Around The Bases-April 15

April 15, 2010

Four Things I’m Thinking About Right Now…

By Editor Sean Stires

As April hits its stride we’re getting ready for another weekend of college baseball.  We’ve had some new podcasts and will continue to have more in the coming weeks as we look at different teams and conferences around the country.  Here are some things that gnawed at my mind this week…

Say What… Here are the current statistics of two catchers.  One is on the 2010 Johnny Bench Award Watch List, but

Yasmani Grandal (Miami photo)

the other is not.  See if you can guess which one is:  A.  .414 BA, 7 HR, 37 RBIs, 1.211 OPS, 1 Passed Ball  B.  .294 BA, 6 HR, 25 RBIs, .888 OPS, 3 Passed Balls.  If you said catcher “B” is the one on the watch list you would be correct (I won’t mention his name here).  Catcher “A” is Miami Hurricane Yasmani Grandal.  After hitting 16 home runs and then playing last summer for Team USA the junior was not only not on the original watch list, but also left out of the group of nine catchers who were added to the watch list this week.  That’s 61 total catchers now on the watch list, but the guy hitting .414 at one of the best programs in the history of the sport is not one of them.

Big Shake-Up…Before last week the Big East was looking like it was going to be a one-bid league when NCAA selections come out next month, and Louisville was looking like it might earn the programs first top 8 national seed.  That all changed when Pittsburgh took two of three games from the Cardinals in the Steel City.  Pittsburgh (22-9, 6-3) was three outs from sweeping the series before Louisville rallied to salvage the series finale, but their two wins shook-up the Big East standings.  South Florida (16-16, 8-1) is in first place followed by UConn (24-7, 7-2) and Rutgers (18-13, 7-2), with Louisville (26-6, 6-3) and Pitt tied for fourth place.  USF played a brutal early schedule, but has zero quality wins to show for it.  UConn handed Louisville its other conference loss and seems to be gaining momentum.

Revving-up The RPI…The NCAA’s official RPI is out, and it’s no shock that the top five teams include Arizona State, Arkansas, UCLA, Florida, and Virginia.  Three of those five teams made it to Omaha last year and a fourth (Florida) played in a Super Regional.  Louisville (Big East), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Clemson, Texas, and Oregon State round-out the top ten.  That gives the Pac 10 three top ten RPI teams, the ACC and SEC each have two.  Here are some “non-power conference” teams that join Louisville and Coastal Carolina in the RPI Top-50:  17. Western Kentucky 21. The Citadel 23. TCU 24. New Mexico 30. College of Charleston 35. Western Carolina 39. Texas State 40. Connecticut 41. San Diego 44. Southeastern Louisiana 47. South Alabama 49. Pittsburgh 50. VMI

Gary Brown (

Titan Turnaround…Since a disappointing 8-8 start to the season Cal State Fullerton (18-12, 5-1 Big West) has won ten of its last 14 games, including two of three from Big West rival UC Irvine last weekend.  The Titans also won a midweek match-up over UCLA (26-3)-a team that moved to #1 in two polls this week.  Fullerton didn’t shy away from tough competition early on, with six of those losses coming at the hands of TCU (24-7), Arizona (23-9) and Arizona State (28-3).  The Titan’s offense is starting to click, with Gary Brown and Billy Marcoe hitting .443 and .402, respectively.  The biggest issue has been inconsistent pitching from a team that has been traditionally dominant on the mound.  2010 Team USA invitees Tyler Pill and Nick Ramirez are a combined 2-7, although Pill gave-up just an unearned run in 8 1/3 IP and also had an RBI in Sunday’s 6-1 win over the Anteaters.  Expect the Titans to build some serious momentum over the next month…

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