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College Baseball 2014!


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The season is less than a week away!  Baseball America hasn't released their rankings yet, so I'll post the pre-season rankings from NCAA.

 

http://www.ncaa.com/rankings/baseball/d1

 

Of the local teams, Fullerton is the National #1!  Congrats, tho I'm hopeful my Dirtbags will shock the world this season and get back into the National conversation.  Fullerton faces two top-25 opponents this season (@Oregon #7 for three games, and one @UCLA #10).  My Dirtbags open with #8 Vanderbilt at home, and will face four other top-25 opponents (host ASU #19 at home, Fullerton #1 for six games, host UCLA #10 for three games, and host Indiana #11 for three games).  In addition to the games vs. Fullerton and the Dirtbags, UCLA host ASU, #25 Stanford, and #7 Oregon.

 

Cal Poly, UCI, and Santa Barbara also got mention in the rankings.  Get out to a game, watch some hungry young ballplayers, and support our local teams.  Fullerton is a decent park to watch a game, but I prefer Blair Field and even UCI (mostly because they sell beers!).

 

Here are links to some schedules-

 

http://www.uclabruins.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=30500&SPID=126925&SPSID=749881

 

http://www.fullertontitans.com/sports/m-basebl/2013-14/schedule

 

http://www.longbeachstate.com/sports/m-basebl/sched/lbst-m-basebl-sched.html

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last night was Opening Day!

 

Went to the #8 Vanderbilt @ Dirtbags game...

 

I thought the Bags looked pretty good against Vandy last night.  Hampson had two infield hits, and Patron ("Tequila!") crushed a couple of balls foul.  Our pitching was pretty sharp too; but Prigatanos 2-run error cost us.

 
The bunt that forced the runner at 3rd, was a good play by the catcher on a really bad bunt by Hill.  I'm one of those who doesn't like bunt-strategy, and was surprised to see Hill laying-one-down there.  I get it's a percentage play to move runners, but if Hill is supposed to be one of our power-sources this season why waste the out?!  We already had a runner in scoring-position.  I'd much rather see a hit-and-run than a bunt, unless the batter is trying to get a hit (we'll probably see a LOT of those from Hampson this year).
 
I will also mention that the umpiring left a lot to be desired...  I didn't protest too loudly at a missed-call on a pick-off at 1st, where the runner was caught leaning (tho, I was told by a friend who was standing on the 1st base side, that it wasn't even close).  I protested a bit more loudly on a stolen-base call at 2nd (Where Buck agreed enough to run-out and complain), and almost jumped the railing over a squeeze-play at home, where the play obviously beat the runner..
 
Oh well, I saw a lot of positives in the game last night.  It'd be great if the Boys could get a win today to set-up a possible series-win Sunday.
 
Other scores-
Fullerton beat Washington State 12-0
Cal Poly beat Kansas State 2-0
UC Riverside beat San Francisco 10-2
UCI lost to Fresno State 2-0 in 10 innings
#12 UCLA lost to Portland 1-0
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LB pitching will be solid once the two pitchers sitting out last season with injuries get included into the rotation again. 

The offense though is soooo mid-1960's Chavez Ravine bunch.

A ton of hit and runs, bunts, and SBs will need to be in order. 

 

Vandy is that darned good to sweep LB though, a definate CWS contender.

Another one (Indiana) will be faced in a 3 game early March home series.

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I imagine they practice in the gym when they can (like the scene from "A League of Their Own).

 

The NCAA showed their East-coast bias again in recent years, when they changed their "laws" regarding when teams could start practicing officially.  The dates were pushed-back to allow better weather to catch-up to the East-coast.

 

I talked to one of the Vandy players when they came-out to The Beach last weekend.  I welcomed him out to the warm weather, and he told me they weren't too thrilled to be heading back to 20' weather back home (in Tenn.)

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Wow!

The Bags put a frog-stomping on ASU last night!  Won 11-0, and Patron smacked a two-run homer (which is a near-impossibility, even during day-games).

 

I had to work, but managed to stop-by outside the left-field fence to watch the first inning.  After the Bags set-em down, an older dude was cheering and said to me, "Great start, but I wish they were up 8-0."  I laughed and said, "I don't think they're gonna be up 8-0 on anybody this season."

 

Thanks for proving me wrong, Boys!  See you at the park today.  They get the Wright State Raiders, who beat UCI yesterday 3-1.

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2nd quality win for the Bags.  Brings em to 3-5 on the season.  Handed SC their first loss of the season but, more incredible to me at least, there were no errors on either side; rare at a Dirtbags game.

 

They're off to play Wichita St. at TCU (because of weather concerns).  They'll be in Tuscon vs. Arizona next week while we're in Tempe for ST, but I can't afford the helicopter ride to check em out..

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