BB: OAC: Ohio Athletic Conference

Started by Ralph Turner, January 09, 2006, 11:38:52 PM

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Dr. Acula

BW headed down to KY and swept Centre this weekend 11-0, 9-7, 16-4.  I think we all figured with what they had coming back the Jackets are gonna be scoring in bunches.  That didn't take long.  Vonderhaar already put 2 homers on the board coming off 19 last year.  If Harrison has the arms...

Dr. Acula

BW is currently ranked #5.  BW can undoubtedly rake.  But BW has also allowed 53 runs in 8 games.  If you're gonna win the OAC much less do any damage in the regional you better figure out your pitching in the next 2 months.  They don't have an ace and I'm not sure if Harrison has any legit reliable arms.  They came back and won 7-6 today after their ace gave a up a 4 spot in the top of the 1st.

Dr. Acula

The combo of BW's lack of pitching early and Etta's lack of hitting early is making this intriguing.

Dr. Acula

BW (13-2) moves up to #3 in this week's top 25.  Etta (11-5) remains at #20.  Ott (12-3) is ORV.

Early on the conference as a whole is doing pretty well with Cap being the lone team under .500 currently sitting at 4-5.  Take that with a grain of salt as half those wins are in DH splits against branch schools FWIW.

Wilm dropped their first six games out of the gate, but has roared back winning 8 of 9 since then.  Vittorio continues to do a really good job with the Quakers.

ONU (10-5) and Mount (11-4) are both living off of strong pitching both with team ERA just a hair below 3.00 so far.  Neither has swung particularly hot bats with team BA well below .300.  In Mount's case their record is a little surprising considering they are dead last in fielding % so far.  Plus they are getting a ton of IP from freshmen including comprising half of their rotation.

Looking at team stats BW has a 5.40 team ERA and has given up 18 homers already.  The next most is 6 by Cap and Ott.  But they've also hit an OAC-leading 23 bombs too.  That's a testament to how deep and talented the Jackets lineup is.  Plus they're battle tested and just find ways to win close games.

Musky (8-3) is hitting a conference-best .384 in Krupar's first season.  I have no clue if this is the case with this current team, but what I do know from following the OAC closely for a long time is that anytime Musky is good it's because they can rake.  Small sample size so far, so let's see how conference play goes especially with a team ERA north of 6.

Dr. Acula

Mount and Etta split yesterday in the only DH that was played.  Mount came back from down 8-3 and hung on to win 10-9 in game 1.  I was chuckling a little listening to the Marietta radio guys bemoaning a couple balls dropping in for Mount being the difference when Mount had 17 hits and left 13 runners on base (Etta left 6).  Etta bounced back and cruised in game 2 14-4. 

Neither teams' pitchers will be hoping for another weather day like that to pitch in.  Anything in the air was either carrying or, at best, an adventure.  The low mark for hits yesterday was Etta's 12 hits in game 1.  At one point there was a foul ball down the 3B line that they initially thought it might get into the seats and it ended up being caught almost in fair territory.

Everyone else opens today.  A couple good DH to keep an eye on opening weekend:  ONU @ BW, JCU @ Ott.

Dr. Acula

JCU gets a huge road sweep at Ott.  That's massive sweeping another probable OAC tourney contender on the road.

ONU gets a strong split at BW.  The questions around BW's pitching continue so this is going to be interesting.

Musky sweeps Wilm.  Fish won on a walk off BB game 1 and cruised in game 2.

Berg pummels Cap in Tiffin 17-3 and 14-1.  I watched some of this DH and the takeaway has less to do with Berg and more to do with Cap.  They aren't good.

My summary thoughts on the first weekend are basically that this looks like it's going to be a pretty wide open year.  BW and Etta still the favorites, but I can absolutely see this being a season where the OAC champ is 14-4 or 13-5.

Dr. Acula

Berg lost 7-1 at 3-13 Albion.  I don't understand what's going on in this conference right now.  It's gonna be chaos this year I think.

Dr. Acula

Weather delayed results from today:

JCU (4-0) remains the only undefeated team sweeping Musky (2-2) today (at Wooster?).  The Streaks are really hitting the ball well and Aukerman has been as good as any SP in the conference.  When you have guys who would be front runners for top pitcher and also top player (Olsavsky) you're going to be in the hunt.

Etta (3-1) sweeps ONU (1-3) in Ada with identical 11-2 scores in both games.  Carson continues to make his case for OAC MVP.  He's absolutely raking and also pitching well to boot.  Good news for ONU is they are done with BW and Etta already so plenty of time to move up.

BW (3-1) sweeps Wilm (0-4) on the road.  The only surprising thing here is that game 1 went 12 innings before BW finally won 5-2.

Mount (3-1) sweeps Berg (2-2) at home.  Mount got solid pitching today winning 6-2 and 9-3.  Schilling came in leading the OAC in RBI and drove in 4 runs today. 

Ott (2-2) swept Cap (0-4).  Cap just doesn't have the horses to be competitive again this year.  They're going to struggle to win more than a couple games in OAC play.

After two weekends my main takeaway is JCU looks legit.  The BW loss to Allegheny, 12 inning affair in Wilm are both things that are a little puzzling, but they're 17-4 so I'm picking nits here.  Etta has been hitting a ton the last few games so they've clearly shaken off whatever early offensive woes they had. 

Dr. Acula

What a start in Berea!  Etta and BW go 11 innings with Valentine and Snyder dueling.  BW wins 2-1 on a Capolupo walk-off single.  Snyder went 10 IP (on 130 pitches) for BW.  Lot of work for a ND but I'm sure he couldn't care less. 

Dr. Acula

Proud of my Raiders yesterday.  BW jumped out early to a big 7-0 lead.  Easily could have gotten down with BW knocking it around the yard.  Mount battled back and ended up winning 9-8 in 10 on a walk-off homer from Kemer.  Big split.  A glance at the standings showing Mount at 4-4 doesn't seem impressive, but sitting at 4-4 and having already played BW, Etta and Ott (and even Berg who is also 4-4 after splitting w JCU yesterday) is not a bad spot to be in.

Dr. Acula

Huge sweep of JCU by ONU today.  Things are getting interesting now.  BW slides into 1st at 8-2. Etta, ONU and JCU right behind at 7-3.  Mount and Ott at 6-4.  Mount swept Cap who is really struggling again.  They're 2-17 against D3 teams 0-10 in OAC and the 2 wins are against Elmira (6-18).  Fornara throws a CG today to move to 5-1 as a frosh.  Looks like Mount has their future ace.

Dr. Acula

Big road split for my Raiders at JCU today.  Mazza carried them.  7-2 win w a solo shot and grand slam from Mazza.  Hansen and Hawley combined on them mound for the W.

Dr. Acula

I don't claim to know what the answer is at Cap but they're not even competitive.  They're 2-21 against D3 teams and 0-14 in OAC and rarely competitive in conference games.  Manahan is a HS legend here and I don't know who they could get that's better but this is clearly a mountain to climb to even be competitive w the OAC.  Having watched Wilm (2nd to last) today and Cap last weekend against Mount it's not particularly close.  Wilm doesn't have the arms after Boster but they have some dudes in the field.  Cap is just not close either way. 

Unrelated but JCU had their shot to sweep Etta and couldn't get a run across w guys on 2nd and 3rd and no outs in the bottom of the 8th.  Gotta push one across and take the lead there.  Strikeout, pop out, ground out.

Dr. Acula

The OAC tournament field is nearly locked down heading into the final weekend.  BW (14-2), Etta (12-4) and ONU (12-4) have all clinched spots.  I could be wrong, but I also think BW clinched hosting.  No one swept the other two H2H.  BW swept Etta and split with ONU.  ONU got swept by Etta.  So I think the 3 way tie breaker ends there?  I'm not positive and for the 39th time I'll complain yet again that the OAC does not have the tie breakers on their website.

The 4th spot is between JCU (10-6), Ott (9-7) and Mount (9-7).  JCU has BW while Ott (vs Wilm) and Mount (vs Musky) have easier draws.  I'm not even going to attempt to go down the rabbit hole of scenarios here other than the obvious win and you're in for JCU.  The lesson as usual is that just making the conference tourney in this conference is an accomplishment.  At various points in the season all three of these teams received top 25 votes and two of them are not even going to make the conference tournament. 

Final note from this about Aaron Boster from Wilm?!  They score 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th to go up 6-4 on JCU only to give up 3 in the top of the 9th and lose in what had to be crushing fashion.  Boster goes out in game 2 and goes 8 IP striking out 19(!!!) Streaks to get the split for his squad.  Wow.

Dr. Acula

OAC tourney is set.  #4 JCU vs #1 BW followed by #3 ONU vs #2 Etta on Thursday. 

My amateur predictions for OAC special award winners:

COY:  Stechshulte
POY:  Carson
Cy:  Aukerman