Notebook: What A Relief
April 20, 2009
By Amy Farnum Novin
WHAT A RELIEF: Texas continued to roll with a flawless 5-0 week, including a sweep of then-No. 10 Oklahoma in Big 12 action, with the help of senior reliever Austin Wood.
The native of Kingwood, Texas, tossed 6.0 scoring innings in four appearances last week, striking out nine batters and surrendering just two hits and two walks during the stretch. Wood pitched in all three games against the Sooners, including both ends of a doubleheader on April 18 to earn Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors for the fourth time of his career.
The Longhorns have won 10 straight games, moving up four spots to No. 5 in the latest Baseball America Top 25. Texas has reeled off seven straight victories in Big 12 play, and currently holds a 1.5 game lead in the league standings. The Longhorns have won 15 of its last 17 contests since a three-game road sweep at Kansas on March 20-22. Texas looks extend its streak when it hosts No. 2 Rice on April 21.
EATER NATION: UC Irvine claimed its first No. 1 ranking in its Division I history after posting its third straight sweep of a Big West opponent as the Anteaters down UC Riverside last weekend.
The Anteaters, voted the top-ranked team by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, top the league with an 11-1 record, and have won seven of their last eight games after recording a 4-1 mark last week. UCI will now move out of conference this week, hosting Oregon on April 20-21, and then taking a road trip to Utah on April 23-25.
GOLDEN BOY: Minnesota’s Derek McCallum turned in a spectacular week at the plate, blasting six home runs and knocking in 20 runs in five games for the Golden Gophers last week.
The junior second baseman batted .636, raising his season average 43 points to a Big Ten-leading mark of .404, while posting a 1.636 slugging percentage. McCallum became the first Golden Gopher to hit a homer in three straight games since 2004, and now paces the league with 52 RBI on the season.
The native of Shoreview, Minn., was selected Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week for his outstanding play.
ONE-HIT WONDERS: A trio of pitchers -- North Carolina’s Alex White, UCLA’s Trevor Bauer and Arkansas’ Brett Eibner -- garnered recognition as Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week after throwing one-hitters over the weekend.
White held then-No. 13 Miami to one hit in a 3-0 victory as he fanned a season-high 10 batters in his first career complete-game shutout as the Tar Heels swept the Hurricanes last weekend. Bauer, a freshman from Valencia, Calif., struck out a career-best nine batters in his first career complete game as the Bruins downed Washington, 13-0.
Eibner led the Razorbacks to a 2-0 win over No. 8 Georgia on April 19 as the Bulldogs were held to a one-hit shutout for the first time since 1994. The sophomore fanned 12 batters and did not walk a batter in the contest. It was the first complete-game shutout by a Razorback since 2007.
NOTABLE: Cal Poly senior centerfielder Ryan Lee stretched his hitting streak to 26 games in a three-game sweep of UC Davis, setting a new school record, while freshman second baseman Matt Jensen extended his hitting streak to 23 games for the third-longest in the program’s Division I history.
The Aggies have won 17 straight home games and moved into second place in the Big West standings with the sweep.