College Baseball Today- 141 Games on Opening Day

The Season Begins!

(2/16/18) There are many fans hopeful their collegiate team will be playing in Omaha in June for the College World Series. It all starts today for most team. There are 297 teams with 10,484 players that begin their quest!

Opening Weekend Matchups

The first weekend of the season is difficult to judge after it is over as to wins and losses. Don’t rush to judgment if a Top 25 team loses. It will happen on this weekend. There are some great matchups to watch, though. Duke is at Vanderbilt which is more than two smart schools getting together. It is likely both teams will get a postseason invite. On the West Coast, we find Cal State Fullerton going to face Stanford for the weekend. Another game to watch is LSU at Texas in which the LSU Tigers must replace 40 home runs and 196 RBI’s from their offense along with 56 of their 72 starts from a year ago. My favorite matchup is for in-state bragging rights with Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi facing off.

One of the best tourneys takes place in Myrtle Beach with the Baseball at the Beach Classic which will feature host Coastal Carolina along with Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Virginia Tech. I went to their event probably five years ago and it is a great way to start the season.

Enjoy the season as it should be a fun one.


College Baseball Today- Missouri Valley Preview


Here is a look at the Missouri Valley baseball season for 2018. They are listed in the order that the coaches select them to finish this year. The Valley website has provided the following preview:


Dallas Baptist welcomes back seven position players with over 100 at-bats and 10 pitchers from a team that finished the season with a 42-21 record, en route to capturing the MVC tournament title. The Patriots ended the season in the NCAA Regionals with a loss to in-state rival TCU. Senior outfielder Devlin Granberg, last year’s MVC batting champ, headlines a Patriot offense that ranked 18th in the nation in scoring in 2017. Granberg hit .359 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 47 RBI a year ago. Junior third baseman Tim Millard will bring the power to the lineup, blasting 17 doubles with a team-high 12 home runs and 62 RBI in 2017. The Patriots will also return a pair of first-team All-MVC selections from last season. Junior catcher Garrett Wolforth (.289, 13 2B, 7 HR) and preseason All-American Jameson Hannah (.328, 69 runs, 19 2B, 9 HR) will look to build off last season’s success. The Patriots enter 2018 as one of just six teams in the nation to post four consecutive 40-win seasons and are one of just 13 teams to advance to the postseason in each of the last four years. DBU’s 11th place pre-season ranking from Collegiate Baseball is the highest preseason ranking in school history since the Patriots joined the Division I ranks in 2004. The Patriots will also enter the season ranked in two other preseason polls (No. 18 & No. 17 USA Today Coaches).

Missouri State returns four position starters and eight pitchers from last season’s 43-20 squad that won the MVC regular season title with an 18-1 record. The Bears won the Fayetteville Regional with a win over host Arkansas and fell in the Super Regional to host TCU. Keith Guttin enters the 2018 season as the sixth-winningest active head coach in Division I baseball with 1,219 career wins. and the Bears will enter the season ranked No. 22 in the preseason Collegiate Baseball poll. Jeremy Eierman was a first-team preseason All-America pick by Collegiate Baseball and after ranking fifth nationally with 23 home runs last spring. Eierman will look to replicate the production from 2017 after hitting .313 with 67 runs scored, 15 doubles, 23 home runs and 68 RBI. Junior outfielder Hunter Steinmetz will also be a key to the Bears lineup this season after earning second-team All-MVC honors a year ago. Steinmetz hit .300 with 60 runs scored, 11 doubles, seven home runs and 42 RBI in 2017. On the mound, Missouri State welcomes back MVC Pitcher of the Year and preseason All-American Jake Fromson. Fromson posted a 2.25 ERA in 37 appearances, going 8-3 with three saves. The reliever tossed 76.0 innings, allowing only 46 hits and 19 earned runs with 88 strikeouts. Junior Dylan Coleman will look to anchor the Bears’ rotation, finishing last season with an 8-3 record in 16 starts. Coleman boasted a 4.80 ERA in 99.1 innings of work, striking out 106 batters over the course of the season.

Indiana State returns six position starters and three key pitchers from last season’s 29-26 team. Since 2010, any time Indiana State has recorded 29 or fewer wins the team has responded with 35 or more wins the following season. Second-team All-MVC selection Dane Giesler returns to lead the Sycamore lineup this spring. Giesler batted .291 with 58 hits including a team best 17 home runs. Infielder Clay Dungan returns for ISU after starting in 55 games last season hitting .275 with 60 base hits and nine home runs. Indiana State will look to fill a void in the starting rotation this season after its top arm was taken in the 11th round of the MLB Draft. Junior RHP Tyler Ward will look to fill the spot after a solid year on the mound. Ward finished at 4-5 with a 4.16 ERA in 84.1 innings. Two Bullpen arms in right-hander Ethan Larrison and southpaw Tristan Polley return for the Sycamores this season as well. Larrison appeared in 19 games last season and struck out 32 batters while walking only one. Polley struck out 35 batters and walked just four in 26.2 innings.

Southern Illinois returns three position starters and six key pitchers from its 2017 team that finished 27-30. The Salukis will be led offensively by senior second baseman Connor Kopach. Kopach earned honorable mention All-MVC accolades last season, hitting .272 with 44 runs scored, 14 doubles four triples, four home runs and 34 RBI. Logan Blackfan enters his senior season with the second-most career doubles of all active players in NCAA Division I, boasting 54 two baggers after his junior season. The Salukis return two key arms to the mound in 2018. Senior right hander Michael Baird started 13 games last spring, going 4-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 79.0 innings of work. Senior reliever Ryan Netemeyer led the MVC with 15 saves last season and posted a 3.48 ERA in 31.0 innings of work. In 27 appearances, Netemeyer allowed only 12 earned runs and 20 hits, striking out 32 batters.

Illinois State welcomes back all nine position starters and most of the pitchers from last year’s 16-40 team. The Redbirds finished the season strong, advancing all the way to the championship game of the MVC Tournament. ISU was the only league team to defeat league champion Missouri State, as the Redbirds accomplished the feat three times. The Redbirds lost 12 games by one run last season and six more by only two runs. Illinois State returns 95.2 percent of its total starts and 95.6 of the team’s at-bats from last season. Most of the pitching staff also returns, including 78.6 percent of starting assignments and 77.3 percent of innings pitched. Junior shortstop Owen Miller will lead the Illinois State offense. Miller hit .325 with 36 runs scored, 19 doubles, three triples, six home runs and 48 RBI a year ago, earning second-team All-MVC honors. Senior catcher Collin Braithwaite is the top returning power bat for the Redbirds. The senior hit .239 with 12 doubles, six home runs and 36 RBI in the middle of the order a year ago.

Bradley returns eight position starters and six pitchers with over 30 innings of work from last year’s 20-31 squad. The Braves welcome back last year’s MVC Freshman of the Year winner as Brendan Dougherty prepares for his sophomore season. Dougherty led the Braves with a .305 batting average, adding 33 runs scored, nine doubles and 15 RBI. The power for the Bradley lineup returns as well as senior first baseman Derek Bangert looks to improve upon last year’s team-high of 14 home runs and 42 RBI. On the mound, junior lefty Cole Cook claimed an 8-6 record in 2017. Cook held a 4.77 ERA in 11 starts and 77.1 innings of work. The 2018 campaign will mark the ninth season in which the Braves return at least one pitcher who won at least seven games (Cook) the previous season and the team’s top hitter by batting average (Dougherty). The last year it occurred, 2015, the Braves finished 36-21 overall and earned their first NCAA Regional appearance in 47 years.

Evansville returns eight position player starters and six pitchers with over 20 innings of work from last season’s 18-39 team. Senior catcher Travis Tokarek returns after earning second-team All-MVC honors last season. Tokarek hit .265 in 2017 with 31 runs scored, 13 doubles, eight home runs and 36 RBI. Tokarek will be joined in the middle of the Aces order by senior Andrew Tanous. Tanous posted a .303 batting average last season, adding 32 runs scored with 18 doubles, four home runs and 31 RBI. On the mound, senior right hander Justin Hayden is the lone returning starter for Evansville. Hayden started 15 games last spring, going 4-8 with a 5.99 ERA. The senior tossed 76.2 innings and struck out 58 batters.

Valparaiso will compete as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference for the first time this spring. The Crusaders return 12 position players and 14 pitchers from last year’s team that finished 24-29 overall as a member of the Horizon League. Three Crusaders earned Horizon League all-freshman team honors last season, the first time Valpo had three players on the all-freshman team since 2013. After posting a 4-1 record, 2.93 ERA and seven saves, right-handed pitcher Jon Tieman was named a Freshman All-American, becoming the first Crusader to earn that high honor since shortstop Spencer Mahoney in 2012. The Valpo offense has enjoyed a significant statistical uptick over the last three seasons. The Crusaders held a combined average of .279, slugging percentage of .387 and on-base percentage of .372 from 2015-2017, all improvements from a .265/.351/.337 slash line from 2012-2014. Senior outfielder Giovanni Garbella is the top returning power bat for the Crusaders, hitting .302 with 17 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBI last season.


DBU will host the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Championship, May 23-26, in Dallas, Texas. All games will be played at Horner Ballpark and will be shown live on The Valley on ESPN3.







College Baseball Today- Big Ten Conference Preview

(2/14/18) The Big Ten comes from a cold climate area of the country and therefore doesn’t get many teams into the Field of 64 in most years. It is those from the South, Southeast and West that get in. Today, we look at the Big Ten and what each team brings to the field. This review will be brought to you in alphabetical order but Indiana and Maryland are the two favorites in the Big Ten. In 2017, this conference got five teams into the tournament but none of them made it out of regionals.

Illinois– The Illini was 23 games last year but really struggled in conference contests by winning 9 games and losing 15. Tow of the best bats return and second baseman Michael Massey brings in his .330 average and 6 homers along with 36 runs batted in. Jack Yalowitz, the right fielder, led the squad with 12 home runs, 44 runs batted in and a .335 batting average along with 10 stolen bases. The Illini will be counting on them to keep it going.

The pitching staff gets a bit more seasoning as Joey Gerber returns after tossing 33 innings and fanning 43  with a 4.26 ERA to help him save 8 games. Ty Weber threw over 78 innings and finished with 53 strikeouts and a 5.51 ERA. Look for transfer hurlers Sean Leland and Andy Fisher to help out on the mound. The pitching projects to be the most concern for Illinois and head coach Dan Hartleb.

Indiana– The Hoosiers are the class of the conference this year after a good season in 2017. Lat year they won 34 games and were 14-9-1 in the Big Ten Conference. Coach Chris Lemonis will return 7 starters return from the field with third baseman Li=uke Millers and his 15 doubles, 10 home runs, 52 runs scored and 42 RBI’s leading the return. Matt Lloyd and Logan Sowers combined for 24 homers and 89 runs batted in for Indiana as they come back for 2018.

The entire rotation and bullpen return for Indiana and will be led by Jonathan Stievers and his 57 strikeouts, Pauly Milto with 65 punch outs and Time Herring who sported a 3.91 ERA. Out of the bullpen, Matt Lloyd will return from his solid 2017 season along with Cal Krueger and a 2.82 ERA in 60 innings of work.

Iowa- It was a great season in 2017 for the Hawkeyes as they took the conference championship and won a game at the Houston Regional and defeat the host in one game. They ended with a 39-22 record and were 15-9 in conference play. This season appears to project differently as leading home run hitter as Jake Adams and his 29 bombs have graduated. Leading the new charge will be outfielder Robert Neustrom who drove in 55 runs while hitting .310 and knocking nine bombs. Catcher Tyler Cropley comes back and is possibly the best defensive catcher in the conference who had a solid .260 batting average in 2017. Watch for Ben Norman to add to his outstanding freshman season.

Brady Schaunel has bypassed two MLB draft picks and comes to Iowa from nearby Parkland College (in Illinois). He brings a great fastball to the mound and Coach Rick Heller is excited to get him in the rotation. Also, Nick Allgeyer will get a weekend rotation spot after missing last year with Tommy John surgery. One of the top closers last year returns for Iowa as Zach Daniels returns from a 3.22 ERA and 55 strikeouts.

Maryland– The Terrapins were good last year as they were 38-23 but struggled to beat ranked team as they went 3-8 in those games. The cupboard is far from bare as Outfielder Zach Jancarski is back after hitting .325 a year ago with 50 runs scored, 17 doubles, 3 home runs, 26 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Marty Coses had 46 runs batted in to go along with 45 doubles, 13 homers and a .322 batting average. He returns despite being drafted in the 25th round by the Astros. On the infield, AJ Lee, Will Watson and Nick Dunn come back and freshmen Randy Bednar and Tommy Gardiner look to contribute to the squad.

On the hill, the weekend rotation of Tyler Brohm and Taylor Bloom return to make that a solid 1-2 punch. Ryan Hill and John Murphy close out the staff that come back for 2018.

Michigan– The Wolverines were fantastic during the regular season with 42 wins but flopped miserably in the postseason with two consecutive losses in the conference tourney and then out quickly in the regional. Leading the charge this season is second baseman Ako Thomas with his .354 average last season with 23 stolen bases and 41 runs scored. Also, outfielder Miles Lewis and Jonathan Englemann return to the team. Four of the top six hitters from 2017 are gone and the onus is on the returnees.

Another issue comes from the pitching staff and 43 starts from last year are gone. Alec Rennard is back as he pitched 65 innings with a 4.43 ERA last season along with Jayce Vancena and his five starts. The bullpen will be turned over to and anchored by Tommy Henry who tossed 31 innings last year and fanned 39 batters.

Michigan State– The Spartans started strong last year with a 9-1 record and then fell apart. They finished with 29 wins and didn’t qualify for the Big Ten Tournament. Returning from a fantastic freshman season is outfielder Bryce Kelley. He hit .353 and drove in 21 runs along with 13 stolen bases. Chad Roskelley is back after hitting .324 last year and Royce Ando will man the shortstop spot. Look for freshman Adam Proctor and Bailey Peterson to get plenty of chances to be part of the offense.

Jake Lowery will get a rotation spot after fanning 70 in 51 innings along with Mike Mokma and Riley McCauley on the mound for this young team.  Ethan Landon is expected to be a key contributor to the pitching staff as well.

Minnesota– The Gophers won 36 games on the year with 15 in the conference and has a solid season in 2017 with a three seed in the tourney. Luke Pettersen returns after hitting .354 and driving in 30 runs. Micah Coffey, Jordan Kozicky and Toby Hanson return to make their top four batters back for another year.

On the mound, Reggie Mayers, Nolan Burchill, Brett Schulze and Nick Lackney return as starters with Fred Manke and Jackson Rose doing bullpen duty. The Gophers return very little experience and will need some young pitchers to step up in 2018.

Nebraska– The Cornhuskers made the NCAA Tournament last year as they won 16 conference games and 35 overall but went out in two games. The Rays drafted outfielder Scott Schreiber in the 27th round but he will return after hitting .330 on the yar with 15 doubles and 7 home runs. Shortstop Angelo Atlavila drove in 39 runs with 14 doubles and a .316 average and is back for this year. Others to return are Jesse Wilkening, Mojo Hagge and Luis Alvarado for offensive help.

Jake Hohensee went 7-3 last year in 80 innings and sported a 4.39 ERA including 57 strikeouts. The rotation is in need of help and will call on Jake McSteen and Matt Waldron to replace those gone to graduation.

Northwestern– The Wildcats finished under .500 after a 0-7 start. Things got better for them as they made it to the Big Ten Tournament championship only to lose to Iowa. The bats that return look like they will need some work as Alex Erro hit .275, Jack Claeys at .256 and Connor Lind finished at .255. A couple of freshmen, Jack Kelly and David Dunn, will get plenty of looks to break into the lineup in 2018.

On the hill, Hank Christie returns after pitching 83 innings and fanning 53 batters. Josh Levy comes back after 35 innings and Sam Lawrence threw 47 innings and led the team with a 2.85 ERA. Look for freshman Quinn Lavelle to make an impression for Northwestern.



Ohio State– The Buckeyes finished 22-34 and were 8-16 in the conference. The leading hitter that returns will be Dom Canzone. He hit three homers, drove in 26 runs and had a .343 batting average. Things fall down from there with Brady Cherry, Connor Pohl and newcomers Malik Jones, Kobie Foppe and Dillon Dingler being called upon to fill the gap. Three pitchers with experience return for coach Greg Beals with Ryan Feltner, Connor Curlis and Seth Kinsler getting the call.

Penn State– After a dismal 18-37 record, the Nittany Lions will be looking for improvement as Braxton Giavedoni will return from a decent freshman season and Conlin Hughes will continue to hit. Help is needed on the field and at the plate. Not much returns from the pitching staff except Justin Hagenman and Myles Gayman along with Nick Distasio and his 4 saves.

Purdue– The Boilermakers won 29 games and an invite to the Big Ten Tourney only to get ousted in two games. Freshman Ben Nisle will be getting a chance to start in the outfield. Jacson McGowan returns along with Nick Dalesandro, Harry Shipley and sophomore Skyler Hunter. There are a few transfers, Braden Giroux and Nick Everts that will be asked to contribute in 2018.

The top starter, Tanner Andrews comes back after a 4.52 ERA in 83 innings and Gareth Stroh will hope to improve his numbers from last year. Others looking for time with be Ross Learnard, Dalton Parker and freshman Cory Brooks. Look for transfer Ryan Beard to vie for a rotation spot.

Rutgers– Head Coach Joe Litterio is looking for help from a 2017 squad that won only 19 games. Things should improve with the players that are returning. Shortstop Kevin Welsh, centerfielder Jawuan Harris and catcher Nick Matera will be called upon to lead the improvements. Pitchers Serafino Brito, John O’Reilly and Joe Neglia all come back and this will be the strength of the club. Freshman Harry Rutkowski and Eric Heatter will e given chances all season to make the weekend rotation.









College Baseball Today- Conference Predictions and Field of 64

College Baseball Today- Conference Predictions and Field of 64

(February 12, 2018) This week the games begin!!! I am looking forward to watching, listening, reading and discussing some College Baseball from around the country. First, I will begin by predicting the Top Four teams in each conference. Please note that I also will put the teams that I predict will be in the Field of 64 to begin their trek to Omaha for the College World Series 2018 and they will be in bold type.

There is a difference in how the Field of 64 is constructed in 2018. In the past, the selection committee seeded the top eight team in the nation and paired them with a host site based on approximate geography. This seemed to always pit the same two teams in the first round against each other almost every year. This year, the committee will seed all the 16 host sites and pair the regionals accordingly. 


  1. Florida State
  2. Louisville
  3. NC State 
  4. Clemson

also in Virginia, Duke, Miami, Wake Forest and UNC


  1. Houston
  2. E Carolina
  3. UConn
  4. UCF

Atlantic 10

  1. VCU
  2. St. Louis
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Davidson

Atlantic Sun

  1. Stetson
  2. Florida Gulf Coast
  3. Jacksonville
  4. North Florida

Big Ten

  1. Indiana
  2. Maryland
  3. Minnesota
  4. Michigan

Big 12

  1. Texas Tech
  2. TCU
  3. Texas
  4. West Virginia

also in is Oklahoma

Big East

  1. St. John’s
  2. Seton Hall
  3. Xavier
  4. Creighton

Big South

  1. Winthrop
  2. Liberty
  3. High Point
  4. Radford

Big West

  1. Cal State Fullerton
  2. Long Beach State
  3. UC Santa Barbara
  4. Hawaii


  1. UNC Wilmington
  2. College of Charleston
  3. Delaware
  4. Northeastern


  1. Southern Miss
  2. Rice
  3. Florida Atlantic
  4. Florida International


  1. Wright State
  2. Illinois Chicago
  3. Northern Kentucky
  4. Milwaukee


  1. Yale
  2. Dartmouth
  3. Columbia
  4. Pennsylvania

Metro Atlantic

  1. Canisius
  2. Marist
  3. Niagara
  4. Fairfield


  1. Kent State
  2. Central Michigan
  3. Ball State
  4. Ohio


  1. Bethune-Cookman
  2. Norfolk State
  3. Florida A&M
  4. NC A&T

Missouri Valley

  1. Dallas Baptist
  2. Missouri State
  3. Indiana State
  4. Southern Illinois

Mountain West

  1. San Diego State
  2. New Mexico
  3. Fresno State
  4. Nevada


  1. Bryant
  2. Central Connecticut
  3. Wagner
  4. LIU Brooklyn

Ohio Valley

  1. Morehead State
  2. Tennessee Tech
  3. Belmont
  4. Jacksonville State


  1. Oregon State
  2. Stanford
  3. UCLA
  4. Arizona

also getting in is California


  1. Navy
  2. Lehigh
  3. Bucknell
  4. Holy Cross


  1. Florida
  2. Arkansas
  3. Vanderbilt
  4. LSU

also in are Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A&M


  1. Mercer
  2. UNCG
  3. West Carolina
  4. Furman


  1. Sam Houston State
  2. Southeastern Louisiana
  3. McNeese State
  4. Central Arkansas


  1. Oral Roberts
  2. South Dakota State
  3. North Dakota State
  4. Western Illinois

Sun Belt

  1. South Alabama
  2. UL Lafayette
  3. Coastal Carolina
  4. UTA


  1. Grambling
  2. Texas Southern
  3. Alabama State
  4. Jackson State


  1. Grand Canyon
  2. New Mexico State
  3. Sacramento State
  4. Seattle

West Coast

  1. San Diego
  2. St. Mary’s
  3. BYU
  4. Gonzaga

It is not an exact science but this gives me a baseline as I watch the teams this season. According to my picks, the ACC will get nine teams in and the SEC will feature 10 teams. This is a huge number of teams. However, the Big Ten has two but the Big 12 could get a many as five teams into the field of 64.

The College World Series takes place in Omaha, Nebraska at the TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 16 and will conclude on June 27th. You may want to get your tickets early.
















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