keep the ball down guys

The cool feeling making your jerseys flop around -- along with making the hotdog wrappers fly -- and the fans break out the jackets -- that is called wind. A very strong wind. Blowing out to left.

As you might expect, two balls have already left the yard. Pete Clifford slammed a Joey Doan pitch over the wall in left-center during the Dolphins' three-run third.

Bill Kleinschrodt followed with a solo home run for the Jags to -- wait for it - left.

Then the game's first controversial play followed in the fourth when JU's Brad Simmons hit one out somewhere near the leftfield foul pole. It was ruled a home run - much to the dismay of Jaguar skipper Steve Kittrell who put on an Academy Award winning performance after the umpire consultation didn't go his way.

It's 6-1 Jacksonville over South Alabama in the fourth.

Checking in from Mobile

What ever you do, don't depend on Weather.com to decide your wardobe. Yesterday it forecasted a 70 degree sunny day. Me and my short sleeves are still waiting for the 20 degree temp rise. With the brisk gulf breeze, its a bit chilly here in the port city.

I did stop on the way in at the regionally famous Wintzell's Oyster House. You have to do seafood when you hit Mobile. I've got another place in mind for tonight - The Orginal Oyster House that is located on the causeway.

This is day two of Mobile's version of the Coca Cola Classic - not to be confused with the ones in Hattiesburg, Houston, Slapout, and Crusted Butte.

Day one saw Auburn and Jacksonville swap three run eighth innings with the Tigers winning 7-6. South Alabama beat Michigan 5-1 in the nightcap.

Today has the host team South Alabama taking on Jacksonville and Auburn against Michigan State in the nightcap. We'll be getting underway in a few minutes.

February 16, 2007

Drama at Surprise. but Mizzou holds on to win 3-2

Down to their last out, North Carolina transfer Matt Spencer doubled down the right field line for the Sun Devils, then Petey Paramore, with the count full, walked to put the winning run on first base.

Pinch hitter Tim Smith then came on and hit a hard shot off pitcher Greg Folgia, keeping the ball in the infield, but still allowing a base hit.

LSU transfer Jarred Bogany came up with the bases juiced and struck out on four pitches.

Just in case you're wondering, my dog is fine

DogInTruck.jpg

Here she is waiting out a long day's double-header in Surprise, Arizona. But don't worry, we went hiking in the desert this morning to wear her out and I checked on her four or five times today. Most of the time she just gave me a look that said, "can't you leave me alone, I'm trying to rest."

With the bases loaded, Mizzou...

had Brock Bond strike out, but then saw John McKee blast a double off the glove of ASU left fielder Matt Spencer, who went crashing into the fence. Though it appeared that Spencer made a miraculous, spinning catch at first, the ball popped out and three runs scored for the Tigers.

Mizzou now up 3-2 with a man on second and two out.

On the TVs here in the press box, they showed that Brad Daugherty, the former 6'11" basketball center for North Carolina and some NBA team, is now a NASCAR commentator along with Rusty Wallace and Chris Fowler?

Pheeeeeeeew! You're kidding, right? Good Gawd!

Finally something to write about...

Mizzou has the bases loaded with one out here in the top of the 8th inning, still trailing 2-0 to Arizona State.

Starter Josh Satow has been pulled for reliever Matt Trink. I'll let you know what happens next.

Oh, the beers here at Surprise Stadium are great. That is all.

Here we go again, Brett Wallace proves me wrong

Last week at the Houston College Classic I mentioned to Glenn Tanner how bizarre it seemed that ASU's Brett Wallace be slated to bat lead-off for the Sun Devils, since he's built more like a linebacker instead of a base-burning bunt artist and all. Well, Wallace started off last Friday's game with Texas A&M with a triple to the wall. In my face.

Tonight, he's back to lead-off once again and guess what? He parks one over the right field wall to start things off. ASU 1, Missouri 0 after two pitches. LSU transfer Jarred Bogany added an RBI single in the 2nd inning and that's where we still stand now, 2-0 Arizona State.

We're now going into the top of the 3rd inning.

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: Don't mess with the WCC

Previously 1-5 Gonzaga scored a run in the top of the 9th to stun previously 7-0 Oregon State by a 6-5 count here in - aptly named - Surprise, Arizona.

Zag leadoff man Evan Wells chopped a ball in front of the plate that OSU catcher Mitch Canham fielded hurriedly and threw in the dirt to 1st base, allowing Wells to go to second. But I was sitting right near the screen behind home plate, and I could've sworn that the ball bounced off Wells' leg. But home plate umpire Mark Denzin didn't call anything and the play stood.

Sure enough, next batter, Aaron McGuiness knocked Wells in with the game-winning single. Nice win for Gonzaga. Guess the Beaver comeback magic didn't translate tonight.

OSU fights back in the bottom of the 8th, ties it at 5

Catcher Mitch Canham came up with the bases loaded and two out in the 8th and delivered a full-count walk to tie the game at 5-apiece. So we go to the 9th all tied up again.

To start the 9th, Pat Casey now goes to Mark Grbavec on the mound.

Shawn Wayt's on perfect pitch to give Gonzaga lead again

Shawn Wayt slugged a frozen rope RBI single in the top of the 8th to give GU a 5-4 lead. Jorge Reyes is on the hook for the L since he came on in relief to give up the run.

National Champs come back to tie the Zags

A leadoff double by All American Darwin Barney was followed by two straight fly ball outs and then by RBI singles from Mitch Canham and a hit-and-run RBI single from Jordan Lennerton. Now GU is making a pitching change with Linnerton on second with two outs.

It's now 4-4 in the bottom of the 7th between these rain belt rivals.

Gonzaga forges ahead. Stutes struggling a bit.

After balking runners to 2nd and 3rd, OSU's Mike Stutes gives up a two-run single to Shawn Wayt here in the 6th, giving the Zags a 4-2 lead over the Beavers.

The balk was a strange one as Stutes started his windup, rocked forward and then just stops in the middle of his delivery, as if he stopped because of an injury or something.

Stutes has touched 91 on his pitches, but is now throwing a lot more off-speed stuff and his fastball is now topping 88.

Gonzo ties it up, 2-2 in the 3rd

GUscores.jpg

Bulldog leadoff man Evan Wells, fresh of slicing a double down the left field line, scores here to tie the game with Oregon State 2-2.

Okay, so this place is obscenely nice

SurpriseStadium.jpg

Here's an outfield view of Surprise Stadium here on the outskirts of Phoenix. A lot like that stadium in Round Rock.

Okay, one complaint - do these people not believe in shade? I found the tiniest, mere mention of a tree to park the hoopty under so I could have the dog hang out in cool comfort. Just no shaded parking to be found.

February 15, 2007

Sun Devils flatten Mizzou 7-1.

The heroes of the Houston Classic stay hot here in Tempe tonight as Matt Spencer goes 2-for-4, Petey Paramore throws in a 2-for-3 performance at the dish and reliever Mike Leake came on to hold the Tigers scoreless for the final 4.2 innings, giving up just three hits and two strikeouts.

Gotta say, Leake really looks good on the hill for a Freshman. This is his third stint of the season, and with tonight's win, improves to 2-0 and 0.00 with 10 Ks and three walks.

And in case any of you are wondering if Pat Murphy's for real about his love for boxing, he's wearing a bandage on his right hand and going through the handshake line using his left hand because he strained it while sparring the other day. Fight on Coach.

ASU blows it open in the 6th

Unlike their crumbling basketball counterparts (who I just heard lost to UCLA 66-61 after leading most of the game), the Sun Devils may just have put Mizzou to the canvas with four unearned runs to go up 7-1.

Matt Spencer again factored into things, getting a run-scoring single to start the onslaught. Matt Hall also slapped a double down the line that kicked up chalk, to help score two more.

ASU in a fast-paced pitcher's duel, leads Missouri 3-1.

I got here a little late tonight, but we're already into the 6th inning and this game is only an hour and a half in. Can't believe an Arizona State baseball game is clipping along this fast. ASU just scored three runs in the bottom of the 5th, to go up 3-1 over Missouri.

MU scored in the top of the 5th, going from station to station.

Then, Matt Spencer kept his hot bat going from the Houston tournament for ASU, blasting a double to lead off the 5th. He eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. Ryan Sontag hit an RBI groundout. The last run of the inning came off the bat of nine-hole hitter Andrew Romine.

February 11, 2007

Sweet Sunday

Well, can Sunday be just as good as Friday or Saturday? It'll be tough, but we shall see. Touching the Bases will be up and running once again with the Astros College Classic wrapping up action with three more games today, Miami goes for a devastating sweep of the Bruins, and Stanford and Fresno State tries to dance around the raindrops. Here's the schedule, enjoy everybody.

Continue reading "Sweet Sunday" »

February 10, 2007

Welcome To Saturday

Well, the best weekend of non-conference action is 1/3 over, but that means we still have two days left to enjoy it! Will Rice snap out of its funk and snap a two game losing streak? Can UCLA get on the board against the Hurricanes in Coral Gables? Will the rain let up out west to let Stanford face off against Fresno State?

Continue reading "Welcome To Saturday" »

February 04, 2007

One of those weekends

“If you look at the weekend, everything they did went their way,” Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico said. “If they hit a dribbler it was a fair ball. If we hit one it was a foul ball. That happens in a week like this or in a weekend like this. That is where momentum starts. That is the neat thing about baseball. It is hard to make those plays to get out of jams. The made those plays all weekend.”

That's baseball.

Final in Tallahassee -- FSU wins 19-7

Florida State completes the sweep with a 19-7 over Tennessee.

UT/FSU: Arencibia goes yard

Tennessee has crept within ten runs after J.P. Arencibia slammed a two run home run and Ryan Jones doubled and came around to score on a sac fly.

Meanwhile, the Animals - the FSU fan group with orchestrated chants and songs - made up new words to the UT anthem Rocky Top. I'm not sure the folks in Knoxville would appreciate their creativity but it went over really well at Dick Howser.

FSU/UT: Warming those bats

Tennessee entered today with six hits in the first two games. They just got hit number seven today in the sixth.

FSU leads 13-4. Casey Whitmer is pitching for the 'Noles. Danny Wiltz is throwing for the Vols.

Nice inning for Hallberg

FSU shortstop Mark Hallberg transferred in from Illinois-Chicago where starred for the Flames. Last season Hallberg won the NCAA statistical category as the toughest player to strikeout. He fanned just six times all season. Before the second inning today, Hallberg was presented a award for that designation.

In the top of the inning, Hallberg made a diving stab of a hot grounder to short, made a quick flip from his knees to second baseman Tony Thomas Jr who completed the inning-ending double play.

But is didn't end the inning, just the Tennessee half. Hallberg had a bases-loaded double to highlight a nine-run second inning. In that enormous inning, thirteen men came to play with the first nine reaching. FSU scored eight runs before the first out was recorded.

It is 12-0 in the bottom of the third now.

FSU/UT: Travel rule?

No inning will start after 4 PM ET. Everyone wants to see the Super Bowl. They said it was for Tennessee's travel but I'm not buying it.

Another interesting item is that after two days of Volunteer hitting futility, the UT backers are anxious to break out today. Slugger J.P Arencibia is hitting in the 2-hole today -- much like Vandy's Pedro Alvarez did last year.

FSU/UT: Much better conditions today

Although we'll miss the snowflakes -- or was it a singular snowflake -- that fell yesterday, today's conditions are much better for a day at the park.

Yesterday was unique - FSU coach Mike Martin said he had seen snow and sunshine at the ballpark once in his 33 years and that was in practice -- but today's conditions should be much better suited to get a gauge on these teams.

Continue reading "FSU/UT: Much better conditions today" »

Miami-Mercer Canceled

The Miami Hurricanes will be 0-for all week long. The groundscrew never covered the field last night, so today's game has been called off.

Continue reading "Miami-Mercer Canceled" »

February 03, 2007

Couple of Long Beach notes

Warm day, cold beer, great day for baseball at Long Beach
As opposed to the Jack Frost sponsored days my compadres Mark Etheridge and Glenn Tanner suffered through, I had to endure intense sunshine and risk of sunburn at today's Long Beach game. Temps were in the mid-70s, with no wind and no clouds. And yes, I took advantage of one of the many disappearing places in the country to buy a beer at a baseball game. Couldn't help it. Which reminds me, I was honored by being mentioned in Dr. Dan's Famous Diamond Notes in the Long Beach State program. The much-revered Doctor stated, "A tip of the flask to CSTV's Eric Sorenson, who pointed out that he has found only two college yards that serve beer, Tulane and right here at Long Beach.

The Beach pitches a 5-3 win over USC

If pitching and defense is still what wins championships, maybe Long Beach is officially back after all. J.C. All American Manny McElroy pitched into the seventh inning, giving up just five hits and two earned runs. Coupled with Vance Worley's competant work in a 2-1 loss last night, the Beach has two pretty good weekend starters going for them. Not sure how the Trojan offense will be judged at the end of the season, but they seem potent right now and the Dirtbags handled them pretty well.

Continue reading "The Beach pitches a 5-3 win over USC" »

Now THIS is baseball, 2

DayAtLBweb.jpg

A great, warm day at Long Beach

now THIS is baseball

View image

My day at Long Beach State

Craziest score of the early season

Well, they are playing two down at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton. Mississippi Valley State came to town, and after Game One, we have our wildest, most lopsided score of the season.

Continue reading "Craziest score of the early season" »

FSU/UT: Seminoles looking strong

Florida State has looked very impressive in their two wins thus far. Their veteran pitchers have kept an aggressive Tennessee offense under wraps while their offense and their defense have played well. A total team effort.

FSU turns to Ryan Strauss on the hill Sunday. The starting leftfielder a year ago, Strauss has a tough act to follow in his first start of the year. Top two starters Bryan Henry and Michael Hyde have pitched 12 2/3 scoreless innings. They've allowed just six hits, three walks, and have collected 21 strikeouts.

For Tennessee, expect a more patient offensive approach against Strauss. Coach Delmonico stressed to his team how their aggressiveness has kept them behind in the count swinging at pitchers pitches.

Should be a fun one. Gametime is 1 ET.

FSU/UT: Final FSU 4 Tennessee 0

More to come after postgame interviews.

Win Hyde Loss Adkins

FSU/UT: Stidham again

The FSU freshman Jason Stidham just connected another RBI double to stretch the Seminole lead to 4-0. Jimmy Marshall is in to pitch the FSU ninth.

What's worse, Mark's snowgame, Glenn's extreme Texas temps or L.A. freeway traffic?

That's my cross to bear today. I'm hoping to go to two of the better marquee matchups of the day, USC at Long Beach State and Stanford at Fullerton. I haven't gotten confirmation on whether both places have internet/wireless capabilities. If so, I'll blog throughout. If not, see ya' later on tonight.

FSU/UT: Hyde has ten

FSU starter Michael Hyde just punched his tenth strikeout to end the sixth inning. He has a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the sixth.

Vol starter James Adkins is set up to be the loser despite allowing just two hits. Adkins left after five frames, with two runs (1 earned). He walked two and struck out five. Nick Hernandez is in for the Vols.

Today is the second consecutive day a FSU starter has collected double-digit strikeouts.

FSU/UT: Sunshine and snow

Ok, you've heard the old saying that when the sun is shining and it is raining, that the devil is beating his wife? Well, what does it mean when the sun is shining and it is snowing. That's right. It snows in Florida. But even when it does, the sun refuses to take a back seat.

Continue reading "FSU/UT: Sunshine and snow" »

The sunshine state?

Gotta love it to be out in the stands today. Temps in the 40s and windy. Those are the conditions today in sunny Tallahassee for the Florida State Tennessee Saturday contest. Florida State won yesterday 9-2.

Continue reading "The sunshine state?" »

Brummett turns Winthrop's evening into bummer

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how UCLA starter Tyson Brummett outdueled Winthrop's Alex Wilson to help give the Bruins a 2-1 win tonight. He only had a 6-7 record last year, with an ERA in the mid-5 range, but you couldn't tell that tonight. He threw 8.0 innings, gave up just six hits and struck out six. Want the best stat of the night? He retired 15 of his last 16 batters. I love a pitcher who gets stronger the longer he goes.

Continue reading "Brummett turns Winthrop's evening into bummer" »

I hate this

UCLA outlasts Winthrop in great pitchers duel, 2-1. But remember how the College World Series ended last year?... Ditto for tonight's game. Just as I mentioned in my "Hope List" from earlier today, I hated seeing an error decide the national championship and hope it doesn't happen again. Same goes for tonight's season opener between these two. But that's exactly what happened at Jackie Robinson Stadium tonight. E4 = W for UCLA.

Continue reading "I hate this" »

February 02, 2007

Winthrop the giant killer to take on UCLA

Can't wait to see how the Eagles' Alex Wilson fares against the bruisin' Bruin bats out at venerable Jackie Robinson Stadium tonight. But don't expect any updated blog entries from me while I'm there. Unfortunately, JRS is respectfully old school and doesn't have internet availability. More later on tonight.

Continue reading "Winthrop the giant killer to take on UCLA" »

January 30, 2007

Welcome to 2007

Hello everybody and welcome back to Touching the Bases. After a successful run through the 2006 postseason, the blog is back for a full season of action in '07. With writers in place across the nation, we will be at all of the big series, bringing the action straight to you. To get things started the weekend of February 2-4, here's a list of the games that we will be at:

Stanford at Cal State Fullerton (All Three)
San Diego at Texas (All Three)
Tennessee at Florida State (Sat. and Sun.)
USC at Long Beach State (Sat.)
Winthrop at UCLA (All Three)

We hope you enjoy the coverage as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. We'll see you on the way to Omaha!

June 12, 2006

NCAA: Question about baseball bat TV spots...

This question came to my mind as I watched the Super Regional games today: Which bat manufacturer television commercial did you guys like better - The Demarini commercial or the Easton commercial?

Demarini spot: (Filmed at Univ. of Portland's baseball stadium)
Guy walks up to the plate, the announcer says, "he's got the Demarini, the bat that bends!", the opposing coaches say the same thing and the pitcher gasps, before serving up a home run.

Easton spot: (Filmed in a studio set that resembles a laboratory, with extensive animation)
A team of guys walk into a lab setting, grab a bat out of thin air, step on to some platforms and start swinging at baseballs thrown by a nebulus octopus-armed mechanism.

Just got curious and thought I'd ask.

NCAA: My top 10 observations from the first three days of the Super Regionals

Other than wanting to change the name of the Super Regionals to something other than "Super Regionals" (sounds like they gave the naming assignment to a Mexican professional wrestler who wears a mask) here's my look at what I observed today from the comfort of my couch at home.

Continue reading "NCAA: My top 10 observations from the first three days of the Super Regionals" »

June 10, 2006

NCAA: Ahhhh. It's 1:03am and I'm still watching college baseball

Unlike the last two weekends - spent in Jacksonville and New York - it's good to be back on the west coast and being the last blogger of the night.

I just got home from Fullerton and right now, I'm enjoying a cold beer, some leftover food from "Lucky Devils" in Hollywood and watching a replay of the Alabama-North Carolina game. This is actually the first time I've ever been able to see Bama's Wade LeBlanc pitch. But seeing him slam his cleats around the dugout after being pulled in the 6th, I'm guessing this wasn't at his best stuff. He lasted 5.2 painful innings as the Heels teed off on him. I love that high leg-kick he's got though.

With tonight's loss, LeBlanc fell to 11-1 on the season. And to be honest, Alabama just looks overwelmed by UNC.

Continue reading "NCAA: Ahhhh. It's 1:03am and I'm still watching college baseball" »

June 05, 2006

NCAA: 15 Teams Set For Super

Georgia hung on, although it was interesting in the 9th, as FSU got one back and had the tying run on before falling 3-2.

15 of the 16 teams advancing to the Super Regionals are now set...

Continue reading "NCAA: 15 Teams Set For Super" »

NCAA: Fullerton leads 6-3 going into bottom of the 5th

... and my eyelids feel like anvils. May go ahead and throw in the towel and hit the rack. My car service to the airport shows up in 2 and a half hours.

Oh, Jean, good job on the Fayetteville Regional. Well, actually, good job to everyone on the regional coverage.

Lastly, that loud roar you heard was the thousands of LSU fans celebrating the end of the Smoke Laval era. I know I have a number of friends in Baton Rouge that are happy about it.

NCAA: Six of my Eight CWS teams are still alive

Just to review, here were my 8 for Omaha before the tournament began:
Clemson
Notre Dame (X)
Fullerton
North Carolina
Rice
Georgia
Nebraska (X)
Oregon State
I kicked myself time and time again for picking against Augie Garrido and Texas, but now I look like a genius. Of course, Notre Dame and Nebraska are reaffirming that I'm not.

Fullerton and Fresno are now tied at 3 going into the 4th inning.

NCAA: on the CSTV set (seeing if this will work)

OnCSTVset.jpg

NCAA: Various thoughts on the weekend

A couple of quick notes while I ponder the ability to make it to Malibu for tomorrow's Pepperdine-Missouri second championship game... (my flight gets into LAX at 10am, game starts at 11.).

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NCAA: Hmmm. Whether to sleep, or make it an all-nighter

Okay, it's now 1am New York time. My friends and wife are out at the Fullerton-Fresno game, which is currently in the 2nd inning as I type this. I'm in my Times Square hotel room (thank you CSTV) and my ride to the airport arrives in four hours. So- do I stay up and keep tabs on the Fullerton Regional final for a few hours? Or do I go ahead and try to sleep for a few hours?

And the other obvious question is... Who the hell thought it would be a good idea to start tonight's Game 6 from Fullerton at 12:30am Eastern Time?! You masochists!

June 04, 2006

NCAA: Fullerton is taking care of bidness

At my last live update from friends and family at Goodwin Field tonight, Fullerton is ahead 9-2 in the top of the 8th. Wes Roemer is pitching a 5-hitter and Blake Davis has two home runs. Eyes getting heavy, I may go to sleep soon.

Here are a few things I should've done in New York this weekend, but didn't have time to:
1- gone to see the legendary CBGB club. Where the American punk movement got its start.
2- gone to see Central Park. I've heard it's the best part of New York
3- gone to St. John's to see the baseball field. Just to imagine what a regional there would be like.
4- gone to see the Exxon headquarters. That's where Midnight Oil performed their legendary anti-Exxon concert.
5- gone by MTV. To tell them how they ruined "music"

NCAA: From Times Square to Fullerton

My day at CSTV is long done now. So I took people's advice and did a quick stroll around Times Square (my hotel is right around the corner). It reminded me a lot of New Orleans and Las Vegas mixed together with a lot taller buildings - also, keep your wallet in your front pocket.

A couple of friends of mine and the good lady wife are currently at the Fresno State-Cal State Fullerton game, sending me up-to-the-minute text message updates. Currently, the Titans got two-run bombs from Blake Davis and Danny Dorn and now lead 7-3 (although Gametracker still shows the score to be 2-2).

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June 03, 2006

NCAA: Texas turf not an advantage

During our previous Gametracker show on the air, I told Greg Amsinger that Texas had the better hitting team and that they play like a different team on that hot artificial turf. But I've now seen four plays in this Stanford game that the Texas infielders have had a tricky time with the fake stuff, one unfortunately took out 3B Nick Peoples.

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NCAA: I just told the NCAA committee to quit giving us so many ACC, SEC, Big 12 teams

I hope they were listening... but you know they weren't.

You think teams like Manhattan, San Francisco, Oral Roberts, Princeton and Ball State believe their RPI? I love what's happening. These teams are making days like today so much damn fun. Greg Amsinger and I just got through doing a great Gametracker show, Greg said it was one of his best ever. Lots of fun. Lots of energy. We really played off of what was going on, with NU getting eliminated and Princeton having a no-hitter until that fateful 8th inning.

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NCAA: College baseball hits the New York Times

I was pleasantly surprised to wake up this morning and find a nice write-up in the NYT on the Manhattan win over Nebraska. They even had small blurbs on a couple other games in there too. Not bad, considering the NBA playoffs is going on (or so I hear), the Yankees/Mets are playing and Maria Sharapova is, well... Maria Sharapova.

Also, this being on the East coast during the regionals really bites, man! I'm so used to staying up late and knowing every score at the end of the day back home in Los Angeles. I actually had to get on-line this morning to find out for sure if Fullerton held on to beat St. Louis.

June 02, 2006

NCAA: Ah... the joys of not wearing a suit and tie

One of the best things about doing this in-studio thing this weekend at CSTV is that they have allowed me to wear what I want to on-camera. I have to admit something, I don't even own a dress suit. I have a small collection of ties, but I also consider them to be society's leash. So I wore my Johnny Cash black collared shirt today. Under the desk, I had on jeans and Doc Martin boots.

Now I gotta tell you guys something else, I love the work that Baseball America's Will Kimmey does. He's as knowledgable as it gets in college baseball. But I hate seeing him in a stiff suit and tie behind the desk with Mike Hall. I know Will, and he doesn't seem like the suit and tie type. Glad I'm not in Bristol this weekend.

All hail creativity.

NCAA: Worst words for a director: rain delay

I'm still up here at CSTV's studios in New York and almost everyone has gone home. Unfortunately, the Arizona State-Baylor game has been called, so director Peter Shakour is hacked that he let everyone go home, otherwise, we could have had Greg and I back in studio doing live "look-ins"

Looks like Mr. Shakour has been allowed to do a look-in on the Ole Miss-Bethune Cookman game.

NCAA: Double trouble for West Coast Conf.

Within a minute of each other, San Diego lost to Fresno State 9-8 when a base runner got picked off at first and USF hit a pop fly with the bases loaded and two outs as they trail Miami 6-2 in the 6th inning.

The Toreros had men at first and third with one out and could not get the tying run across. The game ended when Jordan Abruzzo struck out and David Harris was picked off of first. Ouch!

NCAA: Done with taping for the day. Lots of games left

Well, I'm done in the CSTV studio for all of my segments behind the desk with Greg Amsinger. But geez, there's SO much baseball to be played out there. My closing comments behind the desk were how the mid-major teams were THE story of the day. College of Charleston, Wichita State, Elon, Manhattan, South Alabama, Pepperdine, Winthrop. These teams gave the big boys the rude treatment.

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NCAA: My brackets are already taking a beating

I have Nebraska and Notre Dame going to Omaha. Both are currently 0-1. And of course, Rice trails Prairie View 5-3 in the 6th (that should just about take care of everyone else's brackets). The track meet-like Panthers are keeping everyone here in the studio entertained whenever someone gets on base.

NCAA: USC's Gillespie retires

Just got word that USC's Mike Gillespie has retired from his head coaching duties at the Los Angeles school. I know some of the USC fans on my hockey team I play on wil be happy. They couldn't stand the dude. But I liked him, he was also very cool to me in the few times I talked to him. Chad Kreuter, who had been a major leaguer for 16 years, will replace him. Turns out that Kreuter is Gillespie's son-in-law too. Hmmmm.

NCAA: just got off TV. Head didn't shine too much, no food in teeth.

Just did my first segment for CSTV's college baseball coverage with the ultra-smooth Greg Amsinger. I guess I was a little nervous, but to be honest, everything happened so fast, I didn't have time to think about it. I just winged it for the most part. People tell me I looked good in my Johnny Cash black I had on. Got to talk about Nebraska losing to Manhattan - not a huge shocker to me, to be honest.

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NCAA: Northern baseball!

Just found an interesting fact about Nebraska's baseball team. Here are the home state's for their 39 players:
Nebraska- 14
Colorado- 7
Iowa- 5
Minnesota- 3
Kansas- 3
North Dakota- 2
South Dakota- 1
Wyoming- 1
Oklahoma- 1
Missouri- 1
Texas- 1

Note only one player from a southern school. I found that surprising. Then again, maybe that's why they're losing 2-1 to Manhattan too.

NCAA: Gametracker rules!

As a fan who is not at one of this year's reginals, I think I speak for most of us here in saying that I am forever grateful that the boys at the NCAA decided to embrace the "Gametracker" live updates system instead of the old NCAA sports format that was used in past years. That was always the slowest, least-up-to-date format and I never could figure why they would go away from Gametracker to that slow dinosaur. It's a big improvement.

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NCAA: Stanford jerseys rule.

Watching the Stanford-NC State game reminds me that I think the Cardinal pullover-style jersey are so retro-cool. Of course, today, playing on that turf in Austin, I bet they wish they were literally "cool" or air conditioned or something.

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NCAA: Here in NY, thinking of Malibu

The man I'm most jealous of right now is easily Gus Elliot. He's the blogger that's taking in the Malibu Regional this weekend. I can almost taste the salt in the air as I imagine sitting at Eddy D. Field Stadium. But I'm in New York now... a hotbed of baseball. Just not the college variety.

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May 28, 2006

NCAA: Three words- Pepperdine. Hosting. YES!

The best place to watch a college baseball game in the country gets a regional host spot... absolutely cool! I'm just sorry I won't be around next weekend to watch it take place.

One more good thing: Despite the flawed RPI working against it, the boys went with logic giving one to Oregon State again.
One bad thing: The ACC deserved more host spots than the SEC.

NCAA: Sixteen hosts announced

Alabama
Arkansas
Cal State Fullerton
Clemson
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Kentucky
Mississippi
North Carolina
Nebraska
Oklahoma
Oregon State
Pepperdine
Rice
Texas
Virginia

NCAA: Twenty-one Champions, Nine More Today

Automatic bids have already been determined for over two-thirds of the conferences, and nine more champions will be crowned later today. Here's the list of who's in and what's on tap for Sunday.

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May 27, 2006

NCAA: two more at-large bids are saved, one may be lost

Teams like LSU, Stanford and Michigan may have to show a debt of gratitude to both Notre Dame and Troy for winning their respective conference tourneys over low-seeded teams.

Notre Dame beat Louisville 7-0

Troy beat Middle Tennessee 10-6.

On the down side, Winthrop trails Liberty 8-6 in the top of the 7th and would need to win two games from the Flames to win the Big South.

NCAA: More Invites Printed

Troy wins the Sun Belt with a 10-6 victory over Middle Tennessee State on Saturday afternoon.

Oral Roberts wins the Mid-Continent Conference (as always!) with a 2-0 victory over Western Illinois.

Stetson takes advantage of hosting the Atlantic Sun Tournament to win the automatic bid, downing East Tennessee State 6-2.

NCAA: Dancing in the Northeast

Two NCAA Tournament bids have been wrapped up so far this afternoon.

In the NEC, #4 seed Sacred Heart upset #1 seed Central Connecticut State 10-8 to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Just up the road, #2 seed Manhattan defeated top seed LeMoyne by a 7-3 score to win the MAAC championship.

OVC: Snakes Alive!

We at CSTV may not have an intrepid blogger at the OVC baseball tournament, but this is worthy of mention -- Eastern Kentucky assistant SID Dan McBride hopped into his rental car after the tournament, got a good chuckle out of the "rubber" snake someone had left in the car and got the shock of his life when it turned out to be a live 2-foot python...

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May 23, 2006

NCAA: The Bubble Teams Wish List

Conference tournaments are certainly the Devil’s work for many reasons, especially in college baseball. For most of them, what’s the point? Well, the answer for that is for another rant at another time.

But we all can agree that the worst thing these conference tournaments do is take away NCAA tournament at-large bids from more-deserving teams. Upsets do their damage to the field.

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May 19, 2006

NCAA: Bubble Boys

Now, without pulling any punches, this is what these at-large bubble teams must do in order to make the NCAA Tournament, or else they get the lump of coal from the committee:

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