See also: Top 25 Tracker
See also: Will Kimmey's Chat Wrap
STRIKE ONE: Gorsett Goes Gonzo
Alex Gordon? OK, the Royals do. And
could also still use the 2005 College Player of the Year. But Luke Gorsett is
doing a fine Gordon impression this season. He went 11-for-18 with two homers
and eight RBIs last week, including game-winning RBIs in
first two wins of a series sweep of
The junior right fielder transferred to
after leading all junior college hitters with 24 home runs at Garden City (
leads the Big 12 with 14 homers this year. He's also fourth in batting and
fifth in RBIs. Actually, all of his numbers through
them) compare favorably to Gordon's 2005.
| Gorsett '06
pace looks a little faster, but he still must face Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor
and Oklahoma'"four teams with very strong pitching staffs–and make his way
through the postseason, where the pitching will at least be above-average. So
Gorsett's numbers could end up very similar to those of Gordon a year ago.
STRIKE TWO: Well-Armed
Conference coaches picked
to finish fifth in the SEC West in a preseason poll, but after winning a series
against then-No. 1
ago and former No. 2 South Carolina this past weekend,
is 9-3 and tied with
for the league's best record. The thought was that
battle with the big boys in the often offensive SEC. Well,
on-base percentage and ninth in runs scored, but the Crimson Tide pitching
staff has proven stingy enough to make those figures not matter as much.
of junior lefthander Wade LeBlanc (6-0, 2.47), junior righthander Bernard
Robert (5-1, 2.79) and freshman righty Tommy Hunter (5-2, 2.95) has helped
ERA and .225 opponents average. Sophomore closer David Robertson, who led the
league in strikeouts per nine innings last year, has helped
lineup led by senior catcher Kody Valverde (.292-8-31) that scores key runs,
plays solid defense and rarely panics. So while Alabama's formula isn'™t the
heavy-hitting one that normally leads to SEC success, this one's working well
and looks fairly similar to the one used by Texas, Rice and Cal State Fullerton
in recent years. And those teams have won the last four College World Series.
STRIKE THREE: Tough Schedules Breed
both lost on St. Patrick's Day, with the Cougars dropping to 12-10 and the
Trojans sliding to 12-11.
since, including 7-2 in Conference
with series wins at
Tulane, to improve to 21-14. USC is 8-3 since that point, improving to 20-14,
7-2 in the Pacific-10 with series wins against
theme for both clubs is that the early .500 records weren't signs of average
clubs, but teams that were playing two of the nation's more difficult
non-conference schedules. According to Boyd's World,
non-conference schedule ranks seventh.
schedule ranks 33rd overall and 17th against non-conference teams.
tough opponents added more losses to the Cougars'™ and Trojans'™ records, but the
tactic also looks to have made both teams more battle ready early on in
conference play. And the two teams join
five teams with winning percentages of .600 or lower that rank among the Top 30
in Ratings Percentage Index. That standing should help with seeding come NCAA
Madison averages 9.6 runs per game and has reached double figures in scoring 15
times in 34 games. That makes the no-hitter Adam Ottavino threw against the Dukes in a 2-0 Northeastern win
Friday all that more impressive. The junior righthander walked three batters
and struck out a career-high 14 hitters. He's 3-2, 3.76 with 58 strikeouts in
43 innings and needs 13 more strikeouts to tie the Northeastern career record
• Le Moyne
junior lefthander T.J. Sheridan
threw a seven-inning no-hitter with seven strikeouts in a 1-0 win against
game of a doubleheader.
senior lefthander Chris Cody held
LeMoyne to only one hit while recording 10 strikeouts in leading his team to a
2-1 victory in the opener.
Cod League will consider expanding by two teams. The new teams wouldn't begin
play until 2007 at the earliest, with 2008 a more realistic goal. Eastham, Mashpee,