Here are your Morning Links for May 24th from the College Baseball World. If you know of a good article that we might have missed drop us a line by clicking here.
TCU Pitching Remains Questionable
This was supposed to be the week TCU reloaded, with a rested and rearmed pitching staff, just in time for another run to the College World Series.
But what baseball giveth, it also taketh away. Matt Purke will start Wednesday in the Horned Frogs’ first game at the Mountain West Conference tournament, his second start since missing a month of action because of shoulder soreness. Kyle Winkler, though, will not pitch this week to rest his arm. Winkler threw 4 2/3 innings Thursday at New Mexico but missed a start the previous week with mild arm soreness.
UNCW builds momentum heading into CAA baseball tournament
It wasn’t a necessity, but the UNC-Wilmington baseball team played like Saturday’s regular season finale was a must-win.
The Seahawks were coming off an embarrassing 15-6 loss to Virginia Commonwealth in front of their home crowd Friday night. The loss didn’t matter, though, because Georgia State lost to George Mason, continuing UNCW’s unprecedented streak of playing in every CAA tournament since the conference began postseason play in 1986.
West Virginia: Van Zant proves worth with success despite obstacles
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Greg Van Zant has now worked 17 seasons as West Virginia’s baseball coach and has been on the bench for 503 victories and Big East titles for regular-season and tournament play.
There have been plenty of big moments with plenty of big-time players – 49 in all who have been drafted or signed professional contracts – and yet Van Zant is particularly fond of what his Mountaineers accomplished Sunday afternoon.
“I’ve told a lot of people,” Van Zant said, “that was one of the biggest games we’ve had since I’ve been the head coach here.”
Former Horns star Cox still finding a way to impact Texas baseball
J. Brent Cox reflects on his college baseball career as if it was 20 years ago, not the five-plus that have passed by since his greatest pitching achievement.
The star reliever on Texas’ last national championship team who owns the College World Series record for appearances with 13, is 27 years old. His professional playing career now over, those days of mowing down batters have given way to on-the-field training with the Longhorns’ young pitchers.
Both he and former Longhorns teammate Curtis Thigpen were hired as volunteer student assistants before this season began. Cox probably thought he would be in the majors by now, but his dreams of pitching for the New York Yankees have faded.
USM’s Koelling wins Ferriss Trophy
Southern Miss outfielder Tyler Koelling won the 2011 Cellular South Ferriss Trophy today, becoming the first Golden Eagle to claim the 8-year-old award given to Mississippi’s best four-year college baseball player.
He was presented the award in front of a packed room at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in Jackson.
Koelling, a 6-foot 190-pound senior from Luling, La., was second in Conference USA in batting average (.367) and hits (84), helping lead USM to a share of the C-USA regular season title and a top-20 national ranking.
Arizona connection boosts New Mexico State baseball
Bryan Karraker didn’t want to play baseball at New Mexico State. Like most Valley kids who grew up with a bat in their hands, he dreamed of being an Arizona State Sun Devil or an Arizona Wildcat.
But when Karraker’s high school career at Phoenix Pinnacle ended without an offer from ASU, and when he helped Central Arizona College win consecutive Region I championships and the Sun Devils still didn’t come calling, he begrudgingly accepted an offer from the Aggies – even though he wasn’t sure where Las Cruces, N.M., was located or what he was getting himself into.
Baseball a family affair for Bucs’ Chinners
The Nick Chinners story is right there in the Facebook photo.
There is Chinners, a strapping 6-2, 225-pound first baseman, looking like a little kid as he pushes his face against the fence at Charleston Southern’s baseball field.
On the other side of the fence is Chinners’ grandfather. The two press their hands together through the chain link as they talk.
“That’s the last photo of the two of us together,” Chinners, a senior, said of his grandfather, Harold Mizzell. “He died in November. My granddad always said he wanted to be able to watch me play college baseball.