College baseball is abuzz this week with talk of the Lubbock Super Regional, the College of Charleston vs. Texas Tech for a College World Series trip that would be the first for either program.
But retro rock fan and Charleston baseball coach Monte Lee knows Lubbock is known for something other than Red Raiders and high cotton.
“Oh, yeah, Buddy Holly,” the 37-year-old College of Charleston coach said. “He was born there. I saw ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ with Gary Busey, so I know a lot about Buddy Holly.”
“‘Peggy Sue,’” Lee said.
The latest check of the Cougars’ itinerary indicates no plan for a team tour of the Buddy Holly Center honoring the bespectacled icon who became one the most influential people in rock history before he died at 22.
“Our players are probably too young to appreciate it,” Lee lamented.
And yet this College of Charleston team is in perfect harmony with some of Holly’s greatest hits:
‘It’s So Easy’
Or so the Cougars made it look at the Gainesville Regional. They defeated No. 2 national seed Florida and out-pitched the Long Beach State Dirtbags twice.
It was no less than the greatest accomplishment in a first-round regional for any team from South Carolina since the Citadel went unbeaten in Coral Gables to clinch a 1990 College World Series berth back in the pre-super regional era.
‘That’ll Be the Day’
As in, “That’ll be the day, when you say goodbye.”
The College of Charleston management hopes they don’t have to replace Lee any time soon. But other schools are likely to call after Lee’s third trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2010, and now a super regional.
It’s time to make some significant upgrades. The Cougars desperately need improved Patriots Point facilities: A new clubhouse, a decent indoor hitting building and weight room and classrooms, among other things.
Coastal Carolina has a similar program profile but its facilities are way better.
It would be nice to have improvements in place before the College of Charleston starts the 2015 season with a series at South Carolina.
‘Not Fade Away’
“I personally don’t know much about Buddy Holly,” College of Charleston senior catcher Ryan Welke said. “But I know my parents used to listen to him when I was little.”
Don McLean in his epic “American Pie” ballad insists “the music died” when Holly was killed in a 1959 plane crash that also took the lives of fellow rockers Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.
But the songs — which have been covered by The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and so many others — will not fade away.
The Cougars hope a postseason win streak that started with three straight victories at the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament lives on at least a little while longer.
‘I Guess It Doesn’t
To the tune of the Buddy Holly version of this song or Linda Ronstadt’s soulful cover, the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s seeding has been rendered irrelevant.
The Cougars were a No. 4 seed.
Only seven of the 16 regional host teams advanced to the super regionals. Texas Tech took down one itself, Miami.
If Gary Busey can get nominated for a “Best Actor” Academy Award playing Buddy Holly, Omaha is more than possible for the College of Charleston.
The previous two No. 4 seeds to win first-round regionals, Fresno State in 2008 and Stony Brook in 2012, made it to the College World Series.
Fresno State went on to win the national championship.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff