|Rank(Last Week)||Team / Comment|
|1(1)||Tampa SpartansTampa (19-1) swept St. Leo in this past week’s marquee matchup, twice rallying to win in the final inning. UT also had a win over Seton Hill. Can Bridgeport or Rollins stop the Spartan Express this week? Probably not.|
|2(2)||Minnesota State MavericksThe Mavs (9-2) are in the middle of their Spring Trip in Florida. So far they’ve gone 4-1 with wins over Findlay, Saginaw Valley and Northwood; their loss was against Ashland. BIG game against GVSU tomorrow.|
|3(3)||Lander BearcatsThe Bearcats (19-3) had a nice midweek win over Mount Olive and took two of three from Francis Marion to hold on to the three spot for another week. Lander plays Newberry and GRU Augusta this week.|
|4(4)||West Florida ArgonautsThe Argos’ (16-2) have a twelve game winning streak going after sweeping three from Union in which UWF pitchers only allowed three runs. UWF plays Alabama-Huntsville in this week’s showdown series. Look out for Jordan DeLorenzo. Putting up macho numbers: 5-0 with 0.96 ERA.|
|5(5)||Southern Arkansas MuleridersMuleriders (19-4) remained hot with a midweek win over suddenly slumping Arkansas Monticello and a sweep of Henderson State. SAU plays Delta State and Harding this week. Continue reading|
• After being handled by Grand Valley State the last two games, I must say that up and down the lineup they are one of the very best college baseball teams that I have seen, OUTSIDE of DI. Their hitters don’t get cheated. Not one bit. They are excellent defensively in many areas and more than adequate overall. On the mound, the Lakers have some velocity and they compete well pitch to pitch. That being said, the 1927 Yankees are dead. Long dead. GVSU caught us at a good time and they outplayed us. When the regional rolls around I’m sure we will cross paths again with Mr. Brugnoni and company.
• Eating team meals at an Applebee’s, or a TGI Friday’s, or some such establishment is infinitely preferable to the pizza/sub sandwich route, both from a meal quality and camaraderie standpoint.
• I think most coaches, on occasion, ask themselves why they do what they do. The hours are long, the pay is not ideal, and there is little gratitude nor appreciation for the job that we do. Two things come to mind, personally, when I consider why I continue to coach college baseball: Continue reading
It is finally the moment you have been waiting for all season. The entire dugout is fixated on your every move to see if you can pull off this miracle. You dig into the batter’s box and stare down the pitcher while every single one of your brain cells is focused on one thing: hitting the beautifully white pearl baseball a country mile.
As the pitcher starts his wind up your eyes grow bigger as each ounce of sweat trickles down your face while you think, “I’ve been waiting for this my whole career….”
One defining moment can make or break one’s college career. I can only hope this past weekend was not my defying moment, but I think it’s worth sharing anyways. Although my pressure packed situation during the fourth game of a four game weekend had me feeling all the nerve racking thoughts I’ve mentioned above; there is one major difference between the average position player and myself. I’m a pitcher.
Leisure time on the St. Cloud State pitching staff is usually dominated by one main topic: what we would do if we finally got an at bat in a game. Trash talking is common as well as the critiquing of swings that really aren’t worthy of such assessments.
This past weekend I was given the opportunity to silence the critics and take one deep. The odds were forever not in my favor as my homerun history consists of one “duck fart” over a shallow right field fence in high school (time to close the year book).
Last weekend the Huskies took a comfortable lead over our opponents and as many seniors do, I began to plead head coach Pat Dolan for me to get an at bat. He gave me the nod along with a smirk that a five year old could have detected meant, “I can’t wait to see this.”
During the very rare occasion our pitchers get to hit during batting practice each swing is a piece of artwork. Well, the swing isn’t exactly the artwork. The artwork is what comes after the swing, commonly referred to as, “the pimp job.” For those of you who do not recognize the term “pimp job,” it is the over blown, proud reaction of a hitter after he hits a homerun that he would like to admire.
As a realist, I decided I probably wasn’t going to take one deep in an actual game. But, it was not out of the realm of possibilities for me to blast one to the warning track. I stared down that 2-1 fastball right down Broadway and did what every great homerun hitter does: I dropped my back shoulder, closed my eyes, and swung the bat so hard it would make my dad’s back ache.
Before I knew it, the ball was half way to the moon… if the wind weren’t howling in from right field at a GUSTING 5 mph. After months of mental preparation for my big chance at the plate, I had to settle for a pedestrian F-9 and face my fellow pitchers who looked at me with utter disappointment.
Quite possibly my last at bat as a collegiate player… and I blew it. For two months the pitchers on our staff debated on who would be the pitcher to get the first hit of the season and it would have been my Disney Land fairy tale if it would’ve been me.
So, the coveted award of the first pitcher to get a hit is still in tact at St. Cloud State. Until one of us finally comes through with a clean hit, trash talking will keep on and “pimp jobs” will continue to be rehearsed.
- Scott Sanderson
|RK||School -First-Place Votes-||W-L||Pts.||Prev.|
|1||Shippensburg (Pa.) -8-||4-2||135||1|
|2||East Stroudsburg (Pa.) -5-||8-1||115||4|
|4||Seton Hill (Pa.)||3-3||85||3|
|5||Kutztown (Pa.)||4-1||84||5 Continue reading|
National Top 25
|Rank||Team -First Place Votes-||Record||Votes||Previous Ranking|
|1||Tampa (Fla.) -15-||15-1||375||1|
|3||St. Mary’s (Texas)||14-4||329||5|
|5||West Florida||12-2||307||7 Continue reading|
|Team / Comment|
Tampa (15-1) only allowed four total runs during their weekend series with Walsh. The Spartans have a monster series at St. Leo upcoming which the upcoming Lions have had their eyes on.
|Minnesota State Mavericks
The Mavs (5-1) had the week of as they headed down to Florida for their spring trip in which they will play nine games in eight days.
The Bearcats (16-2) dropped their first game against North Georgia, but won the next two and the series against the Saints. LU hosts Mount Olive midweek and Francis Marion this upcoming weekend.
|West Florida Argonauts
The Argos’ (13-2) swept three road games from Christian Brothers this week. UWF should have a tougher row to hoe this week against North Georgia and Union.
|Southern Arkansas Muleriders
Muleriders (15-4) hurlers had three shutouts as they went 4-1 last week with their only loss to Ouachita Baptist’s ace Davis Ward. SAU has a midweek contest with Arkansas Monticello and a weekend series at Henderson State. Continue reading
Last night, the Lewis Flyers were significantly outplayed by Ashland University for exactly eight and a half innings………and then something happened. That “something” was the red team turning a 7-0 deficit into an inspiring and improbable come from behind walk-off win by scoring eight runs in the bottom of the ninth inning without recording an out. The win gives us much needed momentum and a quality win versus an in-region opponent. After pondering last nights events I have determined that there are some life lessons to be learned from this ordeal: Continue reading
Sitting on the runway at O’hare waiting to take off. Its going to be a long day. We left Lewis at 3:30am and we play tonight against a quality Ashland team who will have a chip on shoulder after we ended their season in dramatic fashion last year during the Midwest Regional in Springfield, MO. We had a good week of practice during which a few mechanical adjustments were made and we got plenty of live plate appearances off of our pitching staff. I had each one of my hitters provide a scouting report on themselves as is they were preparing an opponent to face them as a hitter. The evaluation included a recommendation on to pitch them, as in pitch type, location and sequence. This is a good exercise to compel the hitters to undertake because it forces them to not only take account of their strengths, bit also to recognize their weaknesses and flaws. One they are identified, they can be corrected or minimized as needed. Everyone did a good job on this project, and some of the players used the opportunity to work on their comedic wit. Some highlights from the self-scouting reports include:
Mike Barajas: “Makes @hi# happen when on the bases so pitchers need to mix up looks and try to stop his feet.
Ben Albano: “Strengths include being very handsome with a charming personality.”
James Burrell: “Best hitter in the nation. Avoid at all costs”.
Special congratulations go out to Brandon Collins for his ultra-wise airport purchase this morning. I don’t know what a $5 bottle of water tastes like, and I hope I never find out.
Greetings again baseball fans, we’ve had a few weeks of practice here in chilly Minnesota as the weather continues to baffle us and I’ve got a ton of new developments to update you on. Since the media here at Minnesota State is so excellent at what they do, you can check out the last four games we played through our website. The stats from day one in our series against Northeastern State can be found here and day two games against Southwest Baptist can be found here.
It’s incredible what one week can do for a baseball team after coming off a split series with UAM in our first games of the year. As a team, we try not to get too high or too low during the course of the season (as I mentioned in my last blog about not hitting the panic button) but there is something to be said about these last four games. Key components needed to reach our goal of winning a National Championship this year began to slightly shine. Continue reading