Sorenson’s Ouch ListAnalysis
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Sorry for the slight delay in doling out this week’s Ouch List, I had an Ivy League Playoff doubleheader yesterday that took precedent. But let’s get to this now. Tell you what, we’ll do it speed-round style. No fluff, no muss, just the pain.
Here are the ones who are trying to recover from broken hearts and bruised egos right now.
Yes, I have to start with the one I saw in person. Normally, losing in a playoff to end your season is painful enough, but the way this went down… yikes. The Bulldogs lost a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth of game three by giving up a hit, a walk, hitting two batters and throwing two wild pitches, the last of which scored the winning run for Princeton.
– St. Mary’s
Aw, the Gaels. I wrote about them in the last edition of Off The Top Of My Head. Now they’ve lost three of four and seen their RPI freefall from No. 55 down to No. 78. But by losing two of three vs. Pepperdine, they also drop from first place to third place in the WCC. Most assuredly, winning the conference tournament is the only way into the NCAAs.
Yes the Wildcats got swept in three straight by Ole Miss. Yes, their conference record dipped below .500. Yes they lost a midweek game to Indiana. And yes, despite going 1-4 this week their RPI improved from No. 53 to No. 48. Of course.
– Florida State
Again, the Seminoles have proven to be a much different team away from home, this time dropping a series to steadily improving Duke and also dropping a 6-2 game at Jacksonville. If you’re keeping score at home, the Noles are now 7-10 away from Dick Howser Stadium. The RPI sinks from No. 6 to No. 14.
– NC State
Okay, we see you Wolfpack, you are sitting there bright and shiny at No. 6 in the updated RPI, but we are looking at you with a jaundiced eye for sure after losing three straight to Louisville as part of a 1-6 skid. And on top of that coach Elliott Avent got bit by a copperhead snake. Yes, pardon the pun but this team seems to be snakebitten of late.
Old adage in Pac-12: You take care of the home fires and win on the road when you can. Well the Huskies have the double-edged sword of losing two of three at home this weekend and the indignity of having it come at the hands of their sworn enemy, the Washington State Cougars. Egad. And you know the RPI is going to drop, from No. 35 to No. 49.
Oh my poor Bluejays. There was actually talk of them possibly hosting a Regional at TD Ameritrade Park. But this week saw them lose three of four games including two in a row at Xavier on the Musketeers’ last swing of the bat. Oi vey. The RPI has dropped from No. 21 two weeks ago to No. 39 today.
Usually a mid-major or Northern team that has a faceplant of a weekend this late in the season can sabotage their own at-large hopes. Lucky for the Wolverines, losing three games this weekend only cost them a few slots in the rankings. But man, did I mention those three losses were to that hated team down South? Yes, UMich was outscored 18-7 in three games at Ohio State.
The RiverHawks are not only on a 3-16 skid. Last month, they split a pair of one-run games to Hartford in a hard-fought weekend series. But this past weekend ULM lost three games in a rematch at Hartford by a combined 54-20. Understatement ahead: It’s been a tough final month of the season.
Not often a team with a winning record for the week gets on the Ouch List, but J’ville was on the cusp at No. 54 and coming off a win over Florida State earlier this week. Then a loss to UCF and three wins vs. No. 254 New Jersey Tech pulled their RPI down to No. 61 and out of at-large position. Man, it just ain’t fair sometimes.
– Southeastern Louisiana
Not only did they lose the first two games of the weekend to New Orleans, but one of the best pitching staffs in the country got lit up, out scored 25-12 and out-hit 34-20 in first two games. SLU was on a 9-1 streak coming in and did manage to salvage the Sunday game by a more normal 4-3 score. But keep an eye on how this team reacts after this poor weekend.
– Oregon State
Since I saw them at Utah a couple weeks ago the Beavers have gone 5-9 and are currently losers in five of their last six. Worse yet, their RPI has plummeted from No. 40 to No. 66 after losing two of three to rival Oregon this weekend. Man, that hurts. A couple of weeks ago there was talk of them being one of the few chances of a Regional out West.
– North Dakota
Okay listen up you Ouch List denizens listed above. You think you had a tough week? Take a back seat right now. Check out the rough week the Fighting Hawks (or Fighting Sioux, if you’re a traditionalist) had. First they found out the program won’t be saved on Tuesday, then they lost all three games in the home finale vs. New Mexico State by a combined 17-2 and getting shutout twice. Injury, meet insult.