In the nightcap, Florida and TCU met for a much ballyhooed rematch of Sunday’s opening night bout that left the Horned Frogs with their first loss of the bracket round. Florida’s pitching staff is masterful, and though they may score the most runs in this tournament field, they’re also not going to allow them, and the Gators have allowed just a single run in the CWS to this point, quite obviously the lowest runs-against rate of the group.
Florida pitcher Jackson Kowar and TCU man Mitchell Traver held each other’s opposite bats hitless through the first two frames, then Kowar surrendered a single to right and a strong double to left to plate the Frogs’ first run of the night.
A wild pitch moved TCU leadoff man Austen Wade over to third, and the buildup was on with two outs. Wade then scored on a strong Zach Humphreys double to left center, which has received a remarkable number of hits and homers, considering the wind blows in from that area of the park at TD Ameritrade. Never mind, though, since the wind blew out all day on Friday.
In the Hattiesburg regional, host Southern Miss found itself in trouble early against Illinois-Chicago, who’s playing in its first college baseball tournament in nine years. The Flames led 6-0 after the top of the fifth, but the Golden Eagles chipped away over the course of the next two innings, plating three then four runners in the sixth and seventh.
The most dramatic moment of the day’s action took place in the Fayetteville regional’s opener between Missouri State and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys carried a tenuous 5-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth with shutdown closer Trey Cobb on the hill. Missouri State’s slugging shortstop, Jeremy Eierman, then stepped to the plate with a man on first and two outs and ripped a bomb over the right field wall.
The Cubs have already visited the White House after winning the 2016 World Series. They visited the previous President, Barack Obama, who was not only a sports fan but also had Chicago ties that had a little something to do with how unusually quickly the customary championship trip occurred. Now, the Cubs are getting a second, less formal White House visit to see Donald Trump, and Joe Maddon immediately went on the defensive to claim that this is not a political statement.
Due to some atrocious weather in Fort Worth and Hattiesburg over the weekend, a handful of games were pushed to Monday of this week. As of Monday morning, in fact, three teams yet survived in Fort Worth: Dallas Baptist, Virginia, and hosts TCU were still duking it out for the rights to a super regional berth, with only TCU the sixth overall national seed having no losses.
In the Houston regional, Texas A&M got 8 1/3 innings from starter Stephen Kolek to shut down hosts Houston, 4-3. Mop-up man Cason Sherrod faced just one batter and stone-colded him to send the Aggies through to the super regional round. This is just filthy.
In the Lubbock regional, Sam Houston State went on a tear to win their way into the super regional, thanks to 4 2/3 innings of work by middle reliever Riley Cooper. Starter Seth Ballew got into trouble early and lasted just two innings, but the pen came in behind him to finish the job. Let’s all admire closer Nick Mikolajchak’s leaping celebration on the final strikeout.
The third inning of the Chicago White Sox-Detroit Tigers game on Sunday afternoon looked like a scene from an action movie as a stolen base attempt sent Jose Iglesias flying into the air where he collided with an umpire. It all happens so quick!
The Astros are currently in first place by a million games, but this is also a fine chance to add to a young, stacked organization and, oh, man, I can’t do this anymore.
We go every year for our anniversary. Can’t do August because that’s when her work starts up with a vengeance. Can’t go in July because of the All-Star Game and trade deadline for me. So we go in June. This year would be a couple weeks earlier than normal, but why would that make a difference?
Because of the draft, you idiot. There’s a baseball draft. The internet wants instant draft grades for some reason, even though they’re completely pointless, and I’m paid to write the baseball things that the internet wants. That’s my one-sentence job description, and by leaving before the draft, I’m screwing it all up.
The Royals’ system has been thinned out over the last few years, both because of win-now trades and sketchy drafting, and this is the highest they’ve picked since taking Hunter Dozier in 2013. They really can’t screw this one up, which is a tough thing to write about the 14th pick, considering there are more likely to be misses than hits in the middle of the draft.
The talent is there, but all of the other expected concerns are there, too. If the Royals can smooth out some of the rough edges, and if they can eliminate the larger questions about durability, this pick has a definite chance to work out.