Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this second Sunday in June.
Only one of the 4 NCAA Super Regionals that began Friday is over now, and it’s not the one I was counting on. After Miami’s deceptively close 12-7 win over Boston College, I jokingly tweeted to a BC site, “Check the tires on your plane back to Boston. Thanks for participating.” Their ace had been creamed, their team humiliated in a game that ended barely 12 hours before the second game of the series began. But Boston College had other ideas, grabbing a 5-3 win and evening up the series at a game apiece, setting up a winner-take-all game 3 at Noon today for a trip to Omaha. The only team already guaranteed to go there is the Arizona Wildcats who took a 6-5 win at Mississippi State in Starkville, beating the home team in two straight games.
In Miami, BC starting pitcher Mike King did what Justin Dunn had failed to do the night before-keep the Miami hitters relatively quiet long enough for his team to get a substantial lead. While Miami scored the first 2 in the top of the 4th the Eagles rebounded for 4 in their half. As it was the second game they were designated the home team. Two of the 4 scored on a Willie Abreu error in right field. The Canes made it a one-run game an inning later and BC got insurance in the 8th. The teams and fans had to sit out a 3-hour rain delay caused by the sort of summer storm that blows through there most afternoons. As fate would have it, the BC starter Mike King was drafted by the Marlins while he calmed the Hurricanes who had shredded Eagles pitching the night before.
Oo time constraints I need to give you the basics on most of the other games. Texas Tech evened their series with the ECU Pirates with a 13-inning 3-1 win. Only my nephew’s bachelor party could keep me from watching that game. Texas A&M evened things with TCU with a 7-1 win. All even series have their finale today. The other series had their first games yesterday. In those, UC Santa Barbara beat out Louisville 4-2 taking a 1 game to None lead. Florida State posted a disspiriting 3-0 shutout over the Florida Gators. The last 18 Gators went down in order before Seminoles’ pitchers. FSU owns a 1 game to None lead there. Oklahoma State surprised South Columbia 5-1 in Columbia, gaining the advantage at 1 game to None. And in the late game, which I caught from end to end Coastal Carolina University, or CCU if you will, beat LSU 11-8 in Baton Rouge. The LSU fans were there 11,000 strong to deride tiny CCU of Conway, South Carolina, a dot on the map most of the 11,000 in attendance couldn’t have found. Any golfers down there know Conway is just above Myrtle Beach, one of the golfing capitals of America if not the world. But Coastal showed they play a little baseball down there, winning their first ever Super Regional contest. G.K. Young belted a home run to start things off in what has always been a hitter’s heaven and a pitcher’s purgatory. LSU then grabbed a 3-1 lead in the 4th as Greg Deichman blasted a 3-run shot off Coastal starter Andrew Beckwith. Andrew would be showering an inning later, as each side put up a run. Bobby Holmes, CCU’s middle man was in when the Chanticleers put up 4 in the 6th to make it a 6-2 game. In the 7th the long-ball bats came out again. CCU right fielder Connor Owings unleashed a 2-run shot and Zack Remillard destroyed one. His name may sound like a salad dressing but you wouldn’t say that to him when he’s up at the dish holding a metal bat like a wizard holds his wand. The teams traded runs after that including a 3-spot by the home team to make it look respectable but this was Coastal’s night from the 6th inning on. Seth Lancaster was one of many heroes, picking up four hits and a walk for the game. the 11,000 found out the hard way what even a lesser known team can do on any given night. They renew hostilities at 9 PM tonight with Coastal up by one game to None.
The schedule is a busy one indeed, considering that only one team of 4 punched their tickets to Omaha. Miami faces BC and Louisville faces UCSB at Noon. At 3 PM, East Carolina and Texas Tech play their winner-take-all game while South Carolina and Oklahoma State play their second game. At 6 PM the Seminoles of FSU and the Florida Gators play their second game in Gainesville. And at 9, along with the game between CCU and LSU there will be a game 3 between the two Texas schools-TCU and Texas A&M.
The Orioles and Blue Jays play the first of a full slate of action today at 1 PM in Toronto. Today’s starter Aaron sanchez in his last time out became the first Blue Jays’ pitcher since David Price left to strike out 10 men. In fact he got a dozen K’s for the night. Minnesota’s pitching has been getting rocked, most recently in a 15-4 shellacking yesterday by the Red Sox. Today they send out Pat Dean and need length he didn’t give them last time, not clearing the fifth inning. The Rockies’ Tyler Anderson makes his MLB debut on the hill. He was their first draft pick in 2011 and normally such an early pick should reach the show sooner than this. The native of Las Vegas is already 26, late to be throwing his first MLB pitch with intent in today’s world where rookies are rushed-often too soon. The Rockies drafted him from University of Oregon. He has been derailed twice by a stress fracture in his pitching elbow. The late game is at 8:30, half an hour later than normal and features the Giants and Dodgers. It will be the classic matchup of youth and age, young Luke Skywalker against Darth Vader. The youth is 19-year-old Julio Urias who took a mugging in New York from the Mets in his MLB debut. The old hand is Jake Peavy, one-time Cy Young award winner who still has a few surprises up his sleeve.