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Schoch Talk: Livin’ life like LSU Cory, Two Mayos + laundry specialist Nick Pinto

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Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of attending a weekend series of college baseball at Dudy Noble Field, at Polk-DeMent Stadium, and let me tell you it was a transformative experience. I will have a longer piece written about that trip later this week, but to sum it up briefly, The Dude abides. Obviously, that is a clever quip about a stadium often referred to as “The Dude” but when you look at what this quote means it certainly applies to what they have going on down in Starkville. In the Big Lebowski when The Dude says it at the end to The Stranger, The Stranger says, “The Dude abides. I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there, the Dude, takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.” I think that applies to Dudy Noble Field and the fans within it. No matter the college baseball season we as fans are having, it is nice for me to know that in the outfield in Starkville, there are a ton of college baseball fans having some beverages, grilling meats of all varieties, and having a good time. (BTW it’s a good season down there in Starkville).

Aside from my trip there were a ton of exciting things happening in college baseball that deserve some attention: 

I Want to Live My Life More Like Cory 

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Well, you get a phenomenal interview — that’s what happens. For the past three years in college baseball, I have been walking on eggshells around the East Coast, knowing that any number of Tommy White’s 66 career home runs could finally land and hit me right in the head. I always thought that is how I would go out, not to be morbid, but it feels fitting. Anyway, the point is every time I see a Tommy Tanks home run, I think to myself, if that were to have hit someone surely they would just wilt into a pile of dust. Well not when that someone is Cory. Cory was camped under it but let me tell ya as a guy who shagged a lot of BP, catching hard-hit baseballs is not easy. This one looks like it was one of those knuckleball style home runs where it’s squared up so well it does not have much spin, so if you wanna think “man how could he miss that?” Just imagine if Ben Joyce and Tim Wakefield were morphed into one person … not a fun scenario. 

I am still trying to decide whether the pins on Cory’s hat helped or hurt our friend. At first, I thought that it would just mean more pain, because of the home run hammering the pins in. Upon further review, I think that the pins more so acted like a barrier or a shield that maybe weakened the blow. Either way, Cory, we salute you and if you are reading this, congrats you have officially made it through the concussion protocol and are good to get back out there! 

Christian Moore, Just Means Moore Home Runs

Earlier this year on The Schoch Factor Podcast, I mentioned that Tennessee junior first basemen Blake Burke had become the school’s all-time home run leader when he hit his 41st home run against the Auburn Tigers. This is an incredible feat, and most of the time career records will hold for at least a year. This past weekend against Kentucky, fellow Junior second basemen Christian Moore had other plans. To me this is honestly a team guy move out of Christian, I am not super familiar with the risks of climbing mountains, but I do know from Mr. Deeds, that you never want to do it alone. In Sunday’s game against the Wildcats, Christian decided to not only tie his friend Blake for the career record with his 44th of his career. He even went so far as to also belt his 45th and his 46th career home runs in Sunday’s game as well, just giving himself some breathing room for when Blake ultimately decides to have a 6 home run day. I love the internal competition that these two have going and it has been fun to keep up with it, I am just curious who cares about the record more? I think the answer to that will be whoever is willing to turn down draft money to come back to school just for the record. (If you are Blake or Christian reading this please do not listen to this advice.) 

Jac Caglianone Playing the Hits

Jac Caglianone has done it all this season, from multi-home run games to turning in a bunch of quality starts, the guy just gets it done. If you are a Gators fan going to a game, you may not know what to expect, but you can be just about certain that you will watch your 2-way guy leave the yard at some point. If you were fortunate enough to go to any games in the 9-game stretch starting April 6th against Missouri and ending on April 19th against Vandy, then you were able to witness Jac tie the longest home run streak in NCAA history. On Sunday’s game against Vandy, what was the 10th game, Jac did not leave the yard, all he did was go 1-3 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored. Still a good game, but in true Jac Caglianone fashion in Tuesday’s game against the Stetson Hatters, he decided to make up for lost time and belted 2 home runs, so now we as analyzers of the college game can simply say, Jac Caglianone has hit a 11 home runs in the past 11 games, which is just a much easier way of tracking it. 

Team Guy of the Year: UC Irvine’s Nick Pinto

Oftentimes in college baseball people will talk about the best position to play. Is it cooler to be the star shortstop or the starting center fielder? Who lives a better quality of life, bullpen guys or starting pitchers? These are all understandable questions and personally I thought the best job to have was closer — you got to mess around for 7-8 innings with your friends, then lock-in for an inning to go out and throw a baseball as hard as you can. While I stand by this choice I always thought being a starter would be nice, go out, throw once a week, take the rest of the week light with no high-octane innings. For most starting pitchers that is indeed the case. They go out to do their thing on their slotted day and then they can cruise the rest of the week. Not UC Irvine’s Friday guy Nick Pinto, because after games he decides to spend his free time doing laundry for the team. In this clip you can hear him say “When our shortstop Woody Hadeen wants to dive up the middle, I gotta pay the price and I gotta scrub his jersey…”. For a pitcher to be great, it takes a village. Every ball in play has a chance to hurt a pitchers stats, and it is on their position players to make the play behind them. If I am playing behind the dude who is making sure I look good out there, you can bet I would want it just a little bit more. Also, it’s important to note, the teams “laundry guy” currently has 3.05 era across 59 innings pitched and has struck out 60 batters. 

Is Mayonnaise an Instrument?

No Patrick, Mayonnaise is not an instrument, but Jackson Mayo is a lefthanded pitcher at Rice, and Jackson Mayo is an outfielder at USF. I have been excited for this matchup for quite some time, it’s really one of those “do you remember when” moments when Jackson Mayos collide. I really wanted to give a shoutout to Jackson Mayo from Rice, prior to the weekend he had sent me a DM asking if he should get a picture with the other Jackson Mayo and somehow, they made it happen. I think this just squashed all the rumors, many had swirling around about how you never see Jackson Mayo and Jackson Mayo at the same time. Well now we have, and I can rest peacefully at night. 

Is Penn State Baseball Joey Chestnut in Disguise?

2,632. 762 (755). 8,591. These historic numbers of records, ever cemented in time. First off, the Iron Horse, Cal Ripken played in 2,632 baseball games in a row, a record that will stand for generations. Next, Barry Bonds hitting 762 home runs, steroids or not – the dude put the ball over the fence more than everyone else. For those who don’t like Barry Bonds, pull out one of those Men In Black forget devices and then continue reading. Next, Hank Aaron who of course is MLB’s all-time home run leader with 755. Then the final number you see there is 8,591. That is the number of hotdogs that were sold at the latest Penn State Baseball Dollar Dog night. For those of you playing along at home that means they were consuming dogs at a rate of 955 dogs per inning (or of course as measured by the metric system, the DPI). Every inning there was a monetary exchange of nearly $1,000 all for hotdogs, and I think that is truly a beautiful thing. Again, the point of the baseball games for most people isn’t the hotdogs but look at this sea of fans at the Penn State game. Aside from the fact that the Nittany Lions are having a solid 19-17 season, another reason the needle has been moved in State College needs to be attributed to the Dollar Dogs. For that we thank them for their service!

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