D1 Weekend Wrap-up

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

A bit late and since I already recapped a lot of the first games from the Easter weekend series', let's get right to it and this time I will keep it pretty short.  Afterall, in the case of some teams, their recent play has more or less put their hopes of conferences titles or NCAA bids out of reach unless there are some BIG turnarounds...

Ok, I finished the rundown this evening and wow, I am kind of harsh on some of our local teams.  Why?  Well, there are quite a few talented and really underachieving teams in the region and with the season more than halfway finished (though the conference seasons aren't that far along yet), time is running out.  I think these teams have basically showed their hands and we know what they are by now.

Willow Glen @ St. Francis

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Obviously the score, a 22-0 SFHS win, tells a big part of the story.  Further background info tells us that WGHS is in a league tournament starting today and that the coaching staff decided to hold back some of the primary pitching for the Rams.  Now, the score might indicate that WG pitchers who did throw had little to offer and to a certain extent, they were overmatched by St. Francis, but again, there is more to the story than that, which is the way it works in baseball and frankly, all sports.  Read on because really what needs to be known is that though St. Francis is more talented and in my opinion, the better team, I don't think they are 22 runs better.

Big win for Saint Mary's could be a season changer

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Saint Mary's was down 4-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, staring at the possibility of a seven game losing streak and a 1-7 WCC record.  This is a team with talent but after showing signs of combining their considerable talent with the know-how of winning games, they had started to resemble a seriously underachieving team.  Well, momentum in baseball is a funny thing.  Some will say you are only as good as your next game's starting pitcher and I tend to agree, but some teams just need that moment when they fight back, say enough is enough, and TAKE a win, refuse to lose and get on a roll.

Was Friday's comeback win over Pepperdine that moment for Saint Mary's?  I don't know, but I would not be shocked if it is.  They have had good pitching for most of the year but two of their most important hitters and two of their most talented players, 3B Patrick Wisdom and OF Brenden Kalfus have scuffled for much of the year, especially Kalfus.  Well, on Friday he hit a HUGE 3-run homer in the eighth to put the Gaels up and after being down 4-0 going into the bottom of the 4th, Saint Mary's scored six unanswered runs to steal the victory. 

The Kalfus homer is a potentially HUGE moment for this team.  Both his season and the team's season quite possibly hung in the balance in the eighth inning when he came up with two runners on, trailing 4-3.  Another empty at-bat would have likely sealed another loss and piled on a very disappointing season for Kalfus.  However, he came through and just when it might have seemed darkest for him and his teammates, there is now light at the end of that tunnel.

Now the onus is on senior RHP Kyle Barraclough, who starts game three on Saturday.  Barraclough has had a good career at Saint Mary's but has not been very good yet this year.  He has walked too many hitters and generally speaking, just hasn't been good enough, despite a very nice 2.40 ERA.  I dare say he has been just good enough to lose and that is why he is 1-4 on the season.  How can he be 1-4 with a 2.40 ERA?  Well, 31 walks in 45 innings and allowing six unearned runs are clear indications that he hasn't made good enough pitches when he has really needed to.  If he can bounce back and help to lead the Gaels to a W on Saturday, you just might see a talented team go on a hot streak.  Stay tuned, things could get very interesting for the Gaels really soon.  They just need to catch a Wave on Saturday.

D1 weekend play underway

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

College teams started their weekend series' on Thursday this week, due to Easter Sunday.  Some clubs got off to great starts for the weekend (Cal, Cal Poly, Nevada, Stanford) but others continue to struggle (USF, St. Mary's)...

The good...

- Cal is at USC this weekend and looking to build off the big series win last weekend on the road at Texas.  Well, they got off to a great start with a come from behind 5-4 win, scoring two in the top of the ninth to steal a win from the Trojans.  Tony Renda hit a double to score the winning run.  Cal is now 2-5 in the Pac-12 and if they can somehow sweep this series, they would have to be considered a team to pay attention to.  Cal typically runs hot and cold and because they have talent, if they get to running hot, it can lead to an extended good streak.  Of note, LHP Michael Theofanopoulos got the start on the mound in game one agaisnt USC.  That spot had belonged to Justin Jones but he really struggled his last two times out.  Nice adjustment by the coaching staff.

- Stanford got a MUCH NEEDED win at Washington.  Why was the win so big?  Well, the Cardinal were swept last weekend at Arizona and they need to get a sweep of their own to make-up for those three losses.  Junior RHP Mark Appel went the distance for Stanford, throwing a four-hitter in the 5-2 win.  Stanford played error free baseball and the offense posted 12 hits.  They are now 3-4 in Pac-12 play. 

D1 Weekend Wrap-up

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

News and notes from the D1 action this past weekend... it was good for Cal and Nevada but basically bad or awful for all the other local clubs.

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