FROM CONFERENCE PRESS RELEASE
Somerset, NJ — Defending Northeast Conference champion Monmouth sits atop the 2008 NEC Baseball Coaches Poll as the favorite to capture its fourth league title. The Hawks received six first-place nods to finish ahead of Quinnipiac in the voting. Central Connecticut State, a three-time champion this decade, claimed third. Mount St. Mary’s, picked fourth, received the remaining two first-place votes. Long Island sits fifth followed by Wagner, Sacred Heart and Fairleigh Dickinson. Continue reading 2008 Northeast Conference Preseason Poll
Nebraska 6 Monmouth 5
Nebraska survived a late rally from Monmouth to win the elimination game from Monmouth on Saturday evening. Nebraska scored five runs in the seventh inning which was highlighted by a big two run double from Jake Opitz. Monmouth ends the season with a 36-24-1 record while Nebraska advances to play UC-Riverside on Sunday.
ASU 9 UC-Riverside 2
Mike Leach pitched a complete game while giving up two runs as the Sun Devils picked up a 9-2 victory over UC-Riverside. Petey Paramore led the Sun Devils offense by going 3-4 with 2 RBI as the Sun Devils advance in the winner’s bracket to take on the winner of the UC-Riverside vs Nebraska elimination game tomorrow.
UC-Riverside 10 Nebraska 5
The Highlanders picked up a solid 10-5 victory over Nebraska. They were led by Jaime Pedroza who went 2-4 with four RBI including a home run. UC-Riverside will take on Arizona State on Saturday while Nebraska battles Monmouth.
Arizona State 5 Monmouth 3
Kiel Roling went 2-3 with three runs scored as the Sun Devils defeated Monmouth 5-3. ASU will take on UC-Riverside and Monmouth will play Nebraska.
Arizona State will be hosting the NCAA Regional this upcoming weekend at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. They will be joined by UC-Riverside, Nebraska, and Monmouth.
The Sun Devils (43-13) have one of the best offenses in the country with a team batting average of .349. They have 11 players who are batting over .300 on the year. Brett Wallace leads the team in average at .426 including 15 homers and 73 RBI. Josh Satow has become the ace of the staff as he has an 11-3 record with a 2.23 ERA. They open the tournament at 7 pm PDT against Monmouth.
Arizona State Tourney Notes
The UC-Riverside (37-19) Baseball squad is led by one of the top pitchers in the country in James Simmons. He leads the team with a 10-3 record and a 2.32 ERA. He recently was named the Big West pitcher of the year. The offense is led by Joey Gonzales who is hitting .360 on the season. They will open up against Nebraska at 2 pm PDT.
UC-Riverside Tourney Notes
The Cornhuskers (30-25) are in the midst of a rebuilding year. They are led by Jeff Tedak who leads the team with a .331 average. The Huskers will be without starting catcher Mitch Abeita who is out for the Regionals with a broken leg. The Husker pitching staff is headlined by Tony Watson who is 6-4 with a 3.94 ERA. Nebraska opens up against UC-Riverside at 2pm PDT.
Nebraska Tourney Notes
Monmouth (36-22-1) enters this weekend as the automatic bid out of the Northeast Conference after defeating Central Connecticut State in the championship game 7-1 in which the CBB attended. The full article is available by clicking here. They are led by Kyle Messineo who is hitting .346 on the season and leads the team in stolen bases with an outstanding 41 on the season. Ryan Buch and Brad Brach both went 9-2 on the year to lead the pitching staff. Monmouth opens against Arizona State at 7 pm PDT.
Monmouth Tourney Notes
The CBB predicts that Arizona State will win the Regional fairly easily.
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.
Monmouth 7 Central Connecticut State 1
Monmouth advance to the Northeast Conference Championship game with a 7-1 victory over Central Connecticut State in a winner bracket game on Friday afternoon. Monmouth got six innings from Ryan Buch as he let up one run on five hits to up his record to 9-2. Kyle Breese pitched three scoreless innings while giving up only one hit to pick up his first save of the season. The offense leader for the Hawks was Kyle Messineo who went 4-4. CCSU starter Ken Kerski only lasted 3.1 innings while giving up five runs to drop his record to 7-2.
Quinnipiac 4 Mount St. Mary’s 1
The Bobcats kept their hopes alive of a NEC Conference Championship by knocking off Mount St. Mary’s in an elimination game 4-1. Quinnipiac starter Pat Egan pitched a complete game three hitter as he kept the Mount St. Mary’s offense off balance throughout the game and send the Bobcats to another elimination game to follow later in the evening. Egan’s record on the season goes to 4-3 while Mount St. Mary’s starter Andrew Germuth gets the loss to drop to 8-5. The Bobcat offense was led by Tim Binkoski who went 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Mount St. Mary’s Recap
Central Connecticut State 5 Quinnipiac 0
The Central Connecticut State Blue Devils ended intrastate rival Quinnipiac’s season with a 5-0 shutout victory in the last game on Friday evening which was an elimination game for each squad. Pat Scribner was masterful as he pitched a complete game shutout while striking out twelve batters and walking none. His record goes to 6-6 while Quinnipiac starter Chris Gloor gets the loss to drop his record to 4-2. The Blue Devils advance to the Championship game on Saturday against Monmouth where they have to defeat the Hawks twice to win the NEC Championship and get a spot in the NCAA Regionals.
The NEC has recaps of every game available by clicking here.
The CBB is expected to be in attendance for the Championship game(s) on Saturday and will provide a full report from New Britain Stadium.
FROM NCBWA RELEASE
DALLAS - The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released the Pro-Line Athletic National Player of the Week awards for the period ending April 17, today. James Madison senior outfielder Kellen Kulbacki was named National Hitter of the Week, while Monmouth junior right-handed pitcher Brad Brach was named National Co-Pitchers of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I conferences each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Kulbacki went 11-for-16 (.688) last week with five walks to reach base in 16 of 21 plate appearances (.762 on-base percentage). He hit four home runs in four games, including his third multiple-home run game of the season, and added three doubles for 26 total bases and a 1.625 slugging percentage. He also scored 10 runs, drove in 11, and stole a base. Kulbacki's week included a span of six consecutive at bats with base hits and eight consecutive plate appearances reaching base. He had multiple hits in each of the four games and nine total bases on Wednesday and Friday.
Brach hurled the NEC's first no-hitter in nearly three years on Friday in a 2-0 win over visiting Long Island. The Freehold, N.J., native was perfect through eight and a third innings, allowed a walk with one out in the ninth on a 3-2 pitch for his only blemish. Brach, who led the conference in ERA a year ago, struck out six and improved to 4-1 on the season with a 3.21 ERA following his second straight nine-inning, complete game effort. It marked the first no-hitter in the NEC since Long Island's John Dooley and freshman Ryan Ekberg combined to no-hit Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-0, on April 29, 2004. The last no-hitter by an NEC pitcher in a solo effort came on April 27, 2002 when Sacred Heart's Dan Scott stymied Long Island, 2-0. The gem was also the first for a Monmouth pitcher since Glenn Spencer turned the trick against Mount St. Mary's in 1990.
With this week's honor, Brach automatically are named to the watch list for Roger Clemens Award, given to the national collegiate pitcher of the year, sponsored by the Greater Houston Baseball Organization.
The Boston College Eagles picked up a 10-9 victory over Villanova in the first game of two on the day. Boston College used a key hit by freshman John Spatola to drive in Peter Frates from second base for the walk-off victory. Eagles pitcher Terry Doyle pitched the final 2.1 innings while giving up two runs on four hits to get the victory. Villanova pitcher Gus Guida picked up the loss.
BC and Monmouth tied 3-3 in the nightcap but there is very little info on the game.