All posts by Shotgun Spratling

Shotgun Spratling covers the Southern California area. He has attended more than 125 games the last two seasons. Spratling attended graduate school at USC where he covered USC sports for a variety of publications. He has previously worked in the minor leagues, written for daily and weekly newspapers and done freelance work for publications such as ESPN, NBC Los Angeles and the SC Playbook magazine. After being a 3-sport letterman in high school, Spratling was a 4-year letterman at Division III Maryville College. The final pitch of his collegiate career resulted in a groundout to end the 2007 Great South Athletic Conference Tournament, giving the Scots the GSAC championship.
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College World Series One-On-One: Texas RHP Parker French

OMAHA, Neb. — Texas (44-20) scored three runs in the middle innings and rode the arms of Parker French and Travis Duke to a 4-1 victory over Louisville (50-17) Monday afternoon, eliminating the Cardinals from the 2014 College World Series.

Texas junior Parker French combined with Duke on a four-hitter. French pitched 7.1 innings, allowing one run on four hits and three walks. French forced Louisville to pound the ball in the ground routinely. And whenever he got in a jam, he let TD Ameritrade Park and the gusting winds play to his advantage.

After the game, French talked about pitching to contact, using primarily all fastballs in TD Ameritrade and his growing confidence in himself.

Parker French also discussed being on the mound in the College World Series and how he has been more aggressive in the postseason, particularly in the spacious TD Ameritrade Park.

He also explained why win-loss record is the worst stat ever invented for pitchers.

Check out the full one-on-one interview with French: Continue reading

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CBD Photo Gallery: Papi Lifts Virginia With Walk-Off Double

OMAHA, Neb. — Mike Papi delivered a walk-off, two-out double to right-centerfield to score pinch runner Thomas Woodruff and push Virginia to a 2-1 victory over Ole Miss in both teams 2014 College World Series opener at TD Ameritrade Park.

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Decisions, Decisions: Bianco Chooses Wrong for Ole Miss

OMAHA, Neb. — With the winning run on second base and a base open in the ninth inning, Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco had a difficult decision to make Sunday night at TD Ameritrade Park.

Bianco had to choose between pitching to Virginia’s biggest offensive weapon, Mike Papi, or pitching around Papi to face Joe McCarthy, who had already burned the Rebels in a similar situation earlier in the game.

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College World Series One-On-One: Virginia LHP Nathan Kirby

OMAHA, Neb. — Virginia (50-14) got the first walk-off victory in the 2014 College World Series, defeating Ole Miss (45-20), 2-1, Sunday night at TD Ameritrade Park.

With two outs in the ninth inning, Mike Papi delivered a game-winning RBI double to score pinch runner Thomas Woodruff. If not for the walk-off dramatics, the story would have been the tremendous effort of the Cavaliers pitching.

Virginia  sophomore Nathan Kirby combined with reliever Artie Lewicki on a one hitter. Kirby was lights out for the first seven innings, facing just one batter over the minimum.

After the game, Kirby talked about how his tremendous start was still a bit disappointing when he had to leave with two runners on base in the eighth inning.

Nathan Kirby also discusses the atmosphere of the Ole Miss crowd and the emotions of being on the mound in the College World Series.

In the ninth inning, Kirby was surprised to see Ole Miss not pitch around Mike Papi and Kirby talks about how tough Papi is to face, especially with a full count.

Check out the full one-on-one interview with Kirby: Continue reading

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CBD Photo Gallery: TCU Battles Back For Late Win

OMAHA, Neb. — Nearly a week after a back-and-forth 6-5 victory over Pepperdine sent TCU to the College World Series, the Horned Frogs were at it again.

They scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to defeat Texas Tech, 3-2, in their opening round game of the College World Series Sunday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.

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College World Series One-On-One: TCU OF Cody Jones

OMAHA, Neb. — TCU (48-16) scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 3-2 victory over Big 12 rival Texas Tech (45-20) in the opening round of the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Sunday afternoon.

TCU junior Cody Jones led off the Horned Frogs’ half of the first inning with a double and came around to score the first run in the game. He was also right in the middle of the eighth inning rally, beating out an infield single and taking second on an errant throw that scored the tying run.

Jones scored the winning run, coming around from second base on a Boomer White RBI single to left field.

After the game, Cody Jones talked about the Horned Frogs’ eighth inning rally and how TCU has an advantage playing in the spacious TD Ameritrade Park since the Horned Frogs’ home field plays the same way.

Jones also discussed batting leadoff and keeping his approach the same throughout the game, despite the game situations, and what he saw on his infield single in the eighth frame.

Check out the full interview with Jones: Continue reading

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Reynolds Steals Momentum for Vanderbilt

Momentum is a fickle mistress, especially in baseball where there is no clock to be beat.

In pressure situations with 18- to 22-year-old college baseball players, momentum can quickly shift with one big play.

That is only heightened when runs are at a premium during a low-scoring affair with quality arms on the mound. And on college baseball’s biggest stage, the spacious TD Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series, assures that is the case nearly every game.

“The value of the run out here, whoo, it’s crucial,” Louisville head coach Dan McConnell said after his team lost to Vanderbilt, 5-3, on Saturday night.

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CBD Photo Gallery: Two-Out Hits Propel Commodores

OMAHA, Neb. — Vanderbilt scored four of its five runs with two outs, including all three in a second-inning rally, and that was enough to knock off Louisville, 5-3, in the College World Series opening round.

The Commodores’ big rally started with a pair of walks and a single that loaded the bases for leadoff hitter Dansby Swanson. A wild pitch got Vanderbilt (47-19) on the board and then Swanson tacked on two more, clearing the bases with a rope into left-centerfield for a double. Continue reading

College World Series One-On-One: Vanderbilt OF Bryan Reynolds

OMAHA, Neb. — Vanderbilt (47-19) defeated Louisville (50-16) in the nightcap of the College World Series’ opening day at T.D. Ameritrade Ballpark, winning 5-3.

Vanderbilt freshman outfielder Bryan Reynolds made a great running catch, leaping into the left field wall as he caught the ball. The run-saving web gem turned the momentum in Vanderbilt’s favor as the Commodores immediately followed with a three-run inning. Continue reading

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CBD Photo Gallery: Irvine Rallies Past Texas In Eighth

OMAHA, Neb. — The UC Irvine Anteaters rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to defeat Texas, 3-1, in the 2014 College World Series opener at TD Ameritrade Park.

Taylor Sparks capped a 3-for-4 day with a one-out RBI triple to tie the game. His second extra-base hit of the game scored Adam Alcantara and chased Texas starter Nathan Thornhill. Continue reading