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.
The College Baseball Blog had the chance to visit Cambridge MA on Saturday to take in some Ivy League Baseball action between the Harvard Crimson and Yale Bulldogs. The Crimson took both games of the doubleheader.
In Game 1, They received a very solid pitching performance from freshman Max Perlman who pitched a complete game allowing only three hits and a home run to Justin Ankney who crushed the first pitch of the sixth inning over the right field fence. The Crimson took advantage of five errors by the Bulldog defense including one by Dan Soltman and Ryan Lavarnway.
In Game 2, Shawn Haviland started for the Crimson and gave them eight shutout innings while only giving up seven hits. Jake Bruton pitched a perfect ninth to close out the doubleheader sweep. The Crimson offense was led by Matt Vance who went 2-4 with 3 RBIs. Yale starter Chris Wietlispach only lasted four innings while giving up all six runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks. The Yale defense did not back him up at all as Dan Soltman and Ryan Lavarnway each committed two errors in the nightcap.
The CBB was impressed with the level of pitching from the Harvard Crimson. They were able to throw a freshman in game 1 of the doubleheader and he was unhittable. The Bulldogs were off balance throughout the game. Steffan Wilson who plays third base for Harvard is a definite MLB prospect as he has all the tools scouts are looking for in an athlete. He made an excellent play on defense in which he charged a ball and threw out the runner by about three steps. The Harvard coaching staff also took advantage of many situations which arose in the game. They used a double steal (1st and 2nd) with two outs and an 0-2 count on the hitter which ended up getting the Crimson an extra run.
The College Baseball Blog might head down to Brown next weekend to see the battle for the Red Rolfe Division lead.
The College Baseball Blog will be making the trip down to Kingston RI to check in on the Charlotte 49ers and Rhode Island Rams on Saturday. The 49ers enter the weekend ranked as the 25th team in the country by the NCBWA. The 49ers have an overall record of 26-6 and 8-1 in the Atlantic 10. The 49ers weekend starters all have ERA’s under 2.66.
Charlotte Game Notes
URI Game Notes
The CBB will try to head to Cambridge on Sunday (weather permitting) to take in the Harvard-Yale doubleheader which is a key Red Rolfe Division showdown in the Ivy League Conference. The Crimson have a 5-3 record in the conference while Yale is 3-5. Both teams are looking to pick up some key wins hoping to get into the Ivy League Championship series at the end of the year.
Harvard Captain Brendan Byrne had a nice article written about him which discusses the amount of commitment it takes today to compete at the D-1 level in two sports. Byrne besides playing second base also plays Forward on the hockey team. This is an interesting combination since there is some overflow from the Hockey season to the beginning of the baseball team. Byrne is a local guy growing up in Dorechester and Milton. The full article is available here.
Jeff Dietz was honored by the Collegiate Baseball as their pick for the Ivy League pitcher of the year. Jeff went 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA last season in the Ivy League and is expected to contribute more this season. The full release is available here.