Will Kimmey

Three Strikes

Will Kimmey -

It was a big weekend for the Missouri Valley Conference. It earned four bids (three at-large) in the men's basketball tournament, a happening that engendered plenty of coverage for the league. While it's not likely to earn that many NCAA bids in baseball, the MVC boasts two clubs on double-digit winning streaks. Wichita State (17-2) has reeled off wins in its last 13 games and broke into the rankings at No. 23 this week. The Shockers boast the nation's most versatile middle infield, with second baseman Damon Sublett and shortstop Noah Krol batting .408-4-16 and .326-1-5 while combining to allow only one run in 15 innings of relief. Sublett has earned a win and three saves while recording 12 strikeouts, while Krol has notched 11 strikeouts and two saves.

College | #2006#Three Strikes

Three Strikes

Will Kimmey -

At 13-0, Georgia Tech holds the nation's longest winning steak and is off to its best start since going 17-0 in 2003. And to no one's surprise, the Yellow Jackets are doing it with offense. GT batted .404 and scored 48 runs in a three-game sweep of Rutgers. The hitters make it easy for those of us who aren't enrolled in Tech's engineering school, scoring 130 times in 13 games for a tidy 10 runs per game average.

College | #2006#Three Strikes

College Weekend Preview: March 3-5

Will Kimmey -

There's a lot of familiarity for Jack Leggett this year. His Clemson Tigers are ranked No. 1, a spot in which they spent seven weeks during the 2002 season—the last time they advanced to the College World Series. The batting order features eight of the same names it did a year ago, when Clemson went 43-23 and fell one game shy of the CWS, and most of the pitching staff returns as well.

College | #2006#Weekend Preview

Three Strikes

Will Kimmey -

A week after Florida's pitching staff looked strong against Miami, it gets destroyed by Missouri during a 1-2 weekend at home in the Pepsi Baseball Classic. The Tigers rang up 14 runs on 22 hits and five Gators errors Friday night in a 14-5 win, while junior righthander Max Scherzer shredded the lineup, striking out eight batters while allowing a run over seven innings and showing off a plus changeup to go with his mid-90s fastball and slider.

College | #2006#Three Strikes

College Weekend Preview: Feb. 24-26

Will Kimmey -

After his team's spirited ninth-inning comeback attempt against Nebraska fell short, North Carolina State coach Elliott Avent wanted to speak to one player immediately. Getting up from his stance in the third-base coaching box, Avent looked over the Nebraska players coming out of their dugout and walked right up to Joba Chamberlain.

College | #2006#Weekend Preview

Three Strikes

Will Kimmey -

Arkansas sophomore lefthander Nick Schmidt held Texas Christian hitless for six innings Friday night in 1 5-2 win. Schmidt struck out seven batters and walked one before leaving the game after 91 pitches. He threw six hitless innings in his first start as well, notching six strikeouts and three walks against Oklahoma State.

College | #2006#Three Strikes

Three Strikes

Will Kimmey -

The Houston Astros College Classic drew a record 27,134 fans Saturday, the fourth-largest crowd ever to watch a college baseball game. Most came for the marquee matchup between Texas and Rice that night. The fans were treated to the best game of the young season.

College | #2006#Three Strikes

Three Strikes

Will Kimmey -

Texas fans should put down that rope or step back from the ledge. Despite a strong pitching staff, one that used experienced starters Randy Boone and Kenn Kasparek in relief and got just 10 outs from Kyle McCulloch before he left after getting hit by a batted ball, Texas still sends a young lineup out there. It's talented, and there's no question Augie Garrido will get plenty of runs from it as the season progresses. Sure, this is the second 0-3 start for Texas since 1938 (the Longhorns started 0-4 in 2001), but remember this club won the title during a 2005 season in which it dropped a series at Kansas and finished third in the Big 12.

College | #2006#Three Strikes

Development Of A Hotbed

Will Kimmey -Premium Content

Virginia has produced plenty of firsts. America's first permanent settlement came in Jamestown in 1607. The College of William & Mary opened the nation's first law school in 1779, started the first educational honor system and founded Phi Beta Kappa. Virginia native George Washington served as the nation's first president from 1789-97, and seven more presidents have come from the state. In the sports world, NFL franchises have drafted Virginia natives first overall three times: Bill Dudley (1942), Bruce Smith (1985) and Michael Vick (2001) while Ralph Sampson (1984) and Allen Iverson (1996) became No. 1 picks in the NBA draft. Yet for all its firsts and abundant athletic talent, Virginia has never produced the first pick of the baseball draft. Expect that to change this year. Chesapeake's Justin Upton rates as the favorite to go from Great Bridge High in Chesapeake to the Diamondbacks with the first selection, one pick earlier than his brother B.J. went to the Devil Rays in 2002. Old Dominion righthander Justin Verlander (2004) and James Madison righthander Jay Franklin (1971) give Virginia three No. 2 overall picks in draft history.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview

2005 Draft Scouting Reports: Virginia

Will Kimmey -Premium Content

The talent has been building in Virginia in recent years, and this year caps off the state's steady surge toward amateur prominence. First and foremost is Justin Upton, the consensus top talent in the draft, and he's closely followed by Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman is the exception this year, however, as the only college player among the state's best prospects. Of the top 12 players in the state, 11 come from the high school ranks.

Draft | #2005#Draft Preview