It was another outstanding weekend of Baltimore Sports. I love this time of year because there is so much going on in the sports world. I really had trouble ranking the top three sports events of the weekend because they were all fantastic. I really think that any one of these three could be number one. Here’s how I have them ranked.
The Baltimore Ravens didn’t do anything on day one of the 2012 NFL Draft but they were certainly busy on day two and day three. In case you misssed it here is the complete Ravens 2012 Draft:
|Round 2, Pick 3 (35) (From Vikings)||Courtney Upshaw||OLB||6’2″||272||Alabama|
|Round 2, Pick 28 (60)||Kelechi Osemele||T||6’5″||333||Iowa St.|
|Round 3, Pick 21 (84) (From Falcons)||Bernard Pierce||RB||6’0″||218||Temple|
|Round 4, Pick 3 (98) (From Vikings)||Gino Gradkowski||G||6’3″||300||Delaware|
|Round 4, Pick 35 (130) (Compensatory selection)||Christian Thompson||FS||6’0″||211||South Carolina St.|
|Round 5, Pick 34 (169) (Compensatory selection)||Asa Jackson||CB||5’10″||191||Cal Poly|
|Round 6, Pick 28 (198)||Tommy Streeter||WR||6’5″||219||Miami|
|Round 7, Pick 29 (236)||Deangelo Tyson||DE||6’2″||315||Georgia|
We all had a chance to go out and meet Alabama Linebacker Courtney Upshaw, Iowa St. Tackle Kelechi Osemele and Temple Running Back Bernard Pierce on Saturday. My initial impression was that Upshaw is the real deal who is anxious to come in and compete day one. I know a lot of Ravens fans were hoping for Donta Hightower to come in to be the heir apparent to Ray Lewis at the ILB position. Instead they get a guy that could possibly replace Jarett Johnson.
Kelechi Osemele is a little bit more of a raw talent that may take a little while longer to integrate himself into the Ravens starting Offensive Line. He will have to slide inside to the Guard position. I don’t see him unseating Michael Oher as the Right Tackle on this team anytime soon.
Bernard Pierce will compete for the back-up Running Back position. He is anxious to get into camp and show the Ravens what he can do. Pierce’s biggest challenge will be acclamating himself to the Ravens passing game. Bernard wasn’t a big part of the passing game at Temple, and if he wants to get on the field he will need to work on learning the Ravens protection schemes. Here’s Bernard sharing his thoughts with “Bulldog” and I.
6,000 fans descended on the Ridley Sports Complex to watch the Loyola Greyhounds take on the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays. How big was this game? Here is the blog post from Geoff Shannon from Inside Lacrosse before the game:
The line winding up the hill into the Woodberry neighborhood (where the Ridley Athletic Complex is officially located) is already stretched back to Coldspring Lane in North Baltimore, as the anticipation builds for the Charles Street Rivalry matchup between No. 1 Loyola University and No. 11 Johns Hopkins.
A lot was at stake in this one. Loyola was looking to wrap up a top four seed in the NCAA Tournament and Hopkins was looking to knock off #1 for the second time this season (they defeated Virginia 11-10 in OT at Charlottesville earlier this year). Hopkins came out on fire and built a 5-0 lead on the undefeated Greyhounds. Loyola showed that they deserved their #1 ranking with a furious four goal, fourth quarter rally that culminated in Justin Ward’s game tying goal with just :05 left in regulation. The Blue Jays got the game winning goal from Rob Guida with just :02 seconds left. Here’s the game winner courtesy of the Loyola Webstream. (It’s absolutely ridiculous that this game was not on TV or radio)
I don’t know whether its the fact that I’m not used to seeing the O’s win or that it was Matt “The Untouchable” Wieters who tied the game in the ninth yesterday, but in any event the Orioles come from behind victory is #1 this week. How clutch has Wilson Betemit been for this O’s team? Remember two weeks ago I was talking about him hitting a clutch home run in the eighth inning to tie up the game in Toronto. Now he’s belting game winning, ninth inning homers. The Orioles won five games all of last year when they were trailing after seven innings. Now they have won five games when trailing after seven innings in the month of April. Everyone will remember Betemit’s three-run homer, but this game was won and lost by plays that were made and not made at first base. It was 2-0 A’s headed into the bottom of the ninth. It could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the O’s defense. In particular Mark Reynolds had a great day with the glove at first base. Reynolds made a great play early in the game when Tommy Hunter’s throw was into the runner. Reynolds was quick enough to make the catch and get out of the way of the runner. Reynolds stole a double in the 4th inning. He snagged Kila Ka’aihue grounder that was headed into right field, and turned the 3-6-3 double play. Oakland A’s First Baseman Daric Barton wasn’t as good in the ninth inning. You certainly are not going to blame Barton for the A’s loss on Sunday, but he could have been a difference maker for the Athletics. J.J. Hardy started the inning with a ground ball up the middle. A’s Second Baseman Eric Sogard got to the ball but he one hopped the throw to first. That’s a do or die play for a first baseman. If Barton makes the play it’s the first out of the inning. Instead he can’t make the scoop and now the tying run is at the plate. Next up was Adam Jones. His soft tapper to the left of the mound was fielded by A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon. Colon had to rush his throw and once again Barton was in a do or die position when the throw bounced in front of him. If Barton makes the tough handle he keeps the winning run from coming to the plate. Instead he can’t make the play and now the tying run is on second and the winning run comes to the plate. The rest is history and it’s another great win for the O’s. Right now they are doing the little things that win ballgames and they have great momentum heading to New York and Boston.
The best non-sports event of the weekend.
Without doubt it was the 4th annual Jonathan Ogden Poker Tournament at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Timonium. The hold em tournament is always a good time. It was great to see J.O. and guys like former Ravens OT Spencer Folau and Ravens Long Snapper Morgan Cox. My night of Holdem ended early when my A K was knocked out by J 7 but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I still had fun playing Black Jack with Morgan Cox’s wife Lauren and Kori. I also got a chance to catch up with my old friend Skip Conrey. Skip used to hang out with us when we did the Tony Siragusa show at the Barn. Wow those were the days. (pictures below)
Until next time…