Columbus State (Ga.) and Tampa have advanced to the 40th Division II national championship game in Montgomery, Ala.
Defending Champion Tampa, which is striving to become the first school since 1992-93 to win back-to-back Division II titles, advanced to the finals by defeating Southern Indiana, Cal State LA and Nebraska-Omaha. [...] Continue Reading »
Only four teams remain at the 50th Annual NJCAA Division I World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
Chipola (Fla.) (39-17) advanced to the championship game after holding off a late rally by San Jacinto (Texas) (46-15) to win 7-6. The Indians are the only team in the world series field that is undefeated at 3-0.
The other three teams joining the Indians in the field of four are Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.), New Mexico and San Jacinto (Texas). [...] Continue Reading »
USA Baseball has announced the five finalists for the 30th annual Golden Spikes Award, presented to the top player in college baseball. For the first time since the list of finalists was narrowed from nine to five in 1997, two sophomores made the cut–Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez and Texas outfielder Kyle Russell. Alvarez was joined on the list by Vandy teammate David Price, a junior lefthander. The other two finalists were Florida State junior second baseman Tony Thomas and Florida senior first baseman Matt LaPorta.
The player of the year field is very competitive this year, as all five nominees have strong cases. So do Arizona State slugging first baseman Brett Wallace, Virginia righthander Jacob Thompson and Charlotte righty Brad Mills, but there wasn’t room in the crowded field for everyone. There are no slam dunks this year.
Tonight at 7 p.m., two teams will battle for the 2007 Avista-NAIA World Series championship. And it just wouldn’t feel natural if one of the teams wasn’t Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State.
The Warriors (57-5) toppled Houston Baptist 8-7 on Wednesday off an eighth inning solo home run by Ikaika Lester that broke a 7-7 tie, and will play Spring Arbor (Mich.) for the title. [...] Continue Reading »
Tyler (Texas) Junior College defeated Joliet (Ill.) JC 13-5 in the final game of the NJCAA Division III World Series to claim the schoolâ€™s first-ever national championship. After splitting the first two games between the two teams, the top-ranked Apaches pounded out 15 hits and took advantage of Jolietâ€™s inaccuracy on the mound, as the Wolves walked 10 Apache batters in the game. [...] Continue Reading »
There was no magical run left in the Emory (Ga.) Eagles’ arms or bats. Faced with the formidable task of winning back-to-back games Tuesday afternoon in Grand Chute, Wis., Kean (N.J.) beat Emory 5-4 in 10 innings, to claim its first Division III national championship. [...] Continue Reading »
In the brackets that have been released by the NCAA, Southern Conference teams Western Carolina and Wofford are both in the Chapel Hill regional. NCAA rules state that two teams from the same conference cannot be placed in the same regional, which leads me to believe that either the committee screwed up and put them together, or the brackets are wrong.
Perhaps Wofford is actually supposed to be at the Columbia, S.C. regional, and Jacksonville should be in Chapel Hill. We’ll see if Division I Baseball Committee chairman Larry Templeton can shed any light on this curious situation in the conference call that is about to begin. [...] Continue Reading »
The field of 64 has been announced, and there are just a few eyebrow-raisers. The Southeastern Conference, which has received no fewer than six bids every year since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999, got just five teams in this year, as Tennessee and Alabama were left out. Both teams finished strong in the regular season, winning three of their final four conference series, but poor RPIs (Tennessee ranked 56th and Alabama 64th) combined with lackluster SEC tournament showings probably torpedoed both teams. [...] Continue Reading »
The bubble teams for the 64-team field really boil down to a small group, for me: West Coast bubbles (Gonzaga, Oregon State and UCLA) versus Southeast bubbles (Alabama, College of Charleston, Tennessee, Western Carolina). The Midwest bubble teams pretty much sorted themselves out (Baylor over Oklahoma, Houston out, Minnesota not quite enough).
One way to measure these teams against each other is by RPI, but not just the raw overall number. If you pay attention, you know the RPI has flaws, but astute observers also realize the RPI can help line up teams with similar geographic locations. So let’s do that–let’s line up our bubble teams within their regions. I’ll define the West as Hawaii (duh), California, Oregon, Washington, the Four Corners states, Nevada and the Rocky Mountain states (which essentially have no D-I teams anyway). We’ll use RPIs at www.boydsworld.com because the official ones aren’t updated yet. [...] Continue Reading »
Conference champions have now been decided in every league except the Southeastern and West Coast conferences, so now seems like a good time to begin sorting out who gets at-large bids and who gets left out. Here’s a conference-by-conference look at the teams that should be safely in, followed by a bubble breakdown: [...] Continue Reading »
I got a call from Creighton assistant coach Rob Smith this afternoon, and he was understandably excited about the Bluejays’ incredible run to their first Missouri Valley Conference championship. As amazing as Vanderbilt’s victory over Mississippi was last night, Creighton’s win against Wichita State last night was no less remarkable. [...] Continue Reading »
The 16 regional sites have been announced, and it’s clear that RPI was a bigger factor in determining hosts than conference standings. The 16 hosts:
Arizona State, Arkansas, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, Long Beach State, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Rice, San Diego, South Carolina, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wichita State. [...] Continue Reading »
Here’s a quick roundup of some of the developments from Saturday’s late games:
GREENVILLE, N.C.–Memphis made things interesting, but Rice feasted on the Tigers’ depleted pitching staff in a 20-9 win, sending the Owls to the Conference USA championship game against East Carolina. Rice second baseman Aaron Luna went deep twice and tied a CUSA tournament record with seven RBIs. Tomorrow’s game could be another high-scoring affair, as both Rice and ECU are nearing the end of their fresh quality pitching. That probably favors the more explosive Owls.
A couple of other quick notes before I pack up and head back to Durham: Texas held off Nebraska 5-4 this afternoon, which means Texas A&M will advance to the Big 12 title game against the winner of tonight’s Oklahoma-Baylor game. The Aggies and Longhorns each finished pool play with a 2-1 record, but A&M won the head-to-head meeting, giving it the tie-breaker. In the ACC, Clemson righthander David Kopp is dominating Florida State, and the Tigers lead 4-0 in the eighth. If Clemson hangs on, it will need Miami to beat Wake Forest tonight in order to advance to the ACC championship game against North Carolina. Wake Forest owns the tie-breaker over Clemson and can go to the title game with a win against the Hurricanes.
Two of the heaviest favorites in conference tournaments cruised to championships this afternoon. Charlotte romped through the Atlantic-10 tournament, outscoring its opponents by a margin of 44-9 en route to its first A-10 title. Going back to the 49ers’ final regular-season series against Richmond, they have outscored their opponents 64-11 in their last six games. In the Mid-Continent tournament, Oral Roberts outscored its opponents 33-3 in three games and captured its 10th straight conference championship. The Golden Eagles have won 16 straight.
In the Big East, second-seeded Rutgers held off No. 8 Connecticut by an 8-7 score to win its third conference title. The red-hot Todd Frazier went deep again for the Scarlet Knights, giving him 22 on the season. Rutgers winning is very good news for Louisville and St. John’s, who are both likely to receive at-large bids. One of them might have been squeezed out if UConn had won. [...] Continue Reading »
Everything has come together perfectly for Coastal Carolina. With South Carolina losing to Arkansas and Virginia falling 5-0 against North Carolina, the door was wide open for the Chanticleers to seize a national seed. And they held up their end of the bargain, beating Liberty 6-5 to claim the Big South championship. So the race for national seeds looks like this:
Locks: Vanderbilt, Rice, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona State, Florida State.
Near lock: Coastal Carolina.
Inside track: San Diego.
Still in the running if the Toreros fall: Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia (in that order). If Arkansas wins the SEC tournament, it is likely to bump San Diego or Coastal. Probably USD.
GREENVILLE, N.C.–East Carolina punched its ticket to Sunday’s Conference USA championship game with a 9-4 win over Tulane this afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Pirates were the tournament’s darkhorse partly because they feed off their boisterous home crowd, but today was the first time that home-field advantage has really been a factor. ECU was held scoreless for the first six innings in its tournament opener against Tulane and for the first eight innings in its second game against Southern Mississippi, neutralizing the crowd for most of both games. But today, the Pirates capitalized on three Tulane errors to score three runs in the first inning, and they kept their composure after Tulane tied the score at 3-3. [...] Continue Reading »
Texas A&M beat Kansas State 7-2 in the Big 12 tournament today, in the process eliminating top-seeded Texas from conference title contention. The team with the best record in pool play will advance to the title game, with head-to-head performance being the tie-breaker. A&M is now 2-1 in pool play, and it won the head-to-head game against Texas on Thursday, so even if the Longhorns beat Nebraska today, they would lose the tie-breaker to the Aggies. Nebraska, however, is still alive. If the Cornhuskers win, they will also be 2-1, but they would get the tie-breaker over Texas A&M by virtue of their win over the Aggies on Wednesday. [...] Continue Reading »
Arkansas had some work to do in the SEC tournament after losing its final three regular-season series. The Razorbacks had seemingly lost their chance to earn a national seed and were in jeopardy of losing their home regional, as well. But the Hogs have taken care of business in Hoover, winning their first three games to advance to the championship round tomorrow against either Mississippi or Vanderbilt. Arkansas got a third straight strong starting pitching performance, this time from righthander Duke Welker (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K), in a 3-2 win against South Carolina this morning. [...] Continue Reading »
To this point, you probably only know the name “Mike McGuire” as the home run-hitting companion to “Sammy Sooser” in Ted Kennedy’s slightly confused world. But Delaware has a pretty darn good 6-foot-7 righthander named McGuire, and he very nearly threw a no-hitter against Old Dominion in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament yesterday. McGuire lost his no-hitter bid with one out in the ninth inning, but his seven-strikeout, one-hit shutout was more than enough to beat ODU 4-0 and propel the Blue Hens to the championship round today against Virginia Commonwealth. Delaware needs to beat VCU twice today to win the title and claim the league’s automatic bid, but the unbeaten Rams can punch their ticket with just one win. With a low-90s fastball and a power curve, McGuire could be trouble for somebody should Delaware make a regional.
Elsewhere, the amazing Wofford Terriers are making retiring coach Steve Traylor’s send-off a memorable one. Seeded ninth in the 10-team Southern Conference tournament, Wofford has won its first four SoCon tourney games and sits just one win away from capturing the league’s automatic bid. [...] Continue Reading »
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