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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 College World Series One-On-One: Texas RHP Parker French

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

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

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

SoCal Roundup: Back-to-Back in the Mountain West

The Pac-12 and the Mountain West were the only two conferences with Southern California squads still active, but that didn’t mean there was any less drama on the final day of the college baseball regular season.

USC went for a second upset — and the series win — of the No. 1 team in the nation. UCLA was trying for the sweep of No. 13 Washington. And San Diego State was trying to swim the rough currents of the Mountain West loser’s bracket for the second straight year.

Could the Aztecs knock top-seeded UNLV off for the second time in as many days?

Continue reading SoCal Roundup: Back-to-Back in the Mountain West

SoCal Roundup: West Coast Champs Crowned

Have to keep the roundup of the exciting final full day of Southern California action to a minimum tonight as I’m headed out from Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. after the WCC Championship and driving to Las Vegas, Nev. for the Mountain West finale tomorrow.

(Well, I ended up getting booted from Banner Island before I could finish up, so I made a pit stop in Barstow to rest the legs and finish up the SoCal Roundup. I will have more from the WCC Championship later when I arrive and settled in at UNLV.)

But here’s Saturday’s SoCal Roundup complete with photo galleries from Cal State Fullerton and Banner Island Ballpark:

Continue reading SoCal Roundup: West Coast Champs Crowned

SoCal Roundup: Justin Garza No Hitter

The Mountain West Conference Tournament had a couple of exciting finishes and officially has a team swinging a mean scythe. The West Coast Conference has its championship game participants and it will be a familiar face-off.

Oh…and some guy named Garza happened to throw nine innings without the other team getting a hit and there might have been an upset of the No. 1 team in the country.

All that plus more in a super exciting final Friday regular season edition of the Southern California College Baseball Roundup:

Continue reading SoCal Roundup: Justin Garza No Hitter

SoCal Roundup: Conference Tourney Time

The Mountain West and West Coast conference tournaments got underway in Las Vegas and Stockton, Calif. How did the Southern California squads perform in tournament action? Find out…

All that plus the Big West teams in action in their final regular season weekend in this Thursday edition of the Southern California College Baseball Roundup.

Continue reading SoCal Roundup: Conference Tourney Time

SoCal Roundup: “Bubbles” Dominates Bubble Battle

With the Mountain West and West Coast Conference tournaments starting up Wednesday and Thursday and crucial weekend series to wrap up the regular season for the Big West and Pac-12, very few midweek games were on the slate this week.

But one game presented a pair of college baseball traditional powers squaring off in a huge bubble battle as the history-rich programs of USC and Cal State Fullerton played with RPI rankings on the line.

The game started in favor of one squad, but made a drastic turn with the assistance of a player nicknamed “Bubbles.”

Find out who came out ahead between the Trojans and Titans and hear the calls from a dramatic final inning in Riverside that featured a pair of home runs. Also, check out photo galleries from all three midweek games.

Continue reading SoCal Roundup: “Bubbles” Dominates Bubble Battle

Catching up with Grand Canyon’s Andy Stankiewicz

Shotgun Spratling caught up with Grand Canyon head coach Andy Stankiewicz to check on the development of the program in their first season at Division 1.

The Antelopes have put together quite a successful season at 30-22 that includes a 19-8 mark in the Western Athletic Conference. Despite having the second-best record in the WAC, due to the NCAA-mandated transition period, the ‘Lopes are not allowed to compete in the conference or NCAA Tournament.

Stankiewicz talks about the difficulty of enduring the transition period while having no end-of-the-year postseason potential and about rewarding the players with big-time non-conference matchups, including USC, Kansas, Kansas State, UC Irvine and Washington among others this season with plans to travel to Tennessee, Cal Poly and Oklahoma State in the future: