Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baseball season starting to turnaround

After McMurry just completed a 3-game sweep of Schreiner this afternoon and went 4-0 for the week (also taking a game from nationally-ranked Trinity Tuesday), the grim 1-6 start for the team has started to distance itself from the improvement the team has made over the past 18 games. The struggling Schreiner team came to Abilene at a good time for McMurry's sake as the team was able to reach nearly .500 overall at 12-13 and moved to 5-4 in the American Southwest Conference West Division. Below are some notes that I listed after the Schreiner series and pitcured to the left is Zack Hewitt who threw the only complete nine-inning game since Dakota Smith's complete game victory in 2008 in the ASC Tournament Championship game.

Here are the tidbits:

Jeff Jackson's three combined RBI in the series Saturday gives the senior catcher 71 for his career and puts him at 17th place all-time passing Hank Casey's mark of 70.
• The McMurry pitching staff did not walk a single hitter in all 25 innings of work on the mound against Schreiner.
Greg Erickson has the McMurry school record for strikeouts with 14 against the University of Dallas March 4, 2003. Erickson accomplished the feat in 7.1 innings in an 11-7 win over the University of Dallas. The ASC record is 15 strikeouts for a pitcher in a single game. Chris Semchenko struck out 13 in seven innings Saturday.
• Several players for McMurry are stringing together hitting streaks; among the players on the list are: Jake Mullin (9), Derek Saltzgaber (7), Andrew Bell (6), and Matt Thompson (5). Saltzgaber has also recorded at least one RBI in six consecutive games.
• Since McMurry's 1-6 start, the team is 10-8 in its last 18 games and has raised it's team batting average from .250 to .292. Also, the team's ERA during the 18-game span has been lowered from 9.40 to 6.21.
• Friday night's start by Zack Hewitt, which the sophomore turned into a complete game was the first nine-inning complete game thrown by a McMurry pitcher since Dakota Smith had done so in the 2008 ASC Tournament Championship game May 4, 2008.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A few updates ...

* The big news of the day for McMurry fans in Abilene is the big change in the radio station that carries our sporting events locally. A couple of years ago we were excited to know that Radio Abilene brought the nationally-syndicated ESPN Radio shows to KZQQ 1560 AM. In bigger markets like Dallas where ESPN Radio is carried on 103.3 FM, there is a mix between the national shows, DFW focused shows and live broadcasts for TCU Basketball and Dallas Mavericks basketball. For Abilene, McMurry got to be a part of the "regional" focus of ESPN Radio in Abilene through our 60+ broadcasts per school year between football, basketball, and baseball. Then, last year Ben Dobson began a weekly, hour-long radio show and I continued that this fall before halting the show this spring. Al Pickett also carried his daily show on 1560 AM, which had some local focus to it and of course, Abilene High School football and Texas Rangers baseball professionally was carried on the show.

However, that all came to an end Wednesday when Radio Abilene dropped ESPN programming and changed to classic-rock programming. Parker Cannan, the Radio Abilene President, said that ESPN had forced the smaller markets that carried the nationally-syndicated sports-talk programming to begin paying monthly fees to air the programming. In the past, in an exchange for air time to air ESPN's coporate sponsors' commercials, the programming was free of charge. You can read more about the reasoning on McMurry's athletics web site or the Abilene Reporter News.

Initial plans are to continue our relationship with KZQQ as it has been successful in the past. However, we will not ignore the growing demand for Internet broadcasting, which in our first full year of audio / video broadcasting on, has been extremely successful.


Marc David continues to write the weekly college notebook for the Abilene Reporter News and Josh Lee was the former McMurry athlete featured this week. Check out Marc's article here which also has tidbits from news around Abilene College athletics at ACU, HSU and McMurry. Lee, the former four-year player for McMurry and coached three seasons at his alma mater, moved to NCAA Division I UT-San Antonio in the offseason as an assistant coach.