A Baldcast and A Whole Lotta Balderdash

By Eric Sorenson. Posted on May 16th, 2013 in Thursday thoughts
 

Beyond the highly-informative and always-entertaining Baldcast, here’s what else went on in college baseball today… read on.

The biggest story of the day was Texas getting eliminated from the post-season - be it the Big 12 tournament or the Big Dance - after the Longhorns got soundly whipped by TCU.

The biggest story of the day was Texas getting eliminated from the post-season – be it the Big 12 tournament or the Big Dance – after the Longhorns got soundly whipped by TCU.

 

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THREE UP

Best of the day from what I saw.

 

1- COPPIN STATE

Beat North Carolina A&T, 7-3.

Yesterday the Eagles beat perennial tormentor Bethune-Cookman 10-8, then moved to 2-0 in the MEAC tournament with today’s win. And as college baseball legend Rick Rollins pointed out to me today, keep in mind this is a CSU team which went 1-52 last year and 24-249 over the last six years. But here they are a couple of upsets away from making it to the NCAA tournament. Unbelievable.

 

Let’s keep a close eye on things for Coppin the rest of the weekend.

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2- THE ACC ROADIES

No. 7 Virginia goes to No. 4 North Carolina and wins 10-4.

No. 19 Clemson goes to No. 8 Florida State and wins 8-2.

The Cavs and Clems officially just improved their stock in the RPI, which means you have to like UVa’s chances at a National Seed now. And Clemson is putting forth a good argument for getting a home Regional as well, unless they win one of the two remaining games on the weekend, then they’ll be making a good case for a National Seed… even though they are way over-exposed in that ACC love-fest by the RPI. But I digress.

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3- NEBRASKA-OMAHA.

Beat South Dakota State, 6-0 to win the Summit League

Before you read any more here, just let it be known that the Movin’ Mavs were picked last in the pre-season coaches poll.  first year in the Summit League and they ended up taking the regular season title by storm… or, well, at least they now have a share of the regular season title. Today’s 6-0 win over the 2nd place Jackrabbits out at Boys Town was a combined 4-hitter between starter Tyler Fox (3hits in 7.0 innings) and Cory Buckley (1hit in 2.0 innings). This marks the UNO athletic department’s first-ever title of any sport in their short history of Division 1.

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HONORABLE MENTION:

- The Parr Brothers, Illinois.

Justin and Jordan Parr scored three of the Ilini’s six runs in their 6-2 win over Minnesota. With the win, UI pulled into 4th place in the Big 10, keeping them in the mix for a spot in the Big 10 Tournament. Of course, the bigger news is that they’ll improve their No. 39 RPI ranking and helping their at-large odds improve.

 

Justin and Jordan Parr... or is it Jordan and Justin Parr... helped the Illini get past Minnesota on Friday afternoon.

Justin and Jordan Parr… or is it Jordan and Justin Parr… either way, the identical twins from Chillicothe, Illinois helped the Illini get past Minnesota on Friday afternoon.

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THREE DOWN

The worst of the day from what I saw.

 

1- TEXAS.

The Longhorns 4-0 loss at TCU, coupled with Texas Tech’s blowout of Baylor officially ends the Burnt Orange’s season after this weekend and no post-season. How bad was UT’s offense against Frog starter Preston Morrison? The announcers for the Baylor-TTU game reported the score in Ft. Worth at 4-0 TCU in the 7th and were saying, “With Texas, that’s like a 10-0 lead.” Morrison only relented a pair of infield hits to Mark Payton, one of them a bunt single. With the loss, Texas officially will end the Big 12 season in last place.  Hard to believe.

 

Texas media guide:

- 6 national championships

- 8 members of College Baseball Hall of Fame

- 11 Conference Players of the Year

- 11 Newcomers of the Year

- 34 CWS appearances

- 53 NCAA Tournament appearances.

 

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2- THE AT-LARGE HOPEFULS OF THE BIG EAST. 

Pitt lost to Louisville 5-2. (No big shame there)

Notre Dame lost at Cincinnati 9-5. (That’s 10th place Cincinnati)

Seton Hall lost at home to rival St. John’s 4-3. (The Hall’s 13-game win streak snapped)

 

The Golden Domers are the biggest losers of the three having seen their RPI drop into the 40s (knowing it will plunge even further by the time we all wake up Friday morning) and now having gone 11-13 since April 7th. Ack! What’s gone wrong with these guys? They were one of the best defensive teams I’d seen all year and had a great rotation and bullpen.

 

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3- KENT EMANUEL, NORTH CAROLINA ACE

Gah! Now is not the time to get on a cold streak. But it looks like the Heels and their big horse are both doing so. Today, Emanuel gave up 10 hits, two walks and six runs in UNC’s 10-4 home loss to Virginia. This was Emanuel’s second straight start of giving up double-digit hit totals to opposing batting orders. If you want to hear more of what Mike Rooney and I think of the Tar Heels and their latest foibles, listen to the Baldcast we’re posting with this column.

 

It’s not too late for UNC – obviously – but there are some issues we need to discuss here before  we move on.

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HOW THE BUBBLE TEAMS DID

Here’s a quick snapshot of the Baker’s Dozen of Bubble Teams I discussed in my weekend preview posted earlier on Thursday.

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- PITT

Lost 5-2 at Louisville.

Panthers actually got to starter Chad Green pretty well today, notching eight hits in 5.0 innings and also out-hit the Cardinals 13-9. But the UofL had too much in the long run and made more key plays. There’s still two games left here, but UP needs a win desperately.

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- MICHIGAN STATE

Drowned Penn State in a sea of runs 16-1

Talk about a team that was on a mission. The Spartans jumped on JoePa U. and never let up, knowing they’ll need to sweep to get into the Big 10 tournament and to save their RPI from plummeting. Jimmy Pickens had easy pickins today, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two walks and 4RBI. Leadoff man extraordinaire Cam Gibson was 2-for-3 with 3ribs.

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- UC SANTA BARBARA

Did not play. Will take on Pacific in three games starting on Friday.

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- NEBRASKA

Blew a late lead, lost 7-5 at home against Michigan.

The light is fading fast for the Cornhuskers. They allowed the Big Blue to score four runs in the 7th inning a blow past them for a huge series-opening loss. At 24-27 overall, the Mendoza Line is getting heavier and heavier for the Big Red.

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- MARYLAND

Lost 2-1 at home to bottom-feeding Boston College.

Okay, this has to be the last straw. Done. End. Finis. Losing to a team which had won just three ACC games entering the weekend has to be the final straw. I don’t care if their No. 24 RPI is a shining beacon or not.

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- OKLAHOMA 

Did not play. At K-State starting on Friday.

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- SAN DIEGO.

Did not play. Won’t play again until the West Coast Conference tournament in Stockton next week.

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- FLORIDA 

Won at Georgia 4-2.

Harrison Bader was the hero, stroking an RBI single in the top of the 9th inning to break a 2-2 tie.

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- NOTRE DAME

Lost to 10th place Cincinnati.

As described above, this is a crusher. Like, worse-than-Manti-Te’o's-girlfriend kind of crusher.

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- AUBURN

Beat No. 11-ranked Arkansas 3-0.

Conner Kendrick and Terrance Dedrick combined on a five-hitter against the punchless Hogs.

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- CREIGHTON

beat Missouri State, 4-3.

This could very well have been the game of the day in college baseball. A crowd of 9,537 watched at TD Ameritrade Park as the Bluejays fell behind 3-2 in the top of the 9th inning, but did get out of a bases-loaded jam without further damage. The Jays rallied as pinch hitter Tommy Clouthier knocked in Reagan Fowler with a sac fly to center field and a batter later Kevin Lamb singled in Michael Blatchford. The big part was that the Jays were able to beat MoState with All American starter Nick Petree on the hill.

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- NEW MEXICO 

Bomboarded San Diego State 14-6.

The Lobos stalked Montezuma Meas and came away with a huge win. D.J. Peterson and Luke Campbell combined for five RBI and the Lobos knocked 100mph-fireballer Michael Cederoth around enough to get a series-opening win.

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- KENTUCKY.

Lost at SEC weak-sister Missouri, 4-2.

Hard-luck hurler A.J. Reed fell to 2-8 on the mound and Tiger pitching held the Bat Cats to just five hits as they dealt a huge blow to UK’s at-large hopes.

 

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PLAY OF THE DAY:

- Raph Rhymes inside-the-park home run.

LSU went all mid-90s Gorilla Ball on Ole Miss, smashing three home runs in their 7-1 win over the visiting Rebels. But one of them was Raph Rhymes scintillating four-bagger that never went over the wall. Rebel center-fielder Auston Bousfield tried to make a diving catch of a Rhymes pop-up but missed and the ball ended up going to the warning track. Rhymes never stopped running and eventually collided with Rebs catcher Stuart Turner as the relay throw went awry.

Raph Rhymes goes head-over-tea-kettle in the collision with Rebel catcher Stuart Turner as he scores the four-bagger home run.

Raph Rhymes goes head-over-tea-kettle in the collision with Rebel catcher Stuart Turner as he scores the four-bagger home run.

 

 

 

COMMENTS:

May 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm
Fat Sam says:

“Baldcast and Balderdash”- wasn’t that the B-side of the Echo and The Bunnymen song “Bedbugs and Ballyoo” ? That’s the way the thunder rumbles.


May 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Fat Sam says:

Interesting footnote to this picture. Both Rhymes and Turner started their careers at LSU-Eunice, which has become a JUCO pipeline for Div I players.


May 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm
Rick R. says:

Another great game was last night’s finale of day 2 at the SWAC tournament. Alabama State, with head coach Mervyl Melendez in his second year at the helm after a long and successful stint at Bethune-Cookman, won its second game in the SWAC tournament. After a 16-0 opening game win, ASU trailed 9-3 going into the bottom of the eighth, but scored seven runs in the last two innings for a 10-9 win. The final play, with one out, runners on second and third, and ASU trailing Southern University, 9-8, the Hornets sent up a pinch hitter, Raul Perez, who was hitting .125 on the season. Now, I would consider it odd to send a .125 hitter to pinch hit for a .291 hitter who had 4 times as many at bats on the season, but coach Melendez had a strategy. A bunt pushed down the first base line brought in the tying run, and when Jaguars first baseman Brian Rowry raced in to get the ball, he booted it toward catcher Jose De La Torre. De La Torre couldn’t come up with the ball, and the Hornets’ Emmanuel Marrero scored from second base for the victory.

If I recall correctly, this is only the second time ASU has won its first two games at the SWAC tournament, and they have never won it. They have a good chance this year, and probably for years to come will be a much improved program.


May 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm
alex says:

Nice job on the Baldcast guys. Keep up the good work.


May 19, 2013 at 11:46 pm
PhxTitan says:

Phxnomenal baldcast, as usual. Ok, about Roon’s USC problem, being UCLA and John Savage’s recruiting skills… WTPH? Fullerton can obviously still hang with UCLA. Horton is obviously a tier one coach, quite possibly being the better of both CSF and UCLA’s coaches, maybe. USC’s problems go deeper and more long term than John Savage. Roon was giving uncharacteristically elementary address to USC’s systemic problems. How do players afford to even go to the USC’s, Stanford’s, Rice’s, etc of the CB world with the 11.7 scholarship limitations??? Obviously they do, but how? Does it narrow the recruiting field to just rich quality talent? Roon has to do better than John Savage being USC’s problem and challenge! USC alum must be dying to see their program come back, almost literally given the time lapse. Stitch, as a baseball journalist, do you think it is time to interview AD Pat Haden, from your own backyard, about a phxnomenally curious issue you’ve both tried to address on several occasions? Hint, hint. Keep up the great baldcasts… And start early next season.
PhxTitan