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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Caltech snaps 228-game skid

California Institute of Technology’s baseball team ended a 228-game losing streak Saturday with a 9-7 victory over Pacifica—the Beavers’ first win in nearly 10 years.
...
It was a non-conference game, though, and Caltech, mainly a Division III participant, has not won a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest since 1988—a span of 463 games.

Sounds like the kind of guys the Astros should be scouting.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 03, 2013 at 02:51 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college

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   1. John Northey Posted: February 03, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4360984)
Wow, guess there is a limit to 'anyone can win anyday' in that conference. Must have been exciting to actually win a non-conference game though - probably will try to get more games against little leaguers...er...Pacifica in the future now.
   2. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4360998)
How is this possible? Even if they picked 25 random fans from the stands for each game you'd think they would do better. Even the Spiders didn't lose 228 in a row.
   3. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4361001)
Maybe CalTech just doesn't take anything extra-curricular all that seriously. When I was in college, CalTech sent a team to the College Bowl Regionals and we beat them pretty handily. You wouldn't think a team from Chico State (better known for being #1 on Playboy's Party School Rankings) would beat CalTech at anything academic.
   4. John Northey Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4361004)
Has a college team that plays those exhibition games ever beat a ML team though in early spring? That might be the best way to see if a massive losing streak is possible between teams as it is the most extreme example I can think of that happens regularly. What about national teams vs ML teams (ie: national teams without ML'ers)? Tried finding it online but no sign of results beyond the odd game here and there which the ML team always wins. The exception being the Baltimore/Cuba series in 1999 where Cuba won in Baltimore and Baltimore won in Cuba.
   5. John Northey Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4361006)
Wow, it would be hard to be a sports fan of that college.
Caltech's men's basketball team ended a 310-game conference losing streak in 2011, while the women's volleyball team ended a 56-match losing streak last year.

Of course the flip side is that the celebrations should be big for breaking those horrid losing streaks.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4361011)
Has a college team that plays those exhibition games ever beat a ML team though in early spring?

Plenty of times in past decades, not so sure about recently.

My old high school (Wilson in DC) once lost so many basketball games in a row that they got a writeup in Sports Illustrated. Before that, they had a stretch where they won only 6 games in 4 years despite having a future All-American and SF Warrior (Fred Hetzel), a future Celtics benchwarmer (Ronnie Watts) and a starter for Maryland (Sam McWilliams). The one year they were together before Hetzel left for a prep school, they won 3 games.
   7. flournoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4361020)
Wow, it would be hard to be a sports fan of that college.


I don't think anybody goes to CalTech for the sports, or would really consider themselves a "fan" or their teams. I didn't even know they had sports teams. CalTech is famously one of the most rigorous schools in the country. (I would say #1 most rigorous, but I'd have to do some research to support that, and I don't feel like it.)
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: February 03, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4361022)
Isn't the sporting highlight for CalTech the annual sabotage of the Rose Bowl (assuming it's still going on)?

   9. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 03, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4361035)
4 - sure, all the time. I remember when manatee jc beat the pirates and there was much gnashing of teeth
I think the rose bowl thing still happens.
A first baseman from caltech's conference was in the Red Sox system recently (hedman?, from Pomona Pfizer) - as you might imagine he was pretty great in school
   10. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4361045)
Man, you want to talk about being embarassed? Then think about the guys who tried out for the team and weren't good enough to be on the team!
   11. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 03, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4361056)
Just looked at their '11 stats (0-28 in 27 games played) and - ew.
.191/.266/.234 v. Opponents hitting .434/.522/.634. Stole 4 bases on the season (2 caught), allowed 124 (7 caught). Outscored 406-59. Fielded .909 (versus opponents .972). Only starting pitchers got decisions on the season. Co-leader in starts had an ERA over 20. Team leader in at bats hit .094
   12. Boxkutter Posted: February 03, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4361065)
They're still #1 somewhere...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2012/10/03/the-worlds-top-universities-2012/
   13. Gamingboy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4361071)
Wasn't there a entire documentary on how much the CalTech basketball team stunk?
   14. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 03, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4361077)
(0-28 in 27 games played)


Does that include their loss to Imaginary Polytechnic?
   15. Greg K Posted: February 03, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4361088)
As it is perhaps pertinent here.

2012 British Baseball Federation Standings

The Stourbridge Titans were a new team last year, (which in the UK means 90% of the players were entirely new to baseball).

0-16 with 51 runs for and 331 against. They improved as the season went on, and they should be a lot better this year (more experience and one of our players has already defected this off-season).

Titans batting line .278/.466/.296
Opposing line .437/.546/.617

I think this demonstrates that
A) the offensive context of the league is through the roof
and
B) finding pitchers who can throw strikes is huge

Though to be fair most teams used Titan games to let people who had never pitched before try it out.
   16. JoeC Posted: February 03, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4361120)
Man, you want to talk about being embarassed? Then think about the guys who tried out for the team and weren't good enough to be on the team!


Celebrating alum here. At least during the time I know about, there were no such people. If you *really* had no skills, you'd just be informed that your playing time was likely to be slim. I would have loved to have played (as an enthusiast who was cut off of a mediocre high school team and used to organize pickup games with my friends) but just couldn't justify the time commitment. Went to a few games though. A friend of mine had the conference record for hit batters for a while. His curve was slow enough that no one saw any point in getting out of the way (and I believe SCIAC rules don't require you to try).

In our partial defense, I understand that SCIAC is one of the elite DIII conferences... LaVerne and Cal Lutheran made the DIII championship game a few times in the 90s. And Whittier had a pitcher who went pro, though obviously there was more than pure playing ability going on there.

Also, I hate to say it, but Pacifica is a pretty dubious "college." They share an address in San Dimas with "Life Pacific College" (formerly Life Bible College), they're not accredited by anyone, and they don't have a Wikipedia page. They seem to cater to people with stars in their eyes that want to work in pro sports someday.

Isn't the sporting highlight for CalTech the annual sabotage of the Rose Bowl (assuming it's still going on)?


I think that was a one-time thing in '84.

Wasn't there a entire documentary on how much the CalTech basketball team stunk?


Sure was! Still kicking myself for not going to *that* streak-breaking game. I happened to have been looking at the recent results with a few close losses, was thinking "huh, they could do it this year!" and had circled that game as a vulnerable opponent.
   17. OCF Posted: February 03, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4361138)
I coach a high school math contest team in the greater Los Angeles area, and have for a little over a decade. In that time, more of my alums have gone to Caltech than any other school. I don't recall any who were likely to be baseball players but there's one now who did play high school football. Far more of the ones I know would be looking for orchestras or string quartets to join; I assume those can be found. There is a college level math competition: the Putnam. The way the Putnam determines its winning school is bizarre. Most of the time in recent years, the winning school has been Harvard; by almost any other measure of strength, the strongest school has been MIT. Caltech vies with a few other schools like Princeton, Stanford, and Toronto for the next places after that, although there was a recent year in which Caltech was the winning school.
   18. JoeC Posted: February 03, 2013 at 02:30 PM (#4361157)
I don't recall any who were likely to be baseball players but there's one now who did play high school football.


As the T-shirt in the bookstore reads: "Caltech football: Undefeated since 1993!"

I was the proud captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team though. We actually beat both UCLA and USC while I was there. (USC's team was a motley assortment of med students who were just learning the game, as I recall.)

And now I should stop procrastinating and finish my lesson plan for *my* math contest team... practice is at noon...
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: February 03, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4361160)
I think that was a one-time thing in '84.


I know they disrupted the game on more than one occasion, but as you note it was very far back so I wouldn't be surprised if it no longer happened.

   20. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 03, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4361166)
Did the '61 game as well
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 03, 2013 at 05:54 PM (#4361296)

Growing up, I played on a soccer team that did not win a game for 4 years. And the losses were not particularly close, either. There was one game where we were up 3-0 at halftime and lost 4-3, but I don't remember any other games where we thought we had a shot.

In our last season, though, we added some new players, including a kid who was young for the league but his father had played professionally and he was quite good. That final season, we won one game, and yes the on-field celebration was glorious.

Incidentally, the new kid was Edson Buddle, who played on the most recent U.S. World Cup team. So basically, we were so bad that adding a World Cup-caliber player to our roster only got us to one win.
   22. cseadog Posted: February 03, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4361308)
The SCIAC is (with the notable exception of Cal Tech) the deepest DIII conf in the country. Every year 1-3 players are drafted and they come from all the other teams. Jason Hirsh Cal Lu '03 pitched in the show.

Cal Tech is one of the few schools that doesn't recruit and give preferential admission to athletes. The Ivies, MIT and the NESCAC all do (aggressively).
   23. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 03, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4361313)
Did the '61 game as well


Yep. As an employee of the University of Washington athletic department, I'm well aware of this...
   24. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 03, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4361341)
the new kid was Edson Buddle

Uh, that's a pretty fantastic kid to get in your team. I'd be curious as to the age of the team because normally kids that are awesome at sports are generally playing with other really awesome kids by the time they are 12. My second oldest son is quite a good soccer player and since the age of 12 has played high representative football. The teams he plays against are all on the same level as his, full of budding Messis all with aspirations of playing for Man U or Barcelona. Very odd that a quality player like Buddle would be stuck in kind of a sucky team, even as a youth.
   25. Flynn Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4361345)
I googled Cal Tech's team and they only have 13 listed players. Practically everybody is a varsity athlete in another sport, such as track or hoops. So basically if you get into Caltech and want to play sports, you're gonna be a varsity athlete.
   26. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:29 PM (#4361356)
Why even bother with a varsity team, then? Why not just have intramural or club baseball?
   27. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4361364)
Why not have varsity teams?

How would Caltech compare to an average HS team?

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