Long time Virginia Tech head coach Chuck Hartman has decided to retire after 47 years as a head coach effective at the end of the season. He served at Virginia Tech for 28 seasons and currently has a record of 1,441-810-8. This puts him fourth all time in wins. He has coached in four different conferences with VA Tech: Metro Conference, Atlantic Ten, Big East, and currently in the ACC. He also spent 19 years at High Point University as their head coach. This is a loss for college baseball as he is one of the class guys in this industry and raise a glass to him next time.
Andrew Miller of UNC has been the best pitcher this year in the ACC. He is 6-6 and throws in the mid-90’s and what makes him even better is the fact he is left-handed. Andrew enters this key weekend for the Tar Heels with a 10-0 record and a microscopic 1.91 ERA with 79 K’s in 75.1 innings. The MLB scouts are drooling over this raw talent and would love to see him in their future plans. This kid is the real deal and will likely be up in the majors within 2 years. He is listed on the Dick Howser Trophy Watch List with teammate Jay Cox.
My biggest question is How is this kid at UNC instead of Florida? He is from the backyard of the Gators in Gainesville.
This is an interesting year coming up. We have many changes in the College Baseball world with the Boston College Eagles joining the ACC and Tulane having to deal with the affects of Hurricane Katrina. I will be posting season previews every 2 or three days for different conferences. I am still looking for some more writers so feel free to write to me.
The matchups for the College World Series is set with a bunch of inexperienced schools joining the mix with some old favorites. The inexperienced schools are Oregon State, Baylor, and U of Tenn who have been to a grand total of one World Series the last few years. Yes, Tulane has been very good the last few seasons but they are in the next tier with Nebraska, Texas, Florida, and Arizona State group. These are perennial powers in college baseball.
The matchups for Friday are:
U. of Tenn vs Florida
Arizona State vs Nebraska
Tulane vs Oregon State
Texas vs Baylor
PS If anyone is going to the CWS and would like to write for the site in a running journal online please e-mail me at [email protected]
The SEC had a good day with The Florida Gators beating the Seminoles of Florida State 8-1 and Tennessee used a 2 run homer in the top of the ninth to knock off Georgia Tech 3-2. Florida got a complete game from Tommy Boss as he gave up 7 hits and only 1 run in his nine innings of work. The Florida offense was led by 3 consecutive solo homeruns by Jerolman, McArthur, and Leclerc to make the score 7-1 after five innings. This looked to me like the knockout punch by Florida tonight as FSU’s ace looked weak and the rest of the staff is suppose to be weaker. I think Florida will pull this off after this performance tonight. The Vols needed the Rob Fitzgerald homer in the top of the ninth off of Georgia Tech closer Matt Wieters to win the game. This was a must win game for the Vols as their ace Luke Hochevar pitched seven great innings allowing 5 hits and only 1 earned run. He struck out 11. The rest of this series should be interesting.
The Huskers came out with a solid 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes today to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The game was delayed over 2 hours before it started but Joba Chamberlain was ready as he was the story for the Huskers as he scattered 7 hits in 8.0 plus innings pitched. He struck out 13 of the 29 batters he faced. Cesar Carrillo was very good also letting up 2 ER over 8.0 innings but his defense gave up an unearned run in the fourth inning which was key.
Here are some links to some articles around the country about the Super Regionals.
The Times-Picayune checks in with a few articles about the Regional. The first one is about Nathan Southard, one about Wayne Graham , and the final one is about the threat of a tropical storm interrupting the series.
The Houston Chronicle has three articles today about College Baseball. One about the Rice pitching staff, one about Baylor’s recent turnaround this season, and the final one is about TCU’s Lance Broadway who is up for the Roger Clemens award.
The Lincoln Journal Star has a ton of articles about the Huskers and Canes. The first one focuses on Mike Anderson. Another one focuses on Husker assistant Andy Sawyers. We also have articles on Ryan Braun and also an article about the Huskers two aces. Wow, There is only one more from the Lincoln Star and that is on Zach Kroenke. There is also an editorial about the game from Steven M. Sipple.
The Sun-Sentinel checks in with an article from Jim Sarni about the Huskers series. There is also an article on the Figueroa brothers. The Miami Herald has an article about Miami pitcher Andrew Lane and also an article on Seminole pitcher Bryan Henry.
The Corvallis Gazette-Times has an article about the interest in OSU baseball with this dream season of theirs.
I have to go watch some games…Take it easy and Enjoy the games.
Just thought I would throw up a post about some articles about the games this weekend.
Miami vs Nebraska
This is a good article from the Nebraska side of the table from the Lincoln Journal Star Online. I think there is still bad blood between Miami and Nebraska fans from the mid 90’s and earlier football battles. The South Florida Sun Sentinel has an article about the hostile crowd that the UM team will face in Lincoln this weekend.
Florida State vs. Florida
The South Florida Sun Sentinel delivers again with an article about the series. The Tallahassee Democrat delivers with an article about Alan Horne and also there is an article from a couple of days ago about the Army Baseball team and the experiences they had in the regional. The Gainesville Sun delivers with an article about the series.
Vols at Georgia Tech
The Atlanta Journal Constitution delivers an article about the series which calls GT a heavy favorite. The Knoxville News Sentinel delivers with an article about Chase Headley patience at the plate.
Clemson at Baylor
The Waco Tribune-Herald delivers with an article about Baylor and Clemson. The Greenville News delivers with two articles about pitching: one about the Clemson staff and one about Baylor’s.
Arizona State at Cal State Fullerton
The East Valley Tribune comes up with an article about the duo of ASU pitchers who might help them beat CSF. The Daily Titan has two articles, one about the previous series and the other about Ricky Romero.
Texas at Ole Miss
The Austin-American Statesman checks in with three articles about the series. The first one focuses on previewing the series. The second focuses on how Texas plays better with its backs against the wall and the final one is about Ole Miss player Stephen Head.
Tulane hosts Rice
USC visits Oregon State
The Corvallis Gazette Times has an article about Tyler Graham and his fight back from a torn labrum. The LA Times has no coverage of USC baseball but that is typical of large papers.
I hope to have up some links tomorrow before the games start up.
Vols at Georgia Tech
They are looking to go to their fourth CWS qualifying in 1951, 1995, and in 2001. They have a team which is led by one of the best pitchers in the country in Luke Hochevar (15-2 2.13 ERA 140 K’s). As you expect, he dominated the SEC throughout and will likely win the game in which he starts. The Vols top offensive threat is Eli Iorg who has a batting average of .390 with 15 homers and 70 RBIs. He only saw limited action in the Regional due to an injury to his foot. He hopefully will be back for the Super Regional in a full capacity or UT might be in some major trouble.
The ACC Regular Season and Postseason Champs Georgia Tech look to be the best team because they have it all. They have solid starting pitching and an excellent offense. Sophomore 3B Wes Hodges leads the Jackets in hitting with a .404 BA with Tyler Greene being the second option with his .373 Average, 72 RBI’s, and 12 homers. Greene was selected by the St Louis Cardinals with the 30th overall pick. The top three starters for the Georgia Tech team are Lee Hyde, Blake Wood, and Ryan Turner have a combined record of 24-7 and a 3.74 ERA.
Baseball America’s take on Greene
Green is a 60 runner (some say 70 under way) on the 20-80 scouting scale, with good instincts on the basepaths and elsewhere. A plus arm and good range make him at least an averages defender at short. The question is offense. His hands are just OK both at the plate and in the field. Greene’s swing has evolved to a metal-bat, inside-out style that doesn’t incorporate his hands, short-circuiting his power and leaving him with several holes. His aptitude with wood, however, reminds scouts of Cubs prospect Matt Murton, who also hit better in summers on the Cape than with Georgia Tech.
I believe with the pitching depth of the Jackets that they win this series in 2 quick games.
Clemson at Baylor
Clemson comes into this series on a hot streak by winning 14 out of their last 16 games. They dominated their regional by only letting up 5 runs in the three games they played. They are led by DH Kris Harvey who is hitting .342 this year with a nice total of 24 HRs. The hottest pitcher for them has been Josh Cribb who is 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in his last four starts.
Baylor enters this series after a tough weekend of bad weather in Waco. They are lead by Mark McCormick who is 7-3 with a 3.12 ERA this season. Senior Catcher Josh Ford is their top offensive weapon with his .322 average which leads the team. These are very low numbers for a team leader and could spell issues for the Baylor offense.
My prediction is that Clemson wins the series 2 games to 1.
Arizona State at Cal State Fullerton
Arizona State is not going to win this series because they have to face the potent lineup of Cal State Fullerton. Ricky Romero who was the number 6 overall pick of the Blue Jays will dominate this Sun Devil team. Romero has a 12-5 record with a 132 K’s in 125 innings. He is the best pitcher in the game and is battle tested for an example just look at the CWS from last year when Romero pitched very well in Omaha. He won two games in the CWS including Game 1 of the Championship series. Ronnie Prettyman is hitting .333 this year with 13 SBs.
Baseball America’s Take on Ricky Romero
Romero has three solid, major league-ready pitches that he can throw for strikes almost at will, including a fastball that sits at 90-91 mph and touches 93-94. He also has an excellent curveball and a better feel for a changeup this year after he reduced his reliance on his curve. But Romero gets his highest grades for his makeup, temperament and competitive zeal. He is an excellent student of the game who understands the science of pitching, and is a master at controlling the tempo of a game.
This CSF team is well rounded and will beat the Sun Devils in 2 games.
These two teams met in the biggest games since the 1996 CWS. Florida State won the season series 2 games to one this season with one game in Tallahassee and two in Gainesville.
Florida State is led by Aaron Cheesemen and Shane Robinson on offense. Cheeseman is a Fifth year senior catcher who hit .299 Avg with 50 RBI’s. He also threw out 40 % of his runners. Robinson hit .434 Avg with 48 steals in 55 attempts. This kid is a little guy that knows how to get on base and score runs. He scored 94 runs this season in 71 games. He also broke an FSU record with a 40 game hit streak. Robinson was named Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of the year and is one of four finalists for the Xanthus-Dick Howser Trophy.
The main problem for Florida State this year has been their pitching staff after Bryan Henry. He was named the top pitcher in the ACC this season with his 9-2 record and a 1.61 ERA. He has a strikeout to walk ratio of 55 to 17. After Henry the Seminoles rotation becomes really suspect with Mark Sauls and Michael Hyde. Sauls comes into the game 6-1 with a 3.68 ERA. The main problem with Sauls is that he has a 1 to 1 ratio of strikeouts to walks. Michael Hyde is 7-2 with 4.40 ERA. Hyde pitched against Army in the opening round of the tournament and only let up 2 runs in 6 innings but the Gators are a little bit better then the Cadets.
Florida’s offense is led by Matt LaPorta who has hit .336 AVG and has 24 Homeruns with 73 RBI’s. His counterpart in their offensive attack is the rest of his team. None of the other players are outstanding on their own merits but are very solid players who know how to get on base for the big hitter LaPorta. Senior Center Fielder Jeff Corsaletti is one of these types of players who hit .378 this season and was a fifth round pick of the World Champion Boston Red Sox. Florida is well rounded and there is no let down in their order.
Florida’s top pitcher is Alan Horne who enters with 8-2 record and a 4.14 ERA. Horne’s numbers are very high for an ace on the staff but he has had problems in the first inning of many of his starts and tends to settle down as the game goes on. So the strategy is to jump on Horne early before he can get into a routine. The other two probable starters for the Gators are Bryan Ball (7-4 3.29 ERA) and Alan Horne (8-2 4.05 ERA). Based on the stats it looks like Ball has pitched better this season but is lacking the run support of Horne. I have seen both of these guys pitch and I believe that Ball has better stuff then Horne.
I believe the FSU wins this hotly contested series in three games taking games 1 and 3 to win.