Conference USA is doing a series of previews on each team in the Conference. The first one is on the University of Central Florida. The Golden Knights are a young team and will be battling their youth to get to the top of the conference. The full preview is available here.
Everyone that follows this blog knows that I have been a huge fan of Milan Dinga’s game since I saw him pitch up at Holy Cross when he was pitching for Army last year. He came into a tight game and throw some fire to close the game out. He registered 94 MPH on the radar guns around me and really impressed me with his composure. He ended up spending the summer in the Cape Cod League playing for the Hyannis Mets where he impressed some scouts even more against the best competition in the country.
Mitch Harris is of a similar mode since he plays the Naval Academy. Harris was named the second best pro prospect in the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate Baseball League. I will have the chance to see Harris pitch against Holy Cross this year and I will give my impressions on this stud of a pitcher.
Doug Kroll of CSTV wrote an article about how Harris and Dinga face challenges that other college baseball players don’t have to deal with. The article is available here.
Wes Roemer and Jared Clark both of Cal State Fullerton have recently been injured according to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America. He states that Roemer has a broken pinky finger on his throwing hand. The Titans are trying to have Roemer pitch through the injury. Jared Clark is out for the 2007 season with a torn ACL. This a huge loss for the Titans since Clark hit five home runs last season and was expected to contribute significantly this season. There are also some more news in notes in this article from Aaron Fitt.
University of Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez will return this season to coaching the pitching staff. Last year, he took the year off from coaching the pitchers so he could deal with his ailing father who passed away after last season. He has been the Pitching coach in addition to his head coaching duties every time the Wildcats have made a trip to the CWS. He will try to lower the team ERA this season from a 5.41 in conference play in 2006. The full article from the Arizona Daily Star is available here.
The current Chatham A’s head coach John Schiffner (Providence college grad) has just come back from the World Baseball Coaches Convention in Connecticut. He was a presenter of “Coaching the Bases” and made a great speech. The article deals how successful he has become as a head coach in Connecticut for high schools and also with Chatham. The full article is available here.
Bethune-Cookman has been named the top team in the nation in by BlackCollegeBaseball.com. They are the defending champions of the MEAC conference where they went 30-27. They tied Prairie View A&M in 2006 in the final poll. The top ranked team in the lower division poll is West Virginia State who went 45-9-1 in 2006.
The University of Illinois-Chicago Flames have moved into a new facility called the Colvin Center. It features locker rooms for players, coaches, and umpires in addition to a study lounge, lounges, new coaches offices, equipment room, shower facilities, and other amenities. The full release is available here.
The Gonzaga Baseball program has lost former head coach Dick Busch who coached the Zags from 1949 through the 1967 season. He also taught civil engineering at the school from 1949-1982. He was responsible for building four baseball fields during his tenure at the university. Current Zags head coach Stave Hertz said “Dick Busch was a friend and a colleague, “He loved baseball and was a true Zag. Although I never played for him, it was a pleasure to be both a player and a coach and wear the uniform for the program he helped shape. We shared many good conversations about Gonzaga baseball and he was a frequent visitor to the field. He not only loved Bulldog baseball, he loved Gonzaga University.” He was 86 years old. The full release from the Gonzaga athletic department is available here.
The CAA has picked the VCU Rams to win the conference this season. They received 4 first place votes with UNC Wilmington and Delaware getting 3 and Old Dominion get a lone vote. The rest of the pre-season poll is available here. The College Baseball Blog staff might be seeing some CAA action at Northeastern this season so keep your eyes open.
Julio Borbon will be out 8-10 weeks with an ankle injury which hampers the beginning of the season for the Tennessee Vols. They are expected to compete for teh SEC championship this year and Julio was expected to be the catalyst for the program. He led the team in hitting in 2006 with a .366 batting average. The full article written by Kendall Rogers is available here.