CSTV editor Doug Kroll recently checked in on new Florida International coach Turtle Thomas. He has been one of the most successful coaches in the country as he has been to the CWS 14 times in his great assistant coaching career. His most recent stop was at Arizona State where he helped coach the Sun Devils to the CWS last season. He has also spent time with Georgia Tech, LSU, Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Miami (FL) over the last 30 years. The full article is available here.
LAFAYETTE – Twenty-four home games, in addition to seven contests televised locally on KLAF-TV Channel 17, highlight Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns baseball’s 56-game schedule which was announced Oct. 18 by head coach Tony Robichaux.
Louisiana’s schedule features six teams that participated in the NCAA Regionals a year ago, including NCAA College World Series participant Rice. Last season, the Cajuns, which won the 2007 Sun Belt Conference regular season title, finished with a 45-17 overall record after falling in the NCAA College Station Regional championship game.
The Cajuns open the 2008 season Feb. 22-24 at the Texas-San Antonio Tournament in San Antonio, Texas, against Army, Oral Roberts and Texas-San Antonio. UL then faces the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans on Feb. 27. UL will open the home portion of its 2008 season with a home tournament, featuring Southern Miss, Miami (Ohio) and New Orleans. The Cajuns will face the Miami Redhawks once and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles twice during the weekend.
After a non-conference tilt on the road with the Houston Cougars on March 4, Louisiana returns home for a four-game homestand featuring a Wednesday contest Southeastern Louisiana (March 5) and a three-game conference series against Arkansas State (March 7-9).
Louisiana’s solid non-conference schedule concludes with Louisiana State (April 29) and a three-game series at NCAA Regional participant Nebraska (May 2-4). The Cajuns’ trip to Baton Rouge marks the first meeting in the series since the 2002 NCAA Regional at Alex Box Stadium.
For the fourth time, Louisiana’s M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field will host the Sun Belt Conference Championship May 21-24. Since joining the Sun Belt, the Cajuns have also hosted the conference tournament in 1997, 2001 and 2003.
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns will hold their annual Red-White Fall World Series at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field beginning with game one on Thursday, Nov. 1.
The Virginia Cavaliers (43-14) enter this weekend after winning two out of three games in the ACC Tournament. They did not qualify for the ACC Championship as they lost the head to head tiebreaker with North Carolina. They are led by a very strong pitching staff in Jacob Thompson and Sean Doolittle. Thompson has an overall record of 11-0 with an ERA of 1.35. (The CBB had the chance to see him pitch and a full report on him is available here.) Sean Doolittle is one of the top two-way players in the country as he has a record of 7-3 with a 2.57 ERA while batting .318 with 52 RBI. The Virginia offense is led by Brandon Guyer (.369) and David Adams (.368). They receive some bad news about two weeks ago when leadoff hitter and batting average leader Greg Miclat had surgery on a torn labrum and is out for the season. Virginia opens the tournament against Lafayette at 4 pm Friday.
Virginia Tourney Notes
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights made an impressive run through the Big East Tournament by coming through the loser’s bracket before taking out UConn in the conference championship game by a 7-6 scoreline. Rutgers is led by All-American candidate Todd Frazier who is hitting .379 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI. He has also stolen 25 bases in 29 attempts. Dave Williams is the leading hitter on the team with a .408 batting average in 57 games. Steve Healing leads the pitching staff with a 10-3 overall record and an ERA of 3.56. Rutgers opens the tournament against defending champion Oregon State at 8 pm on Friday.
The Oregon State Beavers are the defending champions and will head to Charlottesville after finishing in sixth place in the PAC-10. They have an overall record of 38-17 but were under .500 in the PAC 10 at a 10-14 mark. Mitch Canham is one of the top catchers in the country who will likely be drafted in the top five rounds in the upcoming draft. He leads the team in hitting with a .346 average and in homers with nine. The Oregon State pitching staff is led by Mike Stutes who has a 9-4 record and has struck out 101 hitters in 102.2 innings. Oregon State opens against Rutgers at 8 pm on Friday.
Oregon State Tourney Notes
The Lafayette Leopards (33-18) enter the weekend with the automatic bid from the Patriot League after sweeping the Army in the Championship series. Lafayette split with Ivy League Champion Brown last week in preparation for the NCAA Regionals. Lafayette is led by pitchers Kevin Reese and Matt Kamine. Reese is 7-1 with a 2.70 ERA in nine starts including four complete games. Kamine is 7-4 with a 2.72 ERA. The Leopards offense is led by James Conrad who has a .351 average with 48 stolen bases in 52 attempts. Jeff Butler has a .350 average also so he is also a player to watch.
Lafayette Tourney Notes
The CBB predicts Virginia to advance through the regional and the sleeper team in the regional is Rutgers with a potent lineup.
New Orleans took the Sun Belt title by knocking off Louisiana 8-2. Stephen Whalen (7-5) pitched three shutout innings in relief to pick up the victory for the Privateers while Ragin‘ Cajuns starter Buddy Glass lasted only 4.1 innings while giving up four runs to drop his record to 7-4. Johnny Giavotella went 2-3 with a homer and two runs scored to lead the Privateers offense. Josh Logan went 3-4 in the losing effort for Louisiana. Both teams will await the NCAA seedings which are released on Monday.
Daily Advertiser Recap
Game 5: No. 6 Florida Atlantic 7, No. 7 Western Kentucky 6 (WKU Eliminated)
Game 6: No. 8 South Alabama 5, No. 5 Louisiana-Monroe 3 (ULM Eliminated)
Game 7: No. 2 New Orleans 7, No. 3 Middle Tennessee 5
Game 8: No. 1 Louisiana 9, No. 4 Troy 7
The task of shrinking the bench and bullpen would be more challenging if the Owls weren’t tearing the cover off the ball, a trend that continued Tuesday at Reckling Park. No. 2 Rice blasted Baylor 13-0 to stretch its winning streak to 15 games.
Rice improved to 42-11 while Baylor fell to 28-24.
The Owls have just three more games to close out the regular season and all are at home starting Thursday through Saturday. Rice hosts Memphis in a three-game C-USA series at Reckling Park. Thursday’s first pitch is slated for 7 pm. Baylor concludes its regular season schedule with a three-game Big 12 Conference series against Kansas State at Baylor Ballpark.
SOUTHERN MISS 9, NEW ORLEANS 4
NEW ORLEANS – UNO’s struggles continued Tuesday as Southern Mississippi capitalized on shaky pitching by the Privateers to win 9-4 at Maestri Field. With Tuesday night’s win, the Golden Eagles have won seven in a row, nine of 10 and finished with double-figure hits in six of the last seven games.
Southern Miss (34-19) scored five runs in the fourth inning, including a leadoff home run by catcher Trey Cuevas, to go ahead 6-2. The Privateers (32-21) couldn’t get it going offensively, stranding 10 batters.
Southern Miss wraps up its regular season schedule with a three-game C-USA series at Houston. The first game of the series, on Thursday, will be broadcast nationally on CSTV at 7 p.m. CDT. The Privateers will conclude their regular season schedule this weekend, when they host Louisiana in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Thursday contest will be televised by Cox Sports Television.
HOUSTON 6, SAM HOUSTON STATE 4
HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Senior first baseman Josh Stirneman went 2-for-5 with a double and solo home run to help lead the University of Houston baseball team to a 6-4 win over area-rival Sam Houston State on Tuesday at Don Sanders Stadium.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Cougars scored six unanswered runs and appeared to have the game well in hand heading into the final frame. But the Bearkats pushed three runs across in the ninth inning and continued to threaten with the bases loaded, but reliever Aaron Brown hurled a strikeout to end the threat and the game.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 28-23 overall while Sam Houston State fell to 33-20. The Cougars swept the regular-season series against the Bearkats after taking a 16-9 win on Feb. 13 at Cougar Field. UH, which won its 11th straight game against the Bearkats, also evened the all-time series against SHSU at 71-71. The Cougars had not been even with the Bearkats in the all-time series since standing at 10-10 in 1956.
The Cougars wrap up their 2007 regular season later this week as they play host to Conference USA rival Southern Miss in a three-game series from the friendly confines of Cougar Field. That series begins with 7 p.m., games on both Thursday and Friday before wrapping up at 1 p.m., Saturday. The Thursday game will be televised nationally on CSTV. Sam Houston wraps up the regular season schedule with a Southland Conference series at Stephen F. Austin.
MEMPHIS 5, TENNESSEE-MARTIN 3
UNION CITY, Tenn. – Senior Kyle Norrid went 3-for-4 four and drove in four runs to lead Memphis to a 5-3 win over UT-Martin Tuesday night at Elam Stadium. The win was the 33rd of the year for the Tigers–the most regular season wins for a Memphis team since 1994. The win also eclipses the Tigers 2006 win total.
After waiting through a two hour, 23-minute rain delay, Memphis (33-20) got off to a fast start with a pair of scores in the opening frame. Michael Murray extended his hit streak to 12 games with a single to centerfield and moved to third when Skyhawks leftfielder Kevin Holt was unable to handle a single by Adam Amar. Amar advanced to second. Norrid then lined the first pitch he saw up the middle for a 2-0 Memphis lead.
Memphis will now prepare for its final Conference USA regular season series. The Tigers will travel to Houston to take on the second-ranked Rice Owls on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. UT-Martin (19-33) completes the regular season with by hosting Samford in an OVC series. The teams will play a double-header on Friday and a single game on Saturday.
ELON 4, No. 29 EAST CAROLINA 2
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Kyle Roller’s two home runs were not enough for No. 29 East Carolina as it fell to in-state foe Elon 4-2 Tuesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium in the final regular season home game for the Pirates.
Jesse Lewter improved to 4-3 on the year after tossing his first career complete game with a career-high six strikeouts for Elon (28-24). On the night he allowed just six hits and walked one, making two pitching mistakes, both home runs to Roller.
The Pirates (35-18) will hit the road for the final three games of the regular season this weekend when they travel to UAB for a C-USA series. Junior T.J. Hose will take the mound for ECU on Thursday night with the first pitch scheduled for 8 p.m. (EDT). Elon returns to action on Wednesday, May 16 in a 7 p.m. game with High Point at Latham Park.
One of our loyal readers sent me the above link of the Louisiana Ragin‘ Cajuns winning the Sun Belt regular season title by crushing Arkansas-Little Rock by a score of 28-3 on Saturday. The championship is the Cajuns second title in the last three years. They missed the title in 2006 by a measly one game.
Louisiana Ragin‘ Cajuns Recap
Arkansas-Little Rock Recap
Memphis 8, Arkansas State 7
MEMPHIS – With the Tigers trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth and down to its last strike, freshman Tyler Huelsing lifted a game-tying RBI-single to center and then scored from first on an error by the Arkansas State outfield to push Memphis past ASU 8-7 in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night at Nat Buring Stadium. The Tigers improve to 31-18 with its 11th last at-bat win. Arkansas State falls to 19-30.
No. 3 Rice 6, Texas State 4
HOUSTON — The Rice trio of Brian Friday, Joe Savery and Aaron Luna all collected three hits, and the Owls combined a big five-run third inning and a stellar relief outing by Matt Langwell to claim a 6-4 win over visiting Texas State Wednesday evening at Reckling Park in Houston. The victory was the Owls’ 11th in a row and the 19th win in the last 20 games.
Rice improved to 38-11 on the season. Texas State fell to 32-18 overall.
The Owls’ eight-game homestand continues with a three-game Conference USA weekend series May 11-13 at Reckling Park. Rice hosts Tulane in the second-to-last league series of the season. CSTV Networks has announced that the Friday baseball contest will be available as part of a special pay-per-view event. The special presentation of this match-up will be available live and on-demand via Internet video streaming. The Bobcats return to Southland Conference action Friday when they open a three-game series with McNeese State in San Marcos.
No. 4 North Carolina 5, No. 30 East Carolina 1
GREENVILLE, N.C. - No. 4 North Carolina used seven pitchers to record 17 strikeouts as the Tarheels defeated No. 30 East Carolina 5-1 in front of the second largest crowd in school history (5,076 fans) Wednesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The win allowed UNC to sweep the two-game series between the two schools.
North Carolina improved to 39-10 while East Carolina fell to 32-17.
The Pirates will be back in action this Friday night when they host UCF in a three-game Conference USA series. The Tar Heels are back in action at home this weekend for a three-game ACC set against Georgia Tech beginning Friday.