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NOTABLE ITEMS AROUND THE DIAMOND
March 4, 2009

SCS.comDespite the uniform start date, Jack Frost has been nipping at the nose of college baseball around the country. This has not stopped teams from playing too much. The action has begun...boy has it ever. Teams are already making lots of noise. March is here and conference play is just about to start already. Yes, there is something other than that other "madness" taking place this month.

For starters, the Oregon Ducks are fielding a team for the first time in a long time. They have gotten off to a 3-4 start. One would say, "hey, not a bad start for the revived program." That would be an understatement as the Ducks hosted the defending National Champion Fresno State Bulldogs this past weekend. The only thing that the Diamond Ducks did was take two of three from the Bulldogs! Congrats to George Horton's Ducks and continued success down the road.

Remember those other Bulldogs in the National Championship last June? They have only gotten off to an 9-0 start this season after defeating Wofford on Wednesday. Coach Perno's pups just went out to Tucson and swept the Arizona Wildcats this past weekend. Coach Andy Lopez gave plenty of praise to Georgia for their mix of verterans along with the incoming talent. The Bulldogs have defeated opponents by about a six run clip, including 13-6 against Wofford. This marks the first time since 1911 that the Dogs have opened the season 9-0.

Rice continues to have Texas A&M's number. The Owls knocked out the Aggies in the Super Regional last season and this weekend defeated them 2-0 in the Houston College Classic. Rice went undefeated on the weekend, while Texas A&M defeated UC-Irvine and Houston.

Old man winter reared its ugly head over the weekend in the south. This forced quite a few teams to not play games during the weekend. With the uniform start date, teams may be scrambling to add games down the road because games from a weekend series or classic style tournament are typically hard to make up. Ranked foes TCU and Ole Miss were scheduled to play in Oxford but could only get one game in during the weekend. The Horned Frogs won that game, 19-13. Kentucky managed to get two games in with Western Michigan, while Arkansas only played one game, a 8-7 win in 10. Charleston hosted "Baseball at the Beach" this weekend. Most people think of the beach having sun shining and nice temperatures; however, this weekend was far from it. Teams in the classic tournament were scheduled to play four games during the weekend with most only playing two.

Milestones: Michigan's Rich Maloney picked up career win #500 on Sunday against Akron and Jim Morris notched win #700 on Saturday at Florida Cycling on Saturday: UNLV's Ryan Thornton hit for the cycle in the Rebels 15-7 win, Troy's Miles Hoyle did the same in a 19-3 win over Memphis, and Towson's Kevin Collins replicated it in a 17-16 win over Boston College. Texas pitcher Brandon Workman tossed a no-hitter against Penn State in a 7-0 win on Sunday.

"Chin up, Happy...the way I see it, we've only just begun." Those words hold true for the college baseball season thus far. All this great stuff and the season is only two weekends old. I cannot wait to see what exciting things come from the diamond on the weekend. Just think, most conferences begin conference play the following weekend. The major portion of the season is upon us and it does not seem to creep anymore. While that other madness is taking place on the hardwood, players and coaches on the diamond will be starting to make their way to Omaha!

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