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Foley’s Quick Hits for Feb. 19th

Another day is in the books as we are now two days into the season as there was several upsets in the NCBWA Top 35.

We will be hosting a full Q and A on Sunday night at 8pm on the site with Brian Foley, William Knox, Mark Rafferty, Kat Cornetta, Ryan Rosenblatt from BruinsNation.com, and a couple of other guests. Remember to sign up for a reminder on the right side for the chat.  Here are some of my thoughts from Day 2 of action around the country. 

  • What is going on at James Madison? They swept a doubleheader today from Bucknell by scores of 9-2 and 26-15 after defeating the Bison on Friday 37-7. The Dukes have now hit 20 homers as a team led by David Herbek who has five already with eight RBI. Catcher Jake Lowery has four homers and Matt Tenaglia has three. It should be interesting to see if they can continue at even half this rate.
  • Eastern Michigan picked up a surprising 7-6 victory over the Clemson Tigers. The victory for EMU was the highest ranked team that they have beat since 1976 when they defeated Arizona State twice when they were ranked number 1 in the country.
  • How about TCU on Saturday? Kyle Winkler went seven innings while giving up only one basehit as he combined with Erik Miller in a 7-1 victory over Kansas for the Horned Frogs. If Winkler can be a solid number 2, they will be one of the toughest outs in the NCAA Tourney.
  • One of the early season stories has been the terrible start by the UConn Huskies who dropped their second straight game of the weekend this time to Minnesota. Matt Barnes was solid on the hill as he went six innings striking out 11 batters while giving up all three runs.
  • Even though UConn is struggling, the rest of the contenders in the Big East have been doing fantastic with Louisville defeating Ohio State 2-0, Pitt defeating Iowa in 11 innings 3-2, St. John’s over Michigan 13-6, and the biggest upset of the day was Miami (FL) losing to Rutgers 6-5. Louisville got an outstanding starting performance from Justin Amlung who went 7.2 innings giving up only four hits, a walk while striking out four batters and giving up no runs. St. John’s continues to rake in the early part of the year as Joe Panik went 3-6 while Jeremy Baltz went 2-4 to lead the offense to the 13-6 victory. It was the second straight night that the Rutgers Scarlet Knights took Miami to extra innings but on Saturday night they are able to get the victory in ten innings.
  • The Florida Gators continue to cruise this year as they got their second straight solid victory over South Florida. On Saturday, they survived a strong pitching performance from Bulls starting pitcher Andrew Barbosa who gave up two runs (one earned) in his six innings of work. Hudson Randall was up for the challenge for the Gators giving up one run in his six innings of work.
  • The Maryland-Texas doubleheader on Saturday was one of the most highly contested games I have seen in a long time. Augie Garrido and Tommy Harmon were tossed in the first half of the doubleheader won by Maryland 10-1. In Game 2, Maryland’s Erik Bakich was ejected for arguing an interference call that came after a three ball walk for the Longhorns. After the game was over, there was reported to be an exchange between a Maryland assistant coach and Augie Garrido where both teams ended up meeting at the middle of the field.
  • Interesting stat from the Longhorns side is freshman Erich Weiss is 7-8 with 3 walks. He has three multihit games to start his career while being retired only once in his eleven career plate appearances.
  • Both Georgia and Kentucky have gotten off to rough starts to their season as both of them are 0-2. Kentucky lost today to Marshall 6-4 but got a solid start from sophomore LHP Taylor Rogers who gave up two runs in six innings. Georgia lost on Saturday to Stetson for the second straight day this time by a score of 7-2. Stetson starter Will Dorsey only gave up one run in six innings.
  • It has not been a good start to the Steve Owens era at Bryant University as they were shut out for the second straight day by Oklahoma State. On Saturday, they lost 13-0 after sophomore Andrew Heaney went seven innings giving up only two hits while striking out eight.
  • FIU shortstop Garrett Wittels was expected have an outstanding season but is off to a poor start. He is now 0-8 at the plate after FIU defeated Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday 8-3.
  • Highly regarded freshman Kevin Gausman had his college debut on Saturday afternoon for the LSU Tigers against Wake Forest. He had a rough first two innings giving up a run in each inning but settled down as he finished giving up two runs in 5.2 innings while striking out six batters.