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Saturday, June 11, 2005
Nebraska won their Super Regional today with a sweep as they beat the Miami Hurricanes 6-3. Johnny Dorn provided the pitching for the Huskers as the Husker pitching staff kept the Canes bats quiet the whole series. Alex Gordon was ejected from the game for the Huskers in the sixth inning for arguing with an umpire. (He said a magic word.) There will be a full report from one of our Huskers reader real soon.
The Georgia Tech baseball team was swept right out of the tournament by a pitching heavy Tennessee squad. The duo of James Adkins and Luke Hochevar kept the Jackets bats quiet throughout the weekend with a 13-3 victory on Saturday and an exciting 3-2 victory to lead them back to Omaha.
CSF just beat Arizona State 3-2 behind a two run ninth inning which included a walk-off balk which was called on the fourth pitch of an intentational walk for not coming to a stop which I did not see on the replays. This was a great game that might have been decided by a bad call from an umpire. Jason Urquidez and Ricky Romero pitched great and both deserved to win. Urquidez pitched 7.2 innings only letting up 1 run on 2 hits. Ricky Romero was just as impressive by letting up 2 ER on 3 hits while getting the complete game. His only mistake was a 2 run homer to Travis Buck.
This is the quote from the Crew Chief
"It was a violation of rule 9-3j (which says) the pitcher has to come to a complete and discernable stop," crew chief and second base umpire Paul Guillie said following the game. "The call was made on the 3-0 count. The third base umpire made the call."
Friday, June 10, 2005
The SEC had a good day with The Florida Gators beating the Seminoles of Florida State 8-1 and Tennessee used a 2 run homer in the top of the ninth to knock off Georgia Tech 3-2. Florida got a complete game from Tommy Boss as he gave up 7 hits and only 1 run in his nine innings of work. The Florida offense was led by 3 consecutive solo homeruns by Jerolman, McArthur, and Leclerc to make the score 7-1 after five innings. This looked to me like the knockout punch by Florida tonight as FSU's ace looked weak and the rest of the staff is suppose to be weaker. I think Florida will pull this off after this performance tonight. The Vols needed the Rob Fitzgerald homer in the top of the ninth off of Georgia Tech closer Matt Wieters to win the game. This was a must win game for the Vols as their ace Luke Hochevar pitched seven great innings allowing 5 hits and only 1 earned run. He struck out 11. The rest of this series should be interesting.
The Huskers came out with a solid 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes today to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The game was delayed over 2 hours before it started but Joba Chamberlain was ready as he was the story for the Huskers as he scattered 7 hits in 8.0 plus innings pitched. He struck out 13 of the 29 batters he faced. Cesar Carrillo was very good also letting up 2 ER over 8.0 innings but his defense gave up an unearned run in the fourth inning which was key.
Here are some links to some articles around the country about the Super Regionals.
The Times-Picayune checks in with a few articles about the Regional. The first one is about Nathan Southard, one about Wayne Graham , and the final one is about the threat of a tropical storm interrupting the series.
The Houston Chronicle has three articles today about College Baseball. One about the Rice pitching staff, one about Baylor's recent turnaround this season, and the final one is about TCU's Lance Broadway who is up for the Roger Clemens award.
The Lincoln Journal Star has a ton of articles about the Huskers and Canes. The first one focuses on Mike Anderson. Another one focuses on Husker assistant Andy Sawyers. We also have articles on Ryan Braun and also an article about the Huskers two aces. Wow, There is only one more from the Lincoln Star and that is on Zach Kroenke. There is also an editorial about the game from Steven M. Sipple.
The Sun-Sentinel checks in with an article from Jim Sarni about the Huskers series. There is also an article on the Figueroa brothers. The Miami Herald has an article about Miami pitcher Andrew Lane and also an article on Seminole pitcher Bryan Henry.
The Corvallis Gazette-Times has an article about the interest in OSU baseball with this dream season of theirs.
The Gainesville Sun comes in with an article about Brian LeClerc's hair and Tyler Chamberliss of FSU.
I have to go watch some games...Take it easy and Enjoy the games.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Just thought I would throw up a post about some articles about the games this weekend.
Miami vs Nebraska
This is a good article from the Nebraska side of the table from the Lincoln Journal Star Online. I think there is still bad blood between Miami and Nebraska fans from the mid 90's and earlier football battles. The South Florida Sun Sentinel has an article about the hostile crowd that the UM team will face in Lincoln this weekend.
Florida State vs. Florida
The South Florida Sun Sentinel delivers again with an article about the series. The Tallahassee Democrat delivers with an article about Alan Horne and also there is an article from a couple of days ago about the Army Baseball team and the experiences they had in the regional. The Gainesville Sun delivers with an article about the series.
Vols at Georgia Tech
The Atlanta Journal Constitution delivers an article about the series which calls GT a heavy favorite. The Knoxville News Sentinel delivers with an article about Chase Headley patience at the plate.
Clemson at Baylor
The Waco Tribune-Herald delivers with an article about Baylor and Clemson. The Greenville News delivers with two articles about pitching: one about the Clemson staff and one about Baylor's.
Arizona State at Cal State Fullerton
The East Valley Tribune comes up with an article about the duo of ASU pitchers who might help them beat CSF. The Daily Titan has two articles, one about the previous series and the other about Ricky Romero.
Texas at Ole Miss
The Austin-American Statesman checks in with three articles about the series. The first one focuses on previewing the series. The second focuses on how Texas plays better with its backs against the wall and the final one is about Ole Miss player Stephen Head.
Tulane hosts Rice
The New Orleans Times-Picayune has great coverage of the Tulane Baseball club by clicking here for there most up to date articles. The most intriguing article I found was this one.
USC visits Oregon State
The Corvallis Gazette Times has an article about Tyler Graham and his fight back from a torn labrum. The LA Times has no coverage of USC baseball but that is typical of large papers.
I hope to have up some links tomorrow before the games start up.
Vols at Georgia Tech
They are looking to go to their fourth CWS qualifying in 1951, 1995, and in 2001. They have a team which is led by one of the best pitchers in the country in Luke Hochevar (15-2 2.13 ERA 140 K's). As you expect, he dominated the SEC throughout and will likely win the game in which he starts. The Vols top offensive threat is Eli Iorg who has a batting average of .390 with 15 homers and 70 RBIs. He only saw limited action in the Regional due to an injury to his foot. He hopefully will be back for the Super Regional in a full capacity or UT might be in some major trouble.
The ACC Regular Season and Postseason Champs Georgia Tech look to be the best team because they have it all. They have solid starting pitching and an excellent offense. Sophomore 3B Wes Hodges leads the Jackets in hitting with a .404 BA with Tyler Greene being the second option with his .373 Average, 72 RBI's, and 12 homers. Greene was selected by the St Louis Cardinals with the 30th overall pick. The top three starters for the Georgia Tech team are Lee Hyde, Blake Wood, and Ryan Turner have a combined record of 24-7 and a 3.74 ERA.
Baseball America's take on Greene
Green is a 60 runner (some say 70 under way) on the 20-80 scouting scale, with good instincts on the basepaths and elsewhere. A plus arm and good range make him at least an averages defender at short. The question is offense. His hands are just OK both at the plate and in the field. Greene's swing has evolved to a metal-bat, inside-out style that doesn't incorporate his hands, short-circuiting his power and leaving him with several holes. His aptitude with wood, however, reminds scouts of Cubs prospect Matt Murton, who also hit better in summers on the Cape than with Georgia Tech.
I believe with the pitching depth of the Jackets that they win this series in 2 quick games.
Clemson at Baylor
Clemson comes into this series on a hot streak by winning 14 out of their last 16 games. They dominated their regional by only letting up 5 runs in the three games they played. They are led by DH Kris Harvey who is hitting .342 this year with a nice total of 24 HRs. The hottest pitcher for them has been Josh Cribb who is 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in his last four starts.
Baylor enters this series after a tough weekend of bad weather in Waco. They are lead by Mark McCormick who is 7-3 with a 3.12 ERA this season. Senior Catcher Josh Ford is their top offensive weapon with his .322 average which leads the team. These are very low numbers for a team leader and could spell issues for the Baylor offense.
My prediction is that Clemson wins the series 2 games to 1.
Arizona State at Cal State Fullerton
Arizona State is not going to win this series because they have to face the potent lineup of Cal State Fullerton. Ricky Romero who was the number 6 overall pick of the Blue Jays will dominate this Sun Devil team. Romero has a 12-5 record with a 132 K's in 125 innings. He is the best pitcher in the game and is battle tested for an example just look at the CWS from last year when Romero pitched very well in Omaha. He won two games in the CWS including Game 1 of the Championship series. Ronnie Prettyman is hitting .333 this year with 13 SBs.
Baseball America's Take on Ricky Romero
Romero has three solid, major league-ready pitches that he can throw for strikes almost at will, including a fastball that sits at 90-91 mph and touches 93-94. He also has an excellent curveball and a better feel for a changeup this year after he reduced his reliance on his curve. But Romero gets his highest grades for his makeup, temperament and competitive zeal. He is an excellent student of the game who understands the science of pitching, and is a master at controlling the tempo of a game.
This CSF team is well rounded and will beat the Sun Devils in 2 games.
This is an interesting matchup with Texas who is a regular in the CWS by being in 31 CWS while Ole Miss who is looking for their first appearance since 1972.
Texas is led by one of the best head coaches in the game today in Augie Garrido. On Offense, Texas is led by CF Drew Stubbs who recently was named to the USA National Team for the summer. They also have Senior SS Seth Johnston who has hit .384 with 15 SBs. J. Brent Cox is the lead relief pitcher in the country and recently was named the Stopper of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association.
They are hosting a Super Regional for the second straight year and looking to advance to the CWS for the first time in 23 years. Ole Miss is led by the talented duo of Brian Pettway and Stephen Head. Pettway this season is hitting .391 and has 20 home runs. Head has .319 and has 18 homeruns. Ole Miss pitching is led by Matt Maloney and Mark Holliman. Maloney has a 8-2 record with 3.14 ERA and 104 K's. While Holliman put up 8-4 record with a 3.85 ERA and 117 K's.
My prediction is that Texas takes this series based on the experience of Augie in three games.
The number one seed Tulane Green Wave hosts the Rice Owls in a Super Regional showdown in New Orleans.
Tulane is led by a solid cast of characters with both good pitchers and hitters. Brian Bogusevic is a lefty pitcher who was the number 24 pick in this years draft. He has a record of 13-1 with a 2.72 ERA. He has struck out 119 people. He is the most dominant pitcher on this Tulane staff and this should help Tulane at least get the first game of the Series. Micah Owings will likely pitch the second game with his 10-4 record and a 3.64 ERA. The Tulane offense is led by six hitters who hit higher then .300 this season: Nathan Southard (.359 AVG), Tommy Manzella (.354 AVG. with 20 SBs), Scott Madden (.347), Brad Emaus (.346), and Greg Dini (.301). This offense is deep and will create a problem for the Owls.
Here is Baseball America's take on Bogusevic
Though more teams prefer him as a three-pitch lefthander, he also has five-tool potential as a right fielder. On the mound, Bogusevic shows an 89-93 mph fastball along with a solid slider and changeup. He has good command, though his velocity and location slipped when he strained a hamstring early in the season. Bogusevic's size, swing and bat speed give him tremendous power potential from the left side of the plate. That power is still more raw and not as evident in gamesÂbut it's there. He's also Tulane's fastest player, running the 60-yard-dash in 6.6 seconds during the team's scout day last fall. His arm obviously is an asset on defense as well.
Wayne Graham will led his Rice Owls into this matchup as heavy underdogs. The Rice team is loaded with three super pitchers in Joe Savery (5-2 2.42 ERA), Eddie Degerman (7-1 3.09), and Josh Greer (5-4 4.11). The offense for the Owls is led by Adam Rodgers with his .414 AVG. Joe Savery also has the second highest batting average on the team with a .390 AVG.
My prediction for this series is a romp by Tulane in two straight games to head back to the CWS.
These two teams met in the biggest games since the 1996 CWS. Florida State won the season series 2 games to one this season with one game in Tallahassee and two in Gainesville.
Florida State is led by Aaron Cheesemen and Shane Robinson on offense. Cheeseman is a Fifth year senior catcher who hit .299 Avg with 50 RBI's. He also threw out 40 % of his runners. Robinson hit .434 Avg with 48 steals in 55 attempts. This kid is a little guy that knows how to get on base and score runs. He scored 94 runs this season in 71 games. He also broke an FSU record with a 40 game hit streak. Robinson was named Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the year and is one of four finalists for the Xanthus-Dick Howser Trophy.
The main problem for Florida State this year has been their pitching staff after Bryan Henry. He was named the top pitcher in the ACC this season with his 9-2 record and a 1.61 ERA. He has a strikeout to walk ratio of 55 to 17. After Henry the Seminoles rotation becomes really suspect with Mark Sauls and Michael Hyde. Sauls comes into the game 6-1 with a 3.68 ERA. The main problem with Sauls is that he has a 1 to 1 ratio of strikeouts to walks. Michael Hyde is 7-2 with 4.40 ERA. Hyde pitched against Army in the opening round of the tournament and only let up 2 runs in 6 innings but the Gators are a little bit better then the Cadets.
Florida's offense is led by Matt LaPorta who has hit .336 AVG and has 24 Homeruns with 73 RBI's. His counterpart in their offensive attack is the rest of his team. None of the other players are outstanding on their own merits but are very solid players who know how to get on base for the big hitter LaPorta. Senior Center Fielder Jeff Corsaletti is one of these types of players who hit .378 this season and was a fifth round pick of the World Champion Boston Red Sox. Florida is well rounded and there is no let down in their order.
Florida's top pitcher is Alan Horne who enters with 8-2 record and a 4.14 ERA. Horne's numbers are very high for an ace on the staff but he has had problems in the first inning of many of his starts and tends to settle down as the game goes on. So the strategy is to jump on Horne early before he can get into a routine. The other two probable starters for the Gators are Bryan Ball (7-4 3.29 ERA) and Alan Horne (8-2 4.05 ERA). Based on the stats it looks like Ball has pitched better this season but is lacking the run support of Horne. I have seen both of these guys pitch and I believe that Ball has better stuff then Horne.
I believe the FSU wins this hotly contested series in three games taking games 1 and 3 to win.
This is a battle between Pac 10 rivals. USC is playing the perennial leader while OSU is playing newcomers role. There is not many publications (if any) in the country who predicted that Oregon State would be the 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. OSU won the season series 2 games to 1. The scores were 5-4 and 10-7 in favor of the Beavers while the game to the Trojans was a 12-2 game.
The Trojans of Southern California are led by superstar catcher Jeff Clement who was the number 3 pick in the entire draft this year by the Seattle Mariners. Clement is a catcher who has a .347 average and only 13 homers. Clement throws out runners around the 41% mark which is a solid number. Oregon State will not try to test Clement too much this weekend.
Baseball America's take on Clement
Clement generates light-tower power with a short, compact lefthanded swing. He stays inside the ball well and gets excellent backspin. As a major league hitter, he projects to hit .270-.280 with 30-35 home runs. Clement has outstanding makeup and has worked hard to shore up his weaknesses. He has shown his biggest improvement behind the plate. His set-up, mechanics, blocking and arm quickness are all much improved. He still has only a 40-50 arm on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, but threw out almost 50 percent of basestealers this year.
The biggest issue for USC is going to be their pitching for this series. There top two pitchers are Ian Kennedy (12-2 with a 2.58 ERA) and Jack Spradlin (6-3 with a 4.14 ERA) will likely start Games 1 and 2 for them. What happens if the series goes to a game 3? Is USC going to start Brett Bannister? Anyone know?
The Beavers are hosting the Super Regional for the first time in their long history of Baseball. They are trying to reach the College World Series for the first time since 1952. Oregon State enters the game with a 44-9 record on the season and a 24-4 record at home. The Beavers are led by the junior outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury who was a first round pick of the world champion Boston Red Sox this past week. Ellsbury leads OSU in batting average (.415), OBP (.504), and many other categories.
Baseball America's opinion about Ellsbury
Ellsbury has few holes in his game and is capable of beating teams in a lot of ways. He has excellent makeup and instincts. His best tool is his speed, and it’s evident both on the bases and in center field, where he catches everything hit his way. He has been clocked in 6.55 seconds over 60 yards. He has become more patient, rarely swings and misses and is comfortable hitting with two strikes. His style of play and physical appearance have drawn comparisons to Johnny Damon at a similar age, but scouts say Ellsbury has a better swing. They question whether he’ll grow into the same power, though.
Oregon State's pitching rotation this weekend has Dallas Buck (11-1 1.97 ERA) on Friday, Anton Maxwell (11-1 4.07 ERA) on Saturday and Jonah Nickerson (9-1 2.03 ERA) on Sunday if necessary.
The pitching has been the story all year for the Beavers and will continue as OSU knocks off USC in two straight games to take the series 2 games to none. This is the year of the impossible happening just like the Sox winning the World Series, I think OSU makes it back to the CWS and really puts a scare into some teams.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Miami at (3) Nebraska
This is going to be a very tough environment for the Hurricanes. I believe that Nebraska has the edge in the series based on the atmosphere of their stadium and fans. The Huskers pitching staff is led by Joba Chamberlain (8-2). This kid is a workhorse and has a very good curveball to go along with a plus 90 fastball. He has been the Friday starter all year for Nebraska and will likely face Cesar Carrillo who is 13-2 this season against some very solid ACC clubs. I expect a pitchers duel which will be broadcasted on ESPN at 1pm on Friday.
This series also features the two best Third basemen in the country in Alex Gordon from Nebraska and Ryan Braun from Miami. Gordon is hitting .382 with 18 HRs and was the number 2 pick in this week's MLB draft.
This is what Baseball America says about Gordon:
Gordon should hit for power and average because he has a sweet lefthanded swing, strength, exceptional strike-zone discipline and the ability to make adjustments. He uses the entire field and can drive the ball where it's pitched after getting pull-conscious as a sophomore. When Gordon first arrived at Nebraska, some thought he might have to move to first base or an outfield corner. But he has worked hard on his defense, where his strong arm, instincts and quickness are assets.
Ryan Braun on the other hand was only the fifth overall pick of the Milwaukee Brewers. He has been hitting well throughout his career with a .396 average with 18 HRs.
Baseball America's Scouting Report on Braun
Braun has a hitch in his swing and a high, unconventional finish, but his hands are quick enough to make it work, and he's athletic enough to repeat his stroke and drive pitches to all parts of the field. His future position will be the main source of concern for pro teams. He came to college as a shortstop and now plays third, but he has struggled with errors at both spots. Some scouts doubt his infield actions and footwork and say he'll have to move to an outfield corner, where his plus arm and speed could allow him to be an above-average defender in time.
My prediction for this series is a 3 game set with Miami coming out on top with a one run victory on Sunday to shock the Home fans.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
The Dead Weight from the CWS is now gone after Quinnipiac lost to Miami (OH) by a score of 35-8. This was the most runs scored in a CWS game and broke a ton of records. The game took only 3 hours and 27 minutes to play. That is pretty quick saying that 43 runs were scored. Miami know moves on to face the Longhorns of Texas who lost to Arkansas by a score of 9-2. We know that Auggie will have the troops ready for the RedHawks offensive attack.
My Harvard Crimson did the old 2 and out for the Ivy League team. They lost on Friday night to defending national champion Cal State Fullerton 19-0. They came back tonight against a very strong Missouri team and scored 6 runs but gave up a whooping 14 runs.
The biggest surprise of this tournament has been the play of Army. They received a great performance by Nick Hill who dominated the Seminoles allowing only two hits in nine innings but walked 5 guys and his defense made three errors behind him. The Seminoles pulled out the victory by winning the game 3-2. Army came back on Saturday and beat South Alabama by a score of 8-5. They will take on Auburn in an elimination game tomorrow at Dick Howser Stadium.
The UVA Cavs who were finialist in the ACC Tournament bailed out of the Tourney today by losing to The Ohio State University by the slimmest of margins in a 2-1 game. The biggest news out of the Corvallis Regional is the performance of St. John's stud closer Craig Hansen who got his first start in over 2 seasons when he beat the Cavs in the opening game in the regional 5-3. St. John's is without their best starting pitcher in Anthony Varvaro who throws in the mid 90's and has a very solid curveball. He is expected to have surgery in the near future for the problem.
Stay tuned for more action from the College Baseball World.