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Schoch Talk: Peyton Holt’s deke, A&M-UGA craziness, fungo golf + Indiana State

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What a week it was in college baseball. We got to see guys like AJ Gracia set the record for RBIs (44) in a single season by a Duke freshman, to Charlie Condon breaking both Georgia’s single-season home run record (29) and career home run record (54) with one swing of the bat. We also got to see a game with 17 runs scored in the first inning in true college baseball nightmare fashion, so let’s begin there. 

Georgia and Texas A&M Do Not Care About Your Pitch Clock 

This is an absolute nightmare for all parties in college baseball. The best result you can hope for after a game like this is to just completely forget it ever happened. Win, lose, or draw, it is just a rough feeling to spend that much time in the first inning. It’s like when you go to a buffet that you are excited to go to and you fill up your first plate with nothing but noodles and chicken. That’s a heavy plate to go through, and the subsequent plates are likely to be significantly less in terms of quality. For the Georgia Bulldogs, that is exactly what happened, they went to the buffet and loaded up on carbs instead of going for a smaller portion, higher flavor, sampler plate. I say all this to say Georgia got all their scoring done early and after going up 9-0 in the first, Texas A&M kept constantly filling up the plate, ultimately having 19 runs to their name by the time the check was paid, and they were back in the car loosening up their belts (a post buffet tradition unlike any other). 

While as a player it was rough, as a fan I was big time into it. The power that was advertised heading into this matchup was on full display and within the first 55 minutes fans were able to witness names like Corey Collins, Fernando Gonzalez, Charlie Condon, Jace LaViolette, Ted Burton, and Travis Chestnut all leave the yard. 

There was no one better to sum it up than a good friend of the program, Texas A&M’s Hayden Schott: “I’ve never experienced an inning of baseball like that in my life. It was the most horrific and euphoric hour of one inning baseball I’ve ever been a part of or seen.” From the insight we have gained this season, I can only imagine what the environment in the dugout was like, but it is safe to say the bogs have been rattled and we are just glad everyone made it out alive. 

Also, just a quick hat tip to Georgia Starter Brian Zeldin, who came in with no outs in the first gave up some runs, then limited the number one team in the nation to one run over the next 5 innings. That is not easily done and is honestly huge for a team’s success.

Peyton Holt, the Deke Heard Round the World 

College baseball is great because every weekend there is a new play that makes us think, wait what just happened, and this was certainly one of those plays. This is the type of play you need to watch a couple of times to fully understand what is going on. This play came with one out in the eighth inning of a game the Razorbacks were winning by one run with the bases loaded. To say it’s a game-saver is an understatement. It is a routine fly ball to center field, and it looks like a guaranteed sacrifice fly. As the ball passes its apex and starts to descend, Holt fakes as if he caught the ball. Moments later the ball lands in his glove and he can get the ball in to complete the inning-ending double play. That was a lot, but the simplified version is, that Holt faked that he caught the ball before he did, which resulted in Florida runners getting confused on when to tag up, saving the game. Honestly, this play was so impressive it probably made people forget about the fact that Peyton’s home run earlier in the game was a key reason why they had a lead to defend in the first place. 

Trees Bend They Don’t Break (Hope You Had a Great Arbor Day)

The Indiana State Sycamores have won 16 straight conference series, which needs to be talked about more. An interesting point about that streak is that they are a perfect 16-0 on Saturdays. I need to know more about their killer weekend routine because clearly it works. The streak had the potential to be put to an end with SIU taking the opening game, but naturally on Saturday tides quickly turned in favor of the Sycamores. Already leading 3-1, redshirt senior Grant Magill stepped up and belted a mammoth grand slam well out of Itchy Jones Stadium. As far as Sunday’s game, the fellas plain and simply took care of business, winning the rubber match by a score of 7-2. On Sunday, Magill had a 2-run home run to his name, and Luis Hernandez also hit a 2-run bomb of his own.

It’s hard to imagine a world where these Sycamores fall, but if they do, do not be surprised if people try to turn them into a canoe… I remember in second grade being taught that sycamore trees were considered the Ferrari of canoes back in the day, so naturally, I needed to work that one in there. 

Pitchers Are Economically Sensible Athletes

Look, I am like any other American out there I love myself a good deal, I see 3-for-1 anything and I’m buying. You are just losing money if you don’t, especially if those fellas at Frito Lay are ever running that 3-for-1 promo on Tostitos Scoops. Anyway, there is a lot to talk about when it comes to this clip. First off, why are we bunting up six with no outs in the fifth? I thought the point of going up big was to say screw it to approach and test out how far the human body can whack a home run. Anyway, in baseball you will hear it a lot, whether it’s players, coaches, or fans, “The Game Knows”. Is a bunt the right call here? Fundamental baseball run manufacturing will tell us it probably is. 

Cole Carlon on the mound on the other hand had some different plans, such as a 1-3-6 inning-ending triple play. At its core, this play was able to happen because of Cole executing a strike, just letting the batter bunt the ball. Then as soon as he sees it go up the kid is on it like a jungle cat. Just goes to show you, kids, throw strikes and do your job, and the game will reward you from time to time. 

 (Full disclaimer: I am not a coach, and I am certain USC knows what they are doing better than I do. Just feels mean to make dudes execute bunt defenses down 6). 

Student Manager Fungo US Open

If anyone is doubting conference realignment and is upset that Oklahoma and Texas are joining the SEC, then this piece is for you. Oklahoma and Texas had a bit of a weather delay over the weekend with lightning in the area and while both teams sought shelter the student managers made sure any fans still in the yard got a show. In the true “backbone of this nation” style, managers from both Oklahoma and Texas courageously braved the elements to put on a show. Now some responses mentioned it’s not a good idea to do this because you could get struck by lightning, but managers don’t care about the risks. These optimists heard that and probably thought, well we could also just not, so they hit the field and got to it. From my understanding, the two Texas managers took the cake so got to give some extra love to them and Chase Anderson, a bullpen catcher and student manager from the Longhorns, for sending this my way! 

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