Kendall Rogers, Rivals.com’s baseball guru, broke down his top 10 players to return to school despite being drafted.
1. Texas OF Kyle Russell
2. Texas A&M Utility Guy Blake Stouffer
3. Vanderbilt OF Dominic De la Osa
4. Rice Closer Cole St. Clair
5. Creighton switch-pitcher Pat Venditte
6. UGA Closer Josh Fields
7. ASU Starter Josh Satow
8. USC Catcher Phil Disher
9. OKState 3B Matt Hague
10. Auburn OF Mike Bianucci
This writer would probably have flipped a couple of these guys around. It’s hard to argue with Russell Stouffer and De la Osa; however, a healthy Cole St. Clair could be the difference between Rice swapping a C-USA ring for a College World Series ring.
And I’m happy to see Venditte return. I’ve not seen him pitch yet, but he’s the guy who will throw lefty to one batter and righty to the next.
Read Kendall’s breakdown here.
Arkansas 6 Creighton 0
Arkansas received a seven strong innings from Nick Schmidt who only allowed two hits and no runs as the Hogs survived an elimination game against Creighton with a 6-0 win. Brian Walker led the offense by going 4-4 while hitting two home runs, driving in two runs, and scoring four times. Arkansas advances to the Championship round against Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State 7 Arkansas 6
Oklahoma State clinched a spot in Super Regionals after defeating Arkansas 7-6. Oklahoma State survived a late rally but held on for the victory. The Cowboys were led by Tyler Mach and Corey Brown who each hit a homer and drove in three runs. Cowboys reliever Josh Fritsche got his second win of the year while Jordy Mercer got his third save of the season. Arkansas reliever Stephen Richards got the loss for the Razorbacks. They end the season with a 43-21 record while Oklahoma State will play the winner of the Louisville/Missouri elimination game on Monday in the Super Regionals next weekend.
OK State Recap
Creighton 21 Albany 11
The Creighton Blue Jays picked up a 21-11 victory over the Albany Great Danes to keep their season alive. Creighton was led on offense by Steve Winkelman who went 3-4 with six RBI in the victory. Creighton will face the Oklahoma State/Arkansas in an elimination game on Sunday.
Oklahoma State 14 Arkansas 3
The Arkansas Razorbacks played a sloppy game on Saturday evening and the Oklahoma State Cowboys took advantage of multiple errors in a 14-3 victory. Arkansas starter Jess Todd was ineffective as he let up five runs in over three innings of work. Tyler Mach hit a key grand slam in the fourth inning for the Cowboys to take control of the game. Arkansas will play Creighton in an elimination game while Oklahoma State will play the winner of Arkansas against Creighton later on Sunday.
OK State Recap
Oklahoma State 6 Creighton 4
The Cowboys scored four runs in the first inning to grab an early lead and were able to hold onto a 6-4 victory over Creighton. Oklahoma State was led by Rebel Ridling who went 2-4 with 3 RBI in the win. Oklahoma State will take on Arkansas on Saturday while Creighton will take on Albany.
Oklahoma State Recap
Arkansas 9 Albany 0
The Arkansas Razorbacks continued their recent hot streak with a 9-0 victory in the NCAA Regional in Fayetteville. Duke Welker threw six shutout innings on the mound to keep the Great Danes offense silent. The Razorbacks will be back in action on Saturday against Oklahoma State while Albany will play Creighton.
The Arkansas Razorbacks were announced as the Regional host at Baum Stadium this weekend. They will be joined by the Creighton Blue Jays, Oklahoma State, and Albany Great Danes. All games will be broadcasted on CSTV.
The Razorbacks enter with an overall record of 41-19 after making the SEC Championship game over the weekend and losing to the Vanderbilt Commodores. They are led by a strong pitching staff of Jess Todd (9-2, 2.49 ERA, 124 K’s), Nick Schmidt (10-3, 2.85 ERA), and Duke Welker (6-5, 3.83 ERA). The offensive leader for the Razorbacks is Logan Forsythe who hit .352 for the season. Danny Hamblin leads the team with 22 homers on the year. They open the tournament with the Albany Great Danes at 7:30 pm.
Arkansas Tourney Notes
The Blue Jays (44-14) enter as the champions of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament after knocking off Wichita State in 12 innings 10-9. Ben Mancuso leads the starters with an ERA of 2.28 and a record of 10-2 in twelve starts. Andy Masten is a finalist for Stopper of the Year with his 16 saves in 33 appearances. His ERA is 1.74 for the season. Darin Ruf leads the hitters with a .377 average. They will take on Oklahoma State at 3:30 pm on Friday to open up their run to Omaha for the CWS.
Creighton Tourney Notes
The Cowboys (38-19) are entering the NCAA Tournament on a six game losing streak after getting swept by Missouri in the final series of the year and going 0-3 in the Big 12 tournament.
They are led by a very shaky pitching staff which has a staff ERA of 4.09 but make up for it with a very good hitting team as opponents have an ERA of 7.52. The top starting pitcher for the Cowboys is Joe Kent who is 4-2 with a 3.33 ERA in ten starts. Justin Friend has seven saves on the season with an ERA of 2.54. They will open the tournament against Creighton at 3:30 pm on Friday.
Oklahoma State Tourney Notes
The Great Danes (29-27) enter the NCAA Tournament as the America East Champion after sweeping through the conference tournament. They are led by Steve Wyland who is hitting .379 for the season in 54 games. The Great Danes pitching staff is weak for a northern squad with John Naples leading the rotation with an 8-2 record and an ERA of 3.29. They will open the tournament at 7:30 against Arkansas.
Albany Tourney Notes
The CBB predicts Arkansas to win the regional but watch out for the Blue Jays to be the sleeper squad in the Regional. I would be shocked if Albany won a game before heading home.
The College Baseball Blog recently had a staff meeting and we spoke about ambidextrous pitchers about their abilities to compete at the highest level. I recently came across an article in the New York Times about the only one in collegiate baseball right now in Creighton’s Pat Venditte. The article can be read here.
The Maryland Terps will open the season this weekend at the Winthrop Challenge. They will take on Winthrop on Friday, followed on Saturday by a game against Gardner-Webb, and on Sunday they will face off against the Creighton Blue Jays.
Maryland Game Notes
Winthrop Press Release
Creighton Game Notes
Gardner-Webb Game Notes