Gopher baseball takes on Cal State Fullerton tonight in game one of the NCAA Tournament. 10:00 PM is first pitch and the game can be seen on ESPN U. A win tonight would be a huge upset but it also is incredibly important if they want to have a shot at winning the Regional.
The good news is that CSF will be without their best offensive player, Gary Brown, who is out with a broken middle finger. According to The College Baseball Blog here is what we have to worry about when it comes to the Titan's offense.
With Brown out, the Titans will lean heavily on Junior SS Christian Colon, who had a career year with 14 HR and 58 RBI while batting .347 and has been moved to the leadoff spot in the absence of Brown.. #5 hitter Sophomore 1B Nick Ramirez came on strong in conference play and totaled 13 homeruns hitting .367 with a team leading 68 RBI for the season, and has been a doubles machine with 27 on the season. Ramirez also comes into to close some ball games with 9 saves on the season. Freshman RF Carlos Lopez is heading into his first postseason hitting .383 with 7 HR and 49 RBI, primarily hitting out of the 3rd spot of the order. Lopez and Ramirez sandwich cleanup hitter Tyler Pill, who is focusing mainly on the DH role even though he has started 9 games on the mound. Pill is hitting .371 with 7 homeruns and 41 RBI.
And our likely pitching opponent tonight?
Speaking of on the mound, the Titans have gotten an amazing effort out of Sophomore RHP Noe Ramirez. The product of East Los Angeles has been named Big West Player of the Week twice this season, including a 14 K complete game shutout of Tempe Regional participant Hawaii. Ramirez totaled a 10-1 record with a 2.50 ERA while establishing his presence on the mound with a 9.5 K/9 rating.
I'm planning to be watching the game tonight so if anyone wants to chat let me know.
- Dan Wilson is a former Golden Gopher who had a 14 year MLB career. Here is a nice story on him recently completing his degree at the U.
- Rivals posted their top 10 offensive players in the Big Ten this year, plus their 10 who just missed the cut. Not one Gopher among the top 20 offensive players in the conference. Let's hope somebody steps up to prove this wrong.
- Rivals previews the Cal State Fullerton Regional.
- College Baseball Blog previews the Cal State Fullerton Regional, picks Gophers to finish 4th.
UPDATED - one last Nugg
- In case you are wondering how the whole Big 12 / Pac 10 expansion conversation happened, Maize n Brew gives us the juicy details.