Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday Odds And Ends

I'm skipping Thoughts From The Weekend this week. I'm sure it will return, perhaps, as early as next week. However, I do have some items to share. I'm going to start with a healthy dose of news concerning Ohio State.

* On the strength of a twelve game winning streak, Ohio State has climbed into the national polls. The Buckeyes (13-3) are ranked twenty-ninth in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll.

* The Buckeyes most recent win gave Coach Bob Todd his 900th triumph. Congratulations, Coach Todd.

* Gate proceeds from tomorrow night's contest between Toledo and OSU will be donated to the funds established for the Bluffton baseball team.

* Obviously, I'm happy to see OSU get into the national rankings, but how can the NCBWA voters ignore Minnesota? In his current pseudo-RPI rankings, Boyd Nation has the Gophers at #16. In ISR ranking, Minnesota checks in at #12.

In the NCBWA Top 30 poll, Minnesota has wins over #7 Arkansas, #10 Pepperdine and #18 Mississippi. Plus, the Gophers swept a two game series at UC Santa Barbara. Overall, Coach Anderson's side is 14-5. Yet, Minnesota isn't even listed as "others receiving votes".

It would be shameful if not for the fact that the polls don't mean much. Thankfully, college baseball has a legitimate national championship playoff system. (Making it infinitely better than it's pigskin cousin.) However, when fighting for respect and attention, the polls can help perception at home as well as around the nation.

* For those interested in such things (and why wouldn't you be?), Mr. Nation also has conference RPI totals, as well.

* Penn State opened Medlar Park at Lubrano Field this past weekend. 2,989 PSU faithful showed up to watch over three days. A good start to a new era in Penn State baseball.

* As if the PSU attendance figures weren't enough, it's time for more number crunching from yours truly. Yes, it's the much anticipated first review of OPS figures for 2007. For those of you new here, I usually review On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage numbers on Wednesdays during the Big Ten regular season. They usually get their own post, but it's starting to look like my schedule may be tight tomorrow, so I'll pass these figures along here and now.

One other thing before we begin. Remember, between you and I, you are the math major. If you spot an error, you know what to do.

The list of Big Ten regulars with an OPS figure above 1.000 is limited to eleven batters. I found that number to be a bit smaller than I anticipated, but I'm not drawing any conclusions from it. Lars Davis of Illinois paces the conference with a 1.339 mark. Second is Purdue's Jordan Comadena at 1.227. Mike Mee of Minnesota is third at 1.137. Another Boilermaker checks in at number four, Ryne White is at 1.135. Fifth place belongs to Jason Christian of Michigan at 1.115.

Next is another shortstop, Jason White of Iowa. White has an OPS of 1.100. Fellow Hawkeye Dusty Napoleon is seventh at 1.063. Northwestern's Antonio Mule is at 1.059. Kyle Hudson, the baseball guy who plays some football, is in ninth at 1.033. Tenth place belongs to multi-position start J.B. Shuck of Ohio State. Shuck's OPS is 1.025. Finally, Nate Recknagel of Michigan occupies the eleventh spot with an OPS of 1.007.

* Two scores before I call it a day:

Michigan 10 Indiana-Fort Wayne 2 (box)
Eric Rose had three hits and a steal. Adam Abraham had two hits and two RBI. Derek VanBuskirk homered and drove in two. Freshman Eric Katzman worked four innings yeilding three hits and striking out five to post his first collegiate victory.

Indiana State 4 Illinois 0 (box)
Ryan Snowden's three hits were the highlight for Illinois.