So This Is the Way Baseball Season Ends…

…not with a bang, but a whimper. That said, I still tip my cap to the team for a compelling ACC run. You have to imagine that the Pack Nine were physically and emotionally drained after that. And this was always a flawed team, just one that had a well-timed hot streak late. Omaha was never seriously in the cards.

Rather than go through the whole “is he or isn’t he ‘Baseball Sendek’?” routine, I will just point you to my post after losing in the Super Regionals two years ago. But to briefly update those thoughts, I do think Avent has shown enough toughness and tenacity that I have some cautious optimism that he can take the next step and be energized by a more proactive, competently run athletic department. I have it on pretty good authority that he was certainly no Lee Fowler fan – and if he was a guy who was content to rest on his laurels (I’m looking at you, George Tarantini), wouldn’t you think he would have loved Fowler?

But hell, he may ultimately be Sendek-like in ultimate results, if not attitude and personality. I still won’t get worked up about it. Even in an ideally run athletics department, Avent isn’t really a guy you ditch. He just might not get that “champions fund” bonus if we stick around the same winning level.


StateFansNation Comments:

As much as I understand BJD’s general perspective on Avent…I think I fall just a little more on the side of wanting to hold Avent to a little higher set of expectations.

I also don’t want a long thread comparing Avent to Sendek 2.0 as much as I understand the legitimate comparisons in light of his 14 year record of winning 0 ACC Titles (and losing in the Title round on four different occasions); 0 ACC regular season 1st place finishes; and never advancing to a single College World Series while participating in 10 NCAA Tournaments.

Anyone who has ever read any of my (admittedly weak) baseball entries has seen the statistic I use to compare our relative peak performance over the last 14 years to the performance of our conference peers — since Avent took the reigns at NC State, seven different programs have won an ACC Baseball Championship (more schools have won titles than have not)…

…and, six other Atlantic Coast Conference programs have managed to advance to at least one CWS. Since 1996:
* Miami has attended 8 CWS
* Clemson has attended 4 CWS
* Georgia Tech has attended 2 CWS
* UNC-CH has attended 4 CWS
* Florida State has attended 4 CWS
* Virginia has attended 1 CWS
* Ray Tanner’s South Carolina has attended 3 CWS

I just find this^ relative performance to be too far from our competition to be as agnostic as many.

Two other items to memorialize for the future: (1) Avent has compiled a 182-183 record in ACC regular-season play, (2) In the 1990s, NC State advanced to two Super Regionals (losing both of them) while ECU advanced to three Super Regionals and UNC-CH advanced to five Super Regionals.


Parting shot:

Particularly in the summer when things can be slower in the college sports world for everyone, we really want to drive traffic to our message boards and encourage you to make them a routine part of your morning and afternoon internet surfing.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

AD & Department Coaches Non-Revenue

32 Responses to So This Is the Way Baseball Season Ends…

  1. wolfbuff 06/05/2010 at 7:33 PM #

    It’s time to go get Ray Tanner back. Thanks for the memories, Elliot. But expand Doak and get Ray back. Time for us to get back to the top of the ACC.

  2. islandbreeze 06/05/2010 at 7:42 PM #

    0 first place finishes
    0 ACC Championships
    0 trips to Omaha

  3. 61Packer 06/05/2010 at 8:26 PM #

    25 more days to go until Fouler is gone, thank goodness. What a fitting way to finish under his tenure- being bounced from the NCAA baseball tourney by College of Charleston and Stony Brook.

    Wolfpack sports has bottomed out. Starting July 1, there’s no other direction to go but up.

  4. Wulfpack 06/05/2010 at 9:15 PM #

    I didn’t expect much from us this weekend but that is a truly pathetic showing.

  5. fvpackman 06/05/2010 at 9:38 PM #

    You Tanner back people crack me up…We couldn’t afford him if he wanted to come back…He is 2 years away from an annuity that will pay him 250k a year for life….On top of that he makes about 5 times what we pay now…..Who was it coaching USC in 2008 when Avent and the Pack sent the Cocks home from Raleigh? Oh it was the great Ray Tanner with 2 First round MLB draft players on his team…


  6. SaccoV 06/05/2010 at 10:25 PM #

    I agree with you BJD, that State fans shouldn’t get worked up over Avent. I’ve come to realize that he will never win a championship, but it’s disappointing. I think Avent is much like Amato with a much better record. He loves the school, but he’s either not savvy enough with his baseball acumen or his choice of assistants (whom he delegates too much responsibility to) can’t cut muster. Either way, we’ve been basically a WTNY team for close to ten years now (not to mention Avent’s first three). I’m not sure who we get to replace Avent should that be our direction, and I’m positive that the new AD won’t look at baseball in his first few years on the job. Though I have a glimmer of hope for future success, 0-4 is indelibly scarred on my heart/brain.

    As for Tanner, if we hired him back, it would be like hiring Mike Fox … he can get to the finals but hasn’t shown that he can win it yet.

  7. packpowerfan 06/06/2010 at 1:29 AM #

    I was at the game today, and I have 2 things to say:

    1) Our defense (minus a Bergquist error) was great. We gunned down two runners from the outfield corners. One at second base, and one at home.

    2) The pitcher for Stony Brook was NASTY. I have never seen or heard of this guy prior to today, but his changeup was disgustingly good. He was going from a high-80s-to-low-90s fastball to a low 70s change with incredible movement. Yes, he only had two pitches (his cuveball was absolute garbage), but when you know how to use them like he did, you can destroy a team. Plain and simple, we ran into a buzzsaw with this kid. MAYBE, just MAYBE had we started Sogard or Mazzoni, and not been torched for 6 runs in the first, we would have taken this game.

    Those are my .02

  8. StateFans 06/06/2010 at 5:49 AM #

    I re-read the comments section of BJD’s post two years ago and thought the conversation was (1) fantastic and (2) worth everyone taking a look at again as I bet most of it is very relevant again today.

  9. StateFans 06/06/2010 at 5:50 AM #

    One of my favorite comments in the previous entry is from PrimeWolf and is quoted below—-

    I believe we ought to selectively emphasize one or more non-revenue sports and build a national championship caliber program. Hire the best coaches, pay the bucks, improve that sports facilities and not just win, but dominate. Looke at what Wake has done in the non revenue sports. Look at Duke. UNC certainly has made some decisions along this line.

    State has never dominated in anything on a national scale. With all due respect, we aren’t likley to do that in FB or BB either.

    Think of how our image and self-respect would change if we just had one model program to built a university sports program around. I really don’t care which one it is, along as it has an ACC championship. Cross Counntry is the closest thing we have, but it has never brought a national championship.

    The money it would take to build a non-revenue program is generally peanuts. What, maybe a few million a year.

    NC State has never sustained success, except in Cross Country. We get a good coach, he builds a program and then what– either he leaves or becomes disenchanted with the lack of investment in his program.

    What if we had emphasized baseball when Espo was here, invested in the facilities, did everything top notch from travel, game emphasis, recruiting budget, support staff, and declared we expect to compete for national championships, and assessed coaching and AD performance according to stated goals. Good Lord, do you not think we would have something to be proud of by now. We would probably have a $30M stadium the likes of which are going up all over the place in college ball.

    Instead we have a tiny, but nice little underfunded new stadium, with no leg room, no cover over the fans, no room to expand, and in the ugliest part of campus. How do you like the view of the motor pool area when you drive in from Western.

    For the life of me, the administrators at NCSU continue to f%^k things up. Instead of putting a new ball field over on Centenial or someplace where there was room for one, they stick it where it will always be second class.

    And, guess what, they put the tennis center right next to it. Our university architects and planners should be sh&^ canned.

    I overheard a wolfpacker trying to explain to his SC budddy at the Sunday night game about how NCSU was in a budget crunch when the staduium was being built. The SC fan was asking some obvious questions. And the alumni was putting a positive spin on it, but it sure was painful to listen to.

    Instead of having 10 average minor sport facilities, I would take 2 cream of the crop, 3 highly competitive, and 5 shi^^t facilities over 10 average ones any day.

    Heck, if we were competitive in just something, I think our alumni would rally areound it and provide all the financial support needed for that program.

  10. BJD95 06/06/2010 at 9:51 AM #

    For the record, I do like that Avent gambled and played to win the regional, as opposed to going “by the book” to ensure avoiding embarrassment and losing to Stony Brook. Yes, I know the gamble didn’t work. But you will never convince me that it didn’t give us the best mathematical chance to win the regional. And that’s all that matters. Finishing 2nd or 4th in the regional means the same thing to me. I like that it apparently does to Avent as well.

  11. TOBtime 06/06/2010 at 10:03 AM #

    After watching the team in the ACC tourney I had hope for the regional but not much else. Stony Brook and C of C both have a shutdown pitcher and we don’t. Simple as that. If you HAVE to score 10 runs a game to win you’re in a world of hurt when it comes tourney time. There is always the chance you run into a very good pitcher or an average one has an awesome day. You only get one shot and if you can’t catch up with the pitching it’s 2 & Q if your hitting falls off.

  12. 66pack 06/06/2010 at 10:20 AM #

    and speaking of team championships i believe that in the 2009/2010 year FOUR ACC schools have won SIX National Champs as of now and also many appearances in semis and finals.NCSU has one nationial champ in 27 years.NO other acc school comes close to our pathetic program.

  13. awsmothers 06/06/2010 at 12:11 PM #

    While I respect everyone’s opinion on this page, because you obviously care enough about the Pack to follow all the NC State fan sites like I do… But, damn guys, I’m sick of the constant “We Suck, how can we expect to compete, because…” Attitude!! I’m 45 years old and except for my high school years of mid-70’s – early 80’s this is the greatest time in my life to be a Wolfpacker! IMO, the firing of Fouler, Annual ass-kicking of unc in FB, awesome recruiting of the hoop staff, Matt Hill, Russell Wilson, Tracy Smith, loyalty of players past & present and the promise of Ultimate prosperity in the Very near future (especially if Bobby Purcell is awarded the AD job that he earned over a decade ago!!!), has me as excited as I’ve been in 20 years! We’re rid of Sendeck, rid of Fowl-up, best hoop class since the 80’s, FB has a legit chance to win 8 games (that’s damn good for us), AND Elliott Avent is terrific for our program. I know he hasn’t won an ACC title or taken us to the CWS, but we’re right there and in BB its as much luck as skill to advance. We have 8 of our top 11 position players returning and barring Buchanan getting drafted (which I don’t see), we have virtually our entire pitching staff back. We should be a favorite to contend for titles and a CWS trip. I agree that his calculated gamble vs. SB yesterday was a disaster and he & Holliday should take full responsibility for it. You have to win 1, before you can win 4, but it was a solid strategy that just blew up in their face. It happens… but this team was very good, not great and not quite a threat to get to this year’s CWS, I think they will be next year if everyone that can return, does! But you poor-mouthers need to either start being Loud & Proud in support of our Pack, or please just wallow in your pity quietly!! That’s my .02…..

  14. awsmothers 06/06/2010 at 12:21 PM #

    One last thing, I forgot to mention… I love Elliott Avent, Sidney Lowe and Bobby Purcell, because they LOVE NC State as much as I do!!! (TOB is too tough to read)… But, when you have a passion for the people and place like we do, it can only translate to success if EVERYONE pulls in the same direction! I wanted Sendek, Fouler & Amato GONE, because They didn’t have the passion that I have, not the other way around! We got what we wanted, now if the AD Committee does the RIGHT thing four US and BP, Championships are right around the corner!

  15. VaWolf82 06/06/2010 at 2:14 PM #

    I’m sick of the constant “We Suck, how can we expect to compete, because…” Attitude!!

    You’re reading something around here that’s completely different that what I’m reading now or over the last several years. What I see at SFN is better classified as:

    “We suck and we should be doing much better.”

  16. sbas2 06/06/2010 at 2:41 PM #

    i would like to comment about three things.

    the first is this years team. i am disappointed that the team did so poorly in the regionals because this makes it look like the team played above its head to reach the finals of the ACC tournament-which i don’t think it did. this team wasn’t a great team destined to reach the CWS, but it was a good team. what it lacked was a good closer. this team won 4 of 6 from the top two teams in the ACC-Ga Tech and UVA. this team won 8 or 9 from the bottom three teams in the conference-Wake, Maryland and Duke. this team did not loose a series to a team much lesser than itself, but it did get swept by BC, which is the worst blemish on its results/schedule. i don’t know why the team faired so poorly in the regional other than losing Schaeffer and facing really good pitching. since baseball players play almost everyday in the pros and since our pitchers had at least five days rest, i do not buy the team being tired. the team was tired playing FSU in the ACC tournament final and rightly so.

    Regarding Avent, who i would have thrown “under the bus” after State got swept by BC, i think his performace should be compared to the last two State coaches for the most part and somewhat to the other programs in the conference. for a look at how Avent compares go to this site:
    State is a solid baseball school, but not a great one. As such, i think State should make the ACC tournament every year and make the NCAA tournament 8 out of 10 years. according to the men who do the radio broadcast State has made the NCAA’s 19 of the last 25 years. that is about right for State. the one thing that Esposito and Tanner did and which Avent has not done was win an ACC championship-Esposito 4; Tanner 1. the conference has changed since Tanner and Esposito coached-much stronger now. at least, Avent has went to four championship games in his 13 years. that is one about every 3 years. not bad. he needs to win one. he should have won one in the early part of this decade when Ga Tech had to beat FSU and State twice on Sunday to win it. Avent should also have won his penultimate one as Clemson pitched an outfielder who hadn’t pitched but a few innings in the regular season. by the way i think its easier to make the championship under the new format than it was under the double elimination format (Avent made two in each).
    as to the NCAA’s under Esposito, Tanner and part of Avent’s tour, State was unable to host a regional partly due to Doak field. since Doak has been upgraded, State has hosted one and another was played in Wilson while Doak was being upgraded. Avent State teams won both. if State had not won these regionals, this would really raise a red flag with regard to Avent. its easier to make the CWS playing a regional and super regional at home. UNC and UVA have both done it so it can be done, but again its better to play at home. State needs to have a regular season which allows State to play a regional and super regional at home.
    As to Doak, i go to games and most are sparsely attended. its hard to make a call for a much improved Stadium until the games are sold out or close too it most of the time. i would like a cover for most of the seats though-not that i would stay under it becasue i like to stand behind the seats.

  17. gcpack 06/06/2010 at 3:14 PM #

    I have to agree with awsmother. I come to this site less often than I used to because entries that are negative dominate much more now than they used to. The mere fact that many here are still bitching about Fowler AFTER he has been fired speaks volumes to me about the attitude that aws wrote about.

    On the other comment about having success in athletics I do like the idea of emphasizing a couple of sports where we pour everything into it to have recognizable success on the field or court.
    Get dominant in one or two sports over time and let that success help to feed interest in other sports.

  18. StateFans 06/06/2010 at 3:25 PM #

    The good news is that our readership is expanding.

    The bad news is that our readership is expanding to include people who ‘hear’ something that is never said or intended.

    For example, the previous comment is complaining that we still are bitching about Lee Fowler…yet, that very comment is the very first mention of Lee Fowler in the entire conversation. That’s odd.

    Similarly, how someone could say that this is the crowd that asks the ridiculous question of “how can we expect to compete” is absolutely scary.

    For all you newbies…we’ve never been fans of allowing conversations to turn to your personal opinions of what we choose to write about. We love your personal opinions and perspectives of the actual topics and issues on the blog, but if you don’t like the topics and issues we choose to discuss we very politely encourage you to start your own blog where your preferences of topics can sit front and center. Additionally, please send us a link and we will be happy to share it with others when there is good stuff on it.


  19. gcpack 06/06/2010 at 4:18 PM #

    What’s odd is that in paragraph two BJD brings up Fowler and it only took two comments before 61packer celebrates that it is “25 more days to go until Fouler is gone, thank goodness.” Exactly what are you reading Statefans when you say that my comment “is the very first mention of Lee Fowler in the entire conversation”?

    Additionally I WAS commenting on an issue being discussed by awsmother and VaWolf?! How does my agreement with her comments fall out of line with what is being discussed?

    Whats not odd is that once again if anyone dares to question SFN there’s always an invite to leave and in one case have my clean and polite comments deleted. If you want to boot those who aren’t always SFN team players then give better reasons than to simply make up stuff that isn’t true. Fowler’s name came up early and two people were discussing the attitude of many contributors here before I even commented!


  20. islandbreeze 06/06/2010 at 5:15 PM #

    The only passion Elliot Avent has is passion for cashing checks from NCSU

  21. TOB4PREZ 06/07/2010 at 7:50 AM #

    gcPack = dead on the money…. The negative overtones common to this site are hardly a new phenomena. I’ve personally had dozens of my posts removed from this site simply because they contradicted the “author” or an administrator’s comments in a thread. They call it a “blog” and purport to welcome your participation, but God forbid you attempt to put a positive spin on the water flowing from this pessimistic spring. Positive thoughts/words lead to positive results…. while negative words and constant bemoaning of our programs serve little to no purpose (and ‘little’ is on the next train out of town) at all. Avent is our winningest coach in history and has had to compete with the likes of FSU and Miami on a regular basis while his predeccesors did not. Clemson’s about the only program in the league that was a constant threat 15 years ago and beyond… and their track record can’t hold a candle to either of the Florida schools…. But alas, anytime one of our programs run across hard times….. The “chicken little site”…aka- statefansnation can’t wait to post an article calling for a change at the top. And, they have that very right to, but…. If you’re going to let me and others air our grievences/varying opinions too… It would be far less “Gestapo’ish” to actually NOT delete them just because they don’t contine down that same negative road which ALWAYS leads to a dead end.
    Again, well said gcPack…. Though I’m mildly astonished your post still exist…. Particularly since you PROVED one of the admins wrong….. Shame on you ;~)
    Caution- this post will self destruct (read- be deleted) in short order!

  22. NCStatePride 06/07/2010 at 8:03 AM #

    Someone on Twitter got upset that I made the Sendek 2.0 comparison. He defense of Avent’s record was “at least Avent ‘get’s it’.” My response is that “getting it” doesn’t amount for anything if you can’t achieve based on what you “get”. Sidney Lowe “gets” that Pack fans were made at his predecessor because he couldn’t compete against “the blues” and the rest of the ACC. That in no way meant he was capable of beating them himself. Same applies to Avent. If he “gets” what the problem is (or what Pack fans really want) then it would be nice to know he’s capable of achieving what will make us happy.

    On a side-note, I agree with StateFansNation on holding him to a high level. Saying “Coach Avent isn’t the kind on guy you let go” just because he does “well” sounds almost identical to the excuses the N&O and Charlotte Observer gave for why NC State was stupid for running off Herb. If nothing else, saying we don’t want Avent to leave just because he wins a lot but can’t get it done is just a nicer, candy-coated way of saying we “know our place”. That doesn’t, and shouldn’t, cut it in any revenue or non-revenue sport.

  23. spanky 06/07/2010 at 8:41 AM #

    While I agree with the general sentiment that State is a solid baseball school but not great as a poster above said – why wouldnt you want to be great? how many Omaha appearances did UNC have before Fox? They were average at best for years, but went out and got a very good coach. I dont understand why we should just accept what we have and assume this is as good as it will get.

    (sorry if major typos – on iPod touch in class!)

  24. coach13 06/07/2010 at 11:36 AM #

    I dont care about the tone. If we’re following an unfavorable outcome with the next SFN topic, my blog will seem negative, and vice versa. We just dropped 2 in the regional. Who the heck is pleased with that? Who’s gonna get on here and blow sunshine after that finish? What we are left with is a fair season with a nice little run in the ACC tourney. That in my opinion is a forgettable season as have been all of Avent’s. When we win or do something memorable (ACC title maybe?) I’ll have a positive tone. Otherwise…whatever. I do like the idea of trying to make at least 1 of our non-rev program a gem for starters.

  25. Classof89 06/07/2010 at 11:58 AM #

    to answer Spanky’s question about Mike Fox, UNC had never in modern times (since 1970) been to a CWS before Fox arrived from NC Wesleyan, where he had built a national powerhouse. It is comical to me that some are on here knocking Fox for never WINNING a CWS when we have a coach who has been here nearly as long as Fox who’s never even sniffed one. And I can attest that UNC was the absolute dregs of the ACC in baseball before Fox arrived. In short order, he’s turned them into the dominant program in the state (Avent gets Fox’s sloppy seconds with respect to in state recruiting), and a consistent ACC championship contender. We could only dream of such achievements from our baseball coach.

    The fans on here taking digs at Fox remind me of the guy who comes home and kicks his dog because he’s mad at his boss…put the anger where it belongs, on the subpar performance of our teams in just about every sport.

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