Can you believe it that the season starts on Thursday in Hawai’i with Oregon State taking on Hawai’i-Hilo in the first official game of the season. They ended the season in Omaha by winning the national championship and they begin their title defense in the first game. They will be playing a 5 game set in Hawai’i before returning to the mainland of USA. They will not be the only team in action as many other west coast schools start the season this weekend including San Diego which will be hosting Cal Poly for a 3 game set.
Dan Spencer, an assistant coach with NCAA Champion Oregon State, checks in at College Baseball Insider with an article about pitchers and how they react to different situations. The full article is available here.
Jason Ogata is planning on transferring from LSU to Oregon State. Ogata is going to be a sophomore next spring and is expected to compete for the second baseman job at Oregon State replacing Chris Kunda who had a wonderful career. Ogata was rated as the Best College Prospect from Oregon in 2005 and this move means he is going back to his home state.
The Wareham Gatemen knocked off the Cotuit Kettleers 1-0 in a thrilling game. Wareham scored in the fourth inning off of Cotuit starter James Simmons. Simmons pitched a complete game and scattered seven hits in his nine innings of work. Wareham starter Jeremy Bleich gave up four hits in his seven shutout innings. Nick Cassavechia pitched 1.1 innings of hitless baseball to pick up the save for the Gatemen. The only RBI of the game was a double by Jason Ogata which drove in Dominic de la Osa from second base.
The Oregon State Beavers knocked off the UNC Tar Heels in Game 3 of the Championship game tonight. This is the first victory for a true northern school since Ohio State won the title in 1966. The Beavers were led by a solid pitching staff and survived six elimination games to arrive with the title. This is Oregon State’s first baseball championship and only the second in the school’s history in any sport.
UNC heads to Alabama for a SEC-ACC matchup. UNC is a better team then Alabama with solid hitting and 2 first round picks in there pitching staff with Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard. UNC should sweep them in the series
South Carolina visits Georgia for the Super Regional. Georgia has a ton of good arms and a good pitchign staff as they should take this series.
Stanford at Oregon State should be a win for the beavers
Missouri at Cal St Fullerton is a very easy pick if you look at it on paper but Cal State will be taken to 3 games but win the series though.
Oklahoma at Rice will have the Owls come out on top.
Miami at Ole Miss is a win for the Hurricanes.
Tim Lincecum from the University of Washington struck out 16 batters in Friday’s night 6-4 victory over the 5th ranked Oregon State Beavers and fellow All-American Dallas Buck. Lincecum broke the career strikeout record of the Pac 10. Lincecum is only a junior but throws smoke and lit up the guns in the Cape Cod League last year. He looks like a solid first round pick in the upcoming draft. He has a 95+ fastball which is almost unhittable. John Manuel and Buster Olney weigh in with this article from the Washington Huskies website.
Here are some links to some articles around the country about the Super Regionals.
The Times-Picayune checks in with a few articles about the Regional. The first one is about Nathan Southard, one about Wayne Graham , and the final one is about the threat of a tropical storm interrupting the series.
The Houston Chronicle has three articles today about College Baseball. One about the Rice pitching staff, one about Baylor’s recent turnaround this season, and the final one is about TCU’s Lance Broadway who is up for the Roger Clemens award.
The Lincoln Journal Star has a ton of articles about the Huskers and Canes. The first one focuses on Mike Anderson. Another one focuses on Husker assistant Andy Sawyers. We also have articles on Ryan Braun and also an article about the Huskers two aces. Wow, There is only one more from the Lincoln Star and that is on Zach Kroenke. There is also an editorial about the game from Steven M. Sipple.
The Sun-Sentinel checks in with an article from Jim Sarni about the Huskers series. There is also an article on the Figueroa brothers. The Miami Herald has an article about Miami pitcher Andrew Lane and also an article on Seminole pitcher Bryan Henry.
The Corvallis Gazette-Times has an article about the interest in OSU baseball with this dream season of theirs.
I have to go watch some games…Take it easy and Enjoy the games.
This is a battle between Pac 10 rivals. USC is playing the perennial leader while OSU is playing newcomers role. There is not many publications (if any) in the country who predicted that Oregon State would be the 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. OSU won the season series 2 games to 1. The scores were 5-4 and 10-7 in favor of the Beavers while the game to the Trojans was a 12-2 game.
The Trojans of Southern California are led by superstar catcher Jeff Clement who was the number 3 pick in the entire draft this year by the Seattle Mariners. Clement is a catcher who has a .347 average and only 13 homers. Clement throws out runners around the 41% mark which is a solid number. Oregon State will not try to test Clement too much this weekend.
Baseball America’s take on Clement
Clement generates light-tower power with a short, compact lefthanded swing. He stays inside the ball well and gets excellent backspin. As a major league hitter, he projects to hit .270-.280 with 30-35 home runs. Clement has outstanding makeup and has worked hard to shore up his weaknesses. He has shown his biggest improvement behind the plate. His set-up, mechanics, blocking and arm quickness are all much improved. He still has only a 40-50 arm on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, but threw out almost 50 percent of basestealers this year.
The biggest issue for USC is going to be their pitching for this series. There top two pitchers are Ian Kennedy (12-2 with a 2.58 ERA) and Jack Spradlin (6-3 with a 4.14 ERA) will likely start Games 1 and 2 for them. What happens if the series goes to a game 3? Is USC going to start Brett Bannister? Anyone know?
The Beavers are hosting the Super Regional for the first time in their long history of Baseball. They are trying to reach the College World Series for the first time since 1952. Oregon State enters the game with a 44-9 record on the season and a 24-4 record at home. The Beavers are led by the junior outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury who was a first round pick of the world champion Boston Red Sox this past week. Ellsbury leads OSU in batting average (.415), OBP (.504), and many other categories.
Baseball America’s opinion about Ellsbury
Ellsbury has few holes in his game and is capable of beating teams in a lot of ways. He has excellent makeup and instincts. His best tool is his speed, and it’s evident both on the bases and in center field, where he catches everything hit his way. He has been clocked in 6.55 seconds over 60 yards. He has become more patient, rarely swings and misses and is comfortable hitting with two strikes. His style of play and physical appearance have drawn comparisons to Johnny Damon at a similar age, but scouts say Ellsbury has a better swing. They question whether he’ll grow into the same power, though.
Oregon State’s pitching rotation this weekend has Dallas Buck (11-1 1.97 ERA) on Friday, Anton Maxwell (11-1 4.07 ERA) on Saturday and Jonah Nickerson (9-1 2.03 ERA) on Sunday if necessary.
The pitching has been the story all year for the Beavers and will continue as OSU knocks off USC in two straight games to take the series 2 games to none. This is the year of the impossible happening just like the Sox winning the World Series, I think OSU makes it back to the CWS and really puts a scare into some teams.