Sports Outside the Beltway

Divison II School’s Pitchers throw back to back no-hitters

There have been back to back no-hitters in pro baseball on at least two occasions, but never by the same team in both games. From AP-

Two games, two pitchers and no hits allowed for St. Augustine’s College.

Brandon Stewart and Ryan Wood each threw seven-inning no-hitters for Saint Augustine’s as the Falcons swept Lincoln (Pa.) University 10-1 and 25-2 in a doubleheader Sunday.

Stewart, a sophomore from Atlanta who also threw a no-hitter against Voorhees last season, struck out six and allowed one run in the opening-game victory for the Division II Falcons (4-8).

Wood, also a sophomore from Chester, Va., had seven strikeouts in the second game against the Lions (0-9) at the USA Baseball Complex.

Joseph Pierce was 1-for-2 with three RBIs in the first game for St. Augustine’s, while Ryan Shwedo was 3-for-5 with five RBIs and Chris Vette drove in four runs in the second. Rashad Ingram had nine of the Falcons’ 20 stolen bases on the day.

Lincoln is in serious need of some batting practice.


Utah basketball coach suspends player for intentional foul

It stemmed from an incident in a game played last Saturday. From AP-

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has suspended guard Luka Drca for two games for an intentional foul committed in a loss to No. 4 Oklahoma.

Drca tripped Blake Griffin as the Sooners were on a fast break with a 14-point lead early in the second half of Saturday’s game. Oklahoma’s Willie Warren was called for a technical for jawing with Drca, who was whistled for an intentional foul.

Utah coach Jim Boylen said in a release Monday that he was suspending Drca for two games.

Boylen says he wasn’t required to suspend Drca, but felt the trip was unacceptable behavior. The junior from Serbia will sit out Saturday’s home game against Weber State and the Utes’ road game against Utah State next Monday.

Drca suspends every bit of the suspension. That kind of behavior he portrayed on Saturday doesn’t belong on a basketball court.


Venditte, vidi, vici

The Yankees have a fascinating prospect at Single A Staten Island, Pat Venditte Jr. He’s a relief specialist. But he’s no LOOGY. He’s ambidextrous.

The pitch was nothing remarkable: Pat Venditte, Creighton University’s temporarily right-handed pitcher, threw a fastball past a Northern Iowa
batter for a called strike three. It was his next windup that evinced this young pitcher’s uniqueness and, perhaps, professional future.

As his teammates whipped the ball around the infield, Venditte smoothly, unthinkingly, removed his custom glove from his left hand and slipped it on his right. Moments later he leaned back, threw a strike left-handed to the next batter, and finished the side in order.

Venditte is believed to be the only ambidextrous pitcher in N.C.A.A.
Division I college baseball, the ultimate relief specialist. A junior, he throws left-handed to lefties and right-handed to righties, and effectively. In a home game in Omaha last Friday, he allowed only one hit in five and a third shutout innings to earn the victory against Northern Iowa.

Go to the article not just for the pictures of him pitching, but also for his custom glove. In addition to the standard finger slots, it has two thumbs.

Practically speaking, what happens when he goes up against a switch hitter? That question occurred Thursday night:

Still pitching right-handed, Venditte allowed a single by Nicholas Giarraputo. Up next was designated hitter Ralph Henriquez, and he and Venditte engaged in a routine more vaudeville than Mudville.

As Henriquez walked to the plate, Venditte, assuming Henriquez would bat left-handed, stood behind the pitching rubber with his glove on his right hand and the ball in his left. Henriquez, looking out at Venditte, then stepped across the batter’s box, determined to hit right-handed and gain a righty-lefty advantage. Seeing this, Venditte quickly switched his custom-made glove to his left hand and put the ball in his right, hoping to gain a righty-on-righty advantage.

Henriquez stepped out and began asking the home-plate umpire, Shaylor Smith, to lay out his options, then summoned his third-base coach. With the matter unresolved, Henriquez again stepped across the batter’s box in an attempt to bat left-handed. Again, Venditte switched glove and ball. The cat-and-mouse game reached full comedic gear when Henriquez again strolled across the batter’s box to hit right-handed, and Venditte responded with the old switcheroo, setting up as a righty.

The question is, if there a player’s allowed a single switch, who must commit first?

On Thursday night it concluded:

McMahon, who said Friday that he was waiting for an official ruling from higher baseball authorities on the subject of switch-pitching to switch-hitters, said that the way he understood it, “the rule dictates that the hitter establish the box and the pitcher establish the throw, and then each team can make one move, and then it’s play ball.”

“That’s the rule that we got from the rule book of minor league baseball,” he said.

Apparently that will be the rule in MLB too.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

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UCF Baseball Coach fired because of his alleged harassment of equipment mgr.

Jay Bergman was an institution at UCF where he had been baseball coach for 28 years. From the Orlando Sentinel-

The University of Central Florida fired baseball coach Jay Bergman because he was accused of sexually harassing a team equipment manager, a university source has confirmed.

Bergman used a bat to simulate raping equipment manager Chris Rhyce in early March, said the university source and two other sources with knowledge of the allegation. The university source asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak for UCF.

The three sources said Rhyce told the university in a written complaint that he was held down on the field, fully clothed, by a baseball staff member before a March 7 game while the players watched. Bergman was said to have grabbed a bat and shoved it toward Rhyce’s buttocks.

Bergman coached for almost 26 years at UCF.

File this under embarrassing ways to taint or destroy a long career. The UCF Baseball field is named for Bergman.

I’m inclined to believe the allegations. Bergman was suspended for one game in 2006 for inappropriate behavior towards one of his players. The lawyer for Bergman is denying what happened (of course), and the school is clamming up. (of course) Go to the link and read the Orlando Sentinel article to form your own opinion.


Erin Andrews Distracting Players

ESPN’s Erin Andrews is so sexy she’s got Louisville Cardinals baseball coach Dan McDonnell worried that his players will be distracted.

Sexy Erin Andrews Photo 1 Distracting Players Louisville might be making its first appearance at the College World Series, but the senior-laden Cardinals aren’t overwhelmed by the spectacle.

“I don’t want to hide from the fact that the kids are going to be excited, I don’t want them to try to act too macho,” Cardinals coach Dan McDonnell said. “The coolest they tried to act was when they met (ESPN’s) Erin Andrews in the lobby. I told them, ‘guys, stop acting like you’re so cool and macho.’ This is a kids’ game, and they should be excited.”

Funny. But he has a point. Being on big time TV makes the kids nervous enough without having to worry about impressing a hot chick.

via Rob Tringali and Relentless Grace


Blogger Tossed From NCAA Baseball Tourney

A reporter was tossed from the college baseball tournament for live-blogging a game.

A reporter was ejected from an NCAA baseball tournament game for submitting live Internet updates during play. Brian Bennett, a writer for The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal, was approached Sunday by an NCAA representative in the bottom of the fifth inning and told that blogging from an NCAA championship event is against NCAA policies.

Bennett had done live blogging during Louisville’s super regional games against Oklahoma State in the previous two games of the three-game series. The representative revoked Bennett’s credential Sunday and asked him to leave the game.

“It’s clearly a First Amendment issue,” said Bennie Ivory, the newspaper’s executive editor. “This is part of the evolution of how we present the news to our readers. It’s what we did during the Orange Bowl. It’s what we did during the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s what we do.” The newspaper’s lawyer, Jon L. Fleischaker, added: “I think there’s the potential for some action. We’re still talking about it.”

NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said Monday that Bennett was asked not to blog about game action before Sunday’s game. “In a nutshell, we asked the blogger repeatedly not to cover it in that manner, because it violates the policy, and he continued, and his credential was revoked,” Williams said.

Ivory is right that, in the Internet age, people expect information instantaneously. The NCAA policy here is swimming against the tide and, given how little interest there is in college baseball compared to other sports, pretty short-sighted.

That said, it’s simply idiotic to proclaim this a First Amendment issue. The government isn’t censoring the press here. Rather, a business is making a decision about how to control access to a private good. They have every right to do that.


Junior College World Series, the Way the Game Should Be

I happen to live a couple blocks from Suplizio Field, home of the JUCO World Series. Just a great old-fashioned baseball story. Enjoy!

Grand Junction

To find the best baseball story in Colorado, head west on Interstate 70. Pass the ski resorts and aspen trees. Pass the grape vineyards and the red-capped mesas of the Western Slope and hang a right at the corner of North Avenue and 12th Street – the home of the Junior College World Series. It was here, during the city’s first tournament at the now-renamed Suplizio Field, where Walter Bergman Jr. pulled a cap low over his forehead one night in 1959, stood on the steps of the dugout and proclaimed himself the most important kid in town. The Mesa Junior College batboy was 7 years old.

“Those are memories that last forever,” said Bergman, now 55, whose father was a longtime baseball coach at Mesa, now Mesa State College. “This game is special in so many ways.

“You walk out there, and you feel it. You really can’t explain what this means to us, because words can’t describe it.”

And he might have a point. How can you adequately explain the importance of an event that brings together thousands of people to watch two teams from two-year colleges play baseball? And that’s just the 9 a.m. game.

Read on after the jump…

source: The Denver Post

Update* We had a reader ask for a link to the results from this years Junior College World Series. Here you go

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University of Miami Baseball team to take extra security when they travel to Virginia Tech

Coach Jim Morris wants his players to feel comfortable.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami’s baseball team will travel to Virginia Tech this weekend as scheduled, though it’ll be with additional security.

Speaking one day after a gunman killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus before shooting himself — the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history — Miami coach Jim Morris said Tuesday that he doesn’t believe his team will be in an unsafe environment but is adding extra protection to put his players’ minds at ease.

“I just want our guys to feel comfortable,” Morris said.

Morris called Virginia Tech coach Peter Hughes on Tuesday to offer his condolences.

“They want to try to get everything back to normalcy as soon as possible on campus,” Morris said. “There is more security on campus than the rest of state of Virginia right now.”

Miami’s players aren’t certain what to expect on this trip.

“It could be a down game or they could want to lift up the school and want to play hard,” said Scott Maine, who’s expected to be the Hurricanes’ starting pitcher when the series opens Friday. “Who knows? It is so soon from that event.”

The shootings were especially horrifying for Miami outfielder Jonathan Weislow, a freshman from Vienna, Va., who knows several Virginia Tech students.

“All of my friends from high school went there so I immediately starting thinking if my friends were OK,” Weislow said. “Everyone that I talked to was just panicking and said it was just unreal.”

The Hurricanes will be wearing black armbands in memory of the victims.

A nice gesture by the Hurricanes, but the school and its coach are being stupid and paranoid. Higher security of course will cost the school money and for what? The baseball team is more likely to get killed flying up to Virginia than have an incident at the ballgame. Are we supposed to not travel any more? Use your brains people.

What happened in Blacksburg this week was a terrible tragedy. God bless the families of all those who died.

Hat tip- Rick at Stuck on the Palmetto


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