Thursday Thoughts & CWS Notes

September 28, 2009
By Editor Sean Stires with his thoughts from Wednesday’s CWS action…

  • Brett Eibner more than atoned for his short start on the mound vs. LSU Monday when his 2-out 9th inning home run tied the game 3-3 to send it to extra innings.
  • ESPN’s Mike Patrick was half correct when he talked about the importance of Zach Cox’s 2-out, 2-strike single that came just before Eibner’s HR.  However, Patrick said it was important, because if Cox hadn’t singled Eibner’s HR would have just been a solo shot.  It was more important than that though, because if Cox hadn’t reached base the game would have been over, and Eibner wouldn’t have even come to the plate again until 2010.
  • Speaking of TV…wouldn’t it be nice to make as much money as ESPN analyst Orel Hersheiser makes to butcher players’ names?   In his time in Omaha he has incorrectly pronounced: Arkansas pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Brett Eibner, Virginia pitcher/DH Danny Hultzen, Arizona State SS Drew Maggi, and MLB’s #1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg.  His analysis is usually spot-on, but c’mon Orel is it too hard to just write the names pho-net-i-cal-ly?  Is it a wonder Howard Cosell used to opine about the “jockocrasy” in TV sports?
  • Speaking of TV II…it was pretty touching to see and hear business owners from the Rosenblatt area getting choked-up while trying to talk about the CWS moving to downtown Omaha after next year.
  • Speaking of TV III…Pretty cool North Carolina’s Garrett Gore got to man one of ESPN’s TV cameras for a spell during the game.  Gore said afterward “That was it, took control, my show”.  I’m sure Cosell would have been appalled though!
  • Good job by the umpires in the Arkansas-UVA game to make sure they got John Hicks’ fifth inning home run call correct.  They conferred after it was originally not called a home run, but Hicks got credit for the round-tripper after they correctly decided the ball hit a fan’s hat and then another fan’s glove and not Arkansas left fielder Chase Leavitt’s glove before it caromed back onto the field.
  • Great piece of bunting by Virginia’s Keith Werman.  The pinch-hitter entered the game in a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 9th with runners at first and second and no outs.  Werman bunted the first two pitches of the at-bat foul and then took two balls from fellow lefty Dallas Keuchel before he finally dropped down a two-strike bunt to move the runners to second and third.
  • How about Keuchel’s relief appearance just two days after starting against Cal State Fullerton?  The southpaw tossed four shutout innings, while fanning five and giving-up just three hits to improve to 9-3 this season.  It was the junior’s first relief outing this season.
  • Speaking of pitching…a tip of the hat to starters Drew Smyly of Arkansas and fellow freshman lefty Danny Hultzen of Virginia.  The two combined to pitch 11.0 innings with 14 strikeouts and no walks on 13 hits. Smyly’s string of 19 straight shutout innings in the NCAA Tournament ended on the previously mentioned fifth inning HR by Hicks.  He was starting for the first time since losing a no-hitter in the ninth inning of the Razorbacks’ Regional Championship game vs. Oklahoma. (Podast with Smyly is available by clicking HERE.)

It’s been great having Green Day’s music playing into breaks during Super Regional and now College World Series games on ESPN.

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