Thursday, October 26, 2006

DeLucia Brothers Featured

Matt Gottfried of The Latern writes this piece on brothers and Ohio State teammates -- Dan and Brian DeLucia.

Update: Here's another write-up on one of the DeLucia boys. Dan gets some love (and home cooking) courtesy of the official site of The Ohio State University.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Michigan Joins The Schedule Parade

The University of Michigan has released its 2007 schedule. Highlighting their non-conference competition are games against Mississippi State, Oklahoma and their annual tilt versus Notre Dame. The defending Big Ten Champions also have dates against Bethune-Cookman (3), Central Florida, Troy (2), San Diego, San Diego State, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Toledo and East Carolina(3).

Rich Maloney's team opens the home portion of their season with a three game series against Oakland followed by a single game against another Mid-Con foe, IUPFW.

Their Big Ten slate features home series versus Minnesota, Purdue, Illinois and Penn State. Michigan will travel to Northwestern, Ohio State and Iowa. Of course, the annual home and home and home series versus Michigan State remains as well. The Spartans will host the Saturday doubleheader in '07.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Penn State's 2007 Schedule

Penn State's baseball schedule for 2007 is available. However, it's not exactly readily available. First, you go here. Then scroll down to the future schedules and past results section. Change the 2006 entries to 2007 and you'll get a look at the Nittany Lions opposition for next year.

We already knew about the games against national runner-up North Carolina, but PSU also has a series against a Wichita State squad that will most likely be ranked highly and is harboring dreams of Omaha. PSU's pre-conference slate also features multiple match-ups with Kansas State and Centenary, single contests against Oral Roberts, Pittsburgh and OU. (At my house, OU is Oakland University. Nationally, OU is Oklahoma. However, I don't think the Sooners are visiting State College in March and I don't recall the Lions appearing on the Golden Grizzlies slate, either. So, which OU they are referring to is a mystery.)

A three game home series versus Central Connecticut State rounds out PSU's pre-conference schedule.

In the Big Ten, Coach Wine's squad will open at home against Minnesota. The rest of the home conference opposition consists of Northwestern, Purdue and Ohio State. Trips to Iowa, Michigan State, Indiana and Michigan comprise the road portion of the schedule.

Penn State recently revamped its website a bit and I like the changes. They just have to make the 2007 schedule easier to find.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tournament Format

Kendall Rogers of College Baseball is reporting that the ACC is about to change the format of their conference tournament. Following the lead set forth by the Big XII, the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament is going to change from double elimination to a pool format.

In pool play, the tournament opposition is split into two groups and the teams with the best record in each pool advance to play for the tournament title. This avoids the two-and-bbq result, as teams would always play more than two contests. It also helps easy the strain on pitching staffs.

Now that we have two conferences, and two power conferences at that, making the move to pool play, I wonder if the powers-that-be in the Big Ten would consider such a change?

Captains In Columbus

Seniors Dan DeLucia and Jacob Howell along with juniors Matt Angle and Eric Fryer have been named captains of the Ohio State University baseball team for 2007. In their comments about the upcoming season, I noted a repetitive theme -- defense.

It would be interesting to know if the players felt '06 was a poor defensive year or if Coach Todd is stressing defense this fall with the loss of two big bats (Ronnie Bourquin and Jedidiah Stephen) and the team's strong returning pitching.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

2007 Schedule Out For Ohio State

The Ohio State University has issued its 2007 baseball schedule. As mentioned here before, the Buckeyes will begin the year hosting their own tournament in Tampa, Florida. James Madison, Kansas State (doubleheader) and Seton Hall will all take on Bob Todd's squad February 23-25. The remainder of the pre-conference action is void of a national powerhouse.

In Big Ten play, the Buckeyes open at Bill Davis Stadium against Iowa. Other conference foes visiting Columbus next year are Michigan, Indiana and Michigan State. OSU's Big Ten road series are against Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State (to close out the season).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Losing The Recruiting Battle

Aaron Fitt at Baseball America rates the Top 25 recruiting classes in the country (subscription required). While it's no surprise to see Big Ten teams missing from the list, it's more than a bit disheartening to see that both Kent State and Evansville made the list.

Anyone at a Big Ten baseball program care to explain how Kent State and Evansville hauled in a better recruiting class than you did? Oh, I realize the rankings are just one guy's opinion. I also am aware that Evansville has been building a strong program and Kent State's coaches work as hard as anyone else, but getting better players than Ohio State, Michigan and Minnesota? That just doesn't seem right.

It would be different if the small baseball programs of the south and west were beating the Big Ten for players. I understand (and grudgingly accept) that schools with smaller athletic departments in places like Texas, Florida, Louisiana and California are signing better baseball prospects than the universities of the Big Ten. I don't like it, but such is life in college baseball.

However, let's forget the Central Floridas, Stetsons and South Alabamas for a minute. How in the world do Evansville and Kent State get tossed on a list with college baseball big boys like South Carolina, Clemson, Southern California, Miami (Florida), Cal State Fullerton and Texas when there isn't even a rumor about a Big Ten school on the list? How do Evansville and Kent State out-recruit Big Ten programs right in their own backyard?

It's baffling to see smaller athletic programs in the heart of Big Ten country beat the likes of Penn State, Purdue and Illinois for high school baseball players. It should also be disturbing to any of us (or both of us) that care about status of baseball in the Big Ten. At a time when many Big Ten programs either already have or are planning large scale renovations or completely new stadiums, it's remarkable to consider that the kids of the Midwest are opting to play baseball in the region, but at much smaller institutions.

The baseball coaches of the Big Ten have to overcome far greater obstacles than their brethren to the south and west -- a protracted road trip to begin each season, inclement weather at home, an inability to get college baseball's super powers to schedule a series in the north, a lack of revenue and tepid fan interest. To see them lose the recruiting battle to smaller conference baseball programs in the same geographic region is not something that should be added to the list. Nor should it be accepted.

Iowa, Northwestern Release 2007 Schedules

Both the University of Iowa and Northwestern University released their 2007 baseball schedules. Amongst the Hawkeyes' interesting pre-conference action you'll find, a three game series in the Stetson tournament. Including a game against the host, the Hawkeyes will face powers Notre Dame and Nebraska. The Cornhuskers will also play host to Iowa later in the season.

From Deland, Texas, Jack Dahm's squad travels west to Fresno, California. Iowa will face Fresno State in a two game series prior to playing in the annual Johnny Quick Classic where the Hawkeyes will have two more contests versus the Bulldogs. Dallas Baptist will be the other Johnny Quick opponent.

Iowa will begin conference play at Columbus against Ohio State. Minnesota, Northwestern and Purdue will be the Hawkeyes road competition in the Big Ten. At home, the Hawkeyes get Penn State, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Northwestern will begin the season in Texas. Texas Tech is first on the slate followed by a three game series with Notre Dame. NU has a three game visit to Beaumont, TX (Lamar, Arkansas State and Creighton) before moving to Arlington to take on UT-Arlington for three more prior to the Florida swing. Unfortunately, the Bradenton, Florida road trip remains a bit of a mystery as the opposition is TBA. However, we do know what Big Ten play will look like for Coach Paul Stevens' side.

Michigan will open the Big Ten season for NU at Evanston. The Wildcats also get Illinois, Iowa and Purdue at home in '07. The in-conference road series feature Indiana, Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan State.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Purdue's '07 Schedule

Purdue is the latest Big Ten program to release its 2007 baseball schedule. We already knew the Boilers were going to take on some tough competition in the pre-conference portion of their slate, as when Georgia and Auburn announced their '07 schedules each had dates with Coach Schreiber's team. Western Kentucky, UAB, Samford, Western Illinois and Ball State round out Purdue's pre-conference opposition.

The baseball Boilermakers have home dates in the Big Ten against Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State and Iowa. On the road, Purdue will face conference foes Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern.

There is the usual assortment of local and MAC competition on Purdue's midweek, in-conference schedule highlighted by a game with Notre Dame in South Bend. Check out the full details on the Boilers 2007 schedule by clicking on the link above.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Follow The Boilers' Black And Gold Series

The final two games of Purdue's Black and Gold Series will be available online via GameTracker. Unfortunately, for those of us interested in following such things, the next to last game was played this afternoon. However, the finale of the Boilermakers fall ball campaign will be online tomorrow afternoon.

It's a good sign to see Big Ten fall scrimmages getting some live online coverage. Perhaps, with Big Ten Television in the offing, we will get to see some of these midweek practice sessions live in the near future.

Mahler, Rose Named Michigan Captains

Head Coach Rich Maloney announced that SS Leif Mahler and CF Eric Rose will be Michigan's captains in 2007. The players, both seniors, were selected by their teammates.

The Michigan press release also revealed that the Wolverines will open the '07 campaign at the New York Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The opposition will be provided by Bethune-Cookman (two games) and Central Florida (a single contest). The rest of the Michigan schedule, not including the Big Ten portions we can piece together be examining other schools schedules, remains a mystery.

Aaron Hepner was also named as a volunteer coach. Hepner was a student assistant at Dayton in 2006.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gophers Release 2007 Schedule

The University of Minnesota released its 2007 schedule today. In addition to hosting the annual Dairy Queen Classic (Arkansas, The Citadel and Mississippi visit the Metrodome), the Gophers pre-conference slate features a trip to California. Once out west, John Anderson's squad will play two games against UC Santa Barbara and three games at Pepperdine.

In conference action, Minnesota will open the season at Penn State in the Nittany Lions brand new yard, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The road trips include Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Home dates in the Big Ten will be against Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State.

My Apologies

I accidentally posted some general sports stuff here instead of at my other blog, Beyond Boxscores. Apparently, I've spent so much time here, I can't imagine being anywhere else. My apologies for boring you with my Tigers rant and my assumption about MSU coach John L. Smith's fate in East Lansing.