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waltgreenberg Online
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Post: #11
RE: Baseball in Decline?
(06-21-2017 08:15 PM)skycatcher Wrote:  
(06-21-2017 12:29 PM)westsidewolf1989 Wrote:  
(06-21-2017 11:57 AM)ColOwl Wrote:  Since the moderator moved the previous thread to the Smack Forum, I'll continue the productive aspects of that discussion to a new one. And I'll borrow one of Walt's posts for continuation.

(06-20-2017 10:19 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  2009: 43-18, was robbed of a national seed (to Oklahoma) and lost to #1 national seed LSU in the Supers. Team batting .320, with 71 HRs and 75 SBs. Lacked elite starting pitching. The Selection Committee and the LSU turf did us in.

2010: 40-23, lost the Austin Regional to UT in the championship after a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to ULaLa put us in the losers bracket. Hit .326 as a team, with 96 HRs, 62 SBs and .974 fielding percentage. Lacked elite starting pitching

2011: 42-21, transition team and an injured Rendon causing nightmaires defensively at 3B until Fr Hoelscher got comfortable at the position. Rathjen injured after only 16 games. Hitting only .286 with 23 HRs, but pitching once again strength with Reckling, Kubitza, Simms, Duffy and Cingrani. Last national seed, but lose our own regional in 3 games.

2012: 41-19, team ERA of 2.85 and BAA of .217 (both ranked Top 5 nationally)-- deepest staff ever with Kubitza, Simms, Reckling, Benak, Stephens, Walls, Duffy, Chargois, Lemond and McDowell leading the way. .975 fielding percentage, but offense hit just .281 with 35 HRs. Just missed national seed and then proceeded again lose our own regional in 3 games (losing the winners bracket Game 2 to Arkansas 1-0).

2013: 44-20, just missing out as regional host despite winning our final 9 games, including sweeping the conference tournament. Won the Eugene regional and lost two heart-breaking games late to NC State in the Supers. Our last truly pitching and defensively dominant team: 2.83 ERA, .225 BAA, .974 fielding percentage, but we lacked pitching depth and hit only .279 as a team with just 29 HRs.

2014: 42-20, regional host, but after beating George Mason lost back to back leads late to UT and A&M (who we had led 8-1 after 6 innings). Elite pitching stats (2.56 ERA, .234 BAA), but absolutely no depth or bullpen beyond Ditman after Stephens went down at Minute Maid and Lemond missed most of the second half of the season. Team hit .293 with only 24 HRs, but had our best fielding percentage (.977) since the 2003 championship team. Team really hit with injury bug-- in addition to Lemond and Stephens, Byrd, Hoelscher and Reeves all missed considerable time with injuries (with JC playing with a serious leg injury most of the second half of the season), and Ditman getting injured late.

2015: 37-22, lost to ULaLa in the Houston regional after eliminating UH in the 20-inning classic. This was the first year where defense was a liability, particularly in the infield, despite being a largely upperclass-laden squad-- both in the field and on the mound. Lacked pitching depth, especially with Duplantier missing the entire season.

2016: 38-24, with our conference championship steak coming to an end...but redeemed ourselves with a strong showing in the Baton Rouge regional, leading LSU going into the 7th inning of the Championship game. Hit only .273 as a team. If anything, we overachieved last year.

2017: 33-31, a disaster of a season saved to a certain extent by a strong 18-4 close to the regular season. Pitcher suffered mightily with injuries to Salinas, Parthasarathy and Otto (who wasn't truly healthy until the second half of the season). Offense lived up to it's preseason hype late, finishing the year hitting .293 as a team with 55 HRs.

In conclusion, the so-called decline didn't really start until the 2015 season.

Your narrative digest, while statistically accurate, fails to take into account the 2011 bat changes and 2015 ball changes and their effects on not only Rice but all NCAA teams nationwide. For example, while the 2014 pitching staff had a 2.56 ERA, there's a real apples/oranges problem comparing it to the 2.65 ERA of the 2004 pitching staff which accomplished its task when gorilla ball and super-high-exit-speed metal bats were still being used by all teams. For the years 2003-2010, our offense had only one year (2005) when we had a team BA below .300 (.293). For those 8 seasons, the BA was around .315. But in the 7 seasons since the bat change, we haven't even cracked .300 (.273-.293). Our RPG has also dropped dramatically from about 7.44 in the first 8 to around 5.5 over the last 7.

Looking at the nationwide NCAA Div I stats, team BA dropped .023 points from .305 in 2010 to .282 in 2011 when the BBCOR bat standard was implemented. Team ERAs dropped more than a full point, from 5.95 in 2010 to 4.67 in 2011 after 20 years of never dropping below 5.12.

If you look at the national stats for the peak year of 'gorilla ball,' 1998, team ERA was 6.12, BA .302 and RPG 7.12. Even in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, BAs were .291 both years, RPG were 6.11 and 6.17 respectively, and ERAs were 5.23 & 5.29. But by 2014, those same stats nationally were .270, 5.08 and 4.22. So our pitching staffs of 2012-2014 were indeed deep and well-stocked with our 3-4 year recruits, but I still maintain where we've fallen short over the last several years is our failure to maintain bring in strong JUCO pitching arms to give seasoned strength to our less-experienced frosh and sophs.

Look back at my post now relegated to the Smack Forum, page 7, for the individual stats, but we did very well in the years after the championship because we were able to replace the Big Three (or 4 if you include Baker) with quality JUCO/TR arms, to wit:

2005 -- Degerman, Geer, Tacker, Cox
2006 -- Degerman, Crow, Cox
2007 -- Kelley, Langwell, Lonergan, Tacker
2008 -- Kelley, Langwell, Gayhart, Jo Rogers, Luetge, Runnels
2009 -- Jo Rogers, Ja Rogers
2010 -- Ja Rogers, Cingrani, Anagnostou
2011 -- Cingrani, Anagnostou
2012 -- NONE
2013 -- NONE
2014 -- T. Tekyl, C. Smith
2015 -- Solecitto
2016 -- Solecitto
2017 -- NONE

Compare the productivity of the first half of that list to the last half and you'll get my point. We know those JUCO/TR pitchers are out there, but the TCUs, TTUs, UTs & A$Ms are getting them, not us. So they've been going to the CWS and we haven't.

Just something to consider.

Let's see, Pierce was here from 2003-2011 and then left in 2012 to go to SHSU...

Zane Curry was the pitching coach from 2000-2005 (two college World Series appearances during his tenure)....and it was freshman pitchers Jeff Nichols and Mario Ramos that led Rice to its' first trip to Omaha in 1997 under pitching coach Jon Prather (two college World Series appearances under his tenure)...

Zane Curry also graduated with a $25,000 plus debt despite brochures that claimed no rice student would graduate with more than a $10,000 debt. I still have the brochure. Need based aid for equivelency sport athletes became available in '03 when one baseball player challenged the discriminatory practice. We won the national championship with 11.5 of the ncaa available 11.7 because one player qualified for 40 pct vs the 20 pct of the 11.7. We weren't allowed to use the 20 pct signed back to the program.

Wayne Graham was the pitching coach at San Jac when they won five juco World Series in seven consecutive national championship game appearances.

And while Prather, Curry and Pierce were pitching coaches during our glory years, make no mistake that it was The OG who was managing the pitching staff...and Curry and Pierce never failed to admit just that.
06-21-2017 08:48 PM
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Fort Bend Owl Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Baseball in Decline?
Sorry to interrupt this otherwise fascination conversation (and sorry also for not cutting and pasting an encyclopedia embedded in the post), but why is Ford Proctor not playing in the Cape anymore? And is DiCaprio playing up there?

We don't seem to have a lot of guys playing summer ball anywhere. That seems odd, and un-Rice like.

Carry on - be sure to keep posting those 1-page posts so we can elevate the total page count of this thread.
06-21-2017 09:11 PM
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skycatcher Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Baseball in Decline?
(06-21-2017 09:11 PM)Fort Bend Owl Wrote:  Sorry to interrupt this otherwise fascination conversation (and sorry also for not cutting and pasting an encyclopedia embedded in the post), but why is Ford Proctor not playing in the Cape anymore? And is DiCaprio playing up there?

We don't seem to have a lot of guys playing summer ball anywhere. That seems odd, and un-Rice like.

Carry on - be sure to keep posting those 1-page posts so we can elevate the total page count of this thread.

we have plenty of guys playing summer ball .....proctor and dicaprio at hyannis in cape cod....check out rubpa.... it's all there
06-21-2017 09:22 PM
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waltgreenberg Online
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Post: #14
RE: Baseball in Decline?
(06-21-2017 09:22 PM)skycatcher Wrote:  
(06-21-2017 09:11 PM)Fort Bend Owl Wrote:  Sorry to interrupt this otherwise fascination conversation (and sorry also for not cutting and pasting an encyclopedia embedded in the post), but why is Ford Proctor not playing in the Cape anymore? And is DiCaprio playing up there?

We don't seem to have a lot of guys playing summer ball anywhere. That seems odd, and un-Rice like.

Carry on - be sure to keep posting those 1-page posts so we can elevate the total page count of this thread.

we have plenty of guys playing summer ball .....proctor and dicaprio at hyannis in cape cod....check out rubpa.... it's all there

Yup. Most of our returning players are playing Summer ball. In fact, Proctor's first hit in the Cape was a 3-run bomb last night. Parth and Kravetz are both out in California. Amador and Esquivel are both resting their arms, but both expected to play some Summer ball by mid-to-late July. Lammons (knee) and Dunlap (shoulder) are both using the Summer to rehab from surgery.
06-21-2017 09:56 PM
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Tiki Owl Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Baseball in Decline?
"One has to also factor in the increased competition and parity nationwide and within Texas that emerged immediately following that 13-year period. Baylor slipped a notch, but DBU, SHS, Texas State, TCU, the Aggies and, more recently, Texas Tech, all elevated their programs."

This is a key point to me which is the first time I have seen it brought out in this discussion. Baylor looks like it may have recovered from their Steve Smith dark period and might be on a true upward trend. UH is finally better year in and year out but still not national caliber. But right now you have TCU as the class of Texas, followed by Tech, Texas (with a huge upward arrow), A&M (hard not to be good year and year out but still chasing true national stature), DBU (how do they do it with their tuition costs with room, board, and other fees combined, total cost of attendance is $36,374 USD), Sam (who seems to have a really good replacement for Pierce...Bobby Williams does make great hires in all sports after his coaches are poached), and UH. I don't consider Texas State a real contender for best in class for Texas. The point is that it isn't just our decline in national stature that hurts it is that our in state competition has been improving.
06-22-2017 08:25 AM
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Rick Gerlach Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Baseball in Decline?
(06-21-2017 08:15 PM)skycatcher Wrote:  
(06-21-2017 12:29 PM)westsidewolf1989 Wrote:  
(06-21-2017 11:57 AM)ColOwl Wrote:  Since the moderator moved the previous thread to the Smack Forum, I'll continue the productive aspects of that discussion to a new one. And I'll borrow one of Walt's posts for continuation.

(06-20-2017 10:19 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  2009: 43-18, was robbed of a national seed (to Oklahoma) and lost to #1 national seed LSU in the Supers. Team batting .320, with 71 HRs and 75 SBs. Lacked elite starting pitching. The Selection Committee and the LSU turf did us in.

2010: 40-23, lost the Austin Regional to UT in the championship after a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to ULaLa put us in the losers bracket. Hit .326 as a team, with 96 HRs, 62 SBs and .974 fielding percentage. Lacked elite starting pitching

2011: 42-21, transition team and an injured Rendon causing nightmaires defensively at 3B until Fr Hoelscher got comfortable at the position. Rathjen injured after only 16 games. Hitting only .286 with 23 HRs, but pitching once again strength with Reckling, Kubitza, Simms, Duffy and Cingrani. Last national seed, but lose our own regional in 3 games.

2012: 41-19, team ERA of 2.85 and BAA of .217 (both ranked Top 5 nationally)-- deepest staff ever with Kubitza, Simms, Reckling, Benak, Stephens, Walls, Duffy, Chargois, Lemond and McDowell leading the way. .975 fielding percentage, but offense hit just .281 with 35 HRs. Just missed national seed and then proceeded again lose our own regional in 3 games (losing the winners bracket Game 2 to Arkansas 1-0).

2013: 44-20, just missing out as regional host despite winning our final 9 games, including sweeping the conference tournament. Won the Eugene regional and lost two heart-breaking games late to NC State in the Supers. Our last truly pitching and defensively dominant team: 2.83 ERA, .225 BAA, .974 fielding percentage, but we lacked pitching depth and hit only .279 as a team with just 29 HRs.

2014: 42-20, regional host, but after beating George Mason lost back to back leads late to UT and A&M (who we had led 8-1 after 6 innings). Elite pitching stats (2.56 ERA, .234 BAA), but absolutely no depth or bullpen beyond Ditman after Stephens went down at Minute Maid and Lemond missed most of the second half of the season. Team hit .293 with only 24 HRs, but had our best fielding percentage (.977) since the 2003 championship team. Team really hit with injury bug-- in addition to Lemond and Stephens, Byrd, Hoelscher and Reeves all missed considerable time with injuries (with JC playing with a serious leg injury most of the second half of the season), and Ditman getting injured late.

2015: 37-22, lost to ULaLa in the Houston regional after eliminating UH in the 20-inning classic. This was the first year where defense was a liability, particularly in the infield, despite being a largely upperclass-laden squad-- both in the field and on the mound. Lacked pitching depth, especially with Duplantier missing the entire season.

2016: 38-24, with our conference championship steak coming to an end...but redeemed ourselves with a strong showing in the Baton Rouge regional, leading LSU going into the 7th inning of the Championship game. Hit only .273 as a team. If anything, we overachieved last year.

2017: 33-31, a disaster of a season saved to a certain extent by a strong 18-4 close to the regular season. Pitcher suffered mightily with injuries to Salinas, Parthasarathy and Otto (who wasn't truly healthy until the second half of the season). Offense lived up to it's preseason hype late, finishing the year hitting .293 as a team with 55 HRs.

In conclusion, the so-called decline didn't really start until the 2015 season.

Your narrative digest, while statistically accurate, fails to take into account the 2011 bat changes and 2015 ball changes and their effects on not only Rice but all NCAA teams nationwide. For example, while the 2014 pitching staff had a 2.56 ERA, there's a real apples/oranges problem comparing it to the 2.65 ERA of the 2004 pitching staff which accomplished its task when gorilla ball and super-high-exit-speed metal bats were still being used by all teams. For the years 2003-2010, our offense had only one year (2005) when we had a team BA below .300 (.293). For those 8 seasons, the BA was around .315. But in the 7 seasons since the bat change, we haven't even cracked .300 (.273-.293). Our RPG has also dropped dramatically from about 7.44 in the first 8 to around 5.5 over the last 7.

Looking at the nationwide NCAA Div I stats, team BA dropped .023 points from .305 in 2010 to .282 in 2011 when the BBCOR bat standard was implemented. Team ERAs dropped more than a full point, from 5.95 in 2010 to 4.67 in 2011 after 20 years of never dropping below 5.12.

If you look at the national stats for the peak year of 'gorilla ball,' 1998, team ERA was 6.12, BA .302 and RPG 7.12. Even in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, BAs were .291 both years, RPG were 6.11 and 6.17 respectively, and ERAs were 5.23 & 5.29. But by 2014, those same stats nationally were .270, 5.08 and 4.22. So our pitching staffs of 2012-2014 were indeed deep and well-stocked with our 3-4 year recruits, but I still maintain where we've fallen short over the last several years is our failure to maintain bring in strong JUCO pitching arms to give seasoned strength to our less-experienced frosh and sophs.

Look back at my post now relegated to the Smack Forum, page 7, for the individual stats, but we did very well in the years after the championship because we were able to replace the Big Three (or 4 if you include Baker) with quality JUCO/TR arms, to wit:

2005 -- Degerman, Geer, Tacker, Cox
2006 -- Degerman, Crow, Cox
2007 -- Kelley, Langwell, Lonergan, Tacker
2008 -- Kelley, Langwell, Gayhart, Jo Rogers, Luetge, Runnels
2009 -- Jo Rogers, Ja Rogers
2010 -- Ja Rogers, Cingrani, Anagnostou
2011 -- Cingrani, Anagnostou
2012 -- NONE
2013 -- NONE
2014 -- T. Tekyl, C. Smith
2015 -- Solecitto
2016 -- Solecitto
2017 -- NONE

Compare the productivity of the first half of that list to the last half and you'll get my point. We know those JUCO/TR pitchers are out there, but the TCUs, TTUs, UTs & A$Ms are getting them, not us. So they've been going to the CWS and we haven't.

Just something to consider.

Let's see, Pierce was here from 2003-2011 and then left in 2012 to go to SHSU...

Zane Curry was the pitching coach from 2000-2005 (two college World Series appearances during his tenure)....and it was freshman pitchers Jeff Nichols and Mario Ramos that led Rice to its' first trip to Omaha in 1997 under pitching coach Jon Prather (two college World Series appearances under his tenure)...

Zane Curry also graduated with a $25,000 plus debt despite brochures that claimed no rice student would graduate with more than a $10,000 debt. I still have the brochure. Need based aid for equivelency sport athletes became available in '03 when one baseball player challenged the discriminatory practice. We won the national championship with 11.5 of the ncaa available 11.7 because one player qualified for 40 pct vs the 20 pct of the 11.7. We weren't allowed to use the 20 pct signed back to the program.

Wayne Graham was the pitching coach at San Jac when they won five juco World Series in seven consecutive national championship game appearances.

ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.
06-22-2017 08:55 AM
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westsidewolf1989 Online
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Post: #17
RE: Baseball in Decline?
Got it, so Pierce did nothing to recruit those players. Makes sense.
06-22-2017 08:56 AM
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Post: #18
RE: Baseball in Decline?
(06-21-2017 06:16 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  Yes, of course there was a bit of a fall off, but we were still a perennial Top 15 - 20 caliber club until the 2015 season; not a program that some have painted as being in "steady decline".

Well it seems that we are either in a steady decline (per the argument you refuted), or just fell off the gd cliff in two years (per the argument you just made). Neither is a good place at the end, nor is the end state where I would like to be.
(This post was last modified: 06-22-2017 01:05 PM by tanqtonic.)
06-22-2017 12:56 PM
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Rick Gerlach Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Baseball in Decline?
(06-22-2017 08:56 AM)westsidewolf1989 Wrote:  Got it, so Pierce did nothing to recruit those players. Makes sense.

I don't think anyone is saying that either.
06-22-2017 03:08 PM
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Post: #20
RE: Baseball in Decline?
(06-22-2017 12:56 PM)tanqtonic Wrote:  Well it seems that we are either in a steady decline (per the argument you refuted), or just fell off the gd cliff in two years (per the argument you just made). Neither is a good place at the end, nor is the end state where I would like to be.

I think the 5-year average of Rice's pseudo-RPI shows a pretty demonstrable and steady decline the last 4 years, below where Rice had been in the late 1990's when the team first started going to the CWS. And if the fall continues or accelerates, it starts to look like a cliff.

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06-22-2017 03:22 PM
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