REPRINTED FROM ROCK CHALK TALK
KU Baseball has been a new type of animal since the arrival of Ritch Price five years ago. When Price inherited the program the Jayhawks had struggled through five straight losing seasons and not made an appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1994. Under Price the Jayhawks have a record of 171-144-1 and fought their way back into the post-season by winning the Big-12 tournament in 2006. During this time Price has overseen tremendous improvements to the baseball facilities (almost entirely financed by private donor contributions) and watched two of his former players quickly reach the majors. Last month Price received a national pat on the back by being named one of Team USA’s coaches. KU has a nationally respected baseball coach who has transformed a dormant program into a player on the national scene. Continue reading
FROM PRESS RELEASE
TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona has been ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s Fabulous 40 pre-season NCAA Division I poll.
The Wildcats have their strongest team since winning national championships in 1976, 1980 and 1986 as nine position player starters are back along with seven superb pitchers from a team which finished second in the Pac-10 Conference a year ago with a 42-17 overall record. Continue reading
FROM PRESS RELEASE
LINCOLN, Neb. – In a year when pitching has a solid chance of being dominant, the eighth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason 2008 All-America team reflects the plethora of mound aces returning for the upcoming campaign. Continue reading
When the initial list came out I made a comment on the article that I was surprise to see that Preston Clark was not on the initial list. Well as of Today Preston Clark has made the list. Preston Clark will be a very key member of the defense. The infield will have to replace two seniors and 3rd baseman Bradley Suttle who was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 4th round. With Preston behind the plate for his 3rd season his leadership will be called upon to make sure that the infield is set and in the right position. Preston belongs on the list as well as Jordan Danks and Kyle Russell. To read the full Article click here.
The CBB has been previewing some of the top players in the country for the 2008 season throughout this off-season. This week we check in on the top freshmen in the country.
Derek Dietrich SS/P (Georgia Tech)
Derek Dietrich is a 6’1 199 pound shortstop/pitcher out of Parma OH. He was a third round pick by the Houston Astros in 2007 but elected to enroll at Georgia Tech after failing to come to terms on a contract. Continue reading
The RBI Foundation of Houston is holding their annual banquet on Janarary 19th at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston TX. The event will recognize many players and coaches between high schools and colleges. Two college baseball players in Matt Langwell of Rice and Kyle Russell will pick up The Charlie Maiorana Awards. The full list of honorees is available by clicking here. If you are interested in purchasing a table please contact Butch Ghutzman at (281) 222-9999.
The Recycled Baseball Items Foundation (RBI) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization committed to keeping the Greater Houston Area’s underprivileged youth off the streets, away from gangs, crime, and drugs, while offering them a positive and viable alternative in the form of participation in baseball/softball. RBI accomplishes this by providing baseball equipment, instructional clinics and college scholarships.
As a follow-up to his Top 5 Storylines of 2008, Rivals.com baseball editor Kendall Rogers has revealed five predictions for 2008. The full article can be read here.
First, Kendall picks UCLA to be the team to step up their game the most. Conversely, he sees Clemson falling flat in the new year.
Kendall’s “Most Important” players? Pitcher Jacob Thompson of UVA tows the rubber, while Vanderbilt Third baseman Pedro Alvarez is the king of the batter’s box.
And Kendall’s early take on national title contenders? It all starts with Arizona State, but Kendall says that Miami, UCLA, Rice, San Diego, Texas and Vanderbilt should be in the mix for some hardware.
In separate blogging news, congratulations go out from this Commodore fan to Vandy’s All-American RHP commitment Sonny Gray, who, as QB, led Smyrna High School (Smyrna, TN) to its second straight state football title. Gray’s legend continues to grow in Tennessee and we’ll have to wait until August 15 to see if BA’s #6 rated HS prospect will take his 96MPH fastball and back breaking curve to the Hawk.
Kendall Rogers, baseball editor for Rivals.com, kicks off his top storylines of 2008. Prime among those are OSU’s efforts to produce the coveted Three-Peat.
Also featured are the Pac-10 race between ASU, UCLA and OSU; the Longhorns efforts to make it back to Omaha; Vanderbilt’s high octane offense and Miami’s charge in the ACC.
The full article may be read here.
Oral Roberts head coach Rob Walton was named the field manager for the 2008 USA National Team. He will be joined by Old Dominion head coach Jerry Meyers who will act as the pitching coach. The other two assistant coaches are San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano and Ritch Price of Kansas. The team will hold training camp in conjunction with their tour of the New England Collegiate Baseball League starting on June 10th. They will then head down to the Coastal Plain League to present the National Team Trials on June 20th. The team will be named on June 24th before starting up a seven game series with Chinese Taipei from June 25th-July 1. On the next day the team will fly over to Europe to play in the 2008 Dutch Honkbal Tournament and play a two-game set against the Czech Republic. The team will stay in Europe until July 18th when they begin competition in the IV FISU World Collegiate Championship in Brno, Czech Republic. The full release is available here.
Rivals.com editor Kendall Rogers has announced his top five overall programs. He puts Oregon State in the top spot after Pat Casey has led the Beavers to two consecutive national championships. The Beavers are also one of the top recruiters in the nation so they should continue their dominance. He puts the Cal-State Fullerton Titans in the runner up spot with the success they have had with Augie Garrido, George Horton, and entering his first season Dave Serrano. The program should not see a difference at all since Serrano was able to build a CWS team at UC-Irvine. Texas takes the third place as Augie Garrido has made the Longhorns a national contender every season and continue to bring in great players. Rice head coach Wayne Graham is entering his 17th season in Houston as he has made the Owls a great pitching university. Kendall rates them in the fourth spot with North Carolina coming in at fifth. Mike Fox has brought the Tar Heels program back to the national stage with consecutive appearances in the CWS Championship series where they have lost both times to Oregon State. The Tar Heels had a great pitching team in 2006 but a great hitting team in 2007 so he is able to win with different types of teams. The full article from Kendall is available here.