Sorenson: The Ouch List, May 9Analysis
Men, happy Mother’s Day and welcome to the Ouch List.
Now, in the words of Sergeant Hulka, your mamas are not here to take care of you. The Ouch List doesn’t care if you got your mother a bouquet of flowers and a card, if you failed to live up to expectations, your mother will find you on the Ouch List. So stop your sniveling.
Here is where the pain train makes its pit stops this week.
What Happened: Lost series at home vs. East Carolina.
Why It Hurt: The at-large hopes are (probably) dashed.
I hope head coach Jim Penders doesn’t hate me. He’s a good dude and every time I see his team play they seem to win. I think coach Penders should’ve sent me a plane ticket for Storrs this weekend. With a chance to make a big move, hosting East Carolina, the Huskies just couldn’t get over the hump. They lost both ends of a double-header on Saturday, 4-3 and 11-9 and then dropped a 3-2 decision on Sunday. Couple that with a pair of one-run losses to the Pirates two weeks ago in Greenville and that’s five nip-and-tuck games that could’ve gone either way. Instead, the Huskies see their RPI drop from No. 62 down to No. 82.
– UC Santa Barbara
What Happened: Lost two of three at UC Davis
Why It Hurt: They may have lost any Regional hosting chances.
For the second time in three weeks the Gauchos slink their way on to the Ouch List, but this time it was due to losing to a team with an RPI of 222. Two weeks ago it was after getting swept at Cal Poly. In the two losses this weekend, the Gauchos gathered just six hits in each game and committed five errors. Davis pock-marked the ‘Chos pitching for 27 hits in the two wins. It didn’t even matter to the Aggies who was on the mound, as they saddled Shane Bieber with the loss in Friday’s opener, scoring three runs off six hits against the Gaucho ace. Santa Barbara is now down at No. 20 in the RPI and three full games behind Fullerton as they will now welcome the Titans to their park this coming weekend.
– Oregon State
What Happened: Swept at Arizona
Why It Hurt: Is this another West coast location that won’t host a Regional?
Just like UC Santa Barbara above, this weekend may have knocked out the Beavers as a viable Regional host. Losing three at Tucson was tough, but the bats just never got clicking to string together a couple of hits, having lost two of the three games while scoring just a single run. The Beavers RPI has never been that solid, now sitting in the low-40s, but now their ranking in the human polls – No. 11 in the D1baseball.com ranking after last weekend – will plummet as well. So who knows if they can get back to within the top 16 consideration.
What Happened: Lost two of three to Indiana
Why It Hurt: Gophers lose Big 10 lead and drift out of possible home Regional.
As I saw first hand in the Great Hot North this weekend, this is a much different Indiana team from the one that limped out to a 12-13 start. They play with confidence, great pitching and then now their bats are coming around too. So for the Gophers to lose a closely-fought game three and drop the series to a team like that is no big shame. That is, until you look at Indiana’s triple digit RPI. Aye-yaye-yaye. The two losses to IU dropped The U’s ranking from No. 24 down to No. 34. They are only a half-game behind the Hoosiers for the Big 10 lead, but will this low of an RPI dissuade the selection committee from giving them a home Regional?
What Happened: Lost four games this week
Why It Hurt: Not just that it happened, but HOW it happened.
Are we picking on the Razorbacks here? Yeah, probably a little bit. It seems like they are on the Ouch List every other week or so. But this week… my gaw-wed. They got bombed by Missouri State in the mid-week, then went 0-for-3 in Baton Rouge vs. LSU. But they lost both Friday and Saturday games by a single run, including blowing a 9-1 lead in the middle game. As if that wasn’t painful enough, they also had a 9-5 lead in the ninth inning, but let the Tigers score four runs on three errors and a walk to tie the game, only to lose it in the 10th on another error. That is paaaaaaain.
What Happened: Lost three of four games this week
Why It Hurt: From Regional host consideration to the “burst” side of the bubble?
As any mid-major can tell you, it only takes one bad week to junk your season and push you out of an NCAA tournament bid. This week, the Cougars lost a mid-weeker vs. Utah Valley and then went just 1-2 at Pepperdine, making this their third losing weekend in the last month. Two of their losses this week were by a single run and in both cases the tying run was in scoring position. Crud. The RPI is now down at No. 47 and it’s unclear how much ground the Cougs can make up because their eight remaining games are all against teams with triple digit RPIs.
What Happened: Lost two of three to Illinois
Why It Hurt: The plight of the Bubble Team.
The Terrapins are truly a working definition of a “bubble team.” They entered the week at No. 48 in the RPI and figured to take down Illinois and Rutgers the next two weeks to set up a big showdown at Michigan State to end the regular season. Well the Terps forgot one of the sacred rules of bubble teams: don’t lose at home. The plucky Illini – who entered at No. 91 – took two of three in a series that was decided by a single run. With the losses, UMd drops down to No. 57 and a less-than-sexy 25-21 overall record.
– North Carolina
What Happened: Lost two of three to Louisville.
Why It Hurt: The losing record in ACC play.
Dropping two of three to a team as wildly talented as Louisville is isn’t a big black mark against the Heels. But the fact that their conference record is getting buried deeper and deeper below the Mendoza Line – now at 10-14 with six to play – is going to be tough to overcome. They’ll host Notre Dame next week and then travel to play at N.C. State. Again, with their RPI so high – currently at No. 13 – it seems unlikely that the Heels will be left out of the field of 64 again. But their losing conference mark was THE biggest reason for their snub last season. Hmmmm.
– Army and Lafayette
What Happened: Had their seasons come to an inglorious ending.
Why It Hurt: One last chance for redemption was lost to Mother Nature.
The Knights and Leopards had a pair of rather cruddy seasons, going 16-32 and 14-29 respectively. These two teams are the only two teams who will miss out on the four-team Patriot League playoffs that start next weekend. And to make matters worse, heavy rain in the Northeast washed out their final games of the season, ending their campaigns prematurely. And, well… maybe it’s just as well. Next year guys.