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Messages - jaybird44

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Men's soccer / Re: Covid Impacts on Upcoming Season
« on: Yesterday at 05:46:03 pm »
But I need to broadcast WashU sports...for my sanity...

South Region football / Re: FB: Presidents' Athletic Conference
« on: Yesterday at 03:56:55 pm »
Hated to be the bearer of bad news...

Not sure how this will affect WashU...

Carnegie Mellon cancelling fall sports for 2020:

Decision came after the UAA made this statement:

Men's soccer / Re: Covid Impacts on Upcoming Season
« on: Yesterday at 03:47:51 pm »
Carnegie Mellon cancelling fall sports for 2020:

Decision came after the UAA made this statement:

General Division III issues / Re: Future of Division III
« on: Yesterday at 03:42:44 pm »
Carnegie Mellon cancelling fall sports for 2020:

Decision came after the UAA made this statement:

Not only did players and teams have to bring their A game when facing Augustana...I felt the need to add a couple more layers of broadcast prep when Augie came to WashU.  Augustana and Illinois Wesleyan are the two yearly non-conference opponents in men's basketball that demand my keenest attention and preparation well beyond what is expected.  Climbing Kilimanjaro and Everest, as opposed to Pike's Peak.

That's a tribute to the head coaches of those programs, and the caliber of players they bring in every year.  Those games in December have the feel of being in the NCAA Sweet 16 or Elite 8.  And they're a hell of a lot of fun to call.

Congrats Grey on a wonderful head coaching career!  You have created a legacy that will last as long as they play the game of basketball.

Y-Jack, let's you and I lobby for an exhibition game to be played between Greenville and NWU during NCAA Championship Week in Atlanta.  The System vs. The Terminators.

Generally, I agree Y-Jack...but keep in mind as far as the SLIAC defensive stats go, they are significantly inflated when you are forced to give up well over 100 points per game with Greenville skewing the metrics with its version of The System.

How does Webster's defense fare in points per game, when you toss out the Greenville games?  I'd like to take a look at that, to see if the Gorloks are better matchups to NWU than what first meets the eyes on the stat sheets.

As an aside, I like watching Greenville play.  Variety is the spice of life, and the Panthers bring a lot of spice to the game of basketball.

Yesterday, WashU had a successful first defense of its first-ever #1 national ranking, by posting a 10-0 victory over visiting MacMurray College.  The Bears are now 7-0, heading into a sensational series rematch with Coe this weekend at WashU.

The biggest takeaway from yesterday's game was the spotlight on the quality of depth WashU has with its pitching staff.  It was a bullpen day on the mound.  Matt Lopes, Jared Fong, Daniel Broadie, Austin Sachen, and Dominic DiCosimo combined to toss a one-hit shutout.

Lopes gave up the lone hit in his 5-inning stint (clean line-drive single to left, BTW).  Primarily a back-end-of-a-game closer, Lopes showed that he could start a game and provide meaningful innings if needed.  Much like Tim Tague does for the Bears right now (who was named to the Team of the Week for his 4-inning, 6-K long relief stint for a win vs. Illinois Tech last weekend).

Fong, Broadie, and DiCosimo were impressive as well, in their one-inning stints.  But the highlight of the day was the inning provided by little-known Austin Sachen.  Sachen only pitched 1/3 of an inning last season as a freshman, so when he entered the game for his first appearance of the season, I didn't know what to expect.  The lefty wowed the crowd by striking out the side with utterly filthy stuff.  All but one of his pitches were fastballs at 89-90 MPH (two WashU pitchers had a radar gun on Sachen)...and the last pitch was a wicked curve that broke off at 76.

Players and fans were both jazzed by Sachen's work, and WashU may have discovered that it has a diamond-in-the-rough on its pitching staff.  Fun to watch.

Now, the Bears host Coe this weekend, in a rematch series of last season's NCAA Regional at WashU.  The Bears and Coe had 3 epic meetings, with Cornell and Aurora weaved in for good measure.  In the 3rd meeting, Coe was down to its final out in the top of the 9th against WashU's John Howard; the National Pitcher of the Year trying to get one more inning out of his gas tank to nail down a save and a trip to the Super Regional.  Riley LeGrand foiled that attempt with his only HR of the season, a no-doubt 2-run blast to straightaway center field to put Coe up 4-3.  WashU countered by putting runners at first and second base with one out in the bottom of the 9th, but could only muster two fly-ball outs in the loss to Coe.

So, I suspect that this series rematch will be one of the more widely-viewed series across D3 baseball...especially early in the season.  Game 1 of the series begins at 2:00 Central Saturday afternoon, and a doubleheader is scheduled for 11 a.m./2:30 p.m. Sunday.  Sunny weather with temps ranging from 60-65 degrees is forecast.  Come to St. Louis to watch in person or check out the proceedings on the WashU Sports Network (  Click on "Live Broadcasts" to access the games.

I believe Webster can and will pull off an upset.

Just a feeling that I have...

Any team that can repel and defeat the craziness that Greenville brings to a game, and do it more than once in a season, can put together an effort and performance to upset a host team in the NCAA Tournament.

If Webster can avoid early foul trouble that results in a starter or two sitting for long periods of time, I think it has a shot at beating NWU.

The time is right...this is Webster's time to get the first NCAA Tourney win for the SLIAC.

Ha ha!  Very pleased, to say the least!  The players and the coaching staff have worked hard to elevate the status of the program.  Now we'll see how long they can hold on to the top spot!

WashU finished off a 3-game weekend sweep of Illinois Tech with lopsided victories in Sunday's doubleheader at WashU.

The #4 Bears won 14-1 and 10-0 to run their record to 6-0.  Best start for the Bears since an 8-0 start for the 2006 team.

The WashU offense was relentless from the start of the series to the finish...double-digits in runs and hits in each of the three games.  The Bears had 45 hits in 108 at-bats, a .417 BA.  59 total bases in the series, for a .546 slugging %. 

The Bears' pitching was very good as well in the series:  4 ER in 26 IP, a 1.38 ERA...34 Ks (11.77 per 9 IP), 12 H, 11 BB, 0.88 WHIP.  Fielding?  3 errors in 106 chances = .972 fielding%.

It's one thing to mash the ball at the plate, but it's quite another to not get lax with your pitching and fielding.  WashU was as disciplined on the mound and in the field, as they were relentless at the plate.  If the Bears can continue to do so on a consistent basis, they can go a long, long way in the NCAA Tournament.

Yes, I'm taking some early sips of the Kool-Aid.  Anxious to see how WashU fares at home this weekend vs. Coe...the team than knocked WashU out of the NCAA Regional in three instant D3 baseball classics.  That series may be among the most-anticipated by D3 baseball fans, this early in the season.

Multi-region conferences / Re: BB: UAA: University Athletic Association
« on: February 29, 2020, 09:15:07 pm »
WashU won its home opener this afternoon, 13-3 over Illinois Tech.  The #4 Bears are 4-0 early in the season...first time for such a start since the 2006 season (in which WashU reached the NCAA Tournament and finished 34-7).

John Brinkman was 2-for-5 with a HR and 6 RBI.  Caleb Durbin was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and 4 runs scored.  Sean Robinson was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored, and 2 SBs.  Matt Ashbaugh had a rough first 3 innings, but he tossed 3 scoreless innings after that and struck out 8.

WashU held a 5-3 lead after 3 innings, but Ashbaugh settled into a groove that Illinois Tech couldn't recover from.  Meanwhile, the Bears scored 8 runs in their final 5 innings...3 of which came on Brinkman's walk-off HR that put the 10-run rule in effect in the bottom of the 8th. 

Illinois Tech had its season opener today; and it was led by Michael Courtney's 1-for-2 day with a run scored and 2 SBs, and single RBIs from Zachary Dickey, Connor Blake, and Orlando Cardenas-Juan.  Ryan Cantlin was the starter on the mound and took the loss, giving up 7 runs in 5 IPs.

Both teams play in a doubleheader tomorrow (Sunday), at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Multi-Regional Topics / Re: MBB: University Athletic Association
« on: February 03, 2020, 01:18:33 am »
Not much to write about today's game...other than to say that Emory's defensive display was the best I have seen from the Eagles.  Granted, I don't get to see them much, so there may be other such performances that I am missing.  Emory contested nearly every shot and made every pass extremely difficult to complete.  Kudos to Coach Zimmerman, his staff, and his players for an exceptional performance!

WUPHF, feel free to write whatever you want to write.  My commentary is not meant to parrot yours, or to nudge yours out of the way.  I have always thought that two perspectives are better than one, especially since you get to see more basketball than I do.  I have never, ever intended to be the de facto WashU spokesperson on this message board. 

You be you.  You write here.

In the next two weeks and beyond, I am going to be ramping up my efforts to get a Rett syndrome fundraising project off the ground for later in 2020.  I will probably not be able to watch the Bears much, as they hit the road.  I certainly won't have the time to write here...for the project also involves an increase in my running regimen to train for an ultra marathon event in October.  My planner also tells me that I have an unrelated writing assignment elsewhere to start and finish in the upcoming week.

So, I'l be gone from the board for a while, out of necessity. 

Multi-Regional Topics / Re: MBB: University Athletic Association
« on: February 01, 2020, 12:18:40 pm »
Sometimes I get it right.  Or, I'm really extremely lucky.

As I watched Patrick Benka light up the Bears to the tune of 21 points, I thought that he could be a one-man wrecking crew that could wreck their chances of remaining in sole possession of the UAA lead.

A timeout was taken by Rochester after Benka reached 21.  A good number to stick on if you're playing blackjack, but Benka certainly was looking for much more.  During the timeout, I said on the air that Benka's career high was 22 points...and if WashU couldn't hold him under that, then there would be a 3-way tie for the lead in the UAA at the end of the night (Brandeis had already won and Emory was leading at last report).

This was with 5:33 left in the 2nd half.  At that spot in the game, Benka was 8 for 11 overall and 5 for 7 from 3-point range. The odds were long for WashU holding Benka scoreless the rest of the way.

Benka did not score a single point for the rest of the game.  He was 0 for 2, after his airspace was taken away by Justin Hardy and DeVaughn Rucker; who took turns making Benka uncomfortable for the final 5:33.  Benka wasn't the only one who faced a lockdown; his Rochester teammates were 1 for 8 for the rest of the 2nd half.  As a result, the Bears' defense transformed a two-point deficit into a 10-point margin of victory.

Since the injuries began in late December at Fontbonne, the Bears had beaten long odds on their way to the top of the UAA standings.  In my opinion, the primary reason has been their defensive performances--especially in the last five minutes of the 2nd half of those games.  Some of my research for Sunday's WashU-Emory broadcast will be spent crunching those late-game numbers during WashU's six-game winning streak, to see if the numbers support the opinion.

As much as I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Jack Nolan join the 1,000-point club, and Rucker becoming an absolute tour de force on the court, I am having more fun watching WashU's defense pull the plug on opponents' brewing victory celebrations, in the final five minutes of games.  Can they do the same against visiting Emory on Sunday?  It will be a lot of fun to watch that high-noon (CST) duel...I heartily endorse putting that on your pre-Super Bowl watch list.

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