The 2008 Mohegan Sun World Baseball Coaches Convention is rapidly approaching as it will take place from January 10th-12th at the Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in Uncasville CT. They will be many coaches from around the country in attendance including newly named Oregon head coach George Horton and Eric Wedge who led the Cleveland Indians to the ALCS. This event is one of the top coaching clinics in the country and is a most for any high school or lower level coach to get some knowledge from the best coaches in the country. The CBB has been invited to the event and will be providing full coverage of the event on this site in the future. For more information about the clinic please visit the event’s website by clicking here.
The New York Yankees signed Andrew Brackman to a four year guaranteed deal which is worth a minimum of 4.5 million to a maximum of 13 million. The College Baseball Blog attended one of Brackman’s starts in the 2007 season (sat about four people over from Keith Law of ESPN) and was less then impressed with his performance. He did not show me first round type material but throws a very hard fastball but his curveball needs a lot of work. The biggest issue that I have over Brackman is the arm issues he ran into at the end of the NC State season which hampered the Wolfpack’s chances in the NCAA and ACC tournaments. There is not much mileage on his arm since he pitched in only 78 innings in 2007 while pitching in a combined 71.1 innings in his freshman and sophomore seasons. He was visiting famed surgeon James Andrews this week to look at his inflamed elbow where Tommy John surgery might be needed.
The College Baseball Blog made the trip down to New Britain Connecticut to see the championship games of the Northeast Conference on Saturday afternoon. Monmouth entered the championship round without a loss in the tournament while Central Connecticut State had one loss.
In Game 1, The Blue Devils got 8.2 innings of great pitching from Adam Piechowski as they took care of the Monmouth Hawks 4-2. The Blue Devils offense was led by Adam Taha who went 2-3 at the plate and provided a solid game behind the plate as he blocked several pitches in the dirt to hold runners on their respective bases. Andy Meyers led the Hawks offense by going 3-4 with a double. The win by CCSU forced a deciding game later in the day.
In Game 2, Monmouth starting pitcher Matt Coulson (4-3) pitched 7.2 innings while letting up only one run on five hits. He was effective at getting the Blue Devils to hit the ball at his fielders as he only had two strikeouts on the day. Both of them came with runners on second and third with one out in the fifth inning with a 2-0 Hawks lead. Justin Esposito pitched a perfect 1.2 innings to get his tenth save. CCSU starter John Tesseyman lasted only two innings as he gave up two runs on four hits. His record for the season drops down to 6-4. John Dennis went 2-2 with 3 RBI and a sacrifice bunt to lead the Monmouth offense.
The College Baseball Blog would like to give thanks to the great community of New Britain for putting on a fine event. This was one of the better experiences on the season as the College Baseball Blog might not see anymore College Baseball live this season due to logistics. The CBB will likely be heading to the Cape Cod League throughout the summer to check in on some college players.
The College Baseball Blog headed up to Franklin Pierce on Sunday to take in the championship round of the Division 2 Northeast Regional Final between Franklin Pierce and Bryant University. The Ravens of Franklin Pierce entered the game with a 48-9 record while Bryant had a record of 34-23. Franklin Pierce was also undefeated in the tournament so Bryant had to sweep a doubleheader to advance to Alabama for the World Series while FPC only had to beat the Bulldogs once.
Franklin Pierce jumped on Bryant starter Luke Cowan in the top of the first inning with back to back solo homers from Kevin Renaud and Scott Savastano to get the 2-0 lead. Kevin Renaud also tacked on another solo homer in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 5-0. Bryant would pick up two runs in the bottom of the eighth but could not come closer then the 5-2 final score. Keith Renaud got the start for Franklin Pierce and continued to dominate the Division 2 ranks as he only allowed two hits in seven strong innings. He was followed up by Clay Jenkins who faced only two batters but both of them reached base. Jayson King then made the move to closer Tyler Bishop who got the final six outs of the game while allowing only one hit to send the Ravens to the College World Series starting this upcoming weekend.
The College Baseball Blog took advantage of an opportunity to take a look at Jacob Thompson who entered the day with a 10-0 record. The Eagles countered with senior pitcher Kevin Boggan who was making his last appearance at Shea Field. The Cavaliers came out and took it to Boggan by getting three hits and bringing across two runs to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Eagles then came out in the bottom of the first and were able to scratch across two runs on one hit, one error, one walk, and a hit by batter to tie the score at 2. The game became a classic pitching duel between Boggan and Thompson until the sixth inning when Brandon Guyer lead off with a high fly ball to right field which was dropped by Johnny Ayers allowing Guyer to get on second base with no outs. David Adams followed the lead-off error with a single up the middle to drive Guyer in to make the score 3-2. BC was held in check by Thompson until the eighth inning when Ryan Hutchinson led off the inning with a single through the infield. He stayed on first after Johnny Ayers flew out to left field. Jared McGuire then hit a double down the left field line to put runners on second and first with only one out. The Cavaliers finally made a move to the bullpen as they brought in Jake Rule to face the hot-hitting Eric Campbell. He proceeded to hit a sacrifice fly to right field which brought home the tying run in Hutchinson. The teams stayed tied until the top of the tenth inning when the Cavaliers struck for two runs on a David Adams single to take a 5-3 lead. Boston College was able to work around the single and get out of the inning while only allowing those two runs. Virginia brought in closer Casey Lambert who got into some trouble as he allowed a run and needed a double play off the bat of Eric Campbell to get the final two outs and pick up his 11th save of the season.
Jacob Thompson was extraordinarily in his 7.1 innings on the mound. He was able to locate all his pitchers including a strong fastball and a solid curveball. Sean Doolittle went 3-4 on the day with an RBI as he has a good solid bat and should be a drafted this upcoming spring.
Boston College’s starter Kevin Boggan started out rusty but was able to get in a groove as he went seven strong innings while only allowing two earned runs. He has become a tough luck loser or no-decision guy as he is still 5-5 on the season. Eric Campbell and Jared McGuire both have come alive recently at the plate. If the Eagles are able to get into the ACC Tourney, both players could cause some trouble for their opponents.
The Northeast-10 Conference Tournament takes place today in Lowell MA at the home of the Lowell Spinners. The teams participating are the Bryant University Bulldogs, UMass-Lowell River Hawks, Franklin Pierce Ravens, and Pace Settlers. Bryant knocked off Southern Connecticut State on Wednesday by a score of 4-2 while Pace University beat Bentley 5-2 in the opening round of the tourney. Franklin Pierce and UMass-Lowell each got byes in the tournament. Franklin Pierce (41-8) enters the weekend as the Number 1 ranked team in the Northeast region by the NCBWA. UMass-Lowell enters as the second seed with a record of 33-16 while Bryant is 29-20 and Pace is 28-24.
The College Baseball Blog will be attending the Northeast-10 Tourney this weekend likely on Sunday. The Blog will be taking the teaching exam on Saturday and might head up after the all-day exam but likely will spend Mother’s Day in Lowell taking in the final games of the Northeast-10 Tourney.
The College Baseball Blog made the trek out to Amherst to check out the Richmond Spiders and UMass Minutemen in Atlantic 10 action. Richmond jumped all over Minuteman starter Tim Comisky for three runs in the first two innings but Comisky used an appeal play on a sacrifice fly to pick up the third out in the second inning in which Richmond head coach Ron Atkins was ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Steve Drescher. Richmond tacked on a run in the sixth inning on a Alex Wotring solo homer and two runs in the seventh to get a 6-0 lead. UMass bats finally came to life in the bottom of seventh when the Minutemen put together four hits and took advantage of an error to scratch across four runs. The Spiders brought in closer Brian Alas who shut the door in his 2.1 innings to pick up the victory.
Daily Collegian Recap from Eli Rosenswaike
In Game 1, The story of the game was the starting pitching. Penn freshman ace Todd Roth pitched a complete game by letting up an unearned run in the eighth inning but Brown starter Jeff Dietz was better by pitching a complete game shutout while only giving up three Quaker hits to give the Bears the 1-0 victory. Dietz also drove in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth by hitting a sacrifice fly to second baseman Steve Gable in foul territory but Gable made a poor throw to the plate allowing Steve Daniels to score the winning run. This was the CBB first time seeing each team and came away impressed by freshman Todd Roth who has a plus curveball but an average fastball. Dietz kept the Quaker hitters on the defensive by throwing a solid slider that was getting the outside corner from home plate umpire Joe Cacciatore. Penn coach John Cole also got into a heated argument around the sixth inning with second base umpire Nick Zebilli over an issue that was not obvious to the fans or myself.
In Game 2, The Brown Bears jumped all over Penn starter Jim Birmingham for five runs in the first inning including a grand slam from Robert Papenhause. He would finish the day with three hits and six RBI. The second inning did not get better for Birmingham as the Brown Bears picked up another four runs on a Devin Thomas grand slam. Thomas finished the day with four hits in seven at-bats and seven RBI. The Bears would cruise to the 20-6 victory to win the Ivy League Championship for the first time in the school’s history. Brown is now scheduled to have a few weeks off until they head to the NCAA Tourney.
The Penn Quakers will head to Providence RI to take on the Brown University Bears in the Ivy League Championship series (Best of three). The winner of the series will punch the first ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The Quakers won the Gehrig Division title last weekend after Princeton lost their final game of the year against Cornell in extra innings. Penn is led by second year head coach John Cole. He led the Quakers to a second place finish in 2006 in the Gehrig Division and won the Division title in only his second season. He had a ton of success at the Division 3 level at Rowan College where he compiled a 229-73 record. Cole has been receiving outstanding pitching from freshman pitcher Todd Roth who enters the weekend with a outstanding 6-1 record and an ERA of 2.25. He has thrown six consecutive complete game compiling a 1.50 ERA and 32 strikeouts while only walking six batters. Roth picked up a 5-3 victory over Brown on April 9th. He is expected to start Game 1 for the Quakers on Saturday. In Game 2, Penn is expected to send another freshman to the hill in Jim Birmingham who has a 4-1 record and a 3.30 ERA. The top hitter for the Quakers is Kyle Armeny who leads the team with a .326 average and eight homers.
The Brown Bears will be taking part in their first Ivy League playoff series in the 15 years of the playoff format. The Bears are led by Jeff Dietz who is tied in wins at 6 with Todd Roth of Penn. Dietz has had some outstanding performances throughout the season on the mound with a 6-3 overall record and an ERA of 3.57. He is expected to start Game 1 against Roth in a battle of aces. Dietz is also a solid hitter for the Bears as he plays first base when he is not pitching and has a .352 average with seven homers and 48 RBI in 39 games. Devin Thomas who is the starting catch for Brown has a very strong average of .372 and has hit 14 homers on the season.
The College Baseball Blog will be making the road trip down to Providence to check out the first two games of the series on Saturday and will provide a full report on Saturday evening.
Brown Game Notes
Penn Game Notes
John Cole Preseason interview with CBB
Baseball America Preview of series
The University of Massachusetts headed to Dayton Ohio this weekend to take on the Dayton Flyers in a key Atlantic 10 showdown. The Minutemen were able to get a key sweep to get them back into the hunt for a spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament. The CBB will be heading to the final game of the UMass-Richmond series this upcoming weekend and will have a full report.