College Chat With Will Kimmey
College chat with 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.
Please don't say rebuilding in front of Ray Tanner. "That's a disgusting word to me," the South Carolina coach said. "I never have used that word and I never will use that word." He won't even say the word.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Spring Training Classic took place in Surprise, Ariz., last weekend, but the Surprise Teams Tournament happens this weekend in Los Angeles.
Will Kimmey chats about college baseball.
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.
Tulane can't wait to take the field this weekend at the Houston Astros College Classic. Like any college team, the players are tired of intrasquad scrimmages and want to face an actual opponent.
Will Kimmey chats about college baseball.
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 baseball comes to the rescue for sports fans trying to avoid the 72 hours of run-up Super Bowl pregame coverage this weekend, thanks to a schedule that offers four prime nonconference matchups.
Fresno State isn't quite ready for prime time yet, but maybe Cal Poly is.
Yes, those are players who reached the majors, and but those also are players whose Fresno State teams won conference titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs haven't won their league since 1995 or made the NCAA tournament since 2001.