-Scheduling Note: To the dismay of the team, severe weather canceled the mid-week flight to Houston. The Lamar and University of Houston games will not be rescheduled, though a game or two - depending on postseason need - could be added on to the schedule later. Bummer, that was a great chance to showcase a much improved team in the middle of the college baseball universe. Houston has drawn some positive attention, could have been a big, quality win on the resume.
Friday, March 23rd 5:00 PM: RHP A. West (3-1, 2.25) vs. LHP J. McKenzie (1-1, 1.93)
Saturday, March 24th 2:00 PM: RHP T. Davis (1-0, 0.90) vs. RHP S. Brattvet (1-2, 3.99)
Sunday, March 25th 1:00 PM: RHP A. Voth (3-0, 4.78) vs. LHP T. Aikenhead (3-2, 3.37)
What a very busy week it turned out to be. Unexpected, to say the least. With that being said, I will spending my entire weekend on campus now, with both teams to be watched.... Anyone have a golf cart I can borrow?
All joking aside, a busy weekend of baseball is the best remedy. With baseball comes a sense of relaxation, familiarity and expected things. Like articles that reference a team leader in a category without looking at the number of plate appearances. What's even better, is the very first thing you read in the - I better say it right - CSU Bakersfield 'Runner Baseball Notebook. Apparently, if I forget the "U" for "University" I will be audited by the CSUB alumni scrooges. According to Education-Portal.com, CSUB is the top California business school with great accounting and public administration degree programs as well.
As far as as college baseball goes CSUB is a newborn program, having only been conceived in 2007, born in 2009 and swept the Dawgs in the second weekend series of 2011. A Pac-10 team losing to a two year old...
The Roadrunner may have outsmarted the Dawg-ote then, but this is 2012. Washington has a bigger rock now to drop onto the slower 'Runners. CSUB is coming up to Seattle in a tailspin, dropping their last 5 games - two in walk-off fashion - after starting 7-6, with a 1-7 record on the road. No, this is not the same team that hosted the Dawgs last year. Sweet revenge is in the air today for the last non-conference weekend series before nine straight conference match-ups. Better enjoy it while they can...
Little different format again, more of a blog style this time. David Lee Roth said to jump 28 years ago, so what's taking so long? Knowledge will be yours when you land on the other side...
The two walk-off losses came at the hands of USC two weeks ago. CSUB wilted after those back-to-back heartbreakers, dropping the third game 6-0, outscored 13-1 when including the last two losing efforts, 28-14 (nine in one game) over the five game skid.
Nothing really stands out in the "quality win" category on the CSUB schedule, with one mutual opponent, Portland. To the Pilots credit they did travel down to the field of baked goods, only they ended up grounding themselves from eating too many pastries, losing two of three with a final score of 22-3 for the series.
CSUB put up 14 runs in the first game, none in 2 innings facing Portland pitcher M. McCallister, who received the win vs. the Dawgs last week. Washington only tagged him for 1 earned run on 4 hits over 5 IP.
Portland won the second game 3-0 with only pitcher O. Jones in common. Jones earned the save in .2 IP while allowing a hit.
In game three Portland started C. Johnson, the same guy who started vs. UW - what does that say? - only he was tagged for three earned runs on six hits over 5.1 innings by the 'Runners.
With the links above you can quickly see what players to watch for and how each team is doing. Statistically UW is superior in every major category, by a wide margin in many. Advantage to the Dawgs in offense, defense and pitching on paper.
Go over the 2012 season stats for CSUB and the glaring team weakness will stand up and yell at you: defense. The roadrunners are by far the worst team with the glove we have faced yet, with a .952 fielding % - 35 errors! That's good enough for 234th place out of 291 D-I teams...
Guess who has ten of them, double the amount (two others have five) of anyone else on the team? The shortstop Tyler Shyrock! I don't know the roster makeup as well the CSUB Skipper, but I would have pulled him over to 2B the moment he lead the team. Only problem is, the other two guys with five errors each are the starting 2B & 3B! Twenty errors from an infield (1B has none) in 18 games makes our infield D appear stellar...
That explains the abysmal 20 unearned out of 90 runs allowed. They are outscoring the opposition 91-90, yet have allowed eight more - 70 to 78 - earned runs to go along with having only two more hits-171 to 169. The 'Runners strike out every 4.2 at-bats on average, 153 K's in 640 plate appearances, while the opponents average is 5.4 at-bats, 118 in 635.
The base number of plate appearances for a visiting team is 27; giving up 6 outs a game (27 / 4.2 = 6.4), or 20% of your minimum outs in that way really puts a team in a hole. Add a porous defense and bullpen... The #1 priority for the Dawgs will be to make contact, put the ball in play and force them to react; errors will assuredly come. Shoot, the Dawgs might just be able to bunt every time and win.
Team ERA is not much better at 3.82, yet SP T.Aikenhead is tied with six others for the D-I lead with three complete games, so hitting him early is imperative. Not one member of the Roadrunner staff has a FIP below 3.24 or a BABIP below .282; every pitcher does have a b/AVG against below .284 tho. Friday Ace McKenzie leads the staff in K's with 23, and ERA, 1.93. Even with two LHP's starting, I'm not too worried, the Dawgs have plenty of good LH bats; starting two lefties might be a bad thing for CSUB.
The Roadrunners have four batters hitting over .300, two over .400 SLG% and four over .400 OBP%. Starting second baseman Oscar Sanay and third baseman DC Legg lead the team with .362 batting average's. Legg is the best batter on the team leading - regardless of the number of at-bats - the 'Runners with 6 doubles, 3 HR's, 14 RBI's, .621 SLG% and a .471 OB%. Talk about a big stick, might want to intentionally walk this guy a few times.
First baseman Stuart Smith and catcher Cael Brockmeyer - with their defense they better hit lights out - round out the CSUB power hitters w/Legg. They are the only players to hit a HR, and they also are the only ones with 10+ RBI's.
The picks won't look like this again until the Dawgs play Utah, Wazzu and Gonzaga, the only teams remaining on the schedule I believe we have a very good chance of sweeping. It would not surprise me if the Dawgs go 2-1 this weekend, but they should sweep. See ya there!