Saturday (6/7) News Links

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  1. HuskerFan31

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    Go Big Red!
     
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  4. HuskerFan31

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    PG - Super Regionals roundup: Friday

    Austin Super Regional


    Game 1: Texas 4, Houston 2 -- Box score
    (UT leads series 1-0)

    Player of the game: Nathan Thornhill, rhp, Texas

    Roundup: After stifling rival Texas A&M to begin the Houston Regional last weekend, Thornhill was tremendous yet again in a win over the Cougars. Thornhill showed very good command of the strike zone, touched 91-92 on the radar gun and struck out three, while walking one and allowing just two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. Meanwhile, the Longhorns were led at the plate by a usual suspect in outfielder Mark Payton, who had three hits, including a two-run homer in the first inning, to lead the cause. For the Cougars, hard-throwing righthanded pitcher Jake Lemoine struggled against the Longhorns, allowing four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, while only striking out a pair of hitters. The top three hitters in UH's lineup went a combined 1-for-12 in the contest.

    What this means: With the season on the line Saturday afternoon against the Longhorns, the Cougars will send righthanded pitcher Aaron Garza to the mound. Garza will sit 86-90 with his fastball and goes heavy with his slider. Meanwhile, the Longhorns are countering with hard-nosed Parker French, who tossed a gem in his last start last weekend against Rice. UT would advance to the College World Series with a victory over the Cougars.



    Louisville Super Regional


    Game 1: Louisville 5, Kennesaw State 3 -- Box score
    (UL leads series 1-0)

    Player of the game: Nick Solak, dh, Louisville

    Roundup: Louisville talented freshman slugger Nick Solak broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning of Friday's contest with a two-RBI double on a 2-1 count, giving the Cardinals a 5-3 lead and the win with righthanded closer Nick Burdi finishing things out in the ninth inning with his typical 96-99 fastball and dominant slider. Solak finished the contest with doubles, three overall hits and three RBIs, while Grant Kay and Kyle Gibson each had multi-hit performances. On the mound, righty Kyle Funkhouser struck out seven but struggled with his command and allowed three runs on three hits in seven innings, along with five walks. The UL pitching staff did manage to hold Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost to an 0-for-3 performance.

    What this means: With the victory over the Owls, the Cardinals are a win away from returning to the College World Series. The Cards will send Anthony Kidston to the bump Saturday afternoon, while Kennesaw State's hopes rest on the shoulders of its staff ace, Travis Bergen.



    Nashville Super Regional


    Game 1: Vanderbilt 11, Stanford 6 -- Box score
    (VU leads series 1-0)

    Player of the game: Bryan Reynolds, of, Vanderbilt

    Roundup: Though the afternoon started out perfect for the Commodores, it ended with a little drama after Tim Corbin's club, who got up 10-0 after three innings, had their lead trimmed to 10-6 after six innings. With that said, the 'Dores calmed the storm and were led at the plate by freshman Bryan Reynolds, who went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Meanwhile, third baseman Xavier Turner had a pair of hits and an RBI. On the mound, highly touted righthanded pitcher Tyler Beede didn't have a good post-draft start. He was lifted after 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on five hits, while also walking four batters and only recording two strikeouts.

    What this means: With the win over the Cardinal, the Commodores have a chance to avenge last year's NCAA Super Regional series loss to Louisville at home. The 'Dores will send righthanded pitcher Carson Fulmer to the mound, while the Cardinal will go with talented freshman pitcher Cal Quantrill, who has put together quite an impressive 2014 campaign.



    Stillwater Super Regional


    Game 1: UC Irvine 8, Oklahoma State 4 -- Box score
    (UCI leads series 1-0)

    Player of the game: Taylor Sparks, 3b, UC Irvine

    Roundup: The Anteaters hit the road last weekend to top national seed Oregon State and put on an offensive fundamentals clinic. They were up to the same tricks Friday night in a win over Oklahoma State. UC Irvine was relentless with its style of play, opting to implement some squeeze bunts, but generally just being very aggressive in its approach. Sparks had a huge night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored, while Connor Spencer and Kris Paulino each finished the night with a pair of hits. On the mound, starting pitcher Elliot Surrey struck out five, walked two and allowed just two runs on five hits in seven innings, while for OSU, Jon Perrin allowed five runs runs -- three earned -- on five hits in five innings of work.

    What this means: The Anteaters haven't been to the College World Series since 2007, but that could change Saturday with a win over the Cowboys. Irvine will give the ball to ace pitcher Andrew Morales, who's had a terrific campaign and was a second-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft to the St. Louis Cardinals.

    PG - Super Regionals roundup: Friday
     
  5. HuskerFan31

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    BA - Super Regional Roundup: Three Hosts Take Openers

    Hosts won three of the four super regional games on Friday's schedule. UC Irvine was the only visiting team to win, in the final game of the day. Last year, seven of the eight teams that won super regional openers went on to reach Omaha, and in 2012 six of the eight teams that won Game One advanced.

    AUSTIN SUPER REGIONAL

    Mark Payton
    Mark Payton (right) is greeted after his first-inning homer Friday (Photo by Andrew Woolley)
    Friday: Texas 4, Houston 2
    Saturday: 3 p.m. (ESPN)

    Texas coach Augie Garrido has made a point this year to repeatedly emphasize how important it was for Mark Payton and Nathan Thornhill to decide to return for their senior seasons in Austin. Those two veterans led the Longhorns to a victory in Friday's super regional opener against Houston. Payton (3-for-5) belted a two-run homer in the first inning to give Texas a lead it would not relinquish, as Thornhill (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and John Curtiss (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) held the Houston bats at bay. The Longhorns chased Jake Lemoine (4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER) in the fifth inning, and Houston mounted its only real threat in the bottom of the fifth, when it scored its only two runs.

    LOUISVILLE SUPER REGIONAL

    Friday: Louisville 5, Kennesaw State 3
    Saturday: 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

    Kennesaw State took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning, but the Cardinals scored a run in the seventh and three more in the eighth to snag a 5-3 come-from-behind win. Kyle Gibson's squeeze tied the game in the eighth, and Nick Solak (3-for-5, R, 3 RBI) followed with a go-ahead two-run double, as the Cardinals got to KSU bullpen stalwarts James Connell and Justin McCalvin. Kyle Funkhouser (7 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 7 K) earned a no-decision for the Cardinals, who got scoreless innings from Kyle McGrath and Nick Burdi to nail down the victory.

    NASHVILLE SUPER REGIONAL

    Friday: Vanderbilt 11, Stanford 6
    Saturday: 2 p.m., ESPN2

    The Commodores jumped on a wild John Hochstatter (1 IP, 1 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 2 K) and Chris Viall (1.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER) to build a 10-0 lead through three innings, then held off Stanford's comeback bid to win 11-6. Bryan Reynolds (4-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI) led the Vanderbilt offense in an ugly game that featured a combined 15 walks. Tyler Beede (4.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) breezed through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth and losing his command in a four-run fifth, but Tyler Ferguson (2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K) and Brian Miller (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R) settled things down. Vandy will send Carson Fulmer to the mound Saturday with a chance to clinch its second trip to Omaha.

    STILLWATER SUPER REGIONAL

    Taylor Sparks
    Taylor Sparks, drafted by the Reds on Thursday, had four hits and scored twice Friday.
    Friday: UC Irvine 8, Oklahoma State 4
    Saturday: 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

    Irvine's loose, aggressive style continued to work wonders against an OSU juggernaut, a week after the Anteaters gave Oregon State fits. UCI scored two runs on an infield single to second base in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead, then tacked on three more in the fifth to chase Oklahoma State ace Jon Perrin (5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER). The 'Eaters scored back-to-back runs on wild pitches in that frame (one of them coming on an attempted intentional walk), then added two more in the fifth on a squeeze and a delayed steal. Leadoff man Taylor Sparks (4-for-5, 2 R) led the offense for Irvine, which got another strong start from Elliot Surrey (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). The Anteaters are one win away from their second trip to Omaha, and ace Andrew Morales has yet to take the mound.

    BA - Super Regional Roundup: Three Hosts Win
     
  6. HuskerFan31

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    CBT - Supers Day One: It Was Mostly Not So "Super"

    Other than the UC Irvine upset of Oklahoma State tonight, this was a rather uneventful first day of the Super Regionals. Home teams Texas, Vanderbilt and Louisville all took game one over Houston, Stanford and Kennesaw State, respectively. But given the way the Anteaters played up at Oregon State, I s'pose it's not TOO unexpected that the Anteaters took down OSU, the only home team to lose on Friday. But there is a lot more interesting stuff coming on Saturday, when all 16 remaining teams get their hoe-down on.


    In a rather brief manner, here's how Friday played out…

    .

    BEST GAME:

    - Louisville's 5-3 win over Kennesaw State

    This wasn't a complete white-knuckler, but it was an exciting come-from-behind win for the Cards. Kudos to the Owls for having UofL on the ropes and giving them all they want. It has to bode well for their confidence going into game two. This series could very well go three games.

    .

    BIGGEST WIN:

    - UC Irvine over Oklahoma State

    If you saw how the Anteaters built their 8-1 lead you had to either be, A- Very impressed with UCI's fundamentals, or B- Just shake off the loss if you're OSU and say, "We got beat by smoke and mirrors, we can rebound, no prob."

    It was not a good day for the fundamentals of baseball when it came to OSU's play.
    It was not a good day for the fundamentals of baseball when it came to OSU's play. Like on this play at the plate from a wild pitch.
    Either way, the Anteaters put on a clinic for seven innings of this game and as I tweeted on @ESPNU's twitter page, they gave the Cowboys the heebie-jeebies. Wild pitches, passed balls, throwing errors and misplayed bunts. Hell, the Cowboys even threw wildly on an intentional walk, which led to one of the Anteater runs.

    .

    BIGGEST LOSS:

    - Stanford's confidence.

    As alluded to above, these guys have to be shell shocked after today's washout. The Cardinal gave up 10 runs in the first three innings on seven walks, two wild pitches, one error and eight hits. It was disastrous for the Cardinal.

    .

    BEST BET TO GO THREE GAMES:

    - Texas vs. Houston.

    Even though you have to figure the Longhorns will be the "favorites" for game two. But you have to like the Cougars resolve as they displayed in the hostile environment in Baton Rouge last weekend. So you know they won't be freaked out about being down a game at Texas. This should be a helluva game two.

    .

    BEST BET TO END AFTER TWO GAMES:

    - Vanderbilt over Stanford.

    The Cardinal just have too much youth to lean on here ? they're still a year away if you ask me. But the other big factor is that now they'll have to face Carson Fulmer in game two. If he stays as hot as he's been, it could be a long second game for Stanford as well.

    .

    PLAY OF THE DAY:

    - Mark Payton's 2-run dinger

    It was only Payton's second home run of the entire season, but how timely was that? His 1st inning two-run shot to right put UT ahead to stay and was the difference-maker for the remainder of the game. Payton has been UT's best hitter all season, and today we saw why. Of course, the capper for Payton's day was when he found out he was drafted by the Yankees as well.

    Mark Payton's 1st inning home run set the tone for today's 4-2 win by the Longhorns.
    Mark Payton's 1st inning home run set the tone for today's 4-2 win by the Longhorns.
    .

    TOUR DE FORCE:

    - Taylor Sparks, UC Irvine.

    Talk about a great leadoff hitter. The Anteater firestarter went 4-for-5 including two doubles and two runs scored to pace UCI's 8-4 win over Oklahoma State. The Anteaters aren't a high-volume hitting team, but Sparks came into the game with a representative .297 average and a team-best 27 walks on the year.

    .

    TOUR DE FORCE II:

    - Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt

    Somebody from VU had to be mentioned here as they made quick work of the Cardinal in game one. Reynolds went 4-for-4 with 2RBI and having scored three times. Oh, and like seemingly every batter in the order, he also earned a walk as well.

    .

    THE NOT-READY-FOR-PRIME-TIME PLAYERS:

    - Stanford pitchers

    Today's start reminded me of the last time the Trees were in the Super Regionals in 2012, where they lost two games at Florida State by a combined 35-8. As pointed out above, the first three innings saw the Cardinal starter John Hochstatter pitch just 1.0 inning with five walks and five earned runs, but only giving up just one hit. Ack!

    .

    LONGEST GAME:

    - Stanford-Vandy, 3 hours, 35 minutes.

    .

    SHORTEST GAME:

    - Houston-Texas, 3 hours.

    .

    HOTTEST:

    - Austin, 93 degrees with 55% humidity. Yuck.

    .

    COOLEST:

    - Louisville, 73 degrees at last pitch

    .

    .

    QUICK HITS

    - THE UMPS.

    Keep in mind that what I've always been told is that the umpires who work the Regionals are eligible to umpire at the College World Series. But those umpires you see this weekend in the Supers aren't eligible to go to work the Series. They like to give those men in black going to work the CWS a week off before the Series begins.

    .

    - TO QUOTE CHARLIE SHEEN, "WINNING!"

    For the record, in 2013, seven of the eight teams that won game one of the Super Regionals advanced to Omaha. In 2012, six of the eight did. So you can see how important it is for teams to get a W in game one this weekend.

    .

    - THE DREADED GLITCH AWARD.

    There were a couple of faux pas in today's broadcasts. The biggest had to be Carter Blackburn's explaining how the four previous teams to win a Regional in their first appearance had all "won Super Regionals and gone to Omaha."

    None of the teams before 1999 had to go through the Super Regional round.
    None of the teams before 1999 had to go through the Super Regional round.
    But of course, the other four teams to win Regionals in their first try did NOT have to play Super Regionals. The Supers didn't come around until 1999 with the expansion of the NCAA tournament to 64 teams.

    .

    - BURDI IN HAND

    The last time Louisville has blown a lead in the 9th inning was May of 2012. In other words, before Nick Burdi came around and became the Cards closer. Burdi picked up save No. 17 on the year by pitching a perfect 9th inning with no hits.

    .

    - TOUGH PINCH HITS

    There were a couple of odd late-inning at-bats today, including Kennesaw State's Chris Erwin, a freshman who had just 22 at bats all season, but was brought in to face Nick Burdi and his 98mph heat as the last batter of the night. He flew out to third base.

    In Houston's 4-2 loss to Texas, seldom-used Jacob Campbell strode to the dish in the 9th inning with two out. Campbell also had just 22 at-bats this season when he was inserted as a pinch hitter and meekly flied out to left field to end the game.

    .

    - ASSHOLE TWEET OF THE DAY

    This one from Matt Lane. Apparently he's an Auburn fan.

    WorstTweet

    Okay, it's past 1am left coast time, 4am eastern media time.



    That's enough.



    G'night.

    CBT - Supers Day One: It Was Mostly Not So "Super"
     

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