Saturday, June 09, 2007

I love MSU (part II)...

Thank God MSU beat those kittens.....Mississippi State continued its magical postseason ride Saturday afternoon, sweeping the Starkville Super Regional by defeating Clemson 8-5 at Dudy Noble Field.

With the victory, MSU advances to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., for the eighth time in school history. The Bulldogs last played on college baseball's biggest stage after the 1998 season.

Another reason I hate the Tarheels...

After a regional weekend in which the No. 2 Tar Heels (52-12) used back-to-back come-from-behind ninth inning rallies to knock off East Carolina and Western Carolina, UNC conjured up a little more late inning magic to stun the Gamecocks, 9-6 and take a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.

Game 2 tonight at 7pm on ESPN. Go Cocks!

Friday, June 08, 2007

I love MSU...

not really but glad that Mississippi State rallied from a three-run deficit this afternoon to beat Clemson 8-6 in the the opening game of their best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series before 12,600 on the Bulldogs' home field.
The teams play again Saturday. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

Screen shot of Williams Brice from NCAA 2008 by EA sports

Here are the numbers


South Carolina is making its seventh super regional appearance in the last eight years. The Gamecocks swept through their Columbia Regional, beating Wofford and then Charlotte twice. North Carolina, the #3 national seed, swept through the Chapel Hill Regional, knocking off Jacksonville, East Carolina, and Western Carolina to make their second straight super appearance. This is the second time these teams have faced off in a super regional, as the Gamecocks took two from the Heels in Columbia four years ago to reach Omaha.

This is the first time Boshamer Stadium has hosted a super regional, and it’s a pretty good way for the old stadium to go out. It’s been a fine home for the Tar Heels, as they’re 34-7 in the friendly confines this season. In the past three seasons, UNC is 104-16-1 at home. Not bad, eh?

Starting Pitching
South Carolina’s likely rotation will consist of Harris Honeycutt (8-5), Arik Hempy (6-3), and Mike Cisco (6-2). For North Carolina, the trio looks to be Robert Woodard (10-2), Alex White (6-4), and Luke Putkonen (7-1). When they’re on, each team’s trio can be among the best in the country.

Advantage: Even

The Gamecocks are known for offense, and that’s the case this year. They lead the nation with 110 homers, led by Justin Smoak (21), Travis Jones and James Darnell (18), and Phil Disher (15). North Carolina’s offensive numbers aren’t shabby, as the Tar Heels are hitting .322 as a team with 64 homers. They’re led at the plate by freshman Dustin Ackley and his .427 average and 65 RBI. The edge here has to go to South Carolina though, due to their impressive power ability.

Advantage: South Carolina

Out of the Pen
South Carolina has a number of arms to go to in the pen, with Curtin Johnson, Jeff Jeffords, Will Atwood, and Wynn Pelzer all logging over 20 appearances this season. But North Carolina has the edge here with stud closer Andrew Carignan (1.53 ERA, 14 saves), and star relievers Rob Wooten (5-1, 2.38, 38 apps.) and Matt Danford (5-0, 2.60).

Advantage: North Carolina

Ray Tanner has turned South Carolina into one of the top baseball programs in the nation, leading USC to now seven super regionals and three College World Series appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2002. Mike Fox has built a pretty solid program in Chapel Hill, leading the Tar Heels to a runner-up finish in Omaha last year, and eight 40+ win seasons.

Advantage: South Carolina

UNC’s a tough customer at Boshamer Stadium, but the Gamecocks play well on the road. This is the last weekend for the old Boshamer Stadium, so there’s a lot at stake, along with the obvious implications of the series. Ray Tanner has a wealth of postseason experience in Columbia, but a lot of the current bunch of Gamecocks haven’t made it to Omaha, and they’re no doubt hungry to do just that. While UNC is looking to take last year’s finish a step further, USC is looking for a return to their summer home from 2002-2004. And, in case you didn’t know already, it’s North Carolina-South Carolina. ’Nuff said.

Advantage: Even

For baseball fans in the Carolinas, this is a dream matchup. North Carolina no doubt wants to close out Boshamer Stadium in style, but South Carolina will have other plans. The key for USC is to get solid performances out of their rotation, which has been a little shaky at times. If the pitching matchups come out as even as they are on paper, South Carolina’s hitting could power them to Omaha.
But if the games come down to the final innings, the Tar Heel bullpen has the ability to shut down USC's potent offense. Getting to UNC‘s rotation early would be huge for South Carolina to have a chance this weekend, but it won‘t be easy. It looks like this should be a close series, and don‘t be surprised if it comes down to the end in a third game.

So lets here your preditions about the series, who is going to be the hero this week. Will it be Phil Disher again, will Curtis Johnson come out of the bullpen and kick butt again. Let me know your thoughts.

I can't believe I am posting more softball pictures

Allison Fulmer, the daughter of Tennessee Head Football Coach Phillip Fulmer

Baseball Polls going into weekend play...

USC jumped from No. 10 to No. 4 and Clemson improved from No. 13 to No. 5 in the Collegeiate Baseball poll.

The Gamecocks (45-18) climbed from No. 12 to No. 6 and Clemson (41-21) jumped from No. 18 to No. 9 in voting by Baseball America's staff.

Rice replaced Vanderbilt as No. 1 in both polls.

North Carolina (51-12) (USC's opponent in the Super Regional at Chapel Hill this weekend) Arizona State, Cal-Irvine and Vanderbilt complete the top five. North Carolina and Arizona State follow Rice in the Collegiate Baseball poll, too.

Mississippi State (36-20), which hosts Clemson in a super regional this weekend, returned to the Baseball America poll at No. 19 after being unranked last week. The Bulldogs jumped from No. 27 to 17 in Collegiate Baseball.

In the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, USC is No. 4, Clemson No. 10 and Coastal Carolina No. 13. Rice is No. 1, North Carolina No. 2 and Mississippi State No. 20.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Well Softball comes to a end

The Wildcats won there 2nd straight NCAA championship in softball yesterday. Let me know what you think about the pictures of the starting pitchers.

More college baseball

Well to continue with the hot top of the past few weeks. Here is the comparison of UNC vs. USC per rivals baseball page.

South Carolina has the ability to string together solid starts on the weekend, but consistency is the key with the Tar Heels. North Carolina has one of nation's top pitchers with veteran right-hander Robert Woodard. Talented freshman Alex White has also performed at a high level in the weekend rotation, while sophomore Luke Putkonen has lacked consistency but has the ability to put together a great start. While the weekend rotation is talented, the most impressive part of the pitching staff is the bullpen, which consists of All-American closer Andrew Carignan and fellows relievers Matt Danford and Rob Wooten. UNC has no problem going to the bullpen early. Advantage- UNC

If you look strictly at team batting average, North Carolina has the edge in this series. But I'm a guy that looks a little deeper than that. While the Tar Heels have a very impressive lineup, South Carolina is a team that is nasty at the plate if they get hot. The Gamecocks are hitting .302 as a team and have third baseman James Darnell leading the charge. Darnell is hitting .335 with 18 home runs and 60 RBIs. Phil Disher, Travis Jones and Justin Smoak each have batting averages over .300 with double-digit home run totals. Smoak leads the team with 21 homers. From top to bottom, the Gamecocks have one of the most feared lineups in college baseball. They're definite free swingers. Advantage-USC

Easily the toughest category to decide on as both teams field at an impressive clip. South Carolina enters the weekend with a .975 fielding percentage, while North Carolina enters the weekend with a .974 fielding percentage. Breaking these two teams down, it's hard to find many differences. But in the infield, the Gamecocks are much better as a whole. Sophomore Justin Smoak is more known for his offensive prowess, but the second-year player is an outstanding fielder. Travis Jones has done an impressive job at second base, while shortstop Reese Havens enters the weekend with a .959 fielding percentage. Third baseman James Darnell is a negative, but they're in great shape. Advantage- USC

Outside of the Lone Star Showdown between Rice and Texas A&M, this is the most intriguing Super Regional for several reasons. Not only is this series the Battle of the Carolinas, it also pits one of the nation's top pitching staffs against one of the nation's top offensive lineups. After reaching the College World Series last season, the Tar Heels should enter the series loose. They should also know what to expect when it comes to pressure situations. South Carolina can't say the same thing. Overall, I give the coaching edge to South Carolina's Ray Tanner, but individual experience and the home field will play its part this weekend. Give me the Tar Heels, 2-1.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Let it go Jacko...

Stop crying Jack, face it already and go pack. MSU deserves to host and you guys owe a trip to Starkville since MSU visited you guys last year. Big article in the paper today with the CU coach crying to the media.

Jacko said - "I was under the false impression if we won ours and Florida State lost theirs that we would host a super regional," Leggett said. "I thought we had done what was necessary to make that work; evidently there were other factors involved."

"I can't sit here and lie to you and tell you we weren't disappointed when we heard it. We felt like we deserved it, but it's a decision that's been made," he said. "We're not going to moan about it."

Oh and Jacko it helps when the Mississippi State athletic director, Larry Templeton, is chair of the 10-member baseball committee that determines these things.....even though he did not cast a vote on the matter did you really think that the 9 others would go against their Chairman?

Where in the world is Mike Jones?

In Iowa?

The former South Carolina high school basketball standout started classes at a community college in Iowa this week, a month after losing his scholarship at the University of South Carolina, officials said.

Mike Jones began summer school classes at Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, Iowa, said Jeff Kidder, coach at the junior college.

Jones is at his third school since leaving as one of the Palmetto State’s premiere prep stars.
Kidder said Tuesday that sometimes players like Jones “need a fresh start.” Jones will be the lone basketball player on campus during the summer sessions, Kidder said. “He knows he needs to graduate if he wants to get back to Division I ball,” Kidder said.

Kidder said Jones is making a renewed push at Indian Hills. “I think Mike’s motivated,” Kidder said. “He’s ready to show he can do what it takes.”

We here at LOHD wish him the best....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

For all the marbles

Well here is the schedule for this upcoming weekend

Chapel Hill Super Regional
At Boshamer StadiumChapel Hill, N.C.
June 8 South Carolina (45-18) at North Carolina (51-12), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

June 9South Carolina at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

June 10 South Carolina at North Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN2), if necessary

Keeping up with the Ducks

Oregon has had the ugliest uniforms in college football for some time now, other then Clemson. Well there instate rival decided to changed up there uniforms to compete with the Ducks for worst uniforms in college football. Who do you think has the worst uniforms?

what the hell happened

Well all but one regional is over, and as the rest of the 15 teams sleep in today and then start preparing for there up coming weekend super regional games.

Rice vs. Texas A & M

Louisville vs. Oklahoma State

Mississippi State vs. Clemson


Michigan vs. OSU/UVA

UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton

Arizona State vs. Ole Miss

Wichita State vs. UC Irvine

Who would have thought that Vandy the #1 seed would have fallen to Michigan? Even more unbelievable is that they brought in David Price, who gave a up the go ahead home run.

Crazy times in the NCAA tournament.
Also Clemson will be traveling to Miss State for there regional. Luck of the draw I guess.

Monday, June 04, 2007

In case you missed it

I'm too lazy to paraphrase, so here are links to the following Stories.

Gary Sheffield is not too smart.

From DeadSpin "Please Keep Sticking Microphones in this Guy's Face"
Deadspin Again "Gary Sheffield, unlike you Latin pushovers, will not be controlled"
Shoot Your Hopes and Dreams: "The Pampered Shef"
Signal to Noise "Gary Sheffield's got a theory"
100 Percent Injury Rate Presents "The Best of Gary Sheffield" (a retrospective)

Billy Donovan is not too wise

Sportable: "Turns out Billy Donovan prefers Gainesville"
Signal to Noise: "Billy D Officially Makes the Douchebag Scale"

Also, Phil Steele has South Carolina ranked #13 in his preseason poll. Don't believe it for a minute though because he has Florida at 14 and Hawaii at 12. I can't find the link, just trust me.

Lastly, happy birthday to John Drew Barrymore (deceased), the actor who was the progeny of the famous Barrymore and Drew acting families. For all of the superior genes he was given, Barrymore only managed to give us the little girl in ET who would go on to such classics as 50 First Dates and Fever Pitch. Thanks John.

college baseball

The teams that have advanced to a super regional so far are

Oklahoma State
Mississippi state
Ole Miss
Arizona State
Cal state Fullerton

For those looking for FSU, they can be found in Tallahassee watching tv on the couch. Arkansas also pulled up short losing to Oklahoma state twice this past weekend.

Gamecocks play today at 4 against UNCC aka charlotte. Will we see David Mills today, the pitcher with the best ERA in the nation?

USC finished T-11th in NCAA Golf Championships...

Stanford had the most consistent play during the week and claimed a 12-shot victory in the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships at the Golden Horseshoe (par 70, 6,803 yards).

Top-seeded Georgia finished second at one-over 1121. Lamar had the best round of the day at five-under 275 to finish in a tie for third with Charlotte at five-over 1125. Coastal Carolina placed fifth at eight-over 1128. Lamar, Charlotte and Coastal Carolina all had their best finishes ever at the NCAA Championships.

The Gamecocks Golf Team finished Tied for 11th place at +16. A good showing this year and should be a good year to build on for the next.