Team USA completed their tour of New England with a 5-4 victory over the Newport Gulls (NECBL). Team USA scored four runs in the first inning with the first run coming on a double by Justin Smoak (South Carolina). Brett Wallace (Arizona State) then followed up with a three run homer in his first at bat of the summer with Team USA. The coaching staff of Team USA used the game to get five pitchers work in the game. Jacob Thompson (UVA) started and gave up no runs on one hit and two walks. Mike Minor (Vanderbilt) came in for two innings while giving up two hits and striking out four batters. Eric Surkamp (NC State) then came in to pitch two innings but gave up one run on two hits. Josh Romanski (San Diego) came in relief of Surkamp and gave up three runs in his two innings of work. Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) gave up two hits but did not give up a run as he got his first save of the summer for Team USA. The team will be off until June 29th when they play Chinese Taipei in Burlington NC.
The USA National Team picked up a 5-0 rain-shortened victory in seven innings over the Keene Swamp Bats. The USA team was led by Pedro Alvarez who went 3-4 with a homer. Ryan Flaherty also picked up a homer as the Vanderbilt teammates provided the offense. Jacob Thompson started for Team USA and gave them two perfect innings before leaving due to a rain delay. (The CBB saw Thompson pitch this past season and can be read about here.) Thompson faced college teammate Tyler Cannon who led off for the Swamp Bats but did not pick up a hit. Team USA will be back in action on Friday when they play against the Vermont Mountaineers.
Team USA Recap
-Andrew Giobbi 1b/c
-Brett Jacobson p
-David Macias OF
-Shea Robin c
-Nick Christiani p
-Mike Minor p (Alternate with USA)
-Dominic de la Osa RF
-Kurt Lipton OF
- Russell Brewer IF
- Steve Liddle OF
- Mark Lamm p
- Brian Harris ss
- Ryan Davis OF
- Brad French OF/INF
- Jonathan White OF
- Caleb Cotham p
- Richie Goodenow p
- Pedro Alvarez 3b
- Ryan Flaherty SS
- Mike Minor p (Alternate)
Thanks to NY Dore for this post.
The four finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy are Vanderbilt pitcher David Price, Texas outfielder Kyle Russell, Rice pitcher-first baseman-designated hitter Joe Savery, and Florida State second baseman Tony Thomas Jr.
One member of this quartet will be named the winner at a national news conference on Friday, June 15, at 10 a.m. (CDT) at the Omaha Press Club, 22nd Floor, 16th & Dodge Streets (the old First National Bank Building), as the 21st recipient of the prestigious award, given annually since 1987.
The game of College Baseball is starting to see a ton of parity. We have a Big East squad in Louisville making their first appearance in an NCAA Regional. They went into Missouri this weekend and defeated both Miami and Missouri twice. The Cardinals are just one of the northern teams that got through a regional as Michigan went into Vanderbilt and beat the Commodores twice. Vanderbilt was the number 1 overall seed in the tournament. The Texas Longhorns were also shocked by UC-Irvine and Arkansas went down to Oklahoma State. San Diego also went 0-2 in the Regional they hosted at San Diego State.
We also saw seven ACC teams receive bids to the NCAA Tournament but only two ended up getting into the next round of the tournament. The FSU Seminoles were a huge disappointment as they started the season with a perfect 23-0 record before losing to Jacksonville. The Seminoles were flawed as they did not have the pitching staff like the top teams in the country. They were exposed with only a two deep pitching staff in Bryan Henry and Michael Hyde. The history of the Seminoles have always been a strong hitting team but fail in the NCAA Tourney because of the lack of pitching depth. They have been to the CWS the most times without winning a title by making it 15 times to Omaha. Is it the coaching? I don’t think it is Mike Martin’s Sr. fault but his entire coaching staff needs to do a better job in recruiting better players. He needs to focus on getting some lights and pitchers that can dominate games like Jacob Thompson.
Tallahassee Democrat Article on Mike Martin and 2008
Virginia also bowed out of the tournament early this year but the injury bug hit the Cavaliers as they headed down the stretch. Greg Miclat had surgery on his torn labrum before the Boston College series while Brandon Guyer and Brandon Marsh each got injured in the NCAA Regional knocking them out of the NCAA Tournament. This meant the Cavaliers were missing a whole third of their lineup in which they were not able to overcome. The Cavaliers will lose All-American candidate Sean Doolittle but return Jacob Thompson who will headline the starting pitching rotation next season.
I will be starting my Super Regional Previews on Wednesday and I expect to be done them by late Thursday evening so come back for some great Super Regional coverage.
Alan Oaks hit a pinch hit homer in the top of the tenth inning off of upcoming number 1 draft pick David Price to break a 3-3 tie and send the Wolverines to a Super Regional. The Wolverines led the Commodores 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth but gave up two runs in the eighth. Both teams were held scoreless until the tenth inning when Oaks was able to get a hold of a Price fastball and put it over the left center wall. Michael Powers was able to hold Vanderbilt scoreless in the bottom of the tenth to get his fourth save of the season. Vanderbilt ends the season with a 54-13 record and should be back next season in the NCAA Tourney. Michigan will likely head to Oregon State or Virginia for the Super Regional series.
The Vanderbilt Commodores stayed alive in the NCAA Tournament with a tough 11-5 victory over the Governors from Austin Peay. The Commodores returned to action later in the evening to face Michigan in the Regional Championship. Austin Peay finishes with a
Vanderbilt 10 Michigan 7
Vanderbilt forced a winner take all game on Monday by knocking off the Michigan Wolverines 10-7 on Sunday evening at Hawkins Field. According to my sources, Michigan will send Chris Fetter (6-3, 4.71 ERA) to the mound to face Tyler Rhoden (4-0, 5.66 ERA).
Vanderbilt is not the only top seed to lose one of its first two, and its current fate is far better than of fellow National Seed San Diego, who was eliminated in its first two games. Nevertheless, Tim Corbin faces the unenviable task of needing to win out in its second consecutive double elimination tournament. Vandy achieved that feat in Hoover, taking the SEC Tournament crown. To do so now, they will need to knock off teams whose pitching depth does not run as deep as Ole Miss and Arkansas.
In the early game, Vandy will likely face Ryne Mantooth, who did not, contrary to popular belief, appear in any X-Men films. In two innings of work against the Dores on Feburary 27, Mantooth surrendered 2 hits and an earned run, striking out three. But Vandy would be blessed to face Mantooth, as waiting in the wings is Mike Dunn, who 3-hit the Commodores over 7 innings on April 9. Peay is in the very difficult position of having burned its stopper for the weekend (10 IP by Kelley), lost its #2 guy (Matt Reynolds) to a rain delay after three innings, used almost 5 innings from a key reliever (Jeff Lykins) and having potentially three games remaining in the regional. Look for Coach McClure to try to stretch Mantooth today.
Vandy, meanwhile, is in relatively excellent pitching position. Coach Corbin will almost certainly throw Cody Crowell in the morning session, holding big righty Ty Davis for the right handed hitters of Michigan in the nightcap. Crowell is coming off a complete game against Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament, and the Commodores could use more of the same, today. Cody tossed one perfect inning against Peay on February 27, but allowed a run on two hits and two walks in the April 9 game. That run and the Tyler Farrar homer against David Price Friday night account for the only two runs that APSU has managed in 29 innings against Derek Johnson’s pitching staff this year.
In the nightcap, if Vandy is to advance, they will face a Michigan team that has to be feeling good. Like Vandy, the Wolverines have only used five pitcher (ace Zach Putnam, Wilson, reliever Michael Powers and 3B Adam Abraham). They will likely throw Chris Fetter in the nightcap. Fetter will be the first pitcher Vandy has faced with less than stellar statistics and could be a welcome respite should the Dores advance. On the year, Fetter has given up his fair share of hits, but has very good control (only 17 walks). Tim Corbin will turn to either Ty Davis (and his .196 BAA) or former Sunday starter Nick Christiani (whose lethal fastball is sometimes erratic). The Wolverines pen will likely have Abraham (2.97 ERA in 30.1 IP), closer Ben Jensen (4.54, 33.2, 5 saves), and Eric Katsman (6.14, 22, 0) available, with arm-fatigued Andrew Hess (3.76, 64.2) held for a potential rematch on Monday.
With the loss last night, the Commodore home record fell to 33-3. Vandy has lost consecutive games just once this year and would likely be favored in each of the remaining games of this Regional. Nevertheless, winning three in a row will be a challenge, despite the quiet confidence that Vandy carries, even when trailing. To win out, Vandy will need their anemic bats to come to life. So far, Vandy has managed only 5 runs, to APSU’s 19, Memphis’ 14, and Michigan’s 14.
Austin Peay picked up their first NCAA win ever by knocking Memphis 18-7. AP picked up six runs in the first and fifth innings as they rolled to the win. AP will take on Vanderbilt in an elimination game on Sunday while Memphis ends the season with a record of 36-27.
Austin Peay Recap
Michigan 4 Vanderbilt 3
The Michigan Wolverines picked up an upset victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday evening by edging them 4-3. The Michigan offense was led by Nate Recknagel who went 1-3 with three RBI in the game. Michigan reliever Michael Powers picked up the win while Adam Abraham got the save. Vandy reliever Brett Jacobsen gets the loss.
After a thrilling day one at sold out Hawkins Field, Michigan and Vandy find themselves in the winner’s bracket. Michigan outlasted Memphis in a 10-7 slugfest, behind the bats of Nate Recknagel (2-4, 3 R, 3 RBI) and catcher Doug Pickens (2-5, 3 RBI). On the hill, ace Zach Putnam struggled (9 H, 7 ER), but gave the Wolverines 8 innings, allowing Coach Maloney to only use one inning out of Michael Powers.
In the nightcap, Vandy was stifled for 10 innings by Austin Peay’s Shawn Kelley; however, the first team all-American combo of David Price and Casey Weathers struck out a mind-boggling 22 batters in 11 innings of near perfect work. Ryan Flaherty came around to score on a Shea Robin grounder to the box, granting Coach Corbin and the Dores an exhilarating 2-1 victory before a largely partisan crowd of approximately 3,600.
Both teams’ aces (Putnam and Price) are done pitching for the tournament. Beyond that, each other pitcher should be available for today’s matchup, though Weathers did throw a number of pitches in striking out five of the six batters he faced. Coach Maloney was believed to be ready to turn to seasoned Senior Andrew Hess, who has missed a pair of starts down the stretch due to arm fatigue; however, his arm troubles appear to have continued and the Wolverines will toss Sophomore southpaw Mike Wilson. The West End Word identified Wilson as one of four starting pitchers to watch (with Price, Mikie Minor and Kelley) in the Nashville Regional. Wilson went 7-0 over the year and earned First Team Big Ten honors.
Wilson has excellent numbers and very good stuff, as evidenced by a .223 BAA. The one consolation for Vandy fans is that the lefty-heavy big bats in the Commodore lineup (notably Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Flaherty and Ryan Davis) all hit lefties well. With this late change, look for Corbin to insert UCLA-transfer Parker Hanks into the lineup at either Leftfield (for Matt Meingasner) or DH (for Davis).
Toeing the rubber for Vandy will be National Freshman of the Year Candidate Mikie Minor. Minor’s plus-plus changeup presents a potential problem for the righty-heavy Michigan lineup… as one is willing to bet that the Wolverines have not yet seen such sophisticated arm action on a fastball-changeup combo.
Tonight’s loser will play an elimination game against the Memphis-Austin Peay winner on Sunday. The VU-UM winner will earn the right to sit back and then play the team that emerges from the loser’s bracket later on Sunday night and again, if necessary, on Monday.
In the Memphis-APSU game, we’ll see the quintessential batters box vs. pitchers mound affair. The Tigers are a slugging team and they showed that Friday with three home runs off of Putnam.
APSU, meanwhile, used stellar mound work from OVC Pitcher of the Year Kelley. The Govs will roll out their second ace, southpaw Matt Reynolds (10-3, 3.09 ERA, .251 BAA) against Ben “don’t mention that my uncle is John” Grisham (4-3, 5.68, .327). The prevailing question will be whether or APSU’s gloves or the Tiger bats end up on top. Furthermore, both squads played mentally draining games. Memphis‘ longer layoff and APSU’s heart-wrenching loss seem to indicate the guys from out west could have the upper hand.