“Four players fainted,” Texas head coach Augie Garrido said. “I had a mild heart attack.”
Centerfielder Mark Payton said the bullpen looked like a bunch of caged monkeys. Reliever Travis Duke agreed, saying he was scaling the fence in the bullpen.
“A lot of us were like spider monkeys on the fence. Numerous fist pumps. A lot of yelling. Bullpen catcher lost his voice.”
There’s no word yet if the heaven and angels were singing, though, Garrido said he “put a long distance call in to get Cinco de Mayo recognized as a national day in honor of [C.J. Hinojosa].”
OMAHA, Neb. — Scott Brown may have the best college baseball job the country.
As the Vanderbilt pitching coach, Brown gets to pull the strings on the deepest staff in the country — a staff that runs out talented arm after talented arm.
Vanderbilt features junior right-hander Tyler Beede, the No. 14 overall draft pick this year, as well as three sophomore right-handers that could all be first-day draft picks in next year’s draft. Then there’s the four relievers that each have an ERA under 2.00 and lefty Jared Miller, who is 6-2 on the year after starting the season in the rotation prior to Carson Fulmer‘s conversion from closer to starter.
“Any time you have that kind of caliber of arms in the stable, you do have a pretty good job,” Brown said. “I know that every day. I’m fortunate.”
Yesterday, Tony Gwynn died at age 54. Gwynn finally lost his battle with cancer stemming from smokeless tobacco usage.
I wasn’t surprised. During my last couple of trips to San Diego to cover the University of San Diego and Gwynn’s San Diego State team, I had been told Tony was struggling and getting worse rather than better.
Since he left the San Diego State team in March, he had been in and out of the hospital and one player said the team hadn’t seen Gwynn since his departure.
But Tony was a fighter, so for the first time, I hoped my sources were wrong. I hoped the stories from San Diego State were the truth — that Tony was doing better and hoping to rejoin the team soon. I knew better, but I still hoped for the school updates to be more than a mask to protect the Gwynn family’s privacy.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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:
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.
The 2014 College Baseball season is hitting its stretch run as we start look at what the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament will look like. These are our latest look at the projections at what the tournament bracket will look like if the tournament started today. All questions and comments can be discussed in the comment section below the post. Continue reading