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Sweep of DBU...
impressive...early and still TBD how good DBU is...but recent history (they made regionals in 6 of last 7 years)...says it was a good sweep....and will be good for the RPI by end of season....
(02-24-2018, 08:11 PM)Marty Coleman Wrote: impressive...early and still TBD how good DBU is...but recent history (they made regionals in 6 of last 7 years)...says it was a good sweep....and will be good for the RPI by end of season....

The Patriots have a veteran pitching staff, but I don't know how much depth there is there.  And the same thing can be said about their line-up - Hannah (CF), Granberg (1B) and Millard (3B) are pieces that can be built around, but there are 2 or 3 guys in the back half that would struggle to hit their weight in the ACC.

It was over-shadowed in the 9-run offensive explosion, but there were at least four (4) outstanding defensive plays in the first game of yesterday's doubleheader:  Teodosio's diving catch in the first takes away 2 runs, Wharton follows with a diving catch of his own an inning later, and Williams made 2 nice diving stops at 1B.

The defense carried over in game 2, with Davidson making a nice pick on a wicked hop and Williams laying out once more.  Unless something changes elsewhere, Williams looks like our 1B for the remainder of the season - he's been that impressive on the defensive end.

In fact, the only error on the weekend was the result of Wharton and Teodosio running into each other in the outfield after the catch was made - a day after running into each other before the catch. Teo has to take command out there, but you could tell there was a premium placed on over-communicating, after Friday Night. So we'll see...

I liked Crawford's outing - he topped out at 88mph on the stadium gun against William & Mary (though there was some moisture in the area that day), whereas he reached back for 91 during yesterday's game.  After a shaky first inning (in which DBU concentrated on being aggressive, jumping on first pitches in a way in which they didn't the day before), he settled in for a very effective performance.

With Strider, I wasn't as impressed with his first outing as most.  While he flashed the arm talent that had him projected as a first or second round talent, he struggled through the first inning of work, and when hit the leadoff man of his 4th inning (and didn't get the call for the batter to stay in the box - despite the batter not making a good faith effort to move out of the way), he responded by throwing a wild pitch, walking the next batter and hit the third.  A competitive make-up is the price of poker, at this level.

This weekend, he was similarly all-over the place in his first inning of work - a walk, a balk (he didn't realize that Williams wasn't covering 1B) and a rocket shot single.  In watching him struggle, I noticed he has a hitch in his delivery - he essentially hyper extends his plant leg as he comes over the top, which causes a pause in the follow through and his release point to vary (and leads to his inconsistency).  But the 95mph velocity covers a lot of ills, and he settled in...

Conversely, Mitchell Miller did nothing to alter his reputation of having electric stuff, but not having enough control to be effective.

Higginbotham relied mostly on his fastball against William & Mary - which has some natural late run - but had to alter that game plan against DBU.  He was able to locate his offspeed pitches, and was effective.  Gilliam hit 95mph on the gun, and when it became clear that the umpire wasn't going to call a strike that wasn't straight over the heart of the plate in the 9th, he threw three (3) straight over 93.

It will be interesting to see who is selected for ACC player of the week on the hitting side of the ledger.  Chris Williams (6-15 on the week including 2 HRs, but no hits after Game 1 of the DBU series, 11 RBIs including the Game 3 game winner and 7 Runs scored), Drew Wharton (6-11 including 3 HRs, 8 RBIs and 3 runs scored - no plate appearances against Furman) and Robert Jolly (7-10, 5 RBIs and 6 Runs scored) all made solid cases.

Platooning Hawkins with Byrd was interesting.  Hawkins has unquestioned power, but he's a defensive step back from both Greene and Byrd.  Part of me wonders if this was simply a test run, given the streak that Cromwell is currently enjoying - as Hawkins has the body type for third, but you don't mess with that kind of hitting streak.

I will say Cromwell's base at set-up seems to have shortened - he was setting up with front foot in front of the plate last year and it's fully inside the front black this season.  With his initial stride towards the ball, he ends up at the same place - but his weight transfer looks more natural.

Regardless, on to the rivalry...
[-] The following 1 user Likes Huckittome's post:
  • Marty Coleman
I think you're right..they wanted to get Hawkins some at bats and you aren't taking Cromwell or Jolly (DH) out the way they are hitting the ball...second base has been the black hole of the lineup...

edit to add: and catcher....
The Tigers' Sweep is the lede of Teddy Cahill's weekend recap, over at Baseball America

Drew Jolly?  Smile A combo of Wharton and Jolly...

ECU takes series from UNC...
Cahill made a big deal (on Friday Night) out of the fact that the ACC had a bad start to the weekend...

Teddy Cahill | Baseball America Wrote:The Atlantic Coast Conference had a disappointing start to the weekend. With 13 teams in action (Notre Dame was rained out), the ACC compiled a 7-6 record and went 0-4 against teams from last year's top eight RPI conferences. No. 15 Virginia blew a lead in the ninth inning against Eastern Kentucky and lost, 7-6, at home. No. 6 North Carolina lost 2-1 at East Carolina to open a much-anticipated series. Miami jumped out to an early lead at home against top-ranked Florida but was unable to hold it and lost 7-3 to the Gators. It was the Hurricanes' fifth-straight loss to their in-state rivals. The conference's best result came from No. 11 Clemson, which showcased the strength of its lineup in a 12-1 rout of an ascendant Dallas Baptist team.

Unsurprisingly, Virginia recovered to take the series; Miami was a heavy underdog in their match-up with the defending champs, but still took the get-away game from the Gators (Florida would take the series); while North Carolina's struggles continued (first 0-3 start at Boshamer since the 1960's).

It also needs to be said that LSU responded from dropping their opening week series to Notre Dame with a convincing series win over Texas - lending some credibility to what the Irish were able to achieve against their old coach.
And of course, the ACC media panel selects NC State junior outfielder Brett Kinneman for the honor - in 5 games against NC A&T (Tues), Charlotte (Wed) and Furman (3 game weekend set), Kinneman hit 5 homeruns, totaling 15 total RBIs - giving him the conference lead in both categories after two weeks.

Kinneman's 5 homeruns hit during the week comprised the homerun "cycle" as he hit a grand slam (Tues), 2-run and 3-run shots (each on Fri), and two solo shots (one on Sat and Sun). Overall, Kinneman was 13 for 21 (.619) on the week, with 15 RBIs, 7 runs scored, stole 2 bases and added a triple to his homerun slugging performance.

Pitcher of the week went to Miami's Evan McKendry, who salvaged get-away-day for the Hurricanes. McKendry scattered just 2 hits and 2 walks over his 6 innings of shut out work - against the nation's #1 team.

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