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Three Quick Thoughts on College Baseball’s Third Weekend

1. In what will almost certainly not become a regular weekly feature, here’s this past weekend’s weirdest inning:

UAB 2nd – M. Busby grounded out to 2b. R. Ussery grounded out to ss. K. DePew tripled to right center. J. German hit by pitch. J. German advanced to second on the error; K. DePew scored on an error by c, failed pickoff attempt. C. Arrowood singled to center field, RBI; J. German scored. C. Arrowood stole second. J. Austin walked. N. Crawford singled to shortstop; J. Austin advanced to second; C. Arrowood advanced to third. J. Frost singled to shortstop, RBI; N. Crawford advanced to second; J. Austin advanced to third; C. Arrowood scored. P. Palmeiro doubled to right center, 3 RBI; J. Frost scored; N. Crawford scored; J. Austin scored. M. Busby struck out looking. 6 runs, 5 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.

All I wanted to do was check in and see how Ryan Woolley and Jamal Austin performed, but, damn, this mess of an inning captivated my attention. Cleveland State managed to get the first two outs on routine ground balls (ED NOTE: no clue if the grounders were in fact routine, but allow me to flex a little creative license here) until all heck broke loose. In order, Cleveland State allowed the following before ending the inning with a strikeout: 3B – HBP – E – 1B – SB – BB – 1B – 1B – 2B. It wasn’t all fun and games for UAB, at least not for JR DH Michael Busby. As astute readers may have already noticed, one M. Busby bookended the 6 run, 5 hit inning by making outs.

2. Hard to believe, but Indiana State RHP Jason Van Skike’s no-hitter was not the most dominant pitching performance of the weekend. In fact, Van Skike’s no-hitter wasn’t even the headlining athletic event of the Indiana State weekend. Great as Van Skike’s performance was, it’s awful hard to top the basketball team winning a conference title and sewing up the school’s first NCAA tournament birth in ten years. Also really hard to top what UCLA JR RHP Trevor Bauer did on Saturday. Lines like Bauer’s (10 IP 4 H 1 ER 5 BB 17 K) just don’t come around every weekend. According to the numbers whizzes at College Splits, Bauer’s Game Score of 92 topped Van Skike’s of 84. According to me, 10 innings and 17 strikeouts are both eye-popping numbers.

3. Maybe it is because I’m almost ready to wrap up my three week odyssey of ranking the best 2011 college outfield prospects (coming later this week!), but, when looking at box scores this weekend, something about the hitting lines of outfielders kept jumping out at me. Arguably the best weekend for any college outfield prospect belonged to Central Florida’s 2011 draft-eligible true sophomore Ronnie Richardson. His weekend (7-13, 3B, 2B, BB, 3 RBI, 4 R, K, 2 SB) bumped his season numbers up to .409/.518/.591 with twice as many walks as strikeouts (10 BB/5 K) and 4 stolen bases in 6 tries. I’m extremely bullish on Richardson, a prospect I consider a rich man’s LeVon Washington. To use that comparison as a means of comparing the relative strengths of the 2010 and 2011 drafts (stay with me here), Washington (a prospect I was and am down on) ranked 11th among college outfielders in 2010. Richardson, a prospect I think I like more than most, will probably wind up somewhere between 15th and 25th on my 2011 outfield list. Crazy.



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