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Mid-Winter Thrills! - And Beyond - 2019
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 2/13/19 11:36 pm    Post subject: Mid-Winter Thrills! - And Beyond - 2019 Reply with quote

It's what we relish, and now, that date is almost upon us--dos mas dias until Opening Night of NCAA baseball!

And with Oregon State defending their CWS title, there is hope in the Pac-12 and much excitement for others as well, on the brink of the start of the new season. Heck, even UCI is making noise trying to get back into the field.

Baseball America's preseason top 25 rankings are as follows:

1 Vanderbilt


The Skinny: The Commodores bring back the bulk of a team that last season fell just short of Omaha, including eight of nine starters and seven of 10 pitchers who threw at least 20 innings. Right fielder JJ Bleday, a potential first round pick, and righthanders Drake Fellows and Patrick Raby, who both have Friday night experience, lead the strong returning core.

2 Louisiana State


The Skinny: The Tigers got a huge boost following the draft when the draft-eligible trio of righthander Zack Hess and outfielders Antoine Duplantis and Zach Watson opted to return to Baton Rouge and the top-ranked recruiting class in the country landed on campus. LSU this year will have an experienced pitching staff to go with a potent lineup.

3 UCLA


The Skinny: The Bruins have a veteran lineup led by Chase Strumpf, Michael Toglia and Jeremy Ydens that should make them formidable offensively and defensively. UCLA isn’t as experienced on the mound, but starters Ryan Garcia and Zach Pettway and closer Holden Powell give the pitching staff a strong nucleus.

4 Florida


The Skinny: The Gators will have a different look in 2019 after losing righthanders Brady Singer – the Player of the Year, Jackson Kowar and Michael Byrne, third baseman Jonathan India and catcher J.J. Schwarz. But Florida will still be plenty talented thanks to a series of top-five recruiting classes and has a shot to be the first team to make it to Omaha five consecutive years since Stanford did so from 1999-2003.

5 North Carolina


The Skinny: The Tar Heels last year advanced to Omaha with a team full of underclassmen. That group, led by slugger Michael Busch and righthanders Gianluca Dalatri and Austin Bergner, is back and has the potential to carry North Carolina on another deep postseason run.


6 Florida State


The Skinny: Mike Martin enters his 40th and final season as Florida State coach with a young but very talented team. The Seminoles will need the third-ranked recruiting class to step up, but they have veterans such as third baseman Drew Mendoza and lefthander Drew Parrish to guide them.

7 Stanford


The Skinny: The Cardinal last year won the Pac-12 Conference title in coach David Esquer’s first season back on The Farm. Stanford’s potent offense led by first baseman Andrew Dashbach and outfielder Kyle Stowers and shutdown bullpen anchored by All-American closer Jack Little can carry it a long way.

8 Texas Tech


The Skinny: The Red Raiders have made it to Omaha three times in the last five years and while there’s been some turnover from last year’s team, they have the firepower to do it again. Texas Tech’s potent offense will be led by All-American third baseman Josh Jung and outfielder Gabe Holt.

9 Mississippi State


The Skinny: The Bulldogs are coming off an Omaha trip in what was a roller coaster year in Starkville. With center fielder Jake Mangum back at the top of the lineup, lefthander Ethan Small at the top of the rotation, a top-12 recruiting class headlined by unsigned first rounder J.T. Ginn and the much-anticipated opening of the new Dudy Nobel Field, this has a chance to be a special year for Mississippi State.

10 Oregon State


The Skinny: The defending national champions will this season have a much different look, starting in the dugout where Pat Bailey was elevated to interim head coach following Pat Casey’s surprising retirement. On the field, Oregon State must replace three top-40 picks and its Friday starter, but All-American catcher Adley Rutschman, the early favorite to be the No. 1 overall draft pick, and righthander Kevin Abel, the 2018 Freshman of the Year, give the Beavers a pair of stars to build around.


11 Louisville


The Skinny: The time is now for the Cardinals’ junior class, led by first baseman Logan Wyatt, shortstop Tyler Fitzgerald and lefthander Nick Bennett.
They’ll form the nucleus of this team and Louisville will go as far as they carry them.

12 East Carolina


The Skinny: The Pirates in 2016 brought in their first-ever Top 25 recruiting class. That class now enters its all-important junior season, with All-American outfielder Bryant Packard and first baseman Spencer Brickhouse leading the offense. If ECU can figure out its pitching staff, it will be dangerous in the postseason.

13 Mississippi


The Skinny: The Rebels return most of their lineup from a team that a year ago won 48 games and the Southeast Conference Tournament. Their powerful offense, strong defense and deep bullpen will be key as they must also replace their entire weekend rotation.

14 Clemson


The Skinny: The Tigers have been the picture of consistency under coach Monte Lee, winning more than 40 games and hosting a regional in each of his first three seasons. Clemson must replace slugger Seth Beer, but it still has a powerful lineup and has improved its depth on the mound.

15 Georgia


The Skinny: The Bulldogs in 2018 broke out and hosted a regional in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011. Georgia returns much of that team and looks especially strong on the mound, with ace Emerson Hancock and closer/third baseman Aaron Schunk back to anchor the staff.


16 Baylor


The Skinny: The Bears finished last season strong, winning the Big 12 Conference Tournament for the first time in program history. With catcher Shea Langeliers and lefthander Cody Bradford, who both played this summer for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, leading the way, Baylor looks primed to take the next step.

17 Auburn


The Skinny: Replacing the first-overall draft pick is an unenviable task, but Auburn has the pieces to succeed even without Casey Mize. Shortstop Will Holland, a potential first-round pick, leads the offense and righthanders Tanner Burns and Davis Daniel give the Tigers a strong 1-2 punch on the mound.

18 Arkansas


The Skinny: The Razorbacks last year came within a strike of winning the national championship for the first time in program history and now must regroup with a new-look team. There’s still plenty of star power, including Freshmen All-Americans Heston Kjerstad and Casey Martin, closer Matt Cronin and center fielder Dominic Fletcher, but Arkansas will need some new faces to step up.

19 Texas


The Skinny: The Longhorns last year announced their return to prominence with a Big 12 title and a trip to Omaha. But now they must replace All-American Kody Clemens, several key pieces on the pitching staff and shortstop David Hamilton, who in January was lost for the season with an injury. Texas has plenty of talent, but it also enters the season with several question marks.returning core.

20 Michigan


The Skinny: The Wolverines last season came on strong in the second half with a young team but just missed the NCAA Tournament. Now a year older, Michigan enters the season with high expectations and eager to break through for its first Big Ten Conference title since 2008.

21 Southern Mississippi


The Skinny: The Golden Eagles again enter the season as Conference USA favorites. They have to replace some key pieces, but All-American outfielder/righthander Matt Wallner gives Southern Miss a star to build around.

22 Duke


The Skinny: The Blue Devils are coming off a banner season that saw them win a program-record 45 games and advance to super regionals for the first time ever. Duke lost some sluggers from that team but should be strong on the mound with juniors Graeme Stinson and Adam Laskey leading the way.


23 Coastal Carolina


The Skinny: The Chanticleers are coming off another impressive season and again are Sun Belt Conference favorites. Coastal has a wealth of talent but must figure out how all the pieces fit together after losing some key veterans.

24 Minnesota


The Skinny: The Gophers have won the Big Ten three of the last four years and last year broke through to super regionals. The bulk of its lineup this year will be new, but Minnesota brings back Freshmen All-American righthanders Patrick Fredrickson and Max Meyer to anchor what should be a stout pitching staff.

25 UC Irvine


The Skinny: The Anteaters haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2014 but that figures to change this season. Shortstop Christian Koss and righthanders Andre Pallante and Trenton Denholm form a strong core for the team as Ben Orloff takes over the program from Mike Gillespie.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Thu 2/14/19 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This will be a fun season and thankfully it is here now! Even Mother Nature is cooperating with a dry day tomorrow after a soaking wet V-Day!

LSU is ranked No. 1 in the College Baseball Daily poll. That poll also came out in December! So, I do not know if anything significant has happened to change things. Rankings are linked here

See you at TG Stadium!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 2/15/19 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And we're just minutes away from the first pitch! Very Happy
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sat 2/16/19 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And it was a successful opening night for our two local teams--despite cool and drizzly weather.

Because of likely rain on Sunday, SDSU's Sunday game has been moved up and a doubleheader will be played today.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 2/19/19 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did not attend the doubleheader. It was good enough to be there at SDSU on Saturday. But I will be back tonight for the game vs. UCI and maybe take in a game at Fowler Park soon, too.

The season is underway again and that is a good feeling!

Linda was it you who was talking about Mason Pelio playing for BC this year? Also what happened with the freshman infielder at Stanford? I did not check their box scores this weekend. There is such a flurry of games to keep track of all of a sudden. We should be grateful for that, though! Smile
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 2/20/19 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite an opening weekend!
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Thu 2/21/19 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey ladies, it's good to have these games back.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 2/26/19 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More updating coming! And, SDSU vs. USD tonight!
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 2/26/19 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know we are going to that game!
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 3/1/19 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cal's first baseman/pitcher Andrew Vaughn (won Golden Spikes Award last year) is featured in Baseball America. He ranks #4 on the top 200 prospects list but what most people are noticing most is his plate discipline. He does not strike out much, and if I were a scout I would be scoring that a big plus! Article linked here
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 3/4/19 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Cathy. I keep meaning to check how Darren Baker is doing, too.

Pity all the Socal teams hosting series this weekend and trying to get all three games in. Because of rain, most were able to only work in two.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 3/5/19 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BA.com's rankings after the third week of the season are as follows:

1

Vanderbilt


2

UCLA

BA.com notes: A moment of appreciation for UCLA reliever Kyle Mora, who has been virtually unhittable this season. He threw two scoreless innings in each of the first two games of the series against Sacramento State. In 13 innings across eight appearances, he has a 0.69 ERA, a 21-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and an .098 opponent batting average.

3

North Carolina


4

Stanford


5

Florida


6

Florida State


7

Oregon State


BA.com notes: A much-anticipated pitching matchup between West Virginia’s Alek Manoah and Oregon State’s Kevin Abel ended up not living up to expectations in Game 1 of last weekend’s series, but that’s only because OSU took the suspense out of the game so quickly. They plated seven runs (four earned) off of Manoah in the second inning and never looked back.
Meanwhile, Abel threw six innings of one-hit, one-run baseball with three walks and 11 strikeouts.


8

Mississippi State


9

Texas



10

Louisiana State



11

Texas Tech


12

Mississippi


13

Louisville


14

East Carolina


15

Georgia


16

Arkansas


17

Auburn


18

Michigan


19

Coastal Carolina


20

South Carolina


21

Clemson


22

Duke


23

North Carolina State


24

UC Irvine


BA notes: What was supposed to be UC Irvine’s three-game series on the road at Missouri State turned into a Friday doubleheader between the two teams, as they worked to get in as much baseball as they could before inclement weather rolled into Springfield, Mo. The Anteaters made the most of the double dip, taking home wins in both halves.

25

Baylor
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 3/6/19 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you happen to see the score of the USD-UCR game last night - it is one of those kinds where you think it might be a football score. Toreros won 31-3. I had even thought of getting out to that one since I had a Tuesday free for a change. We ended up back at Montezuma Mesa, though, where the Aztecs lost to (No. 11) Texas Tech, 5-1.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Mon 3/11/19 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Report on the local teams and how they fared over the weekend - linked here
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 3/12/19 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the Dodger Stadium Classic was played in L.A. over the weekend--UCLA beat USC in the finale. Big weekend coming up for the No. 2 Bruins when they meet No. 6-ranked, and defending CWS champions, Oregon State at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Beavers have moved up to No. 3 in this week's rankings by Baseball America (see below), and Oregon State up a notch from No. 7.


1

Vanderbilt


2

UCLA


3

Stanford


4

Florida


5

Florida State


6

Oregon State


7

Mississippi State


8

North Carolina


9

Texas Tech


10

Texas


11

Louisiana State


12

Mississippi


13

Louisville


14

East Carolina


15

Georgia


16

Arkansas


17

Auburn



18

Clemson


19

Coastal Carolina


20

South Carolina


21

North Carolina State


22

UC Irvine


23

Michigan


24

Duke


25

Tennessee
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Fri 3/15/19 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were at the Dodger Stadium Classic last Sunday. USC vs UCLA. It's been a rough week for Trojans.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 3/15/19 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At first I thought, ???? Then I realized. Smile

Jackie Robinson will be rocking tonight! Smile
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Sat 3/16/19 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt Rudick had a walk off single in the 10th as the Aztecs beat Seattle last night, 6-5 in the 10th inning. It was a sloppy game defensively since both SDSU had 4 errors (trying to beat themselves) & Seattle had 2.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sun 3/17/19 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that update because I was so focused on watching livestreaming of the action out of Jackie Robinson Stadium, that I didn't leave my computer for a game.

Bruins took the series from the Beavers.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 3/19/19 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a new No. 1 team in the nation, and it's the UCLA Bruins.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 3/22/19 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got to check out USD baseball on Tuesday night as they were hosting CS Fullerton. Toreros won, 6-2! Titans have really had a tough first month to this season, still under .500. For the Toreros, Louie Crow pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief of Noah Owen and got the win.

USD is 15-6 now. They are doing better than SDSU (11-8 ). Might go back to Fowler Park this weekend to see USF series. USD will go to Irvine next week and that should be a good series! Anteaters are 12-4.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sun 3/24/19 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, and this is the time of year when things get really crazy, because MLB is starting, too.

The Pac is looking strong with both UCLA and Stanford sweeping their home series this weekend (over Arizona and Utah, respectively). The Bruins improve to 17-4, and the Cardinal to 15-3.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Mon 3/25/19 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nice to see the Pac looking so strong.

Also awhile back you mentioned Mason Pelio. That kid really has a lot of poise.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 3/25/19 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updated rankings from BaseballAmerica:


Two new teams join the Top 25 this week. Texas Christian, following a series win against Texas, returns to the rankings after a three-week absence. Oklahoma, off to a 21-4 start, enters the Top 25 for the first time this season.

Falling out of the Top 25 are Michigan and South Carolina. Both lost series this weekend.

(DB6 note: Pay close attention to notes on UCI at No. 19. I haven't written much about the Eaters much this year. And how about Jack Stronach, doing well for No. 1 UCLA!)


1

UCLA


The Bruins backed up their status as the top team in the country with a comprehensive sweep of Arizona. The big story of the weekend has to be the return of righthander Ryan Garcia to the rotation. Starting in the series finale, Garcia threw 7.1 shutout innings, giving up one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts. With Game 2 being more of an offensive game, right fielder Garrett Mitchell had a double and a triple, left fielder Jack Stronach went 3-for-4 and second baseman Chase Strumpf added a home run, his fourth of the
season. Stronach had six hits in the three games, taking advantage of his newfound full-time role, and is now hitting .459/.542/.703.

2

Mississippi State


3

Stanford


4

Vanderbilt


5

North Carolina State


6

Georgia


7

Texas


8

Oregon State


9

North Carolina


10

Arkansas


11

Texas Tech


12

Texas A&M


13

East Carolina


14

Arizona State


15

Florida


16

Louisville


17

Louisiana State


18

Auburn


19

UC Irvine


Quietly, UCI continues to move up in the back half of the rankings. That’s thanks in large part to the pitching performances the Anteaters have gotten all season, and they got three more against Washington State. Righthander Andre Pallante continued to cruise Friday, throwing seven shutout innings on just two hits to run his scoreless innings streak to 25. Righthander Tanner Brubaker added 6.2 innings of eight-hit, one-run baseball Saturday, and in the finale, righthander Trenton Denholm did give up four runs in 6.2 innings, but he struck out ten along the way. Each of those three came out of the weekend with an ERA of 2.40 or better and opponent batting averages of .228 or lower. UCI gets Big West play going this weekend with the long trip out to Hawaii.


20

Coastal Carolina


21

Florida State


22

Mississippi


23

Texas Christian


24

Clemson


25

Oklahoma
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 3/29/19 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for always posting the rankings.

In the middle of all this excitement, I have not forgotten about the Aztecs! They are 14-10 now, and Fresno State is in for 3 games this weekend.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 4/1/19 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UCLA remains atop the Baseball America Top 25 after winning a road series against crosstown rival Southern California. The Bruins have been No. 1 the last three weeks.

Three new teams join the Top 25 this week. Connecticut leads the newcomers, entering at No. 22 after a 4-2 start to American Athletic Conference play. Oklahoma State, which is 5-1 in the Big 12, follows at No. 23 and UC Santa Barbara enters at No. 24. The Huskies and Cowboys were both ranked last season, while the Gauchos return to the Top 25 for the first time since 2017.

Falling out of the Top 25 are Florida State, Texas Christian and Oklahoma, all of which lost conference series this weekend.

Note: I included the summary capsules for UCLA, Stanford, UCI and newcomer UCSB.


1

UCLA

Rivalry series can always be tricky, and USC gave UCLA a real run. However, the Bruins came away with a series win after dropping the opening game. Righthander Jack Ralston was outstanding Saturday, throwing 8.2 innings, giving up six hits and one run. Offensively, DH Jake Pries went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer. Sunday, righthander Ryan Garcia wasn’t perfect, as he walked five in his five innings of work, but he limited the Trojans to just three hits and two runs, only one of which was earned. Offensively, first baseman Michael Toglia and DH Jarron Silva added home runs. Don’t look now, but UCLA’s series this weekend against Stanford will likely be the series of the year in the Pac-12 and will certainly be the marquee series of the weekend in college baseball.


2

Stanford

Stanford kept rolling with a road series sweep over Washington State. In the first two games of the series, the Cardinal bullpen shined. In Game 1, despite allowing just one run, righthander Brendan Beck was lifted after 4.1 innings, having allowed eight hits. He turned it over to the duo of lefthander Austin Weiermiller and righthander Cody Jensen, who combined to close out the game with 4.2 scoreless innings of relief. In Game 2, lefthander Jacob Palisch gave up six hits and five runs in 2.1 innings and then reliever Carson Rudd allowed all three of the batters he faced to reach. But that was the last time a WSU batter reached base, as righty Alex Williams threw 4.2 perfect innings of relief, closely followed by two more perfect innings from closer Jack Little. Designated hitter Will Matthiessen went 3-for-4 in Game 1 with four RBI and first baseman Andrew Daschbach was 3-for-4 in the second game. Game 3 featured a 3-for-4 game from right fielder Nick Brueser and a 4-for-4 day from third baseman Nick Bellafronto out of the eight and nine spots in the order. The Cardinal’s series this weekend against top-ranked UCLA is the matchup of the weekend.


3

Vanderbilt


4

North Carolina State


5

Mississippi State


6

Georgia


7

Oregon State

NOTE: Series this week at SDSU!


8

Texas


9

North Carolina


10

Arizona State


11

Texas Tech


12

Arkansas


13

East Carolina


14

Texas A&M


15

Louisiana State


16

Florida


17

Louisville


18

Auburn


19

UC Irvine

The Anteaters took the always-difficult trip out to Hawaii and will come home with a series win. After Hawaii got to righthander Andre Pallante for five runs in five innings Friday, righthander Tanner Brubaker picked the team up in his start Saturday, throwing seven innings, giving up six hits and two runs. It was righthander Trenton Denholm, however, who had the best start of the weekend. Sunday, he threw eight shutout innings, giving up three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Shortstop Christian Koss had a big game on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. Sunday, two Anteaters, left fielder Jake Palmer and right fielder Mike Peabody, collected three hits. Second baseman Brendan Brooks had homers in each of the two UCI wins.


20

Mississippi


21

Clemson


22

Connecticut


23

Oklahoma State


24

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara made a statement to begin Big West Conference play with a road series win over perennial title contender Cal State Fullerton. Catcher Eric Yang came up big Friday, going 3-for-5 with a two-run homer, which was followed closely by a solo shot by center fielder Tommy Jew. After a tough loss to swallow Saturday, when Fullerton scored seven times in the seventh to come back from being down 6-2, the Gauchos bounced back Sunday to win the series. A four-run sixth inning was the difference, highlighted by a two-run homer from right fielder Armani Smith as part of his 3-for-5 day at the plate. Freshman righty Michael McGreevy was a workhorse throughout the weekend. He threw 2.2 innings Friday, allowing two hits and one run, and then came back Sunday to throw 5.1 innings in relief, allowing six hits and two runs.


25

Coastal Carolina
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 5387
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Thu 4/4/19 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aztecs are now 12-9 and just traveled to Corvallis to play the reigning world series champions. They split the 2 games. I have been too busy this week to follow up with USD, though.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 16636
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Sat 4/6/19 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talk about a clash of the Pac--a couple of weeks ago it was Oregon State at UCLA, now UCLA at Stanford--and the Cardinal won the opener last night, 3-2.
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Mon 4/8/19 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UCLA did come back and win the series, though, so I expect they will stay No. 1.
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sunnyblue



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1872
Location: San Diego County, CA

PostPosted: Thu 4/11/19 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the Bruins can lend a reliever to the Dodgers! Though in all seriousness I'm very impressed with this team. What a great tribute to Jackie's centennial it would be, if they won it this year.

I am sorry to hear Kevin Abel is having TJ surgery! Sad
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