Monday, June 18, 2012

Who Needs the College World Series?

Unfortunately, I do. The College World Series has cut into my attendance of DC Grays games (still on the UCLA bandwagon, but at this point things are looking great for the Gamecocks), but I’ve had a chance to take in 3 1/3 more Grays game lately (well, two full games and a combined 12 innings from two other games). Before I get too far behind here’s a recap of some of the action:

June 10 vs. Bethesda Big Train
An ugly, ugly game for the Grays. Some credit should be given to the Big Train, Tucker Tobin (Senior, George Mason) had a big day with two singles and a homer, and Bethesda showed off it’s speed, running wild on catcher Blake Overmiller (Soph., Cantonsville CC) all day. 2B Michael Bass (Junior, UNC Wilmington) had three steals by my count (though the official card gave him only two). The game saw one of Overmiller’s throws sail into left field (allowing a run to score), misplayed pop-ups by RF Matt Kianka (Soph., Central Arizona CC) and 1B Kris Moules (Junior, Morehead State), four total DC errors, and a run given away when Tobin waltzed home from third after DC shortstop Zach Lopes (R-Soph., Delaware) seemed to forget to check the lead runner after receiving a throw at second from Overmiller.

The game gave me my first look at relievers Charlie Baxter (Junior, Williams College), who did his best to put out the fire, going three innings without giving up an earned run (though the defense would spot Bethesda two more); and Chris Nee (Senior, DC’s Catholic University), a sidearm throwing southpaw who pitched a perfect 8th (had it not been for another error, of course).

Big Train with a Big Win, 11-0

June 11 vs. Baltimore Redbirds
Anyone else find it odd a Baltimore-based team is called the REDbirds? I only caught the tail end of this one, (a 6-2 Baltimore win) but a few tidbits:

-John Beaubien (Junior, Seton Hall) hit a MASSIVE home run, across the street. Of his seven hits so far (7-for-26, .267), four have been for extra bases.

-I must be missing something, regarding Billy Bissell (Junior, Gallaudet University). On almost every pitch Bissell, a center fielder, seemed to be standing straight up and on his heels, and twice during this game he came up about a step short chasing a fly ball to the gap. I can’t imagine an everyday player at the college level could’ve made it this far playing on his heels without a coach saying something, so perhaps he’s just very discreet when getting into a set position. For what it’s worth, he made a great throw in the 7th inning to gun down a runner at third.

 -RHP William Kelly (Soph., UNC Wilmington) has a scary violent sidearm delivery. He pitched a decent three innings out of the pen (4 K’s, 2 BB’s, and that Beaubien moonshot) and consistently pounded the inside half of the plate to right handed hitters.

June 14 vs. Rockville Express
It was the Jason Seitler show. The Junior RHP from Harford CC had a nice 11-5 breaking ball working for him all day and ended up with a 5-hit, 1-run, 123-pitch (my unofficial count) victory. Besides a little laboring a in the 4th and 5th innings and a Josh Powell (Senior, Alcorn State) solo homer in the 8th, it was fairly easy sailing for Seitler.

There were four more SBs against Overmiller (to be fair, some of these are just the result of great jumps off Grays pitchers). Two from Gary Schneider (Senior, Virginia Tech) in the 5th helped manufacture the game’s first run, and Christian Wolfe’s (Senior, UNC Greensboro) steal in the 6th (his second SB of the day) would lead to a sac fly that proved to be the difference in the game.

-Chris Nee with another solid relief appearance for the Grays, going 2.2 perfect innings.

Express win, 2-1.

June 16 vs. Herndon Braves
As a Dodger fan I’m ashamed to say I reinforced the LA stereotype and bowed out early, leaving the game in the 7th inning. This is not something I would normally ever do (I swear!) but it was after a long day at work and I wanted to catch the end of the Kent State/Arkansas game (8-1 final, good call, Brandon!).

It was 2-0 Braves when I took off and Herndon would go on to win, 5-3. Here’s what I saw:

-Seth Greene (Junior, Virginia Commonwealth) ended up with the victory, going five innings with five strikeouts and 3 walks. Chase Lemaster (Soph. Radford) relieved him, in the one inning of action I saw from him he badly crossed up Bissell and Moules in breaking pitches to record a couple of K’s.

-Manny Cabreja (Junior, Columbia University) was behind the plate for DC but didn’t fair much better than Overmiller. Cabreja had a stolen base against him and sent a pick-off attempt sailing into center field.

-In other Grays defensive news: It pained me to give yet another E to 3B Troy Marrow (Junior, North Carolina Central) who has muffed a few routine plays this year. On the whole he has still shown great instincts at the hot corner. And I’ll be damned if flat-footed Billy Bissell didn’t gun down another base runner (with an even better throw!); this time the victim was at home plate.

Even though I know you’re all waiting for more (well both of you are) I can’t promise much more coverage until after Omaha.

Update: So apparently right around the time I posted this the Grays overcame an 8-0 deficit to get a 12-11, walk-off win. Good thing I'm sitting here on the couch giving you all the updates on 11-0 games that happened over a week ago.