We got some massive college baseball games tonight as we decide the last 2 teams to make Omaha in 2023.
But first a word on my favorite story of the NCAA postseason:
The pitch count war is raging and Stanford Senior Quinn Mathews is our newest gladiator. Hubbs blogged about it here:
Quinn was a 19th rounder by the Rays last year as a Junior so you know he's wayyyyyy better than you realize. Stanford pitchers do well in pro ball, relatively speaking. He's covered in honors and awards accumulated over his career. Every sensibility suggests he's in a professional uniform this time next month.
Whether or not the 156 pitches impact his health obviously remains to be seen. I'm not in any position to speculate or hypothesize to his arm's endurance.
Rather I just want to point out that Stanford baseball is utterly pathetic for not having another arm to rely on. We're talking about Stanford. Not Stony Brook or Dartmouth. They should have at least a dozen arms that have been (or will be) drafted. They should have one of the deepest staffs in the country with a number of talented players capable of dominating.
Instead Quinn Mathews is the guy.
The only guy.
And that's preposterous for Stanford Baseball.
Heaven forbid they win tonight and this dude has to compete in Omaha on Friday for the 45 Stanford fans that make the trip. I can't imagine you can wipe your butt cheeks at this point much less feel a breaking ball for 6 innings.
Again - if this was UIC or some geographically challenged, historically dormant college baseball program? Then that's a completely different story.
This is Stanford. This is some of the classiest NCAA baseball history available. And they're looking like Moraine Valley Community College in a dogfight for last place. Makes no sense to me.
In the meantime, some other notes on NCAA baseball
- Yes, Oral Roberts:
- There are 2 elimination games tonight for the final spots: Southern Miss vs. Tennessee and Stanford vs. Texas
- Selfishly there's a very easy way to cheer for Super Regionals. You want the best fan bases making the trip to Omaha. You don't want a lukewarm Vanderbilt crowd if you can get thousands from Knoxville.
- LSU makes for a completely different CWS as they have the biggest fan base in the sport. They're crazy and party extremely hard and we're lucky they're in the field.
- Wake Forest hit 9 home runs yesterday against Alabama to clinch their spot. They have the most dominant offense in the field and maybe one of the most dominant ACC lineups since they changed the bats 12 years ago. Even cooler is that the Juniors and Seniors on this club single-handedly took Wake from the basement of the ACC to the #1 National Seed and the most convincing performances of any team so far.
- Southern Miss would make for a great story and certainly add a nice crowd. And even though I just used Tennessee as an example, I'm going to circumvent my primary focus of good crowds and overrule myself here. I want Southern Miss to make it so we can get a Mississippi 3-peat: State in 2021, Ole Miss in 2022… and the Eagles in 2023? I think we can all agree that would be a great story.
- TCU continues to fly under the broader national radar. They're routinely in the mix this time of year but this season is diffeent. The Horned Frogs dropped early series to Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and even UNC Wilmington. The top 10 preseason club dropped massively in the rankings and finished tied for 4th place in the Big 12 with Kansas State at 13-11. HOWEVER, they're undefeated in postseason play at 9-0 with a clean sweep of the Big 12 tourney, Regionals and now Super Regionals.
- My buddy is the pitching coach at Virginia and he's an awesome guy. Easy to cheer for Drew Dickinson.
- I am very interested in the crowd Oral Roberts pulls. You'd think Tulsa is close to Omaha based on name recognition alone but it's actually closer to Chicago mileage. Even so, there's not jack shit going on this part of the country this time of year. Oral Roberts only has 4,000 fans but they're the kind of people that can make a day trip like that without breaking a sweat. Are they fun? Probably not. But I love a good underdog story and this is it.
- We want Texas over Stanford so bad that I will be DEVASTATED with a Longhorn loss. I said DEVASTATED
- Tennessee would be nice but so would Southern Miss
- LSU is the pick
- Me, Castellani and two mystery guests will be in Omaha starting this Wednesday night for our 3rd year in a row. It won't be the same without Ben Mintz unless someone convinces him to show up.
Somebody please do that.
See you guys in Nebraska.