After traveling a couple of time zones to see various forms of college baseball over the last few weeks, it was nice to spend all afternoon sitting on my fat butt watching baseball on TV. And then I spent the evening at one of those outdoor movies at the Hollywood Forever cemetery watching the movie “Seven” with Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey
So that movie inspired me. What are the seven deadly sins of college baseball?…
There have been over 300 live college baseball games on the ESPN networks this year. I think I’ve seen at least one inning of every one of them. I have gorged on them beyond the filling point and then gone back for more.
Whenever I hear the words RPI, I go into a ravenous fit of rage and want to destroy everything within my swinging fists..
When I’m at a dud of a college baseball game, I get an update from another game and secretly pine to be at that game instead.
I secretly want to be a five-tool baseball player who makes millions and is surrounded by cleat-chasing vixens.
Sometimes when I’m at a game, instead of “working” I just decide to sit back with a box of popcorn, a vat of cheese on nachos, a Snickers bar, a hot dog, a bag of peanuts, a slice of pizza, another vat of cheese on nachos, a pack of Red Vines and six beers.
When one Easton Company Leer Jet just isn’t enough to go everywhere you want to go to. Oh, and when the six and seven figure salaries I get for my college baseball writing are still not enough.
College baseball fan bases have way way way way way too much pride. Like, in a destructive kill-the-trees-at-Toomers-Corner kind of way.
WHAT I SAW FROM MY COUCH.
As stated above, it felt good to just sit around and do nothing but watch some college baseball… while the Swedish bikini models fanned me with giant palm branches and fed me grapes one-by-one.
The best of the day in college baseball.
1- The Washington-Oregon State series.
Damn. No offense to Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns, but it appears as if I should’ve planned to go up to Corvallis for this one. Last night Washington got a huge 4-2 win in Corvallis to give the Huskies a “We’re for real” Friday night win. Tonight, OSU responded with a bottom-of-the-9th jog off win when frosh catcher Logan Ice – yes, that’s his real name – smashed an RBI double off the wall to give the Beavers a 1-0 win. With that W, the Beavs are back in 1st place in the Pac 12. Jace Fry and Udub’s Tyler Davis went toe-to-toe on the bump just throwing absolute bee-bees… at least that’s what a bud of mine who was at the game told me. (DIRECTV doesn’t have the fuggin’ Pac 12 Network, so I didn’t get to see it. Pricks).
Dylan Davis got the party started in the 9th with a leadoff single. He was sac’d over to 2nd base by Gabe Clark before Ice strode to the dish with all the confidence that belies a freshman. Troy Rallings, who saved Friday’s 4-2 win for the Huskies, came in from the ‘pen to face Ice. But Logan switched to the left side of the dish and laced his screaming double to the wall to end the game.
2- South Carolina.
The Gamecocks won the most important weekend series East of the Mississippi by taking two of three from Vanderbilt in Nashville. A four-run 8th inning was the difference as Kyle Martin’s RBI single got the blitz started. A Joey Pankake RBI single soon followed, as well as a crushing two-run single by D.C. Arendas. As I said with Chris Childers on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, this series may not have been for a top four seed in the SEC Tournament but it could very well have been for a top eight National Seed. So advantage Gamecocks on Selection Monday, right?
3- Kelly goes yard, Huskers get 2nd.
The battle for 2nd place in the Big 10 couldn’t have been more of a panic. Illinois and Nebraska entered today tied at 18-6 in conference play and then went into knock-down, drag-out mode racing to a 4-4 tie after nine innings. But in the bottom of the 10th, Pat Kelly blasted a three-run jog off over the left field wall enabling the Big Red to finish in 2nd place, meaning they’ll get to avoid No. 1 seed Indiana in the Big 10 tournament this coming week.
- America’s favorite team wins.
Creighton scored two runs in the top of the 12th inning and then had to hang on for dear life in escaping Xavier, 7-6. The Bluejays scored three runs in the top of the 9th to take a 4-3 lead, only to see the Musketeers tie the game in the bottom of the inning and send it to extras. CU once again took the lead in the 11th, but XU once again came back to tie in the bottom of the frame. Daniel Woodrow and Nicky Lopez provided back-to-back RBI singles in the 12th to account for the winning runs. Reliever Bryan Sova made the end an adventure, giving up a run and having the tying run 90 feet away, but held on.
With the white-knuckle win the Jays take the Big East regular season crown in their first year in the reformed league with a 14-4 mark.
- Stony Brook, America East champs
The Sea Wolves have a pretty good philosophy when playing Hartford this year: just wait ’til Sean Newcomb isn’t on the mound. Back when I saw them play each other when going up against Newcombe, they lost 1-0, but rebounded the next day with a 1-0 win of their own. Then yesterday they lost to Newcomb 6-1. But in the next two games, they beat the Hawks 5-1 and today’s 4-2 win. That makes them 3-0 vs. the Newcomb-less Hawks. Also, today’s win wrapped up the AmEast regular season title. SBU finishes 33-16 and 18-5 in conference play.
- Seven Year Itch.
Wow, this was one timely win. With today’s 7-5 win over SEC Eastern Division champion Florida, the Tennessee Volunteers saw their up-and-down season finish in the SEC tournament after all. It has been seven years since the Big Orange last played in Hoover, and their 12-18 finish was good enough to get into the field of 12.
Dave Serrano said after the win over the Gators, “We did it. I didn’t expect it to be easy but early on I thought it was going to be a little easier than it ended up being over the course of the season.”
- Angry Hoosier arms.
Not that they needed the win today against Minnesota, which they got, but Indiana went all bitchin’ pitching’ on the Gophers today, getting an 8-0 shutout in Bloomington. With today’s shutout, Indiana never allowed a Big 10 opponent to score more than four runs and ended the conference season with a 1.53 team ERA. That’s the best mound mark of any Big 10 team since Iowa’s 1.17 ERA in 1965. IU ends the regular season 38-13 and 21-3 in conference play.
- Still hope for Wagner.
Well, the Seahawks of Wagner took care of their end of the deal. They came back from a 3-2 deficit in the 6th inning to beat Bryant 6-4 with three runs in the top of the 9th inning. With that win the Hawks now need Fairleigh Dickinson to sweep a Sunday doubleheader from Mount St. Mary’s in order to make it into the four-team Northeast Conference tournament field.
- Hot Knights.
Staying in the Garden State, the Rutgers Knights took down Memphis by a 7-5 score today to end the regular season with a 29-23 overall mark and 14-9 in AAC play. Here’s a message to the rest of the AAC, beware the Knights. Rutgers has now won 10 of their last 11 games and will be the No. 4 seed in the AAC tournament.
- Mother Love Bone.
UCSB starting pitcher Austin Pettibone threw another bitchin’ outing, with his second consecutive complete-game shutout in today’s 6-0 win at San Francisco. Today Pettibone tallied 10 Ks and gave up just four hits. This came on the heels of last weeks complete-game five hitter over Cal State Northridge.
Pettibone now has 22 career wins and only one Dons baserunner reached 2nd base the entire game. UCSB came into the game with a No. 54 RPI ranking, so getting the sweep on Sunday is paramount to their post-season hopes.
On a side note, if you want to see and hear a song from late 80s, early-90s grunge masters Mother Love Bone with the late Andrew Wood on vocals, here is their video to Stardog Champion…
The worst of the day in college baseball.
1- Conferences are too FREAKIN’ big
I don’tootball realignment has ruined college sports. In the Atlantic 10, St. Louis and St. Joseph’s finished the regular season in first and second place, separated by a half-game. But the two programs didn’t even play each other during the regular season. And speaking of that wild finish in Lincoln, Nebraska finished in second place to Indiana in the Big 10. And… you guessed it. The top two teams didn’t even play each other this season. Of course, the coup de gras of all over-membered conferences, the SEC saw Florida and Ole Miss wrap up their regular seasons today as Division champions without playing each other.
See? When football changed the conferences forever, everybody lost.
2- Goodbye to the coolest name in college baseball.
I didn’t do a preseason All Name Team this year. But if I did, Florida Atlantic’s Tyler Rocklein would’ve been on it. Remember his incredible performance vs. North Carolina in last year’s epic Regional Finals? Anyway, the Owls, who were a Top 25 team according to some of the 23 polls and rankings out there, ended their season today with an 8-6 loss to UAB, which knocked them down to 9th place in Conference USA and on the outside looking in for the CUSA tournament. Bummer.
3- West Virginia
Oh mercy. What is the NCAA selection committee gonna do with these guys. Today the Mountaineers dropped a 4-0 decision at Texas Tech, which completed a three-game sweep in Lubbock. Those three losses means their record is now 27-24 and finished 9-14 in Big 12 play. But looking at the RPI, the ‘Neers were at No. 30 coming into Saturday. That’s good enough for an at-large bid, right? Well, considering they have now lost seven straight games to have them end on a sour note. There is a chance for redemption with the Big 12 Tournament, but they’ll start with a difficult game vs. Kansas.
- Carolina’s Blues, part 2
The Tar Heels pitched well, defended well, had a lot of energy, but they still couldn’t pull out a win at Miami today, dropping a 2-0 skunking to the Canes. Of course, the part that hurts is that the Heels entered the day siging at No. 42 in the RPI. So as I stated yesterday, they need every win they can get, especially against a team like Miami. Looks like their performance in the ACC tournament becomes more and more important.
- I almost forgot, Delaware State.
This actually happened back on Thursday… so call this a Throwback Thursday. But I forgot to mention the Hornets going a stunning 0-and-2 in the MEAC tournament and packing their gear for the off-season. DSU won the Northern Division of the MEAC with a 17-7 record. Despite a 30-win season, the Hornets lost 8-4 to Savannah State and 6-1 to Coppin State.
- Virginia’s indifference?
The No. 1 RPI team in the country is Virginia, who looks to be battling Oregon State, the No. 1 team in the polls, to be the National Seed. Well today the Cavs lost their second game of the weekend to Wake Forest, by a 4-2 count. Were they just flat ‘coz their post-season shuffling for the ACC Tournament was set? Or, does that mean they’ve lost their grip on the overall No. 1 National Seed? It’s not a crushing blow since the Wahoos are pretty assured of getting a top eight seed anyway.
- FIU fail.
Talk about a painful way to end the regular season, for the second consecutive day Florida International lost to Tulane on a jog-off RBI single in the last at-bat of the day. Stephen Alamais started the 9th inning by getting all the way to 2nd base on a throwing error. A couple batters later, Hunter Hope knocked him in with a single through the left side for an unearned run to provide the winning score. The Panthers dropped to 16-14 in the conference and the bigger problem is that they’ll now have to face top-seed Rice to start the conference tournament. And by the way, FIU lost all three games to Rice earlier this season.
Yesterday I gave props to LSU’s manic offense for crushing Auburn in two straight games. Well today, it’s time to admonish the Plainsmen. Including today’s 8-1 rout to the hands of the Tigers, Auburn gave up 29 runs on 38 hits and 13 walks in a three-game 0-fer to close out their season. The Plainsmen end up with a 28-28 overall mark and a 10-20 SEC record. But we are talking about Sunny Golloway here, so I have a feeling his second year on the job is going to be a lot better. Though it’ll still make for a long off-season.