The Upper Deck

Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare. If you have videos, GIFs, photos or stories you want us to know about and feature in this space, hit me up on Twitter at @vincelara or email me here.


START ME UP

The NCAA Tournament began Thursday in Northern California with Stanford playing host. Cal State Fullerton, the No. 2 seed in the region, beat up on No. 3 Brigham Young in the opener, and Stanford won the nightcap. Mike Lemaire has the regional covered for us.

The other 15 regionals start today.


AND I RAN, I RAN SO FAR AWAY . . .

Sacramento State didn’t do much on offense in its NCAA regional opener against host Stanford, but at least one Hornet flashed some leather.


THREE THE EASY WAY

The Twins on Thursday against the Angels turned their first triple play since May 27, 2006 against Seattle.


DID I DO THAT?

Following the Mr. Met debacle, misfortune shone upon the Mets again Thursday as a Brewers ballboy couldn’t get out of Wilmer Flores’ way on a foul pop. The batter was called out, but that play just indicates what kind of season it’s been so far for a team expected to contend this year in the NL East.


RELEASE THE KRAKEN

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who nearly won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2016 despite playing in just 53 games, has been overshadowed this season by Aaron Judge’s powerful exploits. But the man nicknamed “The Kraken” by general manager Brian Cashman unleashed some of his own might Thursday night. Sanchez, who had four homers in 95 at-bats coming in, cracked two rockets against Toronto’s Marco Estrada in the Yankees’ 9-1 win.


LOVE FOR THE GLOVE

Double-A Frisco second baseman Andy Ibanez is more known for his bat than his work in the field. But he turned in this gem Thursday.


HITCH ‘EM UP

Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo found time on a day off to be productive, and it had nothing to do with doing laundry.


PAT ON THE BACK

With the NCAA Regionals having begun Thursday in Northern California, BA’s college team was cranking out the content, posting previews of all 16 regionals; Ben Badler is gearing up for the July 2 international signing period with his exclusive reports; Mike Lananna wrote about the relationship between N.C. State shortstop Joe Dunand and his uncle Alex, who apparently also played some ball; BA draft guru Hudson Belinsky wrote about Arizona’s J.J. Matijevic and his swing work with coach Jay Johnson, and college national writer Teddy Cahill broke the story of Alabama hiring Brad Bohannon as head coach.

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