Tag Archives: NCAA college baseball tournament

Girlfriend’s Guide to Baseball Part 3

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness - BookRenter Team
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The 2011 College World Series is Ending.

By Guest Blogger Rachel Freeman I SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY: Undergrad degree – cum laude – in communications. Currently pursuing a master’s in broadcast and electronic communication arts. Currently Social Media Consultant at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Not-so-secret passion: Baseball (go, San Francisco Giants!).

Here’s a review of the 8 contenders.

by Jason Csizmadi

We baseball geeks have been waiting for this moment all year: the College World Series! A double-elimination tournament that began on Saturday, June 18, has determined the two national finalists, South Carolina and Florida, who will battle it out for the national championship in a best-of-three series that started on Monday, June 27.

Here’s a review of the eight teams that competed this year.

Virginia Cavaliers (54-10)
Florida Gators (50-17)
University of North Carolina Tar Heels (50-14)
South Carolina Gamecocks (50-14) – Defending Champions
Vanderbilt Commodores (52-10)
Texas Longhorns (49-17)
Texas A&M Aggies (46-20)
California Bears (37-21)

Virginia Cavaliers (54-10)
The Cavaliers came into the tournament as the top team in the country. They took first place in the ACC during the regular season and won the league tournament. They eased through the first round (Regionals) of the NCAA tournament and then faced UC Irvine in the second round (Super Regionals). They were down to their last out of the tournament, behind 2-1 to Irvine in the bottom of the 9th, when they rallied off three hits to defeat Irvine in walk-off style. The Cavaliers are now set to take on the Cinderella story of the tournament, UC Berkeley.

Player to Watch
Danny Hultzen: Hultzen, a left-handed pitcher and designated hitter, was recently selected as the #2 pick by the Seattle Mariners in the amateur draft. He has dominating stuff both as a pitcher and at the plate. He was also named ACC Pitcher of the Year. This season he is 12-3, has a 1.49 ERA and strikes out 12.5 batters per nine innings.

Florida Gators (50-17)
Florida is the #2 team in the nation, behind only the Cavaliers of Virginia. They began the season ranked #1 and have held the top spots all season. They were co-SEC regular-season champions and won the league tournament outright. Like the Cavaliers, they had an easy time through the Regionals, then faced a tough opponent (Mississippi State) in the Super Regionals. It took them 3 games to clinch a spot in the CWS – a feat powered by a gutsy performance from junior Preston Tucker, who hit what proved to be the game-winning 3-run homerun in the final game. This will be the 7th overall appearance in the CWS for the Gators and the first time in their history with back-to-back appearances. They faced Texas in the first game of the CWS.

Player to Watch
Mike Zunino: The Gators’ starting catcher was named SEC Player of the Year. For the season, he leads his team with a .376 batting average, 22 doubles, and 18 home runs. He also had 66 RBIs.  During the postseason, Zunino has proven yet again to be an integral part of the team – he was 16-30 with 10 RBI and 3 homeruns against Mississippi State. The sophomore has garnered All-America honors from Baseball America, Louisville Slugger, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

University of North Carolina Tar Heels (50-14)
Recently, UNC has been a household name in Omaha. They have appeared in the CWS nine times, with five of those appearances since 2006. They’re nationally ranked at #3, and defeated Stanford to reach the CWS by sweeping them in two straight games. It may surprise skeptics to know that the Tar Heels are back, given that they lost their ace pitcher to the MLB draft last year and their Freshman All-America player to rules violations. Nevertheless, they came back and faced Vanderbilt in their first game.

Player to Watch
Colin Moran: Moran, only a freshman, was named ACC Rookie of the Year this season after hitting .335 with 20 doubles, nine homeruns, and 69 RBIs. Those 69 RBIs led all ACC players in RBIs. He is the Tar Heels’ starting third baseman and was recently named to the Baseball America All-America First Team.

by White & Blue Review

South Carolina Gamecocks (50-14)

The Gamecocks came into this year’s College World Series as the defending champions. In 2010, they defeated UCLA to become the champions of NCAA men’s baseball. This year they were co-SEC regular-season champions with Florida and coasted through the Regionals and Super Regionals unbeaten. Even with injuries to their best player, first baseman Jackie Bradley, Jr., and their weekend pitching rotation, the Gamecocks are out for back-to-back titles and faced Texas A&M in their first game of the tournament.

Player to Watch
Michael Roth: Roth is a junior left-handed pitcher. He ranks second in the nation with a 1.02 ERA and has not given up a run in his last four starts. Roth is a surprise success this season, after having pitched only 3 1/3 innings before the postseason began in 2010. However, he was the winning pitcher against Clemson to get the Gamecocks to national title game. That experience has paid off this year: Roth was recently named to Baseball America’s All-America First Team.

Vanderbilt Commodores (52-10)
The Commodores made their first-ever appearance in this year’s College World Series. They are currently ranked 6th nationally and defeated two-time CWS champion Oregon State (2006, 2007) to make it to Omaha. This postseason the Commodores have outscored their opponents 46-7. Their dominating hitting has been matched by their pitching. The Commodores enter the CWS with an SEC-leading ERA of 2.38, which is also good for third in the nation. Vanderbilt also led the nation in number of selections to Baseball America’s All-America teams, placing four players on the 48-player list. They facedNorth Carolina in their first game.

Player to Watch
Sonny Gray: The junior for the Commodores is the team’s ace pitcher. He was recently selected as an All-American and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the first round of the MLB amateur draft. He currently holds a 12-3 record with a 1.97 ERA. He will take the mound for the Commodores in their first ever CWS appearance.

Texas Longhorns (49-17)
Texas rounds out the nationally ranked teams competing in this year’s College World Series, coming in ranked #7. They have 34 appearances in the CWS and have won six national titles in baseball (most recent title was 2005). Getting to the CWS this year was a battle, though. The co-Big 12 regular-season champs faced elimination in the Regionals against Kent State but were able to edge by them by defeating Kent State in back-to-back games. Texas again faced elimination in the Super Regionals against Arizona State and yet again won two straight games to advance. Texas’s team focus is pitching and defense, and their close games prove that. They faced Florida in their first game.

Player to Watch
Corey Knebel: Only a freshman, Knebel has been the Longhorns’ closer all season. He was named the 2011 NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year. He currently has 19 saves on the season, which set a school record for freshmen. He also holds a 1.15 ERA and has 60 strikeouts in 54.2 innings of work.

by White & Blue Review

Texas A&M Aggies (46-20)
While this will be the Aggies’ 5th appearance in the College World Series, they have had little success in the tournament once they get to Omaha. They are 2-8 lifetime but are hoping that changes in 2011. They defeated Arizona and Florida State, two perennial baseball powerhouses, in the Regionals and Super Regionals, respectively. They shared Big 12 regular-season champ honors with Texas and won the conference tournament. Right before postseason play began, they lost their pitching ace to a season-ending shoulder injury. However, the depth of their pitching carried them through the postseason and right to Omaha. They faced South Carolina in their first game.

Player to Watch
Tyler Naquin: The Big 12 Player of the Year leads his team with a .390 batting average and 65 runs scored. He is also hitting .483 in the postseason. The right fielder is the Aggies leadoff batter and went 2-5 with two runs scored in the clinching game against Florida State a few weekends ago.

by White & Blue Review

California Bears (37-21)
There’s more to say about the Bears than there is room in this blog post. What’s worth noting is that before the season began, the Bears thought this would be their last season ever. The team was cut in October, one day before their fall practices began. In April, it was announced that they raised the $9 million necessary to keep the program alive. They are the Cinderella team of this CWS, not only for this comeback story but also for the way they have played. They were down to their last half-inning against Baylor in the Regionals, down 8-5, when they scored four runs to defeat Baylor and advance to the Super Regionals. This is the first time since 1992 that the team’s been in Omaha. They faced Virginia in their first game.

Player to Watch
Tony Renda: The sophomore second baseman was recently named Pac-10 Player of the Year. He is hitting .335 with 14 doubles and 42 RBIs. He strained his calf during the Super Regionals and was limited to designated hitter. That didn’t stop him, however, as he went 3-9 against Dallas Baptist in the Super Regionals. As a freshman, Renda was named as a Freshman All-American and was first team All-Pac 10. Not only is he a force on the field, but he is a leader in the clubhouse.

We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter.com. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter.Com. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter.Com makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.

View Comment | Add a Comment



Girlfriend’s Guide to Baseball Part 2

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness - BookRenter Team
Tags: , , ,

A Sure-fire Way to Impress People at Your Next Summer Barbecue

By Guest Blogger Rachel Freeman I SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY: Undergrad degree – cum laude – in communications. Currently pursuing a master’s in broadcast and electronic communication arts. Currently Social Media Consultant at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Not-so-secret passion: Baseball (go, San Francisco Giants!).

by _FXR

I love baseball; I love everything about it. (I sometimes trot this sentiment out at parties; as much as I hate to say this, because I’m a girl, if anyone actually happens to be listening I’m practically guaranteed a home run in the game of overall impressiveness. But I digress.) Watching a game, though, makes me realize that baseball is one weird sport. Don’t get me wrong: Being weird is not a bad thing by any means. I’m just saying that baseball has some quirks.

Here are 10 things about baseball that, in my opinion, make it weird.

Adapted from “10 Reasons Baseball is a Weird Sport” by Microsoft Encarta (2000)

  1. If a batter fails two-thirds of the time, he’s considered a top-notch hitter. That is to say, if a hitter’s batting average is .333, he’s most likely one of the best hitters on his team.
  2. If the bases are loaded and the batter walks, he’s credited with an RBI (Run Batted In). He didn’t even hit the ball and he’s credited with “batting in” a runner.
  3. Baseball is played on dirt and grass and yet when the ball gets dirty, the umpire replaces it with a new one. Maybe this explains why the average life of a baseball is 7 pitches.
  4. You know the old adage, “Three strikes and you’re OUT?” Well that’s not always the case. If the catcher drops the pitch for strike three, the batter is allowed to run to first base and has to be thrown out just as if he had actually hit the ball. If he reaches first base safely, the inning continues. Therefore, a pitcher can have 4 strikeouts in one half-inning. And it has actually happened 54 times since the start of Major League Baseball in 1888!
  5. Stealing a base can be a game-changing play in baseball. It’s also one of the few situations in America in which it is actually a good thing to steal!
  6. In football, coaches wear slacks and logo apparel. In basketball, coaches usually wear suits. In baseball, coaches wear the exact same uniform that the players wear.
  7. Baseball players can apparently spit almost anywhere they want. The one place they are not allowed to spit (per rule 8.02 in the Official Rule Book of Major League Baseball): on the ball.
  8. Catcher interference is when a player swinging his bat hits the catcher. Even though the catcher may get injured as a result of this swing, the catcher is still at fault for the contact.
  9. Football fields have the same dimensions no matter where in the country a team is playing. Same with basketball courts and ice hockey rinks. In baseball, there is no one standard for baseball fences. This means that a 330 foot hit in one park may be a homerun, while the same 330 foot hit in another park could just be a really, really long out.
  10. “The 7th-inning stretch” – and here I quote –  “makes baseball the only sport where spectators must take part in calisthenics.”


We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter.com. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter.Com. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter.Com makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.

Add a Comment



Girlfriend’s Guide to Baseball: Part 1 The Basics

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness - BookRenter Team
Tags: , , ,

Editor’s Note:  The NCAA college baseball tournament starts this weekend. Woot, woot….  Ok, seriously if you are like me baseball may as well be a Sanskrit.  I don’t know the pitcher from the shortstop.  To help me get clued in to the action I asked our resident baseball expert to give me (and you) a crash course in baseball 101.

Are you ready for some BASEBALL?

This is part one of a four part series dedicated to America’s favorite pastime, Baseball!
(I was totally thinking it was reality TV. Who knew?)

By Guest Blogger Rachel Freeman I SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY: Undergrad degree – cum laude – in communications. Currently pursuing a master’s in broadcast and electronic communication arts. Currently Social Media Consultant at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Not-so-secret passion: Baseball (go, San Francisco Giants!).

Here are the 6 most important things to know about the game of baseball:

1. There are 3 basic tools needed to play baseball

Glove/mitt: This is a leather glove/mitt used by players in the field to catch the ball. It looks a little like a potholder with fingers. The size and shape of the glove depend greatly on the position of the player using it along with the size of the player’s hand. (You know what they say about people with big hands – they wear big glove… What were you thinking?)

Baseball: The baseball is a round object typically the size of an adult fist. It is covered in white letters and bound with red stitching. The core of a baseball is made of cork or rubber, which is surrounded by yarn before finally being encased in leather. Unlike the other two tools, there is only 1 size for a ball.

The Bat: The baseball bat is used for hitting. It is made of a solid piece of wood or aluminum. The material of the bat depends on the level of play (Major League Baseball uses wood, college may use either, high school and lower use aluminum). The length of the bat for an adult typically ranges from 34 to 42 inches long and weighs no more than 33 ounces.

2. The goal of the game is to (win) score runs.

To do that, two teams consisting of 9 players each take turns playing offense (hitting against a pitcher) and defense (playing in the field). The batting team’s goal is to get on base by hitting the ball or getting walked and ultimately cross home plate. The fielding team’s goal is to prevent the batting team from scoring by making outs.

The game is over after the completion of 9 innings. Each inning consists of a top half with 3 outs and a bottom half with 3 outs, allowing each team the chance to play offense and defense.

*The team that bats in the top half of each inning is typically the visiting team.

3. Dimensions of the playing field

There are 4 bases on the playing field: 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and home. For Major League Baseball and college baseball, the distance between each base on the field is 90 feet and the distance from the pitcher’s rubber (found at the top of the pitcher’s mound) is 60 feet 6 inches. Outfield fences vary greatly depending on the stadium, with 320 feet typically being the shortest and 500 being the longest.

TD Ameritrade Field, home of the 2011 College World Series, has outfield fences that are 335 feet from home plate down each foul line and 408 feet in center field.

4. Positions on the field

There are 9 positions on the baseball field. The positions are: pitcher, catcher, 1st baseman, 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. These positions can be better understood by looking at a picture.

5. Outs are made three different ways:

  • The ball is hit and the defending team catches the ball before it hits the ground.
  • Defending team throws the ball to a base before the runner gets there.
  • Striking out a player when he is batting (3 strikes and you’re out!)

6. Scoring runs is achieved by getting runners on base.

Runners get on base by hitting the ball and not making an out or getting walked.

When a batter hits the ball and the fielding team is unable to get him out, he is awarded a base. A single means he got to 1st base, a double to 2nd base and a triple to 3rd base. A homerun means the player hit the ball over the fence and gets all 4 bases.

A run is scored when a runner reaches home. [Remember the movie Angels in the Outfield where Danny Glover’s character tells the little kid, Marvin, to run home so he literally runs to his house?]

So now that you know the basics, you are ready to watch the tournament from start to finish! Check out the teams playing here and tell us who you’re rooting for!


We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter.com. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter.Com. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter.Com makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.

Add a Comment