Because there are fewer than six degrees of separation between Rice coach Wayne Graham and New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra, it isn’t a wild assumption to believe Graham muttered, “It’s like déjà vu all over again” upon first glance at the Houston Regional field.
The NCAA baseball selection committee on Monday announced the pairings for the 64-team NCAA Tournament, and the four-team Houston Regional features three returnees from 2006: Rice (49-12), Baylor (34-25) and Prairie View (34-23).
The newcomer is TCU (46-12), which Rice has played six times in the past three seasons, including a three-game set at Reckling Park in 2005.
“It’s a solid regional,” said Graham, whose Owls are the No. 2 national seed and will host the Houston Regional at Reckling. (Vanderbilt is the tourney’s No. 1 seed.)
“We played them all. TCU has great talent, and Baylor is on the upswing after finishing second in the Big 12 tournament. Prairie View has everybody back. They present a problem. They seem to play extremely well against us.”
Outside of the lack of creativity on the part of the committee, few could quarrel with the bracketing of the regional.
CHRONICLE: Complete story
UNC-Wilmington picked up a victory on Saturday over 12th ranked TCU by a score of 10-6 in Day 2 of The Baseball at the Beach tourney. Steve Halford had his third four hit game of the young season to lead the offense. Bradley Holt was able to pick up the victory by going five innings but giving up four runs on six hits. Steven Trout led the Horned Frogs offense by going 2-2 with a home run, two runs scored, and two runs driven in. Chance Corgan picked up the loss by going 4.2 innings while giving up five runs (4 earned). This was the Horned Frogs second straight loss of the weekend. The Horned Frogs will return to action on Saturday facing off against Notre Dame at 3 pm. They will also face NC State on Sunday. UNC-Wilmington will face off against West Virginia on Sunday.
UNC-Wilmington Game Recap
TCU Game Recap
The Mountain West Conference has released their pre-season coaches poll and TCU is expected to win the conference garnering 9 out of the 10 first place votes. The full release is available here.
The USA National Team swept a doubleheader from Puerto Rico and the Czech Republic. The United States won the morning game against Puerto Rico by a score of 15-0. Nick Schmidt pitched 5 shutout innings giving up only two hits. Sean Doolittle pitched two perfect innings to end the mercy ruled game. J.P. Arencibia led the offense by driving in five runs and getting three hits.
The late afternoon game was against the Czech Republic. The Czechs were overmatched from the great pitching of Jake Arrieta in the 16-0 victory. Jake gave up the only hit of the game in the fifth inning which was his last inning of work. Tim Federowicz finished the game which was ended early because of the mercy rule again. Brandon Crawford led the USA offense with a 3-3 performance with 4 RBI and four runs scored.
The USA team will play Mexico on Thursday night at 8:45 pm.
Puerto Rico Press Release
Czech Republic Press Release
The USA National Team knocked of the Virgin Islands today by a score of 4-0. David Price (Vanderbilt) threw 4 shutout innings while only giving up two hits. He also walked none. Cole St. Clair (Rice) pitched two innings and only let up one hit while striking out four. The next pitcher was Casey Weathers (Vandy) who gave up three hits while striking out five in his two innings of work. Daniel Moskos closed the door in the ninth inning by giving up a hit and had a strikeout. The USA offense struggled mightily as they had not played in a week. They only had two hits in the game but scored four runs (three earned) while taking advantage of the six walks they received from Virgin Islands starter Deshaun Brooks. The USA team will play a Doubleheader on August 9th with Puerto Rico at 10 AM and Czech Republic at 4 PM. Hopefully they can win these two games to head to 3-0 in the tournament.