Monthly Archives: February 2011

Coastal Carolina Baseball – Week Two

The Chanticleers hosted Baseball at the Beach at BB&T Coastal Field. Here are some brief notes.

Game 1: Kansas State University

The rain started coming down hard in the eighth inning and so did the Coastal meltdown. Trailing 4-1, KSU loaded the bases on two hits and one walk. A routine double play ball found its way through a Chanticleer’s legs and the score was 4-3. Another error later and the score was tied. The Wildcats took the lead on a sacrifice fly.

Kansas State closer James Allen was as advertised. He retired the side in order to close out the ninth for his third save this year.

Notable:

Josh Conway – Pitched a solid game going into the sixth without giving up a hit.

Scott Woodward – One stolen base.

Kansas State                      0 0 0       0 0 1       0 4 0       5 4 0

Coastal Carolina                1 0 0       1 0 0      2 0 0        4 6 4

Game 2: California

This was expected to be a marquee matchup between two nationally ranked college baseball teams. It turned out to be a blowout as the number 17 Golden Bears routed Coastal 17-0. Sometimes you are on and sometimes you’re not.

The sooner the Chanticleers put this game behind them the better.

California             0 0 6       0 3 0       1 5 2       17 18 1

Coastal                 0 0 0       0 0 0       0 0 0       0   3  0

Game 3: Western Kentucky

The Chanticleers got back in the win column taking game three from the previously undefeated Hilltoppers 6-1.

Coastal started off the fourth inning old school style. Taylor Motter walked and stole second. Tommy La Stella singled him home. The Chanticleers loaded the bases later in the same inning on a combination error, hit-by-pitch and walk. Scott Woodward then singled in 2 RBI for a 4-1 lead.

Altogether the Chants had seven hits. Woodward went 2 for 5 with 3 RBI including a home run. La Stella and Hayes Orton each went 2 for 4 while Motter also had a hit.

Stefan del Pino (1-0) was the winning pitcher. Ryan Connolly picked up his first save for season.

Western Kentucky          0 0 1       0 0 0       0 0 0       1 8 3

Coastal Carolina                0 0 0       4 0 0       2 0 X       6 7 1

Game 4: N.C. State

Coastal lost its third game of the tournament today losing to N.C. State 12-3. When I previewed this game earlier, I posted that the Wolfpack could hit and could score runs. The only question mark was pitching. Danny Healey (2-0) answered that question going seven complete innings. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out six.

Jim Birmingham (0-1) took the loss for the Chants. In total, Coastal used six pitchers.

Notable: 

Hayes Orton had two doubles including one for an RBI.

N.C. State                            0 1 1       7 0 3       0 0 0       12 16 2

Coastal Carolina                0 0 0       0 0 2       0 1 0       3    5  3

It’s been a long four days for Coastal Carolina baseball. The Chanticleers are now 4-4 on the season.

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Baseball at the Beach Preview

Coastal Carolina welcomes Kansas State, California, Western Kentucky, Pacific and N.C. State to Myrtle Beach for the annual Baseball at the Beach Tournament.

Coastal is 3-1 after the first week but will have to play much better if they hope to have any success this weekend.

Here is a brief look at the visitors.

Kansas State

The Wildcats were 37-22 last year and finished third in the Big 12 Conference. They return six position players and all three weekend starting pitchers.

Preseason All American Nick Martini leads the offense. He is last year’s Big 12 Player of the Year and led the conference in batting average (.416) and on-base percentage (.576).

The offensive playbook for Kansas State should look familiar to Chanticleer fans: Get on base and be aggressive.  They led the Big 12 last year in batting average, on-base percentage, hit-by-pitches and steals.

If the Wildcats get a lead, they can turn it over to James Allen to close things out. He is on the watch list for the Stopper of the Year award according to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The Wildcats were 28-1 last year when leading after seven innings.

Speaking of closers, Brad Hill is the Wildcat Head Coach. His .714 career winning percentage is sixth in the nation among active coaches. He is 183-13 when his Cats have the lead after seven innings.

California

The lead story this year on California is that this is their last year of college baseball.  That is a sad story for the 17th ranked Golden Bears. This is especially so for the freshman class who were rated number 11 in recruiting by Baseball America. Budget problems are hard on everyone, but it is hard to comprehend how a major university like California could let the baseball program fold.

The Bears went to the Norman Regional last year. They return four starting position players and their entire starting rotation. Actually, they bring back three All-PAC-10 first team players and three conference honorable mentions.

The Bear offense is led by catcher Chadd Krist. Last year he hit .344 with 15 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 44 RBI.

California is 2-0 coming off a weekend against Utah. Notes from that series include RHP Erik Johnson going seven innings in game 1. He pitched a shutout while allowing three hits, no runs, no walks and eight strikeouts. In game 2 LHP Justin Jones also went seven innings giving up eight hits, five runs, one walk and five strikeouts.

It was also interesting that the Bears won game 2 in walk off style. Freshman Andrew Knapp pinch- hit an RBI single.

Western Kentucky University

Don’t be fooled by the Hilltoppers 2010 record of 35-23 (16-14 in the Sun Belt Conference). They should be much better this year. They return 19 lettermen including three Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference players.

The WKU offense is led by preseason conference players Matt Rice and Kes Carter.

Rice batted .369 and had 10 home runs and 65 RBI last year. He was also a Johnny Bench Award semi-finalist.

Carter had a .341 batting average and knocked home 53 RBI. He can steal and he can field. Last year he was 14 out of 17 attempts. He also had a .993 fielding percentage which translates to one error.

WKU also has a preseason candidate for the 2011 Stopper of the Year Award in Rye Davis. Last year he was second in the Sun Belt with nine saves. He also struck out 63 in 49 and 2/3 innings.

N.C. State

For the second straight weekend, Coastal will face another ACC school.  The Chanticleers take on the Wolfpack Sunday at BB&T Coastal Field.

Like most ACC teams, State travels well. These two teams played last year. What I remember most about the game was a lot of red in the stands and the game seemed much closer than the 6-3 final. I bet the Wolfpack will remember that as well. Hopefully Coastal fans will come out in force.

N.C. State is 1-2 coming off a home and away series with Elon. Pratt Maynard leads the high powered Wolfpack offense with a four game hit streak. They scored 17 runs in their season opener.  Look for other power hitters in Harold Riggins, 12 home runs and 44 RBI last year and Andrew Ciencin who put up 11 home runs, 4 grand slams and 77 RBI.

I’m not sure what to expect on the mound. The starting rotation last weekend consisted of Corey Mazzoni (1-0), Josh Easley (0-1) and Grant Sasser (0-1). We may see freshman LHP D.J. Thomas on the hill. It’s still early and I’m sure that Head Coach Elliott Avent is still working out the kinks.

With patience and discipline, the Chanticleer bats should come alive during this game.

 

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Coastal Carolina Baseball – Week One

Here are a few observations from Coastal Carolina’s first week of baseball.

Game 1:  Boston College

Coastal wins opener in dramatic fashion as Hayes Orton hits walk off 3 run homer. Final: CCU 9; Boston College 6.

Bottom of the 9th;; Coastal down 6-5. Taylor Motter walks and advances to second on a pitch in the dirt. Rich Witten doubles him home and the game is tied.

Boston College goes old school with the intentional walk to Dan Bowman setting up the double play. That brings up Hayes Orton and you know the rest of the story.

Coach Gilmore after the game:

I told them yesterday, I said, ‘We’re going to make a lot of mistakes,’ Gilmore said. I said ‘I watched us practice, I watched us do things,’ and I said, ‘If we win, it probably ain’t going to be pretty, but … if you’ll keep grinding at it, we’ll find ways to win.’

Notables:

Scott Woodward – 2 stolen bases

Josh Conway – Home run

Tucker Frawley – Home run

Boston College     0 0 0  0 2 0  4 0 0    6 6 1

Coastal                    1 0 0   0 3 1  0 0 4    9 11 0

Game 2:  Tennessee Tech

Every baseball fan in the country knows about Anthony Meo but they may not know much about Tyler Herb. I think that will change sooner rather than later. The true freshman RHP went four and 2/3 innings striking out four while giving up six hits, two runs and two walks.

Notable:

Woodward – 1 stolen base

Tennessee Tech                 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0                 2 8 1

Coastal Carolina                1 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 x                   6 8 1

Game 3: Indiana

We lost 2-1 in 16 innings.

Coastal started another freshman on the mound in Stefan del Pino. He did a great job. He went six innings and gave up four hits and no walks.

Errors and long fly balls cost Coastal the game. The bats didn’t seem to work well today. When you hit the ball in the air you don’t give the other team a chance to make an error. Hopefully the Chanticleers will get back to playing small ball.

Notables:

Scott Woodward – 2 stolen bases

Taylor Motter – 2 terrific defensive stops

Game 4: Virginia Tech

Pinch hitting in the bottom of the ninth, Tripp Martin blasted a two run walk off homer in the ninth. Final Score 6-5. For the weekend, that makes two wins over ACC teams in walk off fashion.

Senior LHP Jim Birmingham started the game and went for seven innings. He struck out six and gave up six hits and four runs. Josh Conway got the win.

Va. Tech          1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 1          5 8 3

Coastal             0 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 2          6 6 1

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Opening Day 2011

The Road to Omaha begins today. Coastal Carolina and 299 other teams will embark on a quest for College Baseball’s Promised Land.  Only eight will make it. Will this be the year Coastal makes it to the College World Series? Only time will tell but I would not count them out of it.

Building on the Past

I don’t think anyone would argue with the statement that Coastal suffered the biggest heartbreak in college baseball last year in the Myrtle Beach Super Regional. Losing two games by one run was tough. Although some might say that losing to the eventual National Champions was a consolation prize, I don’t think the team would agree. The sooner Coastal puts that series behind them, the better. I bet that Coach Gilmore and his staff have already accomplished that task.

Preseason Polls and Talking Heads

Depending on what you read or who you listen to, Coastal is highly over-ranked or grossly under-ranked. Who cares? Preseason rankings are fun, but they don’t mean a thing. The season is long and what really counts is how you play the game on the field. Besides, the Coastal players are used to it by now: They play better with a chip on their shoulders.

New Bats and Shorter Games

According to the experts, the new bats will mean fewer home runs. This is good for college baseball and good for Coastal. I like small ball and I like short games – unless it’s a long game and that’s fine too as long as Coastal wins.

Leadership and Electricity

Coastal returns several starters from last year and has some new players that should make a quick impact for this team. As far as leadership, look no further than centerfield. Scott Woodward returns for his senior season and he will light up the park, both on offense and defense. Remember this: Speed kills and a single by Woody will almost always end up a double with his amazing base stealing ability.

Expect great things from Taylor Motter, Dan Bowman, Tommy La Stella and Rich Witten. There will be others.

Pitching

You can’t get to Omaha without good pitching. It doesn’t get any better than all everything Anthony Meo. He is a preseason All American and Coastal’s Ace. Expect senior Jim Birmingham to join the rotation, as well as freshman Tyler Herb and redshirt freshman Stefan del Pino. The bullpen is loaded and led by Seniors Matt Rein and Matt Laney.

The Team and the Season

Coastal has some young arms and some young yet to be proven position players. It’s a long season. One thing we know about Coach Gilmore and his staff is that they will have the Chanticleers ready to play.

I like our chances.

First pitch is at 4:00 against Boston College.

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The ABA on Brady

Today the American Bar Association passed a resolution regarding discovery pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). Resolution 104A urges judges to prepare a checklist of disclosure obligations for prosecutors.

Brady requires the state produce exculpatory evidence to defense counsel. The state doesn’t always play fair. According to the report in support of the resolution:

A substantial number of verified wrongful convictions have been attributed to the use of testimony or physical evidence that was contradicted or undermined by other evidence in the hands of the prosecution, law enforcement or other government agencies, but was not disclosed to the defense even though it qualified as exculpatory evidence under Brady.

I doubt a checklist is going to fix the problem. It’s an ethics thing. If a prosecutor is not turning over discoverable materials, then that prosecutor is unethical. The fact that the ABA has to address this issue is a sad commentary. Even sadder, is the question of whether a checklist will make a prosecutor ethical?

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From Consent to Marijuana

When I wrote last week’s post about how the evidence in drug cases has evolved from dropsy to consent, I had already decided what to write about this week. I planned on writing what I thought was the next step in the evidence evolution for the war on drugs – the smell of marijuana.

From the “anything you can do…” department comes Scott Greenfield who tells us that dropsy has not evolved into consent.

Consent has been part of the arsenal since those early, immature days.  As has the ability to use the few provable facts combined with the unprovable, like the “poignant” smell of marijuana, or the omnipresent glassine handed off, as seen from 700 yards away through two buildings and a parked car.  Whatever was needed, arose.

He’s right. Consent has been around and so has marijuana but it just seems that there has been a larger-than-life explosion in search cases with the smell of marijuana. This appears to be especially the case in traffic stops. I believe that it may have something to do with advanced technology.

In the old days a police officer pulled someone over and searched their car. If they needed a reason at court then consent was always a good answer. Nowadays though patrol cars are wired for video and audio recording. Pull someone over and it’s all on tape.  It’s good for prosecuting the bad guy.

The problem sometimes is that it’s all on tape – including the part where the defendant says: “No you can’t search my car.” At the risk of sounding cynical, the “smell of marijuana” takes care of that problem. To paraphrase Irving Younger: Surely, though, not in every case was the defendant unlucky enough to be smoking marijuana at the feet of a policeman.

And what if the traffic stop search doesn’t turn up any marijuana? Not to worry, there are other ways to handle the suppression hearing, including simply saying: I could’ve sworn I smelled marijuana.

From Simple Justice:

Times have grown more complicated, and the police have adapted.  No matter how good your fastball, you need to change it up with a curve every now and then.  Maybe even a spitball if the ump will let you get away with it.

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