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Friday, June 20, 2008

Switch Hitter Vs. Switch Pitcher


Like one of those classic debates you wage in your mind, such as which wins between the irresistible force or the immovable object, this is what happens when a switch hitter meets up with a switch pitcher.

HT: wolfman89

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In this empty space...


...is where I would've normally written a nice preview and subsequent game-by-game recap of the Super Regionals.

But when I couldn't find time to write a preview, I skipped it, hoping for the best in game one. Then we lost game one spectacularly. So then I held off to see what would happen in game two, praying for a good showing. We won that one, so I figured, screw it, don't jinx it by writing a THIS IS FOR THE WHOLE BALL OF WAXXXXXXXX!!!!! post. And, as it turns out, a lot of good that did.

So this is simply a congratulatory post to State's baseball team. You made it to the Super Regionals and won a game at that level for the first time in the program's history against a very hot-hitting Georgia team. Nothing to be ashamed of AT ALL. You carried the Pack banner proudly, and got a lot of casual Wolfpack baseball fans (like myself) biting nails and huddled around radios.

I think pitching coach Tom Holliday did a wonderful job this season assembling one of the best and deepest pitching staffs in college baseball, so the two biggest questions heading into next year will be A) can we keep him, and B) how many of the draftees stick around to try and make another run for Omaha?

Let's hope the answers are:
A) Yes
B) Just about all of them.

Thanks again, Pack Nine: You gave us something to cheer about at the tail end of an athletic calendar that was fraught was disappointment many times along the way. That alone was worth it.

View the complete entry of "In this empty space..."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

ESPN features Markus Kuhn in piece on foreign-born players


Mark Sclabach's piece

Got to give some love to my favorite Wolfpack player, Markus Kuhn. His story is remarkable--he and his dad trekking to the U.S. to do some door-to-door recruiting.

But moreso than that, he's just a beast. If he stays healthy all four years, I could see Markus being a dominant lineman at the college level. With his speed, he would make a nasty middle linebacker in the mold of a Brian Urlacher at the pro level, able to break RBs in two with his size and strength and pass defend across the middle with his quickness.

Willie Young may be getting all the preseason ink at the other defensive end position, but Kuhn will be making the big plays this season, mark my word.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Georgia downs Jackets...State to play Bulldogs in Athens


I had hopes that State would get an opportunity to avenge their blown game in the ACC tournament against the Yellow Jackets with a matchup here in Raleigh in the Super Regionals. Well, Georgia had other plans.

They smacked the crap out of Georgia Tech 18-6, advancing themselves to the Super Regionals but more importantly for them, earning the right to host it in Athens. So State must pack their bags and try to defeat the Bulldogs on their home field in a best-of-three series.

Here's your broadcast schedule for the weekend:

Friday June 6 - 12:00 pm (ESPN)
Saturday June 7 - 12:00 pm (ESPN2)
Sunday June 8 - 4:00 pm (ESPN)

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Pack downs Gamecocks twice to advance to Super Regional


Old adages stay in circulation for a reason: More often than not, they're true.

That was the case this weekend in Raleigh. Good pitching truly did beat good hitting on Saturday (5-4) and Sunday (2-1) as the Pack downed South Carolina in both games to advance to the Super Regionals.

South Carolina came into the games against the Pack swinging some ridiculously prolific bats, and had beaten UNC Charlotte 15-8 in their first game of the Regionals.

But Clayton Shunick's pitching performance on Saturday, Erik Surkamp's masterful four innings of two-hit ball on Sunday and a lockdown job both nights from the bullpen were too much for USC's hitters.

Now State awaits the results of tonight's 7:00 game between Ga. Tech and Georgia. A win by the Yellow Jackets would advance them into the Super Regionals, but more importantly grant State hosting rights to the second round by virtue of their higher seed. A win by the Bulldogs would mean a trip to Athens.

It's the first time State has advanced to the Super Regionals since 2003, and with pitching this strong, the Pack looks like one of the teams to beat in the second round.

I suppose there's some irony that State does so in defeating Ray Tanner's Gamecocks in newly-renovated Doak Field. It's widely rumored that the reason he left was lack of support from the State athletic administration and a refusal to upgrade the facilities while he was here. To see his understudy (Avent was an assistant under Tanner that assumed the team when Tanner left) advance in a sold-out Doak must've been bittersweet, to a degree.

Here are some recaps, and a nice piece from Baseball America:

View the complete entry of "Pack downs Gamecocks twice to advance to Super Regional"