The Ouch List: Who Had Weeks To Forget?Analysis
Want to get in-depth coverage? Subscribe to D1Baseball
Man alive, this month of March is supposed to be benign. I mean we are still a long way away from the uncaring month of May and the downright cruel month of June. But this week we saw a lot of pain coming from this early conference play we’ve seen around the country. Big name programs and small name programs alike are not immune. In other words, the Pain Train don’t care. If you get your ticket punched for a ride, you’re stuck Chuck.
This week, amidst all this March Madness on the basketball court, we saw a bunch of heartbreak on the diamond as well. Though it’s not as crushing as things will get in the weeks ahead, we’re still going to dole out some pain here now.
The Ouch List…
What Happened: Swept in three at Vanderbilt
Why It Hurts: My skepticism may just be affirmed.
As I mentioned in my Five Quick Hits yesterday, it’s not completely shocking that the Commodores won the series but nobody was expecting it to be by a combined score of 34-6. I have to admit, I had a single raised eyebrow on the Gators when I saw them sweep Yale but with two of those games being by a single run. Then Mississippi State took two of three from them in Gainesville last week. In Nashville this weekend the Gators scored just six runs on 16 hits, while the Commodore pitchers K’d 27 Gator batters.
What Happened: Lost all three games at Texas Tech
Why It Hurts:
This team might just be running on fumes right now. The Wolverines have played 22 games so far this season and like many northern teams they all have been played on the road. This time of year is a real grind when you spend so much time on planes, on buses, in hotels, you just have that travel fatigue. They lost three games by scores of 11-2, 10-3 and 8-5. Like Florida above, I would not have guessed this kind of spread in the three games. They did manage to pull off a 16-6 win vs. Stetson in their second game on Saturday in Lubbock.
What Happened: Swept in three straight at home vs. NC State
Why It Hurts: Close but no Cuban cigar.
We all took note of the Hurricanes after beating Florida on a Friday night and then winning a series vs. Georgia Tech. But in the last two weeks The U has gone 1-5 vs. North Carolina and N.C. State. This weekend’s sweep at the hands of the Wolfpack was competitive and came down to the wire in all three games, so it’s not like they’re getting blown out. Most painfully, the Canes allowed the Pack to score four runs with the help of three Hurricane errors.
– AIR FORCE
What Happened: Went 0-5 this week
Why It Hurts: Losing close games to good teams.
Believe it or not the Falcons entered this week with a record of 9-5 and an RPI of No. 60. But this week the Falcons lost twice at Nebraska and thrice at home to Dallas Baptist. The even more painful part is that three of those five losses came by a single run and one of the losses to DBU coming in 12 innings and another by giving up four runs in the top of the ninth inning in a 6-5 decision. The Falcons fell apart on Sunday losing a ridiculous 30-7 game to the Patriots. In that getaway game, the Pats Austin Bell went 6-fo-6 with a home run, three doubles and nine RBI.
What Happened: Swept at East Carolina
Why It Hurts: The March Madness double whammy.
Poor Knights fans. They went through a lot this weekend. I mean, a lot. Not only did their Knights basketballers miss upsetting Duke in the NCAA Tournament by the barest of margins, but they also saw their baseball nine succumb in all three games to East Carolina. And we really didn’t see it coming either, since Tuesday saw them beat Florida State to boost their RPI up to No. 19. The Pirates jumped on the Knights with 10 runs in the first three innings of game one and never looked back. The won 13-8 on Friday, 7-4 on Saturday and 6-5 on Sunday.
– OLD DOMINION
What Happened: Swept at Southern Miss
Why It Hurts: Blow up the ERA.
It’s no great shame to get beat in Hattiesburg by the Eagles, but THIS kind of woodshed job? Egad. The Monarchs came into the week with the 11th-best team ERA in the country at 2.69, but in three games at USM they relented 34 runs on 37 hits, 16 walks and six HBPs. The offense didn’t help much either as the Monarchs were blanked on both Friday and Sunday, 11-0 and 9-0. The Monarchs drop to 15-8 and 1-5 in Conference USA play.
What Happened: Lost two of three at home to Georgia Tech
Why It Hurts: Nobody quiets these bats… till now
Until this weekend the Yellow Jackets seemed like a dormant volcano. They were sitting quietly most of this early season – though they did beat UCLA on a Friday night – and then all the sudden when ACC play began, the Techsters made big headlines by putting the total kibosh on the Cardinal bats in the first two games of the weekend.
Tech actually came THISCLOSE to sweeping as they couldn’t quite get the force out at second base for the final out. Big credit to Alex Binelas for hustling all the way from second base to score the winning run. Here is how that looked…
— Louisville Baseball (@LouisvilleBSB) March 24, 2019
– AUBURN’s STARTING PITCHING
What Happened: Got rocked at Mississippi State
Why It Hurts: Shows a dent in the armor.
The Tigers lost two of three at MSU this weekend, which is no great shame. But when your starting pitchers combine to give up 14 runs on 16 hits in just 8.1 innings, you’ve got a problem. Tanner Burns, who was so brilliant against Cincinnati three weeks ago when he struck out 15 and tossed a complete game two-hitter, was human this week, giving up four runs on five hits in five innings. After that Carson Skipper didn’t get out of the first inning and Elliott Anderson pitched only into the third. Both gave up five runs in their short outings. Auburn desperately needs Jack Owen and Davis Daniel back int the weekend rotation.
What Happened: Lost two of three vs. Western Kentucky
Why It Hurts: The season is quickly souring
The Panthers not only lost two of three to the Hilltoppers, but they are also 2-6 in the last two weeks, which included a series loss at Marshall. They are now 11-12 overall and looking like they are heading for another middle of the road season. They finished 26-28 last season. Keep in mind this is a program that in the fall of 2017 signed the No. 1 recruiting class in the country (according to some outlets).
– THE FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM
What Happened: Fake news.
Why It Hurts: Because it proves once again the nature of baseball and print deadlines don’t mix.
Here is a shot of the front page of Saturday’s paper after TCU’s ninth inning rally produced a 3-2 win for the Frogs…