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Friday, June 19, 2009

Beware the Hogs

OMAHA, Neb. - Do not automatically think LSU will win today's 1 p.m. game against Arkansas because it looks like the Tigers are overwhelming favorites with rested pitchers and a 9-1 win over the Razorbacks last Monday along with four of five wins over the Hogs on the season.

This is baseball, not football. Anything can happen in baseball because pitchers constantly change the game. Arkansas will be throwing its closer, Steven Richards, today either as the starter or second behind reliever Zack Cox. Richards is 6-1 with a 1.82 ERA and nine saves. Cox is 5-1 with a 3.50 ERA.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, who is very good, wants to get off to a good start and be in the game as it gets late. That's why he's going with Richards and Cox early even though neither has ever started this season. Closers enter with a sense of urgency and can often last longer than you think. Van Horn may use three or four other pitchers, too.

LSU is going with one of the best pitchers in the country in Anthony Ranaudo (10-3, 3.03 ERA), but he struggled the last time he pitched against Arkansas.

The Hogs are also on an adrenaline-charged, emotional high after facing certain defeat a half dozen times against Virginia Wednesday night but pulled it out in 12, 4-3. That can do wonders for a team in Omaha. Arkansas won in similar fashion throughout the postseason.

Arkansas does not think it can die now. The same thing happened with Fresno State last season and Oregon State in 2006. Each fought through the losers' bracket to win the national title over teams with more pitching and more rest.

Beware. I do not think Arkansas could beat LSU twice in a row, but it could win today.

And remember, no national top seed has won this national championship since 2003. Anything can happen in baseball, particularly at the College World Series. By the way, where is No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton? Do not bet on baseball. It's not football. Odds are for losers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong again, Glenbeau. Maybe UA had a chance today IF they were not a piecemeal team - both pitchers and position players. Right idea but about the wrong team, GG.

5:15 PM  

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