This week on Twitter we see a lot of uneasy Mississippi State Bulldog baseball fans. The Bulldogs took it in the ass this weekend from Southern Mississippi. Southern Miss outscored the Bulldogs 23-6 in the three game set. One of the stars of the show was Southern Mississippi third baseman, Luke Reynolds. Lucky Luke is a former Mississippi State Bulldog and transferred to Southern Miss in 2016. He went 6 for 10 at the plate with 2 doubles, 1 dong, and 5 RBIs. He was happy to get a little revenge to say the least. There is some good news for Mississippi State baseball…according to @FSUClubBaseball Twitter account, the Mississippi State Bulldog CLUB baseball team was able to notch a win this weekend against Florida State. So this next series for the Bulldogs we may be seeing some call ups from the club team. Here is some of the carnage on Twitter:
Oh yeah and their head coach got fired this morning.
West Virginia vs. Jacksonville
“West Virginia is going to win. They are a preseason rank at 22. I know I will probably eat my words but oh well“ So like I said, I will have to eat my words. Not sure what to say. Definitely was not expecting West Virginia to get one-hit on Sunday. Let me say that again, West Virginia got one god damn hit in Sunday’s game and it happened to be a home run. Jacksonville won the game 2-1 without any extra base hits. Definitely have to recognize pitchers Mike Cassala and Chris Mauloni for combining to pitch the gem. There were also 4 errors committed by WV that did not help matters. Good news is that this is only the first weekend for WV. As for Jacksonville we hope to see them continue upward and not have this be the high point of the season.
Wright State vs. Tulane
Well this is a tough one for me to write about. I was full blown convinced that Wright State was going to bukkake the Green Wave all weekend and that just didn’t happen. Friday and Saturday were full of tightly contested games including a walk off by Tulane catcher, Acy Owen (great name). The story of the whole weekend was the plethora of bullpen guys that shoved for Tulane. The bullpen carved up the Raiders which led to the sweep.
St. John’s vs. Campbell
Although I picked Campbell to take the series here I was pretty much spot on with my prediction. The story of the series is the St. John’s pitching. A phat ass or nice rack doesn’t get St. John’s skipper Ed Blankmeyer going but his pitching staff has his pants busting at the seams. The Johnnies had too much depth and although Campbell was able to keep up for games 1 and 2, their offense couldn’t string anything together. Blankmeyer sits with a 3-0 record, .64 ERA, and a stiffy.
Purdue vs. Baylor
That fickle bitch Mother Nature, or Southwest Airlines (I still don’t know) washed out this series. Luckily both teams were able to find games last minute. How? I have no idea but the Boilermakers looked as good as expected sweeping Western Michigan. Baylor shook off a sluggish start offensively to win the series with Houston Baptist 2-1.
Cal State Fullerton vs. Stanford
Stanford and Cal State Fullerton’s match-up was exactly what we thought it was going to be, a west coast pitching battle. I’m not one bit surprised that Stanford swept the series, but I was expecting the Titans to walk away with at least one win. The standout stat from this matchup was that the Stanford pitching unit held Fullerton to a .202 average and allowed only 9 runs. I don’t care what team you are, if you can pitch like that, you are going to win a lot of ball games. Fullerton looked like a team of Helen Kellers out there except for Ruben Cardenas. Ruben went 4-13 driving in 3 and hitting the teams only homerun.
Stanford said fuck the books this semester and was all business opening weekend. They were led by Nico Hoerner (.545) and Brandon Wulff (.500) who combined for almost half of Stanford’s hits and runs. As said earlier, pitching was the story this week and I’m guessing it will be the rest of the season. If it weren’t for 1 poor start by Stanford’s Erik Miller, they might be sitting at a sub 1 ERA. Pitching, defense, and Fortnite win games on the west coast these days, and so far we have seen 2 out of 3 for the Trees.
Big Swingin’ Dick Player of the Week Player of the Week:
It’s never an easy task to go into Baton Rouge and play the LSU Tigers but to open up the season there is a whole other story. These crazed swamp people are itching at the chance to get some LSU baseball and on-top of the nerves opening day brings can be a perfect storm. Notre Dame decided they didn’t need the luck of the Irish to take down LSU but instead needed to ride the long schlong of Eric Gilgenbach. Without this guy and his howitzer the Irish very well could have been swept, but instead the Irish walked out of the bayou with 2 wins. A few guys might have had better stats this weekend but nobody carried their team like Gilgenbach. This guy isn’t a 2-pump chump – he was cumming every day & night and left LSU in a sticky mess to start the season.
BSD Honorable Mentions:
In one inning Jake Brodt put up better numbers than what I did in four years. The Santa Clara 1st baseman hit not one but two grand slams in the same inning. It’s probably a safe bet that this guy’s reboot time is second to none – he’s always looking to hit a donger. Brodt very well could have been BSD for the week going 6/13, 3HR, 11RBIs.
Brad Plushkell – UC Davis – 10/12 – the guy put on a hitting clinic and delivered a facial to the entire Bakersfield pitching staff. It’s a damn shame there weren’t any Aggies on base so Plushkell could get some RBIs.
Luke Reynolds – Southern Miss – 6/10, 1HR, 5RBIs – Nothing is better than sweet revenge and that’s exactly what Luke Reynolds got this weekend. Southern Miss dismantled Mississippi State and Reynolds led the charge. Miss State decided to redshirt Luke so he transferred to Hattiesburg. He t-bagged his former team all weekend before sending their ass to the pound.
Helen Keller Player of the Week:
Youngstown State opened up the season at Belmont where they would end up losing the final two games of the series. The Penguins are used to cold weather but 1-bagger, Andrew Kendrick was on another level. Some say he was as cold as ice, willing to sacrifice his ABs. He never took advice and now he’s paying the price. Andrew made sure that the offensive came to an abrupt halt when he strolled to the plate and the numbers speak for themselves. In a lot of sports 7/10 isn’t that bad but when you go 7/10 in terms of striking out…Andrew is gonna need a bottle of Jack to forget this weekend. 0/10 and 7k’s calls for a pretty big slump-buster. Kendrick shouldn’t be too worried because he had a monster year last year. Andrew is looking to follow up on a year where he hit .272/17/43. When you’ve got raw power like Kendrick you’re going to run into weekends where it just doesn’t happen. After that slump buster Mr. Kendrick takes down he’s going to head to Louisville to see some real velo. Look for a big bounce back from this Helen Keller.
Helen Keller Honorable Mention: Brett Minnick – Northern Colorado
In game 2 of the year Brett “Swing&Miss” Minnick might have done something that won’t be done for the entire 2018 season. Minnick went for the good ole fashion 0-6 6Ks. Last year we decided that 0-5 5Ks was the “Platinum Yamaka” but I’m at a loss for words for 0-6 6Ks. Minnick was able to punish himself later that night to regroup and get a couple knocks to avoid being tabbed Helen Keller POTW.
As mentioned in our initial Terrible 10 post we’re going to keep a running power rankings of the worst 10 teams in college baseball. Teams that play well and somehow snake a few dubs are off the list and teams that continuously get their ass waxed will fall deeper and deeper into the pit of the Terrible 10.
Chicago State & La Salle played themselves off the Terrible 10 for the time being. Chicago State opened the season with a series win against Long Island…didn’t know Long Island was a real school but the Cougars need all the wins they can get right now. La Salle finally has an offense! Savior Coach Miller had the Explorers not only making contact but hitting some dongers. La Salle split the weekend with Presbyterian.
Updated Terrible 10 Rankings:
10. Maryland Eastern Shore – weekend cancelled
9. Nebraska Omaha – 2-1 vs. Northwestern – UNO took two from Northwestern on Saturday. The Mavs were able to capatalize on the fact that the Wildcats had to head to the airport at 2:30am Saturday morning and then play a double-header.
8. Lafayette – 1-2 vs. Davidson – Davidson saw Lafayette was on the T10 and took them lightly. Lafayette was able to snake a win from last year’s super regional participants.
7. Bucknell – 0-3 vs. Arkansas – Nobody expected Bucknell to win but we expected them to try… 49 runs in 3 games is tough.
6. IPFW – 1-2 vs. Alabama A&M – IPWF beat a team that didn’t make the T10 because we couldn’t get enough information to even include them.
5. Mississippi Valley State – refuses to start season
4. NJIT – refuses to start season
3. Tennessee Martin – 0-4 vs. Troy – Swept in 4 games is never a good thing but when you let up 49 runs and only score 9 it might be a long season. The Skyhawks have no problem turning to alcohol as they currently have 3 more DUIs than wins this year.
2. Mount St. Mary – refuses to start season
1. St. Peter’s – refuses to start season
**teams off the list: Chicago State, La Salle**
As college baseball is finally back in our lives so is the Big Swingin’ Dick Player of the Week award. On opening day a lot of guys are geeked up and there’s always first game jitters…but a few men balled out with their cocks out in game 1 of the season. Check out some early candidates for FP Week 1 BSD Player of the week:
Kevin Woodall Jr. – Coastal Carolina – 3/5, 1HR, 6 RBIs
Liam Sabino – Pitt – 4/5, 1HR, 2 RBIs, 2 SBs
South Alabama Offense – 18 knocks
Hector Gutierrez – Michigan 2/4, 1HR, 4 RBIs
Noah McGown – Ohio State (2 games) 2/5, 1HRs, 5 RBIs, 2/4, 6 RBIs
Chandler Redmond – GWU – 3/3, 2HR, 3 RBIs
Anthony Mulrine – Samford – 3/3, 2HRs, 4 RBIs
Logan Blackfan – Southern Illinois – 3/4, 2HRs, 3 RBIs
Andrew Naismith – Jacksonville State – 3/4, 2HRs, 4 RBIs
Jabari Richards – Furman – 3-5, 1 HR, 6 RBIs
Wright State @ Tulane
Wright State & the Green Wave meet in New Orleans to open up the 2018 season. To the average fan they see Wright State as the mid-major and a program like Tulane should have no problem with these pests…not so fast my friends! The Raiders always seem to play the toughest teams in D1 over the first few weekends. 2018 brings Tulane and Louisiana Lafayette while last season was Clemson & South Carolina. Gotta respect these guys for playing the toughest guys in the game on the road. When you take some lumps in February it always helps the boys take care of business in May, when it all counts. Tulane had a mediocre 2017 finishing a few games under .500. One of the x-factors for the series is the Green Wave fan base. If you haven’t played at their park the stands literally sits on top the opposing dugout and the good people of New Orleans aren’t afraid to tell you what they really think of you.
The Raiders have enough offense to put up some runs but by no means are going to put up multiple crooked numbers. The offense begins and ends with 2nd baseman, Matt Morrow. The guy is a gamer that’s gotta set the tone for the Raiders this year. Wright State is going to lean on their potential All-Buffet 1st baseman Gabs Snyder (.289/13/49) to drive in a shitload of runs this year. I’m a degenerate gambler and I’d say 18 dongers for Snyder is a lock this year. The Green Wave offense is depleted to say the least. Tulane loses their top 4 power guys which provided 53 of the 70 dongers they hit as a team last year. Former Helen Keller POTW Grant Witherspoon (.299/5/36) is going to have to do it all if Tulane wants to score. Expect a lot of recreational drug use and Tulane hitters turning to Bourbon Street a few weeks into the season.
Wright State has the edge on the mound with starters Ray Weiss (2.13) & Zane Collins (2.83). These two guys love to pound a lot of things and the strike zone might be their favorite. They don’t fuck around and come right after guys. New Orleans hasn’t swallowed up sophomore Chase Solesky yet and he looks to improve after a solid freshmen campaign.
I’m extremely confident that Wright State is going to win this series. They were almost my pick as a sleeper for Omaha. They are grinders and always gotta love the mid-majors that aren’t afraid of the bigger schools. The only thing holding the Raiders back this weekend is some bad jambalaya Thursday night.
St. John’s @ Campbell
This is a great opening matchup between two schools that are always in the hunt for an at-large selection at the end of May. St. John’s is coming off one of the best seasons in school history finishing with a 42-13 record. Coach Blankmeyer is sending the Johnnies back to the Carolina’s as it worked pretty well last year. The Camels didn’t get to do much humping last year as they finished 25-32 in an off-year. Many times season opening series make a difference in May and this has the potential to do that for both teams.
The Johnnies are led by Valente who has continued to get better each year at St. John’s. Blankmeyer is going to be counting on the big bad Brocato to drive in some runs and provide some power to the Johnnies lineup. The Camels are going to rely on two guys all season: Matt Barefoot (.335/8/49) and Jeff Hahs (.313/10/44). Barefoot is a certified stud that makes everything look incredibly easy on the diamond. Hahs isn’t much for cardio & running so he takes pride in driving himself in.
The difference between these two teams is on the mound. The Johnnies have a plethora of guys that can shut down a majority of D1 teams. As long as Sean Mooney (1.71ERA/100IP) doesn’t have a sophomore slump they Johnnies will have won essentially every Friday game. Gavin Hallowell stands at 6’7 and I’m sure it’s a real treat to face that bastard. Campbell really doesn’t have the pitching to match up with St. John’s if we’re being completely honest.
Although the pitching favors the Johnnies significantly I think Campbell is going to snake a game on Friday or Saturday. Look for get-a-way day to be an interesting one in this series.
West Virginia @ Jacksonville
West Virginia is going to win. They are a preseason rank at 22. I know I will probably eat my words but oh well. West Virginia is young group of guys, but I would say they have a solid mix of upper classmen as well. The Mountaineers have it all. The offense is definitely going to score enough runs to win. They will defend the shit out of the baseball as well. Last season they had a .974 fielding percentage. The pitchers are fairly dominant as well. These guys have no holes in their armor.
Jacksonville Dolphins have a good mix of upper and underclassmen. Most of the contributors from last year are returning this year which is good for the experience factor. The offense can compete but not sure how they will fair against West Virginia pitchers to start the season. The Dolphins can pick it as well which will be big to start the season since most hitters have yet to get their timing down.
I think the series will come down to pitching and defense as most games early on in the season do. Jacksonville has a fairly tedious 2018 schedule but should be good from them and their development. I am not sure if WV is doing themselves any favors by playing some easier teams early on this season because by mid-March they are hitting the fucking grind. Should be a solid series but I see WV coming out on top.
Cal State Fullerton @ Stanford
Im not sure when the schedules for these two teams came out, but Stanford has been looking forward to this week since June 3rd 2017. If you don’t remember, that was the day Cal State Fullerton upset them at home in the regional final and eventually went on to earn a spot in Omaha. Both teams are coming off a great 2017 campaign and are looking to do more of the same in 2018. The Titans come into the season ranked #17 after a 39-24 year that turned out better than what it should have. After finishing 3rd in the Big West, Fullerton was able to slide past regional host Stanford, and super regional host and conference rival Long Beach State. Even though they went 2-and-Q in Omaha, you should learn by now to never count them out come June. As for #13 Stanford, their 42-16 record ranked among one of the best in the country, and would have seen themselves at the top of the Pac 12 if it weren’t for Oregon State’s unreal season.
The Titans lost a big bat and lady killer in would be senior Scott Hurst to the draft. Hurst led the team in almost every offensive category last season and they will need some help filling those holes. Sophomore Sahid Valenzuela is eager to take his place and most of his left-overs. Sahid had the second most hits last year as a freshman but unfortunately most of them were singles. If he really wants to up his stock, he will start swinging for the fences and work on his doubles call.
Like Fullerton, Stanford lost a lot of its power to the draft and are looking for some new players to win some BSD awards. Sophomore Daniel Bakst and Junior Nico Hoerner will look to bust a heavy load on and off the field as they have the two highest returning averages. As for pitching, Stanford along with the rest of the west coast, is typically known for having shut down pitching, and I would make a big deal of it but this isn’t the SEC and pitching wins games out here.
Based on how the season ended last year for Stanford, I would keep your eye on this one as it should be one of the more entertaining series to open up the 2018 season.
Purdue @ Baylor
At this time last year Purdue found itself on the Terrible 10, they were not pleased. Well after a successful turnaround season they return the majority of their team. I was sifting through the stats and I just stopped because everyone I viewed as an impact player is still on the roster. The top four hitters, both starting pitchers that stayed in the rotation all year, and the stopper in the bullpen. This is one of those teams that will absolutely sneak up on everybody outside of the Big 10. I would be shocked if the Boilers aren’t at least on the bubble heading in to tourney time in late May. In order to do that non-conference series’ like this week in Waco are extremely important, because Baylor is no slouch. They return a lot of home runs and a lot of RBI’s, most notably Golden Spikes watch list Shea Langeliers, who ended last season with a .313 mark, 10 bombs, and 38 RBI. The one question mark I have is with the Bears staff. Their only consistent starter is gone, but they do return bullpen studs Troy Montemayer and Kyle Hill. I’ll be interested to see if they can find the starting pitching, by moving one or both into the rotation, or having an unknown step up into that role.
I got the Bears winning a tight series, although I expect Purdue to leave Waco with one win and wouldn’t totally shocked if they took the series.
The theme for Fair or Foul episode 4 is traveling. The Foul Pole guys talk about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to road trips and how to properly break in a hotel room. We have a great interview with unofficial Foul Pole correspondents, Brain and Dad from Northwestern. We finish up the episode with some sleeper picks for Omaha.
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Closing in on the best of the worst, Mount St. Mary’s comes in at number 2. They’re no stranger to the Terrible 10, making it their second straight year on the list. ‘The Mount’ managed to put up an impressive 8-39 record last season with 7 of those wins coming at home. After looking at their 2017 schedule, somehow Duke ended up on their and I’m not sure if this game actually took place, or if they put it on their to boost their RPI? The Mount has been a bottom-feeder in the Northeast conference forever and it’s a miracle Bryant hasn’t put up a 40 spot on these poor bastards. I think I would have rather taken my chances as a NARP than play baseball for Mount St. Mary’s.
As for the recap of last season, there are positives and negatives. The positive is last season is over and you can forget about it. As for the negative…a new season is unfortunately here and it’s not going to be any better. With a team batting average of .242 and a team ERA at 9.22 is not really a recipe for success. The staff for Mount St. Mary’s was easier to score on than a cheap hooker. The only stat that really stood out to me was the their attendance of 122.5 per game, that seems like a lot for an 8-39 team, but I’m guessing they accounted for team members an umpires as well.
Prediction: Going 9-38, The Mount have taken out a 5 year lease on the Terrible 10, with a buy-out option in 2020.
It’s prediction season around the country and here at Foul Pole we’re no different. Instead of the basic picks like Florida and TCU we are picking the sleepers for Omaha. It seams every year somebody comes out of nowhere to make a run. Whether its UC Santa Barbara, Stony Brook, or Kent State, more times than not there is somebody that shocks the world and books their trip to the promised land. These picks might look dumb as hell in June, but if somehow we call it, we’ll look like absolute geniuses.
Fitz’s pick: Cincinnati
I think the Cincy Bearcats are going to find their way to Omaha this year. They have a secret weapon in the form of Coach Scott Googins. Coach Googs has this special power where his team is not great during the season but all of a sudden when the lights are on in May, his team turns into the 1998 New York Yankees with metal bats. I have seen this happen with my own eyes so this is not something out of a fairy tale. The Bearcats will be one of the lower seeds in the conference tournament but do not let that fool you, Coach Googs will toss on his wizard hat and wave his Gandolf staff a few times and tah-dahhhhh you have the ’98 Yankees. This is really something you have to see to believe. You watch the Bearcats early in the season and you’d think they just came out of the Helen Keller Academy. Just wait until May.
Tommy’s pick: Central Florida
You’d think that the Knights are a bunch of Floridian pretty boys but that’s just not the case. The fightin’ Loveladys are going to ride the coattails of the 2018 Natty Champ football team at UCF all the way to Omaha. I can’t promise the Knights will bring back some hardware to Orlando but I can promise you a trip to Omaha. These grinding bastards are going to be a real bitch to play this season. With Rylan “Babe” Thomas in the middle of the line-up, the Knights will be able to generate some offense. When UCF gets a lead at the end of the game you can take it straight to the bank because closer Bryce Tucker is practicing abstinence this year…. nobody is scoring on this guy. If you want to go to Omaha you need an X-Factor and that can be found in the grittiest guy in the game, Matthew “Mojo” Mika. I can’t wait to see the Orlando babes UCF brings to Omaha.
Bryan’s Pick: Minnesota
Winning 3 national titles in less then a decade, the Gophers used to be the staple for not just northern baseball, but college baseball as a whole. Baseball was losing its luster a bit up in Minnesota but Head Coach John Anderson has been putting in the work to put the Gophers back in CWS contention. With a B1G championship and a regional final in 2016, the Gophers have some serious experience to get them to the next level. Their 2017 campaign didn’t end the way they wanted, but they gave themselves an opportunity to make something happen. If the Gophers can make it to the NCAA tourney, I wouldn’t put it past them to win 5 games and head back to Omaha for the first time since 1977.
Goose’s Pick: Cal Poly
The Mustangs of Cal Poly return the meat of the order and are poised for big things in 2018. The narrative of west coast baseball is all about pitching, defense, and small ball. If the ‘Stangs are going to buck this trend they are going to need a few things to fall their way. 1) They need the big swingin’ dicks of McKenna, Beesley and Mariconz to improve upon their solid 2017 campaign and drive in some more runs. 2) They need to find some starting pitching. It is pretty tough to win ballgames with zero starting pitching. That’s the beauty of college baseball though, teams change, people change, every year is different from the last. The Big West is no stranger to Omaha with three different teams making it since 2000 (Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara), and that’s not including Long Beach State who had a dominate 10 year run making it four times from ’89 to ’98. If things fall their way, the Mustangs could add their name to the list.
Coming in at number 3 on the list is another Summit team, the IPFW Mastodons. It’s not a good thing when you have to ask the Foul Pole group chat if it’s IPWF or IPFW. When you get to the Mastodon’s website you aren’t really sure if you’re in the right place. Nowhere does it say IPFW. All it says it Fort Wayne Mastodons. So now there’s two problems, the team is not good and we had no idea the university changed names. So if anyone is trying to find these guys online, (Foul Pole is probably the only people) you better look pretty damn hard.
After taking a look at a tough and I really mean tough, 2017 season, these guys are not in good shape. The offense was outscored 2.16 to 1 for the entire season. Okay there is still some hope with defense because that is slightly more controllable than the offense….Wrong. Fielding percentage comes in at a depressing .959%. The pitching HAS to be good…Nope. Team ERA of 7.61 is not going to make the meat-loaf. After all of this, there is actually a sliver of hope that the Dons can surpass the 9 big ones they had last year. They play Terrible Ten companion, Nebraska-Omaha, 6 times this year. That will be one hell of a slobber knocker series. I think there needs to be some sort of trophy awarded to the winner of the series. Since the series is played at Omaha, maybe the Foul Pole boys can make it out to catch this battle of the cellar.
Prediction: Dons go 11-40 and 5 of those wins will be against Nebraska-Omaha.
NJIT, or New Jersey Institute of Technology for all of you assholes who neglect the A-Sun..are one of the new faces on the Terrible 10 this year. The Highlanders’ 2017 campaign was one to forget as they posted a 9-40 record during one of the worst seasons in program history. For an institution that has hung around the 20 win mark in previous seasons, NJIT managed to tarnish any reputation they might have once built, and look to bounce back in dramatic fashion in 2018. If there is anything that gets a team going, it’s being on the Terrible 10. Just ask former Terrible 10 alumni Purdue. The Boilermakers managed to increase their win total by 19 and actually looked like they belonged in a slightly above average B1G conference.
If their is any positive that came out of last season, it was the strong finish by NJIT. After starting the season 4-34, they managed to go 5-6 in their last 11 games and hopefully gained some momentum going in to what I imagine being a long offseason. The Highlanders offense wasn’t what was keeping the W’s off the win column. Hitting .261 and putting up over 4.5 runs per game, if they had any bit of help on the other side of the ball, they would have broke into double digit wins…but this is where tragedy hits. The NJIT staff posted a 7.91 ERA and had 7 more walks (257) than strikeouts (250) on the season. If they want any chance of improving this season, throwing the ball over the plate would be the best place to start.
Prediction: Don’t expect to see NJIT on this list next year. The Highlanders post a 20-28 record and are becoming true contenders in the A-Sun.