Next up San Diego!

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Next up San Diego!

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu May 06, 2010 2:51 pm

this is probably for the conference title and the automatic bid!


#22 PORTLAND vs. #23 SAN DIEGO
Friday, May 7th at 3:00pm

Saturday, May 8th at 1:00pm
>>KIDS DAY!! All kids 13 and under receive FREE admission and team posters!

Sunday, May 9th at 1:00pm
>>DOLLAR DAY!! Game tickets, ice cream, soda, popcorn, candy – ALL JUST A BUCK!!
Sunday is also Senior Day as we honor five graduating Pilots!!

#22 PORTLAND vs. WASHINGTON STATE
Tuesday, May 11th at 3:00pm

#22 PORTLAND vs. #19 OREGON
Tuesday, May 18th at 3:00pm

All games are played at Joe Etzel Field. Tickets are just $5 for adults and $3 for youth - available at the door or at all Ticketmaster outlets!

Geezaldinho
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Re: Next up San Diego!

Post by PilotNut on Thu May 06, 2010 5:32 pm

Does the WCC still do a championship series? Historically, there was a final 3-game series with the top 2 teams to determine the auto-bid... scratch

Last year, GU beat LMU for the auto-bid in a Championship Series (not just the regular season title); per the 2010 WCC Baseball Preview's 2009 recap:

... Gonzaga University received the WCC’s only bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the WCC Baseball Championship Series against Loyola Marymount. The regular season and championship series title were the first in program history...

So, does the team that wins the regular season title host the 3-game Championship Series?

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Re: Next up San Diego!

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu May 06, 2010 6:27 pm

PilotNut wrote:Does the WCC still do a championship series? Historically, there was a final 3-game series with the top 2 teams to determine the auto-bid... scratch

Last year, GU beat LMU for the auto-bid in a Championship Series (not just the regular season title); per the 2010 WCC Baseball Preview's 2009 recap:

... Gonzaga University received the WCC’s only bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the WCC Baseball Championship Series against Loyola Marymount. The regular season and championship series title were the first in program history...

So, does the team that wins the regular season title host the 3-game Championship Series?


Good question. I'm working off this assumption.

But just being in position to make a run at the conference title is a huge development for a Portland program that has finished in the bottom two of the WCC each of the last seven years, including four last-place finishes. The WCC did away with its best-of-three championship series, so the Pilots need to win the regular-season title to claim the league's automatic bid. If the Pilots can win the series against San Diego at home, they will be in very good shape, because they lead the next team in the standings (San Francisco) by four games.

Portland's success has been one of the nation's more notable surprises in 2010, but Sperry isn't exactly shocked.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/college/?p=3079

So, it looks like we have to beat USD this weekend ( and of course finish out better in conference).


Last edited by Purplegeezer on Thu May 06, 2010 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Next up San Diego!

Post by Geezaldinho on Thu May 06, 2010 6:34 pm

Maybe the best thing is to post the whole segment. It's pretty good.

Posted Apr. 26, 2010 1:44 pm by Aaron Fitt
Strike Two: Pilots Flyindg High

Heading into this weekend, Portland had played 33 games at Pepperdine, dating back to 1985.

The Waves had won 32 of them.

So it meant something that Portland swept Pepperdine in Malibu this weekend, even if the Waves are having a disappointing season (the sweep dropped them to 13-22 overall).

When asked if this was a statement weekend for his team, Pilots coach Chris Sperry started to downplay its significance—then allowed that "maybe it is."

"We just want to keep plugging along and doing what we're doing and try to keep making a statement each time out," he said. "But (Pepperdine is) a storied program. I don't know that this is a typical Pepperdine team in terms of being strong everywhere—they've pounded my brains in so many times with clubs that were better than we saw this weekend.

"But I was very proud of our guys. Our pitchers did a good job of holding the game close. When you're facing guys like those pitchers at Pepperdine, they're not going to make it easy for you, and they don't give you a lot of big innings. In the case of this weekend, it was mid to late in the game, the seventh inning in some cases, before some things started happening for us. I was proud of our guys—there was no quit, no panic."

Portland has won seven straight games to climb to 27-9 overall and 11-1 in the West Coast Conference, with a showdown against league favorite San Diego (9-0 in the WCC) looming in two weeks. The Pilots almost certainly need to win the WCC's automatic bid in order to make regionals for the first time since 1991, because their soft nonconference schedule hurts their RPI (76th).

But just being in position to make a run at the conference title is a huge development for a Portland program that has finished in the bottom two of the WCC each of the last seven years, including four last-place finishes. The WCC did away with its best-of-three championship series, so the Pilots need to win the regular-season title to claim the league's automatic bid. If the Pilots can win the series against San Diego at home, they will be in very good shape, because they lead the next team in the standings (San Francisco) by four games.

Portland's success has been one of the nation's more notable surprises in 2010, but Sperry isn't exactly shocked.

"I may not have been able to predict that we would have this hot a start, but at the start of the year we knew we would be pretty competitive based on a strong pitching staff and two very strong catchers and a strong middle infield and a very good center fielder," Sperry said. "If you buy into being strong up the middle, we felt like we had a chance to be good. Our pitching has been even better than expected, and we play pretty solid defense. We don't have a ton of offense, but we never seem to be out of a game, and I really credit our pitchers with that."

Portland has a bona fide college ace in junior righty Zach Varce (5-1, 2.86 with 79 strikeouts and 17 walks in 69 innings), who has built upon his dominant summer in the Northwoods League. Varce commands a solid four-pitch mix, including an 88-91 mph fastball that touches 93 now and then, a good slider and good curveball, and a split-finger.

"He's been so effective throwing strikes, and hitters can't sit on any pitch because he's been so effective with all of them," Sperry said. "Hitters are constantly off-balance against him."

Varce had a good sophomore year serving mostly as Portland's closer, but the addition of junior college transfer Chris Dennis (4-0, 1.12 with 12 saves and a 41-8 strikeout-walk ratio in 32 innings) has shored up the back of the pen and allowed Varce to focus on starting.

The best arm on the staff, though, belongs to redshirt sophomore righty Owen Jones (3-1, 2.78), who had Tommy John surgery right before the 2009 season started. Jones worked his way back into the rotation gradually this spring and turned in six strong innings Sunday against the Waves in his fourth start, allowing just two unearned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out nine.

"He was touching 94 (Sunday) with his fastball, with a real firm slider and a good changeup, and he's got a curveball that he'll mix in," Sperry said. "He might have the best stuff we have on the club. It's just a matter of getting consistent with it and regaining that pitching feel."

That strong pitching core takes pressure off the lineup, which features only one player with more than five home runs—sophomore catcher/DH Beau Fraser (.378/.434/.580 with six homers and 39 RBIs). The strength of the team is up the middle, as Sperry said. Second baseman Riley Henricks and shortstop Kris Kauppila form a steady double-play tandem, and center fielder Craig Smith has excellent range in center field.

Smith did not make the trip to Malibu because of a hyper-extended knee, so Portland plugged freshman Nick Armento into center field and did not miss a beat. It will take more than that to slow down these Pilots.

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Re: Next up San Diego!

Post by PilotNut on Thu May 06, 2010 7:59 pm

That would explain why I couldnt find any information on a potential Championship Series. I like it better this way, especially since any 1st-place ties can be broken by the 3-game head to head results...

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