Perfect Game Crosschecker has put out their annual rankings of the Top 100 programs for the 2008 campaign. Leading the way is the Arizona Wildcats and chief rival Arizona State comes in as the runner up. The rest of the Top 5 is filled out by Texas, Miami (FL), and Vanderbilt. The full article is available here.
FROM USC PRESS RELEASE
LOS ANGELES — Student Sports (studentsportsbaseball.com) has released its recruiting rankings for the 2009 season with the USC program slotted at third on the nation’s Top 25 classes. Head coach Chad Kreuter and first-year recruiting coordinator Doyle Wilson signed 10 players during the early signing period, including highly-touted shortstop Tim Beckham out of Georgia. Continue reading
Doug Kroll of CSTV checks in with his weekly column on the top players in the country. This week he checks in on starting pitchers which is led by Jacob Thompson of UVA. Continue reading
Pedro Alvarez of Vanderbilt has been named the Pre-Season National Player of the Year for the 2008 season by Louisville Slugger.
Joining Alvarez on the first team are Pitchers Jacob Thompson (UVA), Preston Guilmet (Arizona), Anthony Shawler (ODU), Brian Matusz (USD), Josh Satow (ASU), Scott Gorgon (UCI) and Reliever AJ Griffin (USD). Rounding out the infield are Brett Wallace (1B, ASU), Blake Stouffer (2B, TAMU), Johnny Giavotella (2B, UNO), Alex Buchholz (SS, Delaware) and Buster Posey (C, FSU). In the outfield are Dominic De la Osa (Vanderbilt), Kyle Russell (Texas) and Brad McElroy (Charlotte). Josh Romanski of San Diego made the first team as a Utility player.
For those who are wondering: Yes, Ryan Flaherty earned 2nd team honors at SS, though I’m wondering how Vanderbilt’s Mikie Minor was not deemed among the twenty-nine pitchers selected to the three team All-America list which can be read here.
FROM PRESS RELEASE
TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona has been ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s Fabulous 40 pre-season NCAA Division I poll.
The Wildcats have their strongest team since winning national championships in 1976, 1980 and 1986 as nine position player starters are back along with seven superb pitchers from a team which finished second in the Pac-10 Conference a year ago with a 42-17 overall record. Continue reading
The Arizona Wildcats have released their 2008 schedule. They will open the season on February 22nd when they head Georgia for the beginning of a three game set. The Wildcats home opener is against Sacramento State on February 29th. The next weekend they head to Corpus Christi Texas to take on South Alabama, Texas AM Corpus Christi, and Notre Dame. They will play a big nonconference series with a three game set against Cal-State Fullerton on March 14th-16th. They will play a full Pac-10 schedule with UCLA, Washington State, Stanford, and Arizona State visiting Tuscon. The Wildcats will head on the road for series against USC, Washington, Oregon State, and Cal. The full schedule is available here.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Vanderbilt opens the 2008 baseball season against two-time defending champion Oregon State as head coach Tim Corbin released the schedule today. The Commodores will take on four teams that played in the College World Series a year ago and 11 teams that made it into the NCAA tournament.
“I think this is a challenging schedule right off the bat with two teams that made it to Omaha last season including the national champion, ” said Corbin. “The SEC schedule is always tough and we have several midweek games against teams that made it to the NCAA tournament as well. We have an experienced team returning and look forward to the challenge.”
The season opener against the Beavers will be played on Feb. 22 at Arizona State’s tournament in Tempe, Ariz. VU will also take on 2007 CWS participant Arizona State (Feb. 23) and Miami of Ohio (Feb. 24) in the tourney. Vanderbilt starts a 15-game homestand against Evansville on Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. VU hosts Kansas, Iowa and Xavier in the Music City Classic Feb. 29-March 2. The Commodores will play a four-game series with Illinois-Chicago starting on Thursday, March 6 and ending on March 9. The Flames won the Horizon League last spring and participated in the NCAA tournament.
VU hosts another NCAA tourney team in Western Carolina (March 11-12) before opening Southeastern Conference play against South Carolina (March 14-16) at Hawkins Field. Louisville, a team that advanced to its first ever College World Series last June, comes to Nashville for a single game on March 18. Vanderbilt will close out the homestand against Lipscomb on March 19.
VU will make five SEC road trips in 2008, starting with Alabama on March 21-23. The Commodores will then return home for midweek games against Belmont (March 25) and Middle Tennessee (March 26), before hosting Arkansas (March 28-30). Saturday’s game against the Razorbacks will be televised on Fox Sports Net at 3 p.m. CT.
Eleven road games are on the docket in April starting with a contest at Middle Tennessee (April 2). Vanderbilt will then take the first of back-to-back trips to Mississippi against Ole Miss (April 4-6). The Commodores will host Western Kentucky (April 8) and Austin Peay (April 9) in midweek action before traveling to Starkville, Miss., to take on 2007 CWS participant Mississippi State (April 11-13). Two road contests against Lipscomb (April 15) and Western Kentucky (April 16) precede a three-game series against Auburn (April 18-20) at Hawkins Field. The Commodores close out April with games at Austin Peay (April 22) and Belmont (April 23), and at home against Kentucky (April 25-27).
VU will open May with a three-game set at rival Tennessee (May 2-4), with the Saturday game set for television on Fox Sports Net. The Commodores will then take on Memphis at Pringles Park in Jackson, Tenn., on May 6. The Tigers were one of two area teams to play at the NCAA Nashville Regional along with Austin Peay last June. Tennessee Tech (May 7) and a series against Georgia (May 9-11) closes out the regular season home campaign. Vanderbilt will take on Florida (May 15-17) in Gainesville in a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series as eligible teams will have an extra day to prepare for the Southeastern Conference tournament (May 21-25) in Birmingham, Ala.
NCAA Regionals (May 30-June 2) and Super Regionals (June 6-9) will be played at school host sites, while the College World Series (June 14-25) is set for Omaha, Neb.
The full Commodores schedule is available here.
Wichita State survived two straight elimination games to advance to a Super Regional. On Monday, Wichita State got a solid performance from Travis Banwart who pitched 7.2 innings while striking out 12 batters and keeping the Wildcats off the board. Banwart pitched on Friday evening against UNO but only lasted 1.2 innings in that start so was fresh for the Shockers. Wichita State will face UC-Irvine in a Super Regional while Arizona ends the season with a 42-17 record.
The Shockers ended the New Orleans Privateers season by winning 7-3 in an elimination game on Sunday and advance to the Regional Final against Arizona. New Orleans ends the season with a 38-26 record.
Wichita State Recap
New Orleans Recap
Wichita State 4 Arizona 3
Wichita State forced a winner take all regional final on Monday by knocking off the Arizona Wildcats 4-3. Wichita got a walkoff single from Derek Schermerhorn which drove him Ryan Jones with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Wichita State Recap
Arizona Opens Postseason with 4-3 Win over Oral Roberts!
In what amounted offensively to “a tale of two games” for Arizona, the Wildcats took advantage of a season-high 16 strikeouts by the pitching staff and a prolonged weather delay to hold off Oral Roberts, 4-3, in the opening game of the NCAA Wichita Regional on Friday.
With the Wildcats mounting just three total hits and the contest deadlocked 3-3 after six and half innings, Mother Nature halted the proceedings with a one-hour and 17-minute severe weather delay in the bottom of the seventh.
The lightning-induced respite provided a much-needed break for the Wildcats’ offense, which strung together three straight two-out singles right after play resumed to scrape across the go-ahead and turn the contest over the UA bullpen.
After ORU reliever Erik Crichton retired the first two UA batters in the seventh, Colt Sedbrook ignited a rally with a bloop hit that fell into right for a single. C.J. Ziegler followed with a base hit up the middle to place runners on first and second for Bill Rhinehart.
With his 12-game hitting streak on the line, the senior outfielder deilivered with a soft single to center that provided just enough time to plate Sedbrook with the go-ahead score.