Feb. 24, 2012


The Oscars of College Baseball


The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday evening, with nine films vying for the Oscar for Best Picture. These movie titles could also apply to college baseball this season.


The Artist

UCLA is one of the top art schools in the country. Head coach John Savage and the Bruins lost a superb pair of performers from a year ago in starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, two guys who could paint the corners and produce masterpieces from the mound. Adam Plutko looks to be a solid Friday starter. Will the Bruins solid their other starting spots as well as the bullpen? Will UCLA rebound from a series loss to Maryland to open the season?


The Descendants

LSU head coach Paul Mainieri (pictured above) is the son of a very successful baseball coach. Can he not only get the Tigers back into the NCAA Tournament, can LSU return to Omaha for the College World Series? The Tigers rolled last weekend with two wins over Air Force and one against Alcorn State. Appalachian State invades Alex Box Stadium this weekend.


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I was going to make a reference to head coaches and umpires, but that’s really more of an issue in the big leagues than in college. I will reference the fans in the SEC, who were loud and close this past weekend. LSU averaged 10,532, with South Carolina (7,751), Arkansas (6,958) and Mississippi State (6,073) all in the top five nationally for average attendance last weekend.


The Help

Texas has had excellent starting pitching in recent years and it helps to have a tremendous closer to finish off those wins. Corey Knebel had an All-American season as a freshman in 2011, posting 19 saves. He already has two in 2012 and should have numerous opportunities this season.



Hurricane Hugo was one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history, striking in September of 1989. The Miami Hurricanes are hoping to storm through the ACC and through the NCAA Tournament. Hurricane Peter, Catcher Peter O’Brien, has started strong. The transfer from Bethune-Cookman is hitting .579 (11 for 19) with two doubles, two homers, six runs and three RBI in four games.


Midnight in Paris

If it’s midnight in Paris, it’s 6 p.m. in the East. And speaking of six, that is how many players from Stony Brook played in the Cape Cod League this past summer. The Seawolves had two players on the postseason All-Star team, the only program in the country with more than one. Outfielder Travis Jankowski was the Cape Cod MVP. Stony Brook has a lot of experience back and opens this weekend against Alabama State and Nicholls in the Colonel Round Robin.



One of the key stats in Moneyball is on-base percentage. Purdue was one of the top programs a season ago with an on-base percentage of .402. The Boilermakers were the only Big Ten team to go 3-0 against the Big East this past weekend in Florida and posted an on-base percentage of .448.


The Tree of Life

This, of course, refers to the Stanford mascot. Can the Cardinal live up to the preseason hype with the plethora of talent on the team? Stanford was extremely impressive this past weekend with its demolition of Vanderbilt. Texas will visit this weekend in an intriguing three-game series.


War Horse

Michael Roth logged 145 innings a year ago in helping South Carolina win its second consecutive national championship. He will assume the role of Friday starter again in 2012. Roth allowed a run on four hits in a six-inning no-decision against VMI on Opening Day with six strikeouts.


(photo courtesy of LSU Media Relations Office)