It was 50 degrees in Columbia, Mo., on Thursday, and a balmy 72 in Miami. Back up north, the temperature in Ann Arbor, Mich., hit 25, while out west, it was 44 degrees in Corvallis, Ore.
And here in Austin, it was 70 and sunny.
Each of these cities has a Division I college baseball team. None was playing a game Thursday. No team in the country was.
This is the first year of a uniform start date in NCAA Division I college baseball, meaning teams cannot begin playing games until Feb. 22. The rule, which also prevented teams from practicing until Feb. 1, was implemented to help cold-weather schools, which have complained of a competitive disadvantage. Just two northern schools (Ohio State in 1966 and Oregon State in 2006 and 2007) have won the College World Series since 1966.
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FROM PRESS RELEASE
HEAD COACH AUGIE GARRIDO
Opening Statement: We’re excited about the 2008 Longhorn baseball season of course. One of the exciting things is the renovation of UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The renovation is really a complete change in the facility from the fans point of view. I’ve said often if it had been up to me I voted to tear it down and start over, but that would have been a mistake as it has turned out. I think the bowl remaining as a reminder of Disch-Falk field and the roof over the top blended with the new sightlines, new seats, new everything; the whole thing is completely new. It kind of embraces you with the past as well as introduces to the future. Continue reading University of Texas host Baseball Media Day!
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.
Kansas dealing with the Cold Weather (The Daily Kansan)
Baylor gearing up for the Season (The Lariat)
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.
EXCERPT FROM PRESS RELEASE
Oklahoma State enters the 2008 season looking to build on its best showing in nearly a decade.
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.
Continue reading 2008 Oklahoma State Baseball Preview!
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.
All-American teams can be viewed here.
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.