CSTV continues their season previews with Eric Sorensen checking in on the Big Ten and the Big 12. Sorensen predicts that Michigan will win the Big Ten after a great run into the Super Regionals last season. He puts Minnesota and Ohio State as contenders with Penn State as the darkhorse. The full preview is available here. He also checks in on the Big 12 which is one of the top conferences in the country. He states that the Big 12 is wide open with the favorites being Texas, Missouri, and Texas A&M. He lists Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State as contenders with Kansas as a darkhorse. The full article is available here.
We will bring you some of the best articles from student newspapers throughout the season. We have linked to a bunch of them below.
Rivals national baseball writer Kendall Rogers has put out his 2008 All-American Team which is led by Pedro Alvarez of Vanderbilt. Buster Posey of FSU is named to the first team catcher’s spot in only his second year behind the plate. Miami slugger Yonder Alonso beat out Justin Smoak for the first base position. Filling out the rest of the infield is 2B Blake Stouffer of Texas A&M, Ryan Flaherty and Pedro Alvarez of Vanderbilt. The outfield is Dominic de la Osa of Vanderbilt, Kyle Russell of Texas, and Tommy Baldridge of Coastal Carolina. Brett Wallace of Arizona State picks up the DH spot while Zach Putnam of Michigan is listed as the Utility player. The starting pitchers are Jacob Thompson of Virginia, Preston Guilmet of Arizona, Brian Matusz of San Diego and Lance Lynn of Ole Miss. The relief pitchers are led by switch-pitcher Pat Venditte of Creighton and Cole St. Clair of Rice. The full team with break downs on each player is available here.
The Cowboys are fresh off the second Super Regional appearance in school history and hungry to take the next step and return to the College World Series.
Coach Frank Anderson’s ballclub lost six position starters from a year ago, including the entire outfield, but returns a pair of veterans among the best in the Big 12 Conference at their respective positions along with a strong mix of newcomers.
CSTV has put out their 2008 Preseason Player of the Year list which puts Pedro Alvarez in the top spot. Former Vanderbilt teammate David Price was able to win the award in 2007 after an oustanding campaign. Alvarez led the Commodores in hitting at a .386 clip while finishing second on the team with 18 homers. He picked up several awards in 2007 being named to several All-American teams. The CBB voted in the poll and put Justin Smoak in the top spot slightly ahead of Pedro. The full article from CSTV is available here.
Baseball America has put out their Preseason All-American list lead by Justin Smoak (South Carolina) and Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt). Both players are expected to become top 5 picks in the 2008 MLB Draft in the springtime. Miami first baseman Yonder Alonso was the other corner infielder on the team leaving Brett Wallace (Arizona State) off the squad. The middle infielders are Gordon Beckham (UGA) and Jemile Weeks (Miami FL). The outfielders are teammates Kyle Russell and Jordan Danks of Texas. The team is filled out by Dennis Raben of Miami (FL). The biggest snub on the team is Dominic De La Osa (Vanderbilt). The pitching for the squad is led by Aaron Crow of Missouri after an unbelievable summer in the CCBL. The other pitchers are Christian Friedich of Eastern Kentucky, Brett Hunter of Pepperdine, Brian Matusz of San Diego, and Ryan Perry of Arizona. How is Jacob Thompson (UVA) left off the team? He has had two outstanding seasons in a very competitive ACC. Zach Putnam of Michigan is listed as the utility man after a strong NCAA tourney last season.
The Baylor Bears started practice last week led by All-American closer Nick Cassavechia. Baylor brings back six out of nine starters from the 2007 team which qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time since 1998. The Bears are relatively young on the mound as they will have five underclassmen expected to get quality innings on the mound. The full preview is available here.
Ask “Augie-Wan Knobi” about the NCAA rules changes’ effect on the 2008 season and the venerable Texas coach says, “May I look at them in hindsight?” Augie Garrido punctuates that comment with a laugh. He has been around too long to be baffled or amazed by anything.
The teacher in him is never stymied by whatever outside forces bring to bear.
The ever-popular alumni game is no more because the NCAA pushed back the start of the season three weeks, with practice beginning Feb. 1, and the Horns first encounter on Feb. 22 in the newly-renovated UFCU Disch-Falk Field against Virginia Commonwealth.
“The cancellation of the alumni game is disappointing,” Garrido said of the event that has been played annually since 1984.
“Those guys are Longhorns for life and that game was a way to have them back, to keep them a part of what we’re doing,” Garrido said. “I don’t care how we do it, but I want a way to get them back.”
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The Student Newspaper checks in With Kyle Russel and the reason why he choose to come back for his Junior year. It also compare Bradley Suttle deal with the New York Yankees to Kyle Russell’s deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The handshakes just didn’t feel right.
That’s the reason Texas outfielder Kyle Russell gave when explaining his decision to stay with the Longhorns and not leave for the minor leagues after being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth round of last year’s draft.
The renovation project forced the Longhorns to play their first eight games, plus their postseason games, at Dell Diamond in Round Rock last year. Texas coach Augie Garrido loves the new look.
“I for one was in favor of tearing it down and starting over, but I would have been wrong. The way it’s turned out, it’s a brand-new stadium with sight lines that are really terrific for all of the fans. Everything is updated. It’s not a remodel, it’s a complete redo.