The San Diego Toreros were nearly a consensus pick receiving six out of eight first place votes in the West Coast Conference Preseason Poll. They have failed to live up to the expectations as they have started the season 4-6 including getting shutout today by a solid Kentucky squad. The biggest issue I see with the Toreros is the fact they have a team ERA of 5.35 which is unacceptable with the caliber of the pitching staff led by Sammy Solis, Kyle Blair, and AJ Griffin. They will have to wait a day for their chance to take out some frustration as they play Sunday against Monmouth.
The Binghamton Bearcats started the day off with a 10-7 loss to Kennesaw State but finished the day with an impressive victory over Tennessee. They scored four runs in the top of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and hang on to a 7-4 victory over the Volunteers. I had a chance to talk to Binghamton coach Tim Sinicki in the preseason where he was excited for the start of the season and seeing what his squad is capable of doing. (Check it out by clicking here.) Tennessee better get their bullpen in order if they expect to compete for an SEC or NCAA Tournament bid this season as they are only 4-4 now.
Another big upset today was Wright State knocking off the number 2 ranked Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville. The Raiders got a strong start from senior RHP Alex Kaminsky who went seven innings allowing seven hits but only one run. He was followed by senior RHP Greg Robinson who pitched the final two innings allowing only a single hit while striking out four batters. The Raiders were tied with the Cavs in the sixth inning at one when Tristan Moore scored on a one out suicide squeeze bunt by Garrett Gray to give them the 2-1 lead for the final deficit.
UC-Irvine has to be a little worried right now with Christian Bergman as he has struggled out of the gate. In his first start of the year on Feb. 20th against Loyola-Marymount, he went 4.1 innings allowing five runs on ten hits. Last weekend against NC State, he returned to form as he went six innings allowing only two runs on six hits. Bergman struggled again on Friday against St. Mary’s where he was knocked out in the fifth inning after giving up seven runs on ten hits. Bergman was expected to be the number 2 starter behind Bibona in the Anteaters rotation after going 14-5 over the last two seasons.
The UCLA bullpen has not allowed an earned run yet this season in 24 innings pitched while allowing only three total runs. I am starting to jump on the UCLA bandwagon right now behind the strong pitching staff and they are currently getting all the clutch hits. The Bruins have a 8-0 record and go for the three game sweep on Saturday against Nebraska.
My biggest story of the day is the fact that Pepperdine blew a 6-0 lead over Brown as the Bears rallied for eight runs over the final four innings to edge the Waves 8-7. Brown was playing their first game of the season and was the only Ivy League team to pick up a win today.
I would also like to give Jayson King and the Franklin Pierce Athletic Staff credit for getting Arthur Pappas Field ready for competition today. Franklin Pierce is located in Rindge NH and they are hosting a three game series against Nyack. This is the earliest I ever remember a New England school opening up at home but the Ravens picked up the 11-3 win on Friday. Franklin Pierce has one of the worst hats in college baseball at any level with a camouflage design which can be seen in the picture on the right.
Blowout of the Day: New Mexico State 33 St. Joseph’s 1
(H/T to Ryan Rosenblatt from Bruins Nation for helping with this article).