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Next up we have to face Redlands in the leage openers (again?) and their pitching staff.  Tall task, good thing we have an extra week to prepare.
Posting today with a heavy heart, as Ohio Wesleyan freshman defender Luke Gabbert died this weekend.  The police have not yet released details, but it's been devastating for Luke's family, the OWU soccer program, and the Ohio Wesleyan community.  I'm not sure I ever really spoke with Luke, but my brother (who is on the team) enjoyed being around him and said he was a good, funny guy who loved soccer and being a part of the OWU program.

Above all, I'd like to ask that those of you who follow the boards send out your prayers and thoughts to Luke's family.  I can't imagine what it must be like for them.  If you feel so inclined, some friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral arrangements as they try to recover from this.  Here's the link:
Hello Purple Heys and purplebaseball.  I'm new to the board and a new freshmen parent at Whittier.  Made it to my first game of the season today and it was tough to watch us give that game away today!  I thought the pitchers threw well and the defense let them down today.  Routine plays that have to be made at this level were not and ended up costing us the game.  Seems like you two have been around Whittier baseball for a bit, is this the norm?  I know they had a tough season last year.

First, welcome to the Board!  More of us on here is a good thing, IMHO  ;D

I think this is a new year/new team, I don't see any carryover.  Not a diss at last year's squad - just sharing my observations...

I think we have better, (somewhat deeper) pitching, better hitting through the lineup, we have more pop in the lineup, we have more overall team speed, and I think we will be a better fielding team (other than the catching position - how can you really expect to replicate a D3 Gold Glover?).  Plus we are younger across the board than last year and to me that means room for improvement.

My sample size for that is Game 1 and Game 3 - it looked to me that Game 2 was a throwaway.  We competed quite well in those two games.  The way we lost those games speaks to what we need to work on to be in a position to win games against the good teams we will face this year.

Whitworth is a pretty darn good team - maybe as good as we will see all year.  Their hitters were disciplined, hit deep into counts, and hit it hard through most of the lineup.  They hit remarkably well with 2 strikes, or we pitched remarkably poorly with 2 strikes, but I think it was more the former than the latter.  Whitworth's pitching did not dominate us.  We had numerous well hit balls directly at waiting defenders.  On the balance that should even out over a season.

In Game 1, we walked way too many hitters and that put pressure on the pitchers (self-imposed) and defense.  With our well struck balls not dropping for hits early in the contest, all it took was one big inning by the Pirates to take advantage.  I think some of this was first game jitters.  Giving up 9 walks, 9 hits to this team and only allowing 6 runs...we held on admirably.  Last year we tended to let games like this get away from us.

In Game 3, we hit well enough to win, pitched almost well enough to win, and ill-timed fielding flubs proved costly at the time.  However, my opinion is that we could have hit a bit better, had more runs, and pitched somewhat better to where we might have withstood the errors - only 3 earned runs, and I think we can do better.  We had wasted opportunities to stop more runs, wasted opportunities to finish 1-2 and 2-2 counts, that would have ended threats.  On offense, we had some trouble putting 3 or 4 good AB's together to really fuel big innings.  So that is the space where we need to my opinion.  We went toe to toe with a darn good team that probably would have blown us out in at least 2 of 3 last year.  Game 3 was more about us losing it than them winning it (not to take credit away from the fact that they put pressure on us all game long - which had something to do with the outcome - but the fact is that to win at this level you have to withstand that). 

I don't see the errors that were made in Game 3 being made again, and in fact they may have a positive effect over the long haul in teaching the level of concentration and technique that is necessary to win at this level.  The things I look at are what wins games over the long haul...the things that good teams do.

So, my assessment is, we were closer to winning games against a team of this caliber than we generally were last year.  We've got a lot of work to do.  We need to hit better.  We need to pitch better.  We need to field better.  Who doesn't, right?

But if we can do that, and I think we will, we will make teams have to beat us, and that could prove to be tougher on our opponents than last year.

New England Region / Re: BB: LEC: Little East Conference
« Last post by Westside on Today at 03:51:49 pm »
Are the Wisconsin schools on USM's schedule as strong in Baseball as they are in other sports. Tough to compete from a size perspective with the WIAC's. I think I recall seeing they have some huge enrollments relative to other d3 conferences.

Yea, they are. I would say those are the four best teams in the WIAC (generally). Steven's Point and Whitewater seem to be national title contenders every year, and La Crosse has periods where they are just as dominant. La Crosse took 2nd in the nation last year but took 2nd in their own league (behind Whitewater).

As far as this year, those three teams are all ranked in the top 13 and Oshkosh received votes in the pre-season poll.
Multi-Regional Topics / Re: MBB: University Athletic Association
« Last post by Gregory Sager on Today at 03:45:41 pm »
Just getting the ball to come back to you on the fly at the free-throw line is incredibly difficult in and of itself, because it takes a combination of pinpoint precision and high velocity. Toss in the split-second pass to the corner, and the sprint-catch-and-shoot of the receiver, and you've got a really exceptional buzzer-beater in terms of its execution. The standard long-heave buzzer-beaters are fun to watch, but they often appear as though there's more of an element of random luck involved than was true of this play.
Central Region / Re: WBB: College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin
« Last post by RogK on Today at 03:45:01 pm »
Greg (or others), having seen Millikin in person, would you consider it a surprise that they are winless in CCIW play?
In 11 games, their median loss was by 10 points. Closer margins were 8, 6, 4, 3 and 3.
Incidentally, their remaining games are vs teams to whom they've lost by 6 or fewer pts.
Pro ball / Re: BB: D-3 Players in minor leagues/MLB
« Last post by booyakasha on Today at 03:26:13 pm »
Since he is now a Tiger, I suppose I should get his name right - Jordan Zimmermann.  The Nationals had both a Zimmerman and a Zimmermann, and I mixed up Ryan and Jordan's spellings. :-[

Reminds me of my time working youth basketball camps and the camp director would assign me Ryan, Ryan, Ryan, Brian and Brian as my team. You'd yell Brian or Ryan and they'd all look.
Northeast Region / Re: MBB: NESCAC
« Last post by booyakasha on Today at 03:21:02 pm »
Oh, and I checked -- 2005 (Schiel/Olson) was the last time any school had a POY and ROY.  What's crazy is that Bowdoin may do so and still miss the NESCAC playoffs.
In fact, nescac1, I would agree that Bowdoin, even at home, should be the underdog against Conn College and Wesleyan this last weekend, unless they get help from inside, something of which there hasn't been this season.  While I have not given up on the Polar Bears making the playoffs, I do feel that it's a shame that Lucas Hausman may go out this way.  He's been a special player.

I'm curious as to what happened in Hausman's development between his SO and JR seasons. His freshman and soph years, he averaged 17 mins a game but wasn't really on anyone's radar (maybe the 9PPG in 17mins his soph year was an indicator of what was to come). Any of you Bowdoin fans know anything about his development/practice habits? Is he a gym rat? Late bloomer?
In your draft idea, are you allowing adds and drops throughout the year? I allowed that in the WIAC league.

One draft 8 players, that's it. Or we could do 10 players to have a decent bench and cover injuries. If there are adds and drops throughout the year, then you're right back to doing a lot of work every week to stay up with the other guy who will be dropping players to pick up whoever's playing against Grinnell or Greenville. In the WIAC league you don't have to deal with that, because all your players come from the WIAC don't they?   I just wanted to have players that no one else can have, hence the draft. 
West Region / Re: MBB: Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
« Last post by MIAC23 on Today at 03:07:54 pm »
What a great game at Memorial Auditorium on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties were fighting for their playoff lives and the Cobbers fighting to get that all important 2-seed. Cobbers with a very sloppy first half with 12 TO's and the Gusties took advantage with a 7 point lead at the break. Like Drake said the lead grew to 15 in the second half before the Cobbers made their run with timely threes, defense and free throws. The lead went from 3 to 1 about 3 times in the last two minutes before the Gusties went 1 of  2 at the line with 8 seconds left. Alderman drove the lane, had the ball knocked away from him only to arrive in Brady Syverson's hands, he short armed his first attempt from the left block, the rebound bounced right back to him and he put it in at the horn. OT was a back and forth affair until the Gusties were up 3 with 8 seconds left. Tom Fraase hit a bomb to force double OT. Cobbs got up 7 in the second OT thanks to an and-1 by fraase. Gusties were never able to get closer than 5 after that. Huge win for the Cobbs putting them in position to nab that 2-seed with games at home with Mary's and Mac, and on the road against Hamiline and the Johnnies. Huge game by Fraase as he went for 35 and also for Dylan Alderman as he went for 24, including some clutch buckets in regulation. Was nice to see a couple other guys take the load off of Bolger for at least a game. Gary Cooper with a monster game for the Gusties going off for 39, getting to the bucket with ease and also hitting some tough off-balance J's against the 6'7 Austin Nelson.
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