Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Per Your Request: Beesball Time

I put the "Skribit" module in the left-hand column so you could offer up your own story ideas and then vote on them. Well, the readers have spoken, and clearly many of you want to see some better coverage of our beesball team. No doubt my coverage of Danny Hall's crew has been subpar, but let's try to deal with that right now.

33-14 overall
12-12 in the ACC
24-7 at home
9-7 away
21-2 non-conference (Rutgers, Coastal Carolina)
1-8 versus top 3 RPI teams (Miami, FSU, UNC)
Polls: #25 Collegiate Baseball (only ranking)
RPI #9

ACC Standings (As Of May 6)

School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 22-5-0 .815 40-7-0 .851
NC State 15-8-0 .652 33-14-0 .702
Clemson 10-16-1 .389 24-23-1 .510
Wake Forest 8-15-0 .348 19-27-0 .413
Maryland 8-19-0 .296 27-24-0 .529
Boston College 8-19-0 .296 24-23-0 .511

School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Miami 20-2-0 .909 39-5-0 .886
North Carolina 18-5-0 .783 39-8-0 .830
Virginia 13-11-0 .542 33-15-0 .688
Georgia Tech 12-12-0 .500 33-14-0 .702
Duke 8-14-1 .370 34-14-1 .704
Virginia Tech 4-20-0 .167 20-27-0 .426

May 7 - UGAg - the rematch against Georgie. The Jackets are 10-0 against teams in the state of Georgia, and that includes a 9-4 victory over the Mutts April 9. This one is on the road and is a chance at a moral victory as much as anything.................. as always.

May 9,10,11 - Clemson. The Tigers are reeling and they are going to desparate for some W's to get themselves a shot at the ACC tournament (remember not everyone gets to play). We will need to take that series.

May 13 - UGAg again. Hopefully not the rubber match. Hopefully the Jackets' shot at a sweep.

May 15,16,17 - UVA. Another important series and a chance to finish strong.

May 21-25 - ACC Tourney

May 30 - June 2 - NCAA Regionals

June 6-9 Super Regionals

June 13-23 College World Series

At this point, the Jackets are really playing to be one of 16 hosts for a Regional series. A strong finish could get us solidly back in the top 20 and our outstanding facilities could give us an edge to host a regional. However, at this point, we're being projected by Baseball America to play in a Regional hosted by UGAg. That would be the worst case scenario for both UGAg and GT.

For the memebers of the 2008 beesball team, the death of Michael Hutts will be felt long after that last pitch is made. What is currently being written is a story of overcoming adversity, of finding that place deep down inside that allows you to go on and rise above pain, hurt and heartache.

After getting decimated by Miami, the Jackets have rebounded. They've won 6 of their last 8 games, batting .340 with 27 HR's and 20 doubles during that time. The offense has been on a tear the last 11 games, hitting .348 with 35 HR's and 34 doubles. In fact more than half of their hits in that span have gone for extra bases.

As a team, the Jackets lead the ACC in HR's with 80, while the pitching staff has limited opponents to a .271 average. This team has a bright future as freshman are playing key roles in their success (Dietrich, Nichols, Rowland, Burnette, Leonida). In addition, a quartet of juniors are playing a key role as well (Murton, Blackmon, House and Haniger). I guess they've stepped up in their "contract year".

Who knows where this team is headed. What we know is that this team has a devestating tragedy to deal with. What we know is that they are playing their best ball since that time. What we know is that they have responded. What we know is that their only real struggles this season were against the best of the best.

This story is just beginning. We all hope is has a happy ending after what this group of guys has been through.