The Ouch List: Who Had Weeks To Forget?Analysis
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This weekend marked the roughly the first full month of the 2019 college baseball season and things are starting to shake out both in and out of the rankings. Conference play has heated up already in a few locales, while more begin this coming weekend. But one thing has stayed completely consistent about this season; the Ouch List and its levels of pain never go out of vogue. We’re always here doling out tickets on the Pain Train.
This week saw some surprising results and some painful outcomes. Walk-offs, or jog-offs as I call them, were the theme of the weekend. But not just via the home run or the RBI single, we’re talking jog-offs due to bases-loaded walks and balks and plunks. Weird stuff. But that’s our sport for ya’. Let’s get to the list of teams who need a dose of Bayer Aspirin. Maybe two.
The Ouch List…
What Happened: Lost two of three at LSU
Why It Hurts: Both losses came on Tigers final at-bat.
I’m not sure how improved the Bears are supposed to be this season (though they DO have Andrew Vaughn, of course), but this is one series that they can look back at and say they should’ve swept the Tigers. Friday’s 4-3 loss came after the Bears got Hal Hughes to strike out to seemingly end the game, only to see it turn into a wild pitch where he reached first. Then, Josh Smith came up and stroked a two-run single with the bases loaded to win it. The Bears won the second game 5-2 and then lost the rain-shortened third game after blowing a 4-1 lead an allowing LSU to score two runs in their final at-bat to win it 5-4.
What Happened: Swept by UC Santa Barbara… at home.
Why It Hurts: Supposed to be a statement weekend.
As my colleague Kendall Rogers wrote, this was supposed to be a statement weekend for the Green Wave, but instead it may just be a coming out party for the Gauchos. TU pitching got worked over pretty good by the Gaucho bats, giving up 31 runs in the three games. In Sunday’s 16-6 loss, the Greenies walked eight and plunked six. Hell, they had five walks and four hit batsmen in the first two innings alone. This just tells me that preseason hunch about UCSB might just be true. Team worth keeping an eye on.
– North Carolina
What Happened: Lost all three games at Clemson.
Why It Hurts: First real test of the year and came up snake-eyes.
Man, that three game sweep at the hands of the Tigers was pretty painful. Game one’s 3-2 loss came when the Heels allowed CU to score two runs in the ninth inning, the winning run coming on a balk. Yes, it was a “balk off.” Sunday’s loss was just as painful. The Heels led 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, got two out, then allowed a base hit, and got crushed when Logan Davidson went yard to give Clemson another jog-off win. Oh yeah, and the Heels lost the middle game by a football score, 17-3. Pain man. Pain.
What Happened: Went 1-3 this week
Why It Hurts: Out of site, out of mind?
Sometimes this happens to Big 10 teams, they lose a few games early on and fall out of the rankings. This wasn’t a terrible week for the Wolverines, they did beat UCLA on a Friday night, for example. But two of their three losses were by a single run, including the Sunday game vs. Oklahoma State at Dodger Stadium where the game was thought to be ruled a tie after nine innings due to a curfew. The game was extended for one more inning, which saw the Cowboys score on a bases-loaded walk and then hold the Fighting Schembechlers scoreless. But I think this is a pretty good UMich team, especially on the mound. They’ll be back.
– Grand Canyon
What Happened: Swept in three straight by Illinois.
Why It Hurts: Hard to gauge these guys
With a record of 6-9, the Antelopes are difficult to figure out. They have some good wins already, including winning at TCU (and nearly winning the series) and also won two of three on the road at USC and beat Nevada in the midweek. But this weekend, hosting Illinois, you’d figure they would get a win or two… or three. Instead, they lost all three and none of them were close to being Ws. In fact, in the 6-3, 5-2 and 9-2 losses, the purple gang managed just 12 hits all weekend. Again, this might be a little harsh treatment of GCU, because I happen to think Illinois is really really good.
– Tennessee pitching
What Happened: They got Fresno’d
Why It Hurts: Nobody saw this coming.
This one is a lot like week one where Vanderbilt’s pitching got a spot on the Ouch List but not the whole team. The Volunteers won the series two of three over Fresno State, but boy did their pitching suffer. UT came in with a staff ERA of 0.94 and having given up 14 runs in 13 games. But this weekend, the visiting Bulldogs put up 22 runs on 35 hits. Oh and they ended up handing Tennessee its first loss of the season in Sunday’s 10-7 decision. Not a big deal though, just a little bit of a wake up call for the Big Orange before they start up SEC play.
What Happened: Lost three straight at Stanford
Why It Hurts: They had so much momentum after sweeping LSU
Take away the four-run ninth inning on Thursday that gave the Longhorns a 4-0 win in game one vs. Stanford, the rest of the weekend was a real drag. Bryce Elder started game two but never got out of the third inning. Texas was outscored 21-3 the rest of the series. But they don’t have time to trip over their lip, after Tuesday’s game vs. Texas Southern, they’ll have Texas Tech, Arkansas and TCU coming up. Buckle up boys.
– Wake Forest
What Happened: Went 1-4 this week
Why It Hurts: The Deacons are becoming the Preseason Top 25 Tank Job.
As I mentioned in Off The Top of My Head, this year it appears there aren’t many Preseason Tank Jobs candidates for this year. Unfortunately, Wake could be the only one. After losing twice to both Coastal Carolina and Notre Dame this week, the Deacons now sit at 9-8 on the season. The worse news is that going 1-2 against the Irish is not a good recipe for becoming the ACC contender we expected. Wake still has Duke, Louisville, VaTech, NC State, Florida State, Miami and Clemson as part of their ACC slate.
– Ohio State
What Happened: Went 0-3 this week
Why It Hurts: Buckeyes gone cold
Ohio State was one of those Big 10 teams that looked good early on, especially opening with a sweep of Seton Hall and a win at FGCU. But this past week saw the Bucks lose 8-3 to Bethune-Cookman, 7-1 to Michigan State and 8-5 to Western Carolina. That puts the Scarlet & Gray at 7-7 on the young season. The good news for the Buckeyes is that the next four weekends are winnable, taking on Lipscomb, Hawaii and then starting Big 10 play with Rutgers and Northwestern.
– Cal State Fullerton
What Happened: Went 1-3 this week
Why It Hurts: They are reverting to old form
You know how the Titans operate, right? They schedule incredibly tough and have a black-n-blue record through the first few weeks of the season and then start hitting their stride in April and May. At this same point in 2018 the Titans were 4-10. In 2016 they were 6-7. After losing to Arizona State in the midweek they lost two of three at New Mexico, so now they are sitting at 6-7 once again. Don’t worry, the Titans will probably get back to their winning ways in the weeks ahead. Probably.