Next Game: Today, Sunday 2/26/'12 1:00 PM UW (3-3) @ UC Irvine (4-2), Anteater Ballpark
UW Starting Pitcher: RHP Austin Voth 12.46 ERA (0-0)
UCI Starting Pitcher: Crosby Slaught 1.35 ERA (0-1)
Saturday 2/25/'12 1:00 PM UW 7-8 UC Irvine, Anteater Ballpark
W - Nick Hoover (1-0)
L - Mac Acker (1-1)
Sunday Breakfast Links Edition
d1baseball.com - If you haven't discovered this site, than you're spending far too much time trying to find what they provide. Check it out.
The Diamond Dawgs fought hard, but came up just short. Losing is part of baseball, it's going to happen, and when you do you want it to be a "good" loss like yesterday. Vs. Seattle U last Wednesday is the only "bad" loss so far, and hopefully that side of the Dawgs never rears its ugly head up again. This wasn't anything like the effort against SU; the Dawgs hung in 'till the end this time, like the SDSU series finale last Sunday. The Dawgs cannot repeat that effort if they want to keep up, with the West region rising back up in 2012.
If they go 3-1 on the first big road test of the season, over four consecutive days, you have to call it a resounding victory. They are half way there, with the rubber match today and a drive over to Cal State Northridge on Monday.
Meggs and co. have a win and loss now against top-25 caliber competition, losing by only 1 run and outscoring UCI 11-7. I wouldn't rank UCI this high after the opening weekend of cupcakes they had, and a couple days later he used the NCBWA poll. If I would have known a split would happen before the series started, with those numbers, I would have been elated. Plenty more after the jump..
This team has the talent to finish in the middle of the PAC-12, a huge accomplishment in one year; whether they do or not is up to them. Turn the SU loss into a win, and the Dawgs would be smack dab in the middle of the conference standings. Take out Utah(1-6) who as of this morning is in the cellar, and you see every old PAC-10 team is playing .500+ ball, 43-16 as a group; it's going to be one brutal conference slate this year.
Washington is not a basement team anymore; even though they are making mistakes the team is being humble and moving forward, learning from them hopefully. You can throw the PAC-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll from #2 down out the window, with UCLA falling on their face against Maryland last weekend, among a few other surprises like the zeroes going to Vanderbilt and getting a win and the OSU pitching staff calling 911.
The Pac-12 is still at the top with the SEC for supremacy, but like any new year in college the talent distribution is an unknown fact; ya gotta play the games to find out the truth. I think it's time to start a weekly conference roundup/rankings to help put our season into more perspective. Look for it starting next week.
Remember the winning fact pointed out yesterday about the Anteaters? Well, they put an end to that. The lead-off batter got on base 5 times, including the last four innings of the game, which happens to be the 4 innings they scored six runs in. Washington scored four runs in that time frame, and none on their top half of the 9th, striking out looking twice and a can of corn to 1B on the RF grass edge. The most perplexing fact about 9th is actually who the batters are.
UC Irvine starter FR RHP Andrew Thurman came out on fire, setting down the first 9 batters he faced. He got ahead in the count on almost every at-bat with his fastball then coming in with a change-up to seal the deal. Apparently (no video again...) he was pitching either high at the letters and eyes or low in the dirt, trying to work some magic on the Dawgs eyes. It worked for 3 innings, and then the gig was up.
SR Caleb Brown pinch-hit a double for one of only four hits against SU, and it was pretty. He started in RF yesterday with Camporeale in LF giving Meggs a day off, and he stepped it up a notch to say thanks to the Skipper. He blasted the first pitch thrown his way in the 4th inning over the LF wall with some good distance by all accounts, scoring Ray who had just tripled the pitch before that on a fastball driven to the RF gap wall. Ray watched 3 curve balls before seeing that fastball and putting a great swing on it. At the time Washington was down 2-0, yet left the inning up 3-2, full and happy for the moment.
In the top half of the 5th Ray hit a double after yet again going down 2-2 from curve balls. He decided to pick on LF with that double after the outfield shifted to the right. Putting Brown behind Ray was genius, whether it was purposeful or not only Coach Meggs knows, but it sure made him look good. All Brown had to do was hit a single to LF and Ray had the wheels to make it 4-2 Dawgs.
Starting pitcher George Asmus can't catch a break. He left another game with the win in hand only to watch it immediately snatched away. George will start fast and has a good feel for his release point, getting ahead early in the count, early in games. The first 2 innings went by smoothly before the Anteaters found some ants in the dugout. Out of nowhere they just start crushing the ball like they flipped a switch. UCI draws first blood 2-0 with a double, triple and two sac-flies. The power challenged had been made. After walking the lead-off batter in the 5th, the first of many yet to come, Asmus was relieved by RHP Wright with the Dawgs up 4-2.
3B Lamb is having a rough start to the year with the glove and bat. He had an error here on what should have been a double play. Instead the bases are loaded, one out. Wright makes a great pitch, gets Anteater 2B Reyes to ground into a double play, allowing a run to score but greatly reducing the threat. It was a good tradeoff...if we don't lose by one run.
This was the first game a starting pitcher lasted 5+ IP without the Dawgs winning. That kinda hurts, and so does blowing a 4-2 lead into an 8-4 hole. Mac Acker and Adam Cimber combined to give up 6 runs in 3 IP, and it was one run too many. After allowing 2 of the 4 earned runs in the 7th Cimber returned, to my shock, to pitch the 8th. He proceeded to shut my mouth and pitched his best inning yet this year, finished off with beautiful pitch to strikeout Reyes looking to end the inning.
Mitsui tried his absolute best to respond in the 8th after UCI put up 4 runs in the 7th by smashing a 3 run shot to left-center that was another bomb. Two home runs, and now were only down one, 8-7 with four outs left? Mitsui has been getting visibly more confident with every AB, and he was due to hit one hard. Ely pinch-hit for Forgione, who struggled at the plate with 2 looking strikeouts, only to strike out swinging himself.
At least Ely swung at the ball. The Dawgs went into the 9th frame down one with the heart of the order up. Brown swung at two fastballs and missed, only to watch a slider buckle him for strike three looking. Lamb did the exact same thing, and only Berry remained, who looked at a pitch at least before weakly popping out to first to end the game. The inning went by about as fast as it took you to read this paragraph. Oh well, get 'em today and we win series our second series, which is what ultimately matters most.