Sunday, June 1, 2014

College Baseball Update

The NCAA Baseball Tournament started on Friday, and a bunch of stuff has already happened.  Here's the story from each region (all regional tournaments are double-elimination):

Corvallis (Ore.) Region

Oregon State was the number-one overall seed for the whole tournament, so they were certainly expected to win their region.  But so far they have struggled, beating North Dakota St. 2-1 before being pounded 14-2 last night by UC Irvine.  That game leaves UC Irvine in the driver's seat (each team's regional seed in parentheses).  Teams that have been eliminated are in italics:

(3) UC Irvine:  2-0
(1) Oregon St:  1-1
(2) UNLV:  1-1
(4) N. Dakota St:  0-2

Stillwater (Okla.) Region

So far, the homestanding Oklahoma St. Cowboys have had it all their own way at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, while Tony Kornheiser's Binghamton squad has been eliminated:

(1) Oklahoma St:  2-0
(2) Nebraska:  1-1
(3)  Cal St. Fullerton:  1-1
(4) Binghamton:  0-2

Houston Region

The Patriots of George Mason found themselves in a reunion of the old Southwest Conference, and they didn't do so well.  Rice and Texas A & M, on the other hand, are finding that Texas is just as formidable as ever:

(2) Texas:  2-0
(1) Rice:  1-1
(3) Texas A & M:  1-1
(4) George Mason:  0-2

Baton Rouge (La.) Region

So far things have gone very well for LSU, the number 8 overall seed:

(1) Louisiana St:  2-0
(2) Houston:  1-1
(4) SE Louisiana:  1-1
(3) Bryant:  0-2

Tallahassee (Fla.) Region

Normally, Florida State rolls through the Regional Tournament at home, and doesn't have problems until it leaves the Sunshine State.  But this year, the Noles -- who entered the Tournament as the number 5 overall seed -- were stunned by Georgia Southern (!) and Alabama (!) -- and they have already been eliminated.  So this region is now wide open:

(3) Kennesaw St:  2-0
(2) Alabama:  1-1
(4) Georgia Southern:  1-1
(1) Florida St:  0-2

Louisville (Ky.) Region

The U of L Cardinals were scheduled to visit Tallahassee if they and FSU both advanced to the Super Regionals.  But with FSU being eliminated, Louisville now has the chance to play at home until they get their ticket to Omaha.  So far, things have gone very well for the Red Birds:

(1) Louisville:  2-0
(2) Kentucky:  1-1
(3) Kansas:  1-1
(4) Kent St:  0-2

Nashville (Tenn.) Region

Vandy looked terrible in the SEC Tournament, but they have won their first two games in Regional play:

(1) Vanderbilt:  2-0
(2) Oregon:  1-1
(4) Xavier:  1-1
(3) Clemson:  0-2

Bloomington (Ind.) Region

Indiana, the number four overall seed, picked up a huge win over Stanford last night to take the driver's seat in this region:

(1) Indiana:  2-0
(3) Stanford:  1-1
(4) Youngstown St:  1-1
(2) Indiana St:  0-2

Gainesville (Fla.) Region

It's been a very frustrating 2014 for Gator fans.  Their men's basketball team appeared to have an easy path to the national title, but were dominated by Connecticut in the Final Four.  Their baseball team was the number 2 overall seed -- but were quickly eliminated thanks to losses to College of Charleston and UNC.  So the Gators are in no position to mock the Seminoles:

(4) College of Charleston:  2-0
(2) Long Beach St:  1-1
(3)  N. Carolina:  1-1
(1) Florida:  0-2

Miami Region

With Florida eliminated, Miami of Florida has the chance to seize home field for the Super Regionals -- but the Canes were upset last night by Texas Tech.  So Miami still has a fair amount of work left:

(2) Texas Tech:  2-0
(1) Miami (Fla.):  1-1
(3) Bethune-Cookman:  1-1
(4) Columbia:  0-2

San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Region

Cal Poly was one of the few Western teams to host a Regional Tournament, but they are now facing elimination after a 2-1 loss to Pepperdine last night.  It's surprising to see Arizona State go out so quickly:

(3) Pepperdine:  2-0
(1) Cal Poly:  1-1
(4) Sacramento St:  1-1
(2) Arizona St:  0-2

Fort Worth (Tex.) Region

The Number 7 overall seeded Texas Christian Horned Frogs and the Sam Houston State Bearkats had a wild one last night -- going TWENTY-TWO INNINGS before TCU finally prevailed 3-2.  On the radio this morning, I heard a commentator say that there were allegations of "home cooking" in that game -- and that wouldn't surprise me at all:

(1) Texas Christian:  2-0
(3) Sam Houston St:  1-1
(4) Siena:  1-1
(2) Dallas Baptist:  0-2

Lafayette (La.) Region

Louisiana-Lafayette, the number 6 overall seed, was stunned 1-0 by Jackson State in their first game of the tournament.  So the Ragin' Cajuns are trying to work their way through the losers' bracket:

(2) Mississippi St:  2-0
(1) La-Lafayette:  1-1
(4) Jackson St:  1-1
(3) San Diego St:  0-2

Oxford (Miss.) Region

This tournament didn't get started until yesterday, and both the favored teams won.  It would be fun to see a Super Regional between Ole Miss and Mississippi St:

(1) Mississippi:  1-0
(2) Washington:  1-0
(3) Georgia Tech:  0-1
(4) Jacksonville St:  0-1

Columbia (S.C.) Region

South Carolina is very tough to beat at home, but Maryland pulled the trick 4-3 in an old-time ACC rematch.  So the Gamecocks will now have to take the long way to reach the Super Regionals:

(2) Maryland:  2-0
(1) S. Carolina:  1-1
(4) Campbell:  1-1
(3)  Old Dominion:  0-2

Charlottesville (Va.) Region

The number 3 overall seed, Virginia, has looked rock-solid so far.  A Maryland/UVA Super Region would get a fair amount of attention in the D.C. Area:

(1) Virginia:  2-0
(2) Arkansas:  1-1
(4) Bucknell:  1-1
(3) Liberty:  0-2


  1. Kentucky lost their first game of the tournament, 10-6 to Kansas. But then the Cats responded with a 4-2 win over Kent State. Today UK beat Kansas 8-6 in an elimination game. So the Cats will finally play U of L. That game is supposed to start at 3:20 P.M. Central. If the Cats lose, they are eliminated. If the Cards win, then UK and U of L will play for the title tomorrow.

  2. In Oxford, Georgia Tech has beaten Jacksonville St. 4-2 in an elimination game.

  3. In Tallahassee, Alabama has beaten Georgia Southern 6-0 in an elimination game. Alabama now moves to a game with Kennesaw State. The Tide have to beat Kennesaw State twice before Kennesaw beats them once.

  4. Cal-State Fullerton eliminates Nebraska with a 4-3 victory. The Titans will now play Oklahoma State.

  5. ESPNU will be carrying the UK/U of L game at 3:20 Central.

  6. In Nashville, Xavier and Oregon are having a war to see who survives to play Vandy. Xavier leads 8-6 in the top of the 8th, but Oregon has men on first and second with two outs.

    1. Oregon pops up to short to end that threat. Xavier still leads 8-6 going into the bottom of the 8th.

  7. South Carolina beats Campbell 9-0 in an elimination game, so the Columbia Region is now down to Maryland and South Carolina.

  8. Sam Houston State may have played 22 innings last night, and they may have been the victims of "home cooking," but they have not given up. So far they've banged out two early runs and they lead Siena 2-0 in the second inning of an elimination game.

    1. On ESPNU, they just showed one of the controversial plays from last night -- a play where a Sam Houston State player was called for interference apparently for the sole reason that he slid hard into second trying to break up a double play. And then he was thrown out of the game for complaining. That certainly looks like home cooking to me.

    2. I love that phrase, "home cooking."

  9. Xavier still leads Oregon 8-6 in the top of the 9th in Nashville, but the Ducks have the tying run at the plate with one out and a man on second.

  10. Meanwhile, there's a three-way tie for the lead in the Memorial Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and Hideki Matsuyama are all 14 under par with 8-9 holes left.

    1. My "Hooray for Earth!" Yahoo! Fantasy Golf team was dominant in this weekend's HeathPostdotcom league play.

  11. Louisville and UK are now having to sit out a lightning storm, so that game is in a delay. I wonder if that storm will hit Nashville.

    Meanwhile, Oregon draws a walk, and they now have runners on first and second with one out.

  12. An Oregon single makes the score 8-7 -- but then the Xavier shortstop THROWS THE BALL INTO THE OUTFIELD, trying to catch the Oregon runner at second. What a disaster! Another run comes home, and now the score is 8-8 with one out and a man on third.

  13. At the Memorial, Bubba Watson birdies the 11th hole to take the lead at 15 under par.

  14. Oregon flies out to left, but the ball is too short to advance the runner. Score still 8-8 with two outs in the top of the 9th. Oregon still has a runner at third.

  15. Rice is playing Texas A & M in an elimination, and Rice is wearing uniforms that show two owls sitting on a baseball bat -- a clear reference to the St. Louis Cardinals, who may have the best uniform in professional sports. Good for Rice!

  16. After a walk and a steal, Oregon has men on second and third with two out in the top of the 9th. Still tied at 8.

  17. Oregon grounds out to third, and Xavier will come up in the bottom of the 9th of an 8-8 game. The Musketeers have made four errors in this game.

  18. In Bloomingston, Stanford has beaten Youngstown State 12-4 in an elimination game. So that region is down to Indiana and Stanford.

  19. In the bottom of the 9th, Xavier goes down 1-2-3. On to the 10th.

  20. In the bottom of the third, Sam Houston State leads Siena 5-0.

  21. I think Xavier is done here. It's still 8-8 as we start the 10th, but X is apparently out of pitchers, because they are still using the guy who pitched the 9th -- and he's already thrown 58 pitches. He walks Oregon's first batter in the 10th, and then that guy immediately steals second.

  22. Oregon bunts, and another error lets the runner from second come all the way home. Oregon now leads 9-8.

    This is really sad for Xavier, which led 8-3 after seven innings.

  23. In Charlottesville, Arkansas beats Bucknell 10-0 in an elimination game. So that region is now down to UVA (2-0) and Arkansas (2-1).

    1. Miami (Fla.) eliminated Bethune-Cookman 10-0. So that region is down to Miami (Fla.) and Texas Tech.

  24. The following regions are now down to two teams:

    Bloomington: Indiana (2-0) v. Stanford (2-1)
    Charlottesville: Virginia (2-0) v. Arkansas (2-1)
    Columbia: Maryland (2-0) v. S. Carolina (2-1)
    Louisville: Louisville (2-0) v. Kentucky (2-1)
    Miami: Texas Tech (2-0) v. Miami (Fla.) (2-1)
    Stillwater: Oklahoma St. (2-0) v. Cal-St. Fullerton (2-1)
    Tallahassee: Kennesaw St. (2-0) v. Alabama (2-1)

  25. Oregon is finally retired in Nashville, but the Ducks lead 11-8. Unless Xavier can score three runs in the bottom of the 10th, they will be eliminated.

  26. At the Memorial Tournament, Bubba Watson bogeys the 14th hole and falls back into a tie for the lead with Hideki Matsuyama at 14 under par.

  27. Xavier goes out 1-2-3 and the Musketeers are eliminated. So now the Nashville region is down to Vanderbilt (2-0) and Oregon (2-1).

  28. The Cats and the Cards are still waiting out a lightning delay. I'm really glad that they don't have rain delays in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I need those games to start on time.

  29. At the Memorial, Bubba Watson makes a double bogey 7 on 15th hole. Meanwhile, Matsuyama follows up a birdie on fifteen with a double bogey on 16. Suddenly it appears that Kevin Na -- who finished about an hour ago after shooting a 64 -- could win the tournament. The scoreboard looks like this:

    T1. K. Na: -13 (72 holes)
    T1. H. Matsuyama (JPN): -13 (70)
    3. B. Watson: -12 (69)

  30. We are currently facing weather delays in Baton Rouge, Gainesville, Lafayette, and Louisville.

    1. The storm only skirted us, which allowed me to get my grass mowed. But I plan to more details on this in a forthcoming "Swingin' A's" dispatch.

  31. In Dover, Delaware Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR race. It is the 68th win of his career, which puts him in 8th place all time. He needs 8 more victories to catch Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

  32. At the Memorial, Matsuyama follows up his double bogey on 16 with a bogey on 17. Now Kevin Na has the lead all by himself:

    1. K. Na: -13 (72 holes)
    T2. H. Matsuyama (JPN): -12 (71)
    T2. B. Watson: -12 (71)

  33. At the Memorial, Matsuyama bounces back! The 22-year-old birdies the 18th hole -- the hardest hole on the course -- to tie Kevin Na at 13 under par and set up a playoff.

    Now the crowd waits to see if Bubba Watson can also birdie 18.

  34. Watson cannot birdie the last hole, and so the Memorial will be won by Kevin Na or Hideki Matsuyama.

  35. Matsuyama had birdied the 18th hole four days in a row. But when they come to the 18th hole to start the playoff, Matsuyama knocks his tee shot into a fairway bunker. That looked like good news for Na, but then he hooks his tee shot into a creek down the left side of the fairway. So Matsuyama is now almost certainly going to win the Memorial.

  36. Matsuyama is only 22 years old, but he has already won 5 times on the Japan Golf Tour.

  37. Matsuyama holes a 10-foot putt for par and picks up his first victory on the PGA Tour. He very much deserved it.

  38. It's raining in Indiana, but the Hoosiers are anxious to finish off Stanford and move on to the Super Regionals. IU has jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, and Hoosier fans are smiling.

  39. In an elimination game in Houston, Rice leads Texas A & M 6-1 in the bottom of the 7th.

  40. In Gainesville, Long Beach State and North Carolina have resumed their elimination game after a rain delay that has lasted for at least 3 or 4 hours. LBSU leads 5-4 in the 6th inning.

    Ironically, I saw these same two schools play a basketball game a season ago.

  41. Hold the phone! Texas A & M has just hit a GRAND SLAM to cut Rice's lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the 7th. The Aggies aren't finished yet.

  42. OK, that's all from me for awhile.

  43. Your zeal for college baseball is compelling.