The Cornell baseball program has announced their 2008 schedule which is highlighted by a season opening tournament where they will play face Siena and the host Virginia in four games. They will also take part in the Villanova Classic where they will play Temple, LaSalle, and the host Wildcats. The Big Red will make their annual trip to Florida but they have not announced opponents for the entire week. The team will open at home against Ivy League power Harvard on March 29th. The full schedule is available here.
Brown University pitcher Jeff Dietz has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2008 season. He won the Ivy League pitcher of the year award in 2007 while leading the Bears to the Ivy League title and their first ever NCAA tournament berth. Dietz went 9-3 including a complete game victory over Penn in the Ivy League championship series in which The College Baseball Blog was in attendance for. The CBB recap of the Ivy Championship is available by clicking here.
Harvard senior Tom Stack-Babich has been named to the 28 man Great Britain roster for the European Championships (Olympic qualifying tournament) which start on September 6th and run through September 17th. The team will be cut down before the tournament to 24 players but some players have already been guaranteed spots on the team. Stack-Babich played this summer with the Lowell All-Americans where he hit a respectable .273 with ten doubles in 40 games. The full release from Harvard is available here.
The Brown Media Relations department has put out a release recapping the summer leagues the Brown Bears took part in. The article looks at Rob Hallberg (Manchester (CT) Silkworms NECBL) and Jeff Dietz (Wareham Gatemen CCBL) who led the Bears to the 2007 Ivy League championship. The full release is available here.
The University of San Diego and head coach Rich Hill have released their 2008 schedule which is highlighted by visits from Cal-State Fullerton, Missouri, and UC-Irvine. They will open the season on February 22nd when they play a four game three day home and home series with cross-town rival San Diego State. Some other highlights from the schedule are when the Toreros head to Hawaii-Hilo for a three game series from March 15th-17th before returning home to take on Ivy League power Harvard for a three game set. The press release is available here.
The Harvard Crimson released a special article about Steffan Wilson on Thursday. The article talks about how Wilson signed with the Milwaukee Brewers over coming back for his senior season. The article also discusses how many people are doubting the decision to go pro including Keith Law. The full article is available here.
The Yale Athletic Department has a press release on the success of some Bulldogs this summer. Ryan Lavarnway hit .313 this summer with the Manchester Silkworms (NECBL). Lavarnway was up for several national player of the year awards during the 2007 season. He is expected to be drafted in 2008 according to several MLB scouts in the top 10 rounds. The article also discusses Steve Gilman who played with the Glacier Pilots of the Alaskan League, Chris Walsh for the Monroe Channelcats in the Southern Collegiate League, and Brian Irving who stayed around home by playing in the West Haven Twilight League. The full article is available by clicking here.
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 Penn Quakers could have clinched the Gehrig Division title with a doubleheader sweep of Princeton but instead the Tigers took both games by scores of 7-3 (10 innings) and 10-6. Doug Brown started Game 1 for the Quakers and pitched into the 10th inning in his final home start while giving up four runs on twelve hits. He picks up the loss to drop his record to 2-5. Princeton starter David Hale allowed three runs in five innings and was relieved by Brad Gemberling who also went five innings to up his record to 2-0. After the marathon game, The Penn Quakers scored three runs in the bottom of the first but Princeton starter Eric Walz settled down to pitch the complete game and gave up six runs to get his third win on the season. William Gordon came in to close the game in the eighth inning but the Tigers were able to scratch across six runs to take the lead and cruise to the 10-6 victory.