Friday, March 30, 2007

Zoom, zoom Zumaya

Looks like Joel Zumaya, Detroit's flamethrowing setup man, is ready for the season.

The California-bred reliever touched 107 with a fastball against the New York Yankees on Friday in a spring training game. That's right 107. And that wasn't on a TV radar gun. That was on the stadium gun at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Looks like Zumaya put down the Guitar Hero and trips to the tattoo parlor this offseason and got really serious.

As for weekend college baseball in the state, the only series bringing any heat close to Zumaya's offerings is Tulane and East Carolina. The Green Wave and Pirates bring identical 3-0 conference records into the C-USA clash at Zephyr Field in Metairie. Given a truncated conference schedule this season, a sweep would do wonders for the winners.

LSU and Alabama used to be as important a rivalry in SEC baseball as any. In 1997 the teams met in the College World Series championship game. Of course, given LSU's sterling record in title games, we know how that worked out for the Tigers. For the unitiated, that would be 13-6 LSU and title No. 4 for Skip Bertman.

Now it seems as Alabama has the upper hand on the Tigers. Local fans could be split in their allegiances as former Ruston High standout Brandon Belcher is hitting .286 for the Tide and earned a win in his only pitching appearance of the year.


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