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  • USF @ WSU

    USF comes to town this week for a pivotal series for both clubs at the Eck. Split DH on Friday (1 and 6), 2pm Saturday and noon on Sunday are the scheduled game times. However the weather forecast has changed somewhat markedly and rain is definitely possible. Keep your eyes open for possible changes.

    USF will come in confident having won 3-4 at Memphis this last weekend. They are 10-10 in the league (they lost a home series vs Tulane due to contact tracing for Covid) and will certainly not be just playing out the season. They can still finish 3rd and should battle all weekend.

    The last time the 2 teams met was the last regular season series of 2019. The 3 games decided who would continue their season in the Conference tournament and who would go home. It was a gorgeous weekend in Tampa and WSU opened with a 7-6 nail biter in game 1. Paxton Wallace's grand slam gave the Shocks a 6-1 lead as the sun set on a beautiful Tampa evening. A regenerated Clayton McGinness went 7 full and departed the game with a 7-2 lead. Unfortunately, 3 walks (2 by freshman Aaron Haase) a single, an error and a double made it 7-6 going to the 9th. After hitting Joe Genord with 1 out, Mitchell Walters struck out the final 2 batters to preserve the victory. In Friday's game 2, Collin Sullivan (an expected rotation guy this weekend) 2 hit the Shocks as USF forced a deciding game 3. In game 3, Mason O'Brien's 2 out, 2 run home run in the 6th tied the game at 3, and the Shocks would go on to score 4 in the 9th, largely on the back of a horrible Bull error, to win 7-3.

    A few players from that series are still around for both teams. Jake Sullivan shares the catching duties and DHs. Dylan Burns, Julio Cortez, Collin Sullivan and Logan Lyle also contributed in that series. For the Shocks, Paxton Wallace, Ross Cadena, Hunter Gibson, David VanVooren, Jack Sigrist, Liam Eddy, Tommy Barnhouse, Aaron Haase, Preston Snavely and Connery Peters all saw action that weekend. While it was a battle between the 2 worst teams in the league, it was contentious and I expect players will remember and the competition will be fierce.

    USF went with Dylan Burns, Jack Jasiak, Collin Sullivan and Brad Lord as their rotation starters last weekend at Memphis. Given they all had decent to very good starts, I have no reason to expect a much different rotation this week. The Shocks will probably stay with Snavely, Kaminska, Eddy and Stroh, although with weather a potential issue, no one would be shocked to see Jace go first. Don't want a repeat of Tulane, that's for sure.

    The Bulls are a below average fielding team at .964 (compared to the Shocks at .975). Both teams are about the same in conference.

    The strength of this Bulls team is clearly their pitching staff. In conference, opponents are only hitting .215. That's insane. Team ERA is 3.19 and team WHIP is 1.19 (conference only) both excellent numbers.

    Hitting wise, don't let Riley Hogan beat you. At .356 in conference, he's the only Bull batting over .290. He also has 4 of their 13 home runs. By comparison, the Shocks have hit 22 home runs, but given up 24, while USF has only given up 11.

    Where the series could be decided is on the basepaths. WSU is 29-37 in stolen base attempts in conference. USF is only 9-14. But more importantly, they have only thrown out 7 of 55 on the year, and just 5 of 34 in conference. It will be important for Shocker hitters to be patient, get on base and steal any and every time the opportunity presents itself.

    This probably won't be a series of pinball scores that we've seen so often so far. Small ball will likely be key, mistake free, take a base every time you can and keep the free passes to an absolute minimum against a team hitting only .215 in league play. As always, getting out in front early is good. They took 3 of 4 from Memphis because of walks, hit by pitches, errors, moving runners over and an occasional timely hit. Play clean and we should be in good shape, but on a weekend when games could possibly be limited, make damned sure every single play counts, because they will matter.

    Go Shocks!

  • #2
    Non conference they took 4 out of 5 against a Stetson team that we went 1-1 against. They took 2 of 3 against a solid FAU club. They did lose 6 straight to a good Florida Gulf Coast team and 3 to top 10 Texas Tech.

    In conference they split 4 at Houston and at home vs Cincy. As mentioned earlier, they won 3 of 4 at Memphis and lost the home series vs Tulane to Covid.

    UCF is their double team, and they split 4 in Tampa and lost 3 of 4 (1 in extra innings) in Orlando. The Bulls aren't as good as WSU, but it's close. Effort and execution will win the series.

    Comment


    • #3
      I didn't include rankings etc because I didn't want to depress anyone needlessly. But for the sake of discussion, the Shocks RPI sits at 53. However, Warren Nolan predicts a 7-1 finish for us, and even with that strong record our RPI drops to 68 because we're finishing against a team ranked 146 and Memphis is 212. Anything short of a 14-1 finish (that's the last 3 at UCF, sweeping the final 2 series at home and 3-0 run to the final before losing) almost certainly leaves us outside looking in (barring winning the tourney in Clearwater) and even that probably won't be enough.

      There are going to be a lot of potential bid stealers out there with several small conference at large possibilities.

      At this point, I just want to make sure the American gets at least 2 bids, and the B1G gets only their auto bid.

      The ACC will get 4-9, the B12 will get 4 at least. CUSA will get at least 2 and probably 3-5. The PAC12 will get 3-5, and the SEC at least 8 and probably 9 or even 10.

      Several other conferences, like the MVC, West Coast, MWC, MAAC, MAC, Horizon, CAA, Big West, Big South, Big East, A10, ASUN in addition to the B1G all have at least 1 team in the conversation for at large bids depending how the tournaments unfold. Not to mention Tulane who gets in before us.

      By my count, 30 leagues (31 minus the Ivy) will have auto bids, leaving 34 at large. The Power4 (ACC, SEC, B12, P12) will get at least 22 I think. Leaving 12 others. Lots of deserving names to fill those 12 spots before you get to even a 36-19 WSU team, imho.
      Last edited by WuDrWu; May 10, 2021, 09:25 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Digging a little deeper, and just so we have something to look back at (if it's even needed):

        The Ivy league hasn't competed this season and won't have a team use their auto bid. So 30 auto bids and 34 at large.

        The Mountain West is not having a conference tournament. Regular season champion will represent the conference. Given that, current standings and who plays whom, I am considering them a 1 bid conference as of now.

        Other certain 1 bids are the American East, MEAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southland, SWAC, Summit & WAC.

        Should be 1 bid leagues are the Big East (Uconn and Cu I guess) and Big10 (I suppose IU, NU and Iowa are possibles, but shouldn't be considered imho).

        Hopeful 1 bid leagues (at large possibilities in parenthesis):

        ASUN (Liberty is all but a certain at large, and if FGCU wins one at FSU today or tomorrow they are too)
        A10 (VCU is on a 15 game heater and Rhode Island is tenuous at best)
        Big South (SCUpstate won games, including @ GT & @ Clemson but not much else there. Campbell has less to hang their hat on)
        Big West (Irvine is deserving, UCSB isn't unless they beat UCLA this week, even then it's tough)
        Colonial (Northeastern is another RPI issue. They're on a 12 game heater against awful teams and finish the regular season with 8 game vs 10-20 Delaware. They better win them all, even with a 30 RPI because they don't pass the eye test)
        Horizon (Wright State is #28 and 25-11 but 0-5 at Vandy and Bama and 2 of 3 vs FGCU. 1-7 Q1 and 2 isn't at large material)
        MAAC (Fairfield is 32-1 and done for the regular season. Best wins are Monmouth at 69 and that's a paper tiger.)
        MAC apparently has no tourney (Ball State should be in the mix. Split 4 at Arizona and won 2 of 3 at Kentucky. Would have helped winning at least 1 vs ODU and need to win most if not all of the last which I assumes gives them the auto if they finish 1st. CMU is not in the mix for an at large even with a 68 RPI)
        MVC (Indiana State needs to finish strong but certainly has the non con for at large. DBU is tough to figure)
        MW (Nevada is not in the mix. AF could be but they better win a lot. Still think it's a one bid league)
        Southern (Mercer, but I don't think they are an at large team 0-5 Q1 and 0-3 vs SIU)
        Sun Belt (USA is an outsider hanging their hat on a 2-0 record vs a good Southern Miss team)
        WCC says their tourney is cancelled. Assuming the regular season champ goes. That's Gonzaga right now and they deserve a bid. 2 game lead over San Diego and hope they win out and keep the lead.

        Give the ACC 6 at large (honestly that's generous but they could get more) Big12 4, CUSA 3, PAC12 6, SEC 9 that's 28 and 2 random is 30. We can be in that mix for the last 4. With Tulane but behind Tulane.




        I'm going to keep adding to this post for now.

        The RPI is screwed up this year. Just look at Creighton and the Big East. There's NO WAY Creighton is in the mix for an at large. NONE.

        They split 2 games each with Lipscomb and Belmont (both under .500) and took only 2 of 3 vs Omaha. They lost all 4 to Kansas. Beat Bradley twice who is 16-17 and 2-0 against a 6-17 San Jose State team. That's a 9-8 record vs teams that are all lousy. Now they are 11-2 so far in the Bleast, but the UCONN games were cancelled and everyone else sucks. And those 2 losses are to horrible teams.

        Now, at least UCONN played a competitive schedule, but 13-12 non con and then a terrible league schedule with no good games played. Not at all deserving of an RPI 11 spots better than WSU. Sorry, the Bleast is a one bid league. Neither CU or UCONN has done enough to deserve a bid.
        Last edited by WuDrWu; May 11, 2021, 03:33 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Will they revert back to only 3 full weekend games next year? With the 4 weekend games, our pitching (especially starting pitching) wouldn't have been able to handle a 5th mid week game too.

          The trust four coaches have in our pitching staff has really currently really waned. We are only using 3 starting pitchers (Stroh has gone 3 in each game but the bats have pulled out the wins the past 2 week ends) and the trust in everyone except Jace is questionable. Liam looked better but still struggled, and Snavely is struggling too.

          The only pitchers we use consistently are Stumpy, Bechtel, McDonough, Barnhouse mid-game, and Haas to close a couple of them don't seem to have total coach trust but they have to use someone to relieve). Stumpy and Haas have been really consistently solid.

          Pitchers who have fallen off of a cliff are Hynes, Gifford, Lindeman, and Hansell (who shut out Oral Roberts iirc). I would think all of them would return next year, and with Hamilton, and some Freshmen we hopefully have a much improved and deeper pitching staff, but for this year, trust has fallen off of the edge and the fewer games per week seems to benefit us. It would be nice to make it to the NCAA Tourney, but I'm not stressing over it any longer. 3rd place in our league will suffice for me right now.

          Comment


          • #6
            I expect that, yes, we'll be back to 3 game series next season. They decided on 4 this season because of the no midweek game decision. I've heard rumors about a preseason type non con tourney in Florida to augment the conference season. I suppose they could add those games to the conference standings or continue with the travel partners of this year to give a 24 game schedule if that rumor is true.

            I hope Hynes comes back. He's a lefty with a live arm, and a great build at 6'4 230. That screams strong, durable experienced lefty. Lindemann is the unluckiest kid I've ever seen injury wise. Hansell has some upside but has to get stronger. Hynes and Eddy could be really good and help Jace next season with a solid base of starters, if they return.

            One could still hold out hope for Hamilton, Peters and Lindemann, as all have all the tools you want and could be quality pitchers, but it doesn't look promising at this point.

            I expect LJ McDonough and Cameron Bye to continue to develop and provide help and depth in the pen. Stumpy should continue to help us and has some upside.

            We're going to have a ton of turnover with our position players. Bartlett is a 5th year guy, and I can't see a scenario where Kocis, Wallace or Gibby return. Those are by far our 4 biggest bats.

            I hope Cadena returns and Sigrist should and not sure what to think about DVV. He's not playing much. There's upside and possibilities with Stroh, Ingram and Shaver but it's mostly potential at this point. Stewart has been terrific at short, fielding .984 but can't hit. BUT he's a gamer and that matters. We have a lot of holes to fill next year, and they need to be filled with productive talent.

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe st of those guys you mentioned as not sure coming back won’t be drafted in a 20 Round MLB draft, so most will have to get a job. Kocis will be drafted for sure and probably Gibson and Wallace but no one else. We just have to wait and see.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hunter Gibson was on Sports Daily earlier this morning. Covered the usual topics, but 3 takeaways WSU fans should love:

                1)Coach Wedge is focused on winning Game 1 and setting a tone. It seemed to be a focus that GIbby and the team, was taking to heart. Draw your own conclusions.

                2)The team is 100% focused on finishing strong, going to Florida, being successful there, and making a regional. They believe they are good enough and they expect it. Very matter of fact about it. LOVE hearing that.

                3)Said that Garrett Kocis is doing everything possible to play. And Gibby expects to see him next week if not this week. His tone was like he wants to play, and nobody better try to stop him.


                Goosebumps hearing kids you respect and care about and want to see succeed, and who really haven't tasted that kind of success yet, talk like that. CANNOT WAIT to cheer these guys on this weekend.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The AAC conf tourney is double elim or single elim?
                  Kung Wu say man who take lady on camping trip, have one intent.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kung Wu View Post
                    The AAC conf tourney is double elim or single elim?
                    The Tournament begins as 2 Four team pools based on conference standings. Seed 1, 4, 5, 8 will be in one pool and seeds 2, 3, 6, 7 in the other.

                    The pools are a simple double elimination. For instance, in Pool 1

                    Game 1 will be 1 vs 8
                    Game 2 will be 4 vs 5
                    Game 3 Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2 (Loser Eliminated)
                    Game 4 Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2
                    Game 5 Winner Game 3 vs Loser Game 4 (Loser Eliminated)
                    Game 6 Winner Game 4 vs Winner Game 5 (If Loser is from Game 5 then the winner goes to the final) If not then
                    Game 7 Winner Game 6 vs Loser Game 6 (winner to finals)

                    The same for the other pool with the 2 pool winners meeting for a 1 game final, regardless if either team has lost or not.
                    Last edited by WuDrWu; May 12, 2021, 02:33 PM. Reason: Had the 8 seed listed in both pools and no 7 seed. Fixed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WuDrWu View Post

                      The Tournament begins as 2 Four team pools based on conference standings. Seed 1, 4, 5, 8 will be in one pool and seeds 2, 3, 6, 8 in the other.

                      The pools are a simple double elimination. For instance, in Pool 1

                      Game 1 will be 1 vs 8
                      Game 2 will be 4 vs 5
                      Game 3 Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2 (Loser Eliminated)
                      Game 4 Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2
                      Game 5 Winner Game 3 vs Loser Game 4 (Loser Eliminated)
                      Game 6 Winner Game 4 vs Winner Game 5 (If Loser is from Game 5 then the winner goes to the final) If not then
                      Game 7 Winner Game 6 vs Loser Game 6 (winner to finals)

                      The same for the other pool with the 2 pool winners meeting for a 1 game final, regardless if either team has lost or not.
                      Nice breakdown, thanks!
                      Kung Wu say man who take lady on camping trip, have one intent.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WuDrWu View Post
                        1)Coach Wedge is focused on winning Game 1 and setting a tone. It seemed to be a focus that GIbby and the team, was taking to heart. Draw your own conclusions.
                        Does that mean Jace is starting?
                        Deuces Valley.
                        ... No really, deuces.
                        ________________
                        "Enjoy the ride."

                        - a smart man

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                        • #13
                          I don't know, but that seems to be the logical conclusion, plus it would set up post season as well. Doesn't it?

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                          • #14
                            In the paper they quoted Wedge as saying something to the effect that they would set the tone and try to win the first game so I figured we will see JK as the starter in game one Friday.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pogo View Post
                              In the paper they quoted Wedge as saying something to the effect that they would set the tone and try to win the first game so I figured we will see JK as the starter in game one Friday.
                              It’s time to shoot the works now and hold nothing back. If it doesn’t work we will do the best we can win as many as possible) and move on to next year.

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