■ Tech baseball looks to jump start weekend (RedRaiders.com)
“If I knew for sure we’d win Saturday and Sunday, I probably would (take it),” head coach Dan Spencer said. “But fundamentally that’s a hard recipe. It’s a dangerous recipe from that standpoint. But I’m trying to be greedy and trying to get that good start on Friday and put us in a position to where we have a chance to win all three.”
To that end, Tech (24-20, 10-8 in Big 12) will trot out its fourth different Friday starting pitcher in the past five weeks when sophomore left-hander Ben Flora (3-0, 3.38 ERA) takes the mound for his third start of the season and first in a Big 12 game. Flora’s been one of Tech’s best relievers and will require another pitcher to step up and take his role the rest of the weekend if he is successful against Missouri (22-17, 6-8).
It might also force Spencer to bring in closer Chad Bettis to finish off a potential win on a Friday, leaving Tech vulnerable in the late innings in one of the other two games of the series. That, however, is not a concern for Bettis or the Red Raiders at the moment.
■ Tech Baseball faces Missouri (dailytoreador.com)
Tech pitcher Chad Bettis said this weekend’s series is important for numerous reasons. While third place probably makes it easier to give Tech a regional berth right now, Bettis said the Red Raiders still have some work to do.
The junior also said the Tigers had Tech’s number last year and revenge serves as a motivating factor. Last year, the Tigers embarrassed Tech in a three-game sweep. Mizzou outscored Tech 42-14.
However, Bettis said no one is looking past Mizzou and the only thing Tech is worried about is making a regional.
“I don’t think we’re looking ahead at all,” he said. “We are looking ahead towards a regional, but besides that, nothing more. Every game counts. We’re not looking ahead, Saturday, Sunday. We’re not looking ahead towards the next Baylor series. We’re not looking ahead towards Nebraska. It’s right now.”
MU in the Minors
■ Twins phenom Kyle Gibson is a pitcher on the fast track (StarTribune.com)
Righthander Kyle Gibson showed on Thursday why he might move through the Twins' farm system quickly.■ Black Knights outslug Owls (theprogressnews.com)
Last year's first-round pick threw a one-hitter for the Class A Fort Myers Miracle in a 2-0 victory at Jupiter, Fla., using only 91 pitches in a game that lasted 2 hours, 2 minutes.
He walked a batter and hit a batter, but both were erased by double plays.
The lone hit was an infield single to lead off the sixth -- but Gibson picked him off. That means he faced the minimum 27 batters over nine innings.
Of his 91 pitches, 65 were strikes. He struck out six.
"I just got everything going," Gibson said. "It was just one of those games where I had a lot of good defense behind me. They were playing really good, and it worked out for me."
With one lead frittered away already, the Knights picked up some insurance runs in the sixth, with Cody Harsomchuck and Trevor Coleman hitting consecutive doubles to get things going.■ Fight is back in GreenJackets' finale against Sand Gnats (Augusta Chronicle)
. . .
Coleman had three hits on the day.
Ryan Lollis (06-09) went 2 for 4 with two RBI, including a home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth. The homer was the first of the year for Lollis and just his third in 65 games at the professional level.College Baseball
"I don't do it very often. I mean, I don't hit home runs ever," Lollis said. "I had to look back at it four times to make sure (it was gone)."
Lollis' shot easily cleared the right-field fence to put Augusta up 8-3.
■ A good discussion about the details behind those (sometimes conflicting, - Warren Nolan vs. Boyd) RPI rankings at CollegeBaseball.Rivals.com, with a less rambling (at this point) follow-up discussion here
Boyd Nation: The Strength of Schedule ranking that's published with the ISR's has always been reverse-engineered -- the program computes the ISR and then backtracks from there by removing the winning percentage component to come up with the SoS. When I made the changes last year to include margin of victory into the rankings, I neglected to take that part back out when I was computing SoS. I've corrected that in the code (the results aren't published yet, because this morning's run is still updating the mobile pages; I'll rerun the ISR part when it gets done); it doesn't make a huge amount of difference for most teams (and please understand that it doesn't affect the ISR at all, only the SoS part of the report), but it does appear that teams who have won by a large margin were having their SoS overstated.■ Ten common sense, time saving rule changes (CollegeBaseballToday.com)
. . .
SoS as I publish it is just the average of a team's opponents' ISR (or the ordinal rank that that number gives relative to everyone else).
7- Any batter that goes to re-adjust the velcro on his batting gloves is given a strike.
8- When a coach calls time out to go out to the mound, a 60-second clock starts. That should speed up any slow half-steppers out there. (Call this the “Skip Bertman Rule” for how painfully slow he used to limp out to the mound)