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Links from Around the Country for June 6th

JonathanGrayFeaturedHere are some of the top news stories around the College Baseball World for today. 

National Championship or Bust at Alabama?

Jay Seawell didn’t do Mitch Gaspard any favors.

As if Sunday weren’t bloody enough for the Alabama baseball coach, metaphorically speaking.

Just before lunch, Seawell watched his Alabama men’s golf team start fast and finish strong to win the NCAA championship, the first for that program, the first for any men’s program at the school outside of football.

Just after lunch, Gaspard watched – literally, without leaving the dugout himself or dispatching an assistant to check on a freshman closer in distress – as a three-run lead entering the bottom of the ninth against Troy became a one-run season-ending defeat in an NCAA regional.

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Oregon State poses difficult test for K-State baseball

The Kansas State baseball team’s trip west for the first NCAA super regional in program history comes with a very large caveat.

That being a three-game series with one of the nation’s powerhouse programs and a team motivated by last year’s failure in regionals.

Make no mistake, Oregon State will be ready. And they’ll be home at Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.

State College of Florida could see 6 Drafted

BRADENTON — State College of Florida’s baseball program is known for ability to provide a training ground for players to prepare for the next level, whether that level is a four-year college or the professional ranks.

This year, SCF head coach Tim Hill II said six players have a chance of getting picked in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which begins Thursday. They are Connor Hale, Orlando Rivera, Connor Oliver, Jarred Smith, Robby Kalaf and Casey Mulholland.

Carolina’s Most Memorable Regional Wins
For many followers of the Carolina baseball program, the year 2006 serves as a line of demarcation of sorts. It was, of course, the year that saw the Tar Heels return to the College World Series for the first time since 1989 and the first time under head coach Mike Fox. But it also marked Carolina’s first time hosting in the current regional format – a four-team, double-elimination tournament that was first implemented in 1999. Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable Carolina home wins of the “modern” regional era.

Zach McAllister and Vinnie Pestano reflect on MLB Draft Day

NEW YORK — Indians right-handers Zach McAllister and Vinnie Pestano visited the MLB Fan Cave on Tuesday, a couple of days before Major League Baseball’s annual First-Year Player Draft, and as members of the 2006 Draft class they represent the last of an old guard.

That was the year before the world changed for selecting baseball prospects into the professional ranks. The 2007 Draft marked a new era with the transformation into a live event, its first-round selections announced by Commissioner Bud Selig, initially staged at Disney World.

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Pitching Coach Mike Birkbeck has Options at Kent State, Georgia

When the Kent State baseball program last found itself in need of a new head coach, the job belonged to Mike Birkbeck if he wanted it. But Kent State’s nationally renowned pitching coach decided to remain in that post, paving the way for the hiring of Scott Stricklin for the 2005 season.

Fast-forward nine years, and Birkbeck almost assuredly finds himself in the same situation.

Stricklin officially accepted the position as head coach at the University of Georgia on Monday, and although neither side will confirm it, the Golden Flashes’ top job likely once again is Birkbeck’s for the taking.

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Okla.’s Gray may not be out of inning just yet

BATON ROUGE — Leave it to Major League Baseball — by accident or design — to distract a splendid NCAA Super Regional in the works for this weekend at Alex Box Stadium between LSU and Oklahoma.

Is it not bad enough that MLB is holding its draft on Thursday and this weekend just as eight Super Regionals are starting? Why does it do it? Because it can.

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Something to build on for Southern Miss in 2014

HATTIESBURG — For the previous 12 years, Scott Berry always knew where he was going to be come Monday morning of the Memorial Day weekend.

But this year, Berry was not in front of a television, waiting to see if Southern Miss was among college baseball’s 64 teams headed to an NCAA regional.

A season that had opened with high expectations in February had spiraled south in a hurry, and though USM rallied to share the Conference USA regular-season championship and reach the title game of the conference tournament, it was too little, too late.

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Former Shockers sad to see Stephenson’s era end with dismissal

Mike Pelfrey works out at Wichita State during the Major League Baseball offseason and feels such a bond with his hometown school that he has expressed interest in coaching there when his career ends.

Now Pelfrey, who pitches for the Minnesota Twins, is prepared to say no to any future job offer and to any further involvement with the program he grew up watching and the one for which he starred from 2003-05.

Pelfrey was one of several former Shockers who offered support for Gene Stephenson, who was fired Tuesday after 36 years as WSU’s coach. Pelfrey said hiring an outsider to replace Stephenson could cause a mutiny among former players, including him.

South Carolina faces daunting challenge in super regional at North Carolina

COLUMBIA — On April 25, South Carolina traveled to LSU for a series that its players and coaches knew would help determine whether this season was successful or not.

This was the second of three consecutive challenging series. The Gamecocks had just swept Kentucky at home. The Wildcats ended up fading and missed the NCAA tournament. After LSU, Vanderbilt swept USC in Columbia in a rain-shortened, two-game series. There was no shame in those defeats, as the Commodores got the NCAA No. 2 national seed.

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