Pack Baseball Season Begins Today

I’m purposely delaying my baseball preview until Sunday to allow the UVa basketball game to get the attention it deserves. However, I thought I would at least point out that Rhode Island, Santa Clara and Xavier are in town as the Wolfpack season gets underway. State’s first game gets going in a few minutes against Rhode Island, with Jake Buchanan getting the ball to open the year.

Without giving away too much of the preview– one thing to watch this year will be the impact of freshmen on this team. True freshman John Gianis is apparently getting a start in left today.

Since many got interested in the baseball team as last season progresses, I figured I’d get something up before the first pitch. Feel free to use this thread for in game comments– I will try to post game updates periodically.

First Inning: Buchanan goes 1-2-3 with one strikeout on 16 pitches. State puts runners on first and second with one out, new arrival Drew Poulk (Dallas’ cousin) strikes out, Ferguson walks to load the bases. True freshman Pratt Maynard delivers a 2-run single to get the pack on the board. For those who like trivia, the answer to “Who got the first Wolfpack hit in 2009” is Kyle Wilson.

Second Inning: Buchanan 1-2-3. Dallas Poulk scored Gianis on a double to left field. The Wolfpack lead 3-0 after two innings of play.

Third Inning: Buchanan 1-2-3 (Need to macro this on my keyboard). Maynard draws a two out walk and Chris Schaeffer makes them pay with a 2-run shot to left. I said it last year, and I’ll say it again this year: walks + aluminum bats = bad for pitchers. 5-0 State after 3 innings of play.

Fourth Inning: Buchanan gives up a single followed by a two-run homer, but calms down to retire the side. State answers with a run on a Kyle Wilson sacrifice fly. 6-2 State after 4 innings of play.

Fifth Inning: Buchanan gives up a couple of hits, but State escapes the inning unscathed. The Wolfpack pick up a two out single from Scaeffer, but the inning ends after he is caught stealing. I really hope that was a busted hit-and-run. Kyle Rutter comes on to pitch the sixth for State.

Sixth Inning: Rutter comes in shaky, giving up a two-run homer. No more damage is done. State gets a run back on a Drew Martin single. 7-4 State after 6 innings of play.

Seventh Inning: Rutter has made this a game with a very shaky outing today. Then again, the hitters might have been ready to tee off on anyone not named Buchanan. Mazzoni came in to get the last two outs after Rutter allowed 2 runs. Nothing for state in the bottom of the inning. 7-6 Wolfpack with 2 innings to play.

Eighth Inning: The bullpen continues to struggle, as Rhode Island plates 5 runs in the top of the frame. Kyle Wilson drives in a run in the bottom of the inning to make it 11-8 Rhode Island through eight innings.

Ninth Inning: Pretty uneventfull, although the Pack did bring the tying run to the plate with 2 out. State drops it 11-8 despite a nice start from Buchanan. Look for these types of games to occur less frequently as starters stretch further into games and the bullpen gets sorted out behind Gilheeney and Cutler.

About Dr. BadgerPack

NCSU Class of 99 and PhD University of Wisconsin, 2006... Which should adequately explain the screen name I chose at 2am one Saturday...

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16 Responses to Pack Baseball Season Begins Today

  1. Alpha Wolf 02/20/2009 at 3:09 PM #

    I will be really interested to see how RW does when he gets out there. He’s going to be at 3rd base this season, right?

  2. Noah 02/20/2009 at 3:12 PM #

    Weren’t there several true freshmen pitchers that were being counted on to make a big impact?

  3. Dr. BadgerPack 02/20/2009 at 3:16 PM #

    Noah- I would guess at least one true Freshman pitcher among Conver, Mazzoni, Sinclair and Russo will be in the weekend rotation. One of those will probably see action today as well, since I doubt Buchanan is stretched beyong 3 or 4 innings.

  4. Noah 02/20/2009 at 4:08 PM #

    Walks and papier-mâché bats are a bad combination.

    Is Buchanan on a pitch-count limit or an inning limt?

  5. old13 02/20/2009 at 4:15 PM #

    Can anyone explain why neither nor nor any other outlet provides coverage (i.e., ongoing in-game stats) of NCAA baseball as they do football, basketball and some of the more popular “minor” NCAA sports?

  6. Dr. BadgerPack 02/20/2009 at 4:15 PM #

    I have no idea whether the limit is pitch count or inning (probably count)– but Avent in the past his liked to use a lot of pitchers in the early games. Similar to MLB spring training pitching. I would guess Buchanan is out after this inning (5th), which is one more inning than I thought he’d get.

  7. graywolf 02/20/2009 at 4:46 PM #

    Triad pack fans : baseball @ Elon 4:00 pm next Wed. Try to make the game.

  8. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 02/20/2009 at 7:18 PM #

    As only a casual fan of college baseball I was curious to hear a comment a while back about some trying to move baseball to the 2nd summer session-fall. Does anyone know if that is realistic or something that is seriously considered?

    Seems to me that the playoffs and college World Series would be more exciting just before the MLB series and before football season peaks. Seems odd to have the season come to a conclusion once the majority of students are away.

  9. Dr. BadgerPack 02/20/2009 at 7:43 PM #

    My biggest problem with moving the season as such is the nature of baseball scholarships. These usually aren’t full, so many of the athletes rely on full-time summer jobs.

  10. highstick 02/20/2009 at 7:44 PM #

    It’s too cold to be playing baseball!!! Unless it’s indoors in a heated stadium!!

  11. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 02/20/2009 at 8:27 PM #

    Dr.- Sounds like a realistic concern. Does the NCAA allow athletes to work PT during the spring/fall? Teams that make the playoffs probably prevent players from finding full-time summer work. I have no idea if it would be a good idea.

    I also see the conflict with football and baseball/football athletes wouldn’t be able to exist. I would think baseball/basketball athletes would benefit from the move.

  12. Noah 02/20/2009 at 9:56 PM #

    Yes, athletes can work in the offseason. Moving it would also interfere with the Cape Cod league play, wouldn’t it?

  13. packpowerfan 02/20/2009 at 10:41 PM #

    It was COLD AS HELL OUT THERE TODAY!!! I went with three other students, and was impressed with Buchanan’s performance, as well as the first six innings of offense. I believe it got too cold for the offense to do much later, as URI is probably used to colder temperatures than this. I won’t say I was unhappy with the freshman bullpen rotation, considering the temperature, and it being their first collegiate experiences. I expect them to develop more, though they are all going to have to be able to pull their pitches up. There were a TON of garbage pitches that were digging trenches at home plate.

  14. Classof89 02/20/2009 at 11:15 PM #

    We looked absolutely horrific today. Buchanan pitched great and left with a 4 or 5 run lead. The two middle relief guys (don’t know the first guy, second was Mazzone) were absolutely awful, giving up nine runs (I think all of them were earned). Just couldn’t throw strikes, at least not strikes that the other team wouldn’t spray all over the outfield. Last two innings after we’d fallen behind: 6 strikeouts. The freshmen looked like, well, freshmen…

    Good news is, URI was third in the preseason A-10 poll, so they aren’t a total garbage team. Bad news, Xavier was one of the teams picked above them, and we still have to face them this weekend…

  15. TheCOWDOG 02/21/2009 at 8:14 AM #

    Noah, the summer leagues are where stars are made.

    No aluminum. Cape Cod, Shenandoah Valley,and Alaskan Panhandle are the 3 top leagues.

    And they do work while playin’, unless supported by parents.
    When I played in the Valley, I recall the league allowing 40 bucks a month stipend.

  16. Classof89 02/23/2009 at 9:41 AM #

    Pack goes 1-2 in the weekend tournament, losing to Xavier as well. Not a great start to the season, but they are breaking in a lot of new faces…lets hope it’s opening weekend jitters, because at least 6 or 7 of our future ACC opponents are much better than the teams we faced this weekend…

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