Here is some more recruiting classes for student-athletes who will enter college in the 2008-2009 year.
We are starting up with our previews of the 2008 season. We have broken down the top five pitchers in the country. Stay tuned for more previews of the upcoming season as the season gets closer.
Aaron Crow, Jr. Missouri
Crow was named the top pitching prospect in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League this summer. Crow has a mid-90’s fastball with a plus slider and a solid cutter. Crow went 9-4 with a 3.59 last season but got bombed in the NCAA Tournament by Louisville as he let up seven runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Jacob Thompson, Jr. Virginia
Thompson had a breakout season in 2007 where he led the Virginia Cavaliers to the NCAA Tournament. He had a perfect 11-0 record with a 1.50 ERA. Thompson has a low 90’s fastball with downward action on it with a solid curveball. Thompson pitched over the summer for the USA National Team where he got a chance to pitch in the Pan Am Games. He went 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA in 21.1 innings. He was shutdown after the Pan-Am Games to rest his arm for the 2008 season.
Brian Matusz, Jr. San Diego
Matusz is a 6’4 left handed power pitcher for the University of San Diego baseball program. In 2007, He led the Toreros to the number 1 seed in the San Diego regional with a 10-3 record with a 2.85 ERA. He also struck out 163 strikeouts in 123 innings. He pitched for the USA National Team this summer where he compiled a 3-1 record with a 1.33 ERA in four starts. He was also shut down for the summer after the Pan-Am Games to rest his arm.
Kyle Gibson, So. Missouri
Gibson is a 6’5 right handed sinker ball pitcher who was named the number 3 overall prospect in the Cape Cod League by Baseball America and number 9 by Perfect Game. He lead the Missouri Tigers with help from Aaron Crow to the NCAA Tournament as he had a 8-3 record with a 4.12 ERA as he served as the closer with seven saves. He is expected to make the move to the rotation in 2008 and give the Tigers two legitimate aces on the staff.
Ryan Perry, Jr. Arizona
Perry dazzled scouts in the Cape Cod League with a mid-90’s fastball which hit 97 on some guns over the summer. He struggled in 2007 with the Arizona Wildcats as he went 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA. Perry was recovering from a January 2007 accident when he crashed his motorcycle going over 80 MPH without a helmet on which he walked away with a broken non-throwing arm. Perry pitched in 18 games coming out of the bullpen while picking up four saves. His record for the CCBL season was only 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA. He is expected to become an impact player in the Pac-10 for the 2008 season.
The College Baseball Blog would like to thank Cape Prospects for providing the videos for some of the pitchers.
Team USA was one-hit by Japanese pitcher Yuske Iwamato but picked up a 1-0 victory on the first day of the World Port Tournament. As the game entered the ninth inning, Team USA had no hits off of Iwamato but Jordan Danks (Texas) got a lead-off walk. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Tommy Medica (Santa Clara). He then advanced to third on a flyball from Brett Wallace (Arizona State). Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) then hit a single to drive home Danks with the eventual winning run. Ryan Berry (Rice) started for Team USA and went 7.1 strong innings while only giving up three hits and three walks but got the no-decision. Brett Hunter pitched the final 1.1 innings without allowing a hit while striking out three batters to up his record to 3-0. Yuske Iwamato was the tough luck loser pitching a complete game while allowing the only hit and four walks. Team USA is off on Friday before playing The Netherlands on Saturday.
Team USA Recap
World Port Tournament Schedule
BIRMINGHAM, AL— China’s Kun Chen, Youhua Guo and Quansheng Zhao out dueled Team USA’s Lance Lynn (2-1) and Jordy Mercer as the Chinese (1-2) won the third game of the five-game series over the Americans (17-7), 2-1, on Wednesday evening. Team USA had won the first two games of the series.
Chen went the first six and two-thirds, giving up one run on seven hits, before yielding to Guo. Guo went an inning and one-third before yielding to Zhao in the ninth, who posted the save, despite putting the tying run on second base.
Brett Wallace (Arizona State) and Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) each had three of the Americans nine hits, who rested starting outfielders Jordan Danks (Texas) and Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) to begin the night.
Espinosa’s bunt base hit in the ninth sent the winning run to the plate against Zhao with one out. Espinosa was then balked to second. Zhao though got a flyout and strikeout to end the game.
An RBI single followed by a groundout gave China a 2-1 lead in the second, the second time in two nights the Chinese led early.
Lynn went the first four innings, giving up two runs on two hits. Mercer went the final six innings, not allowing a hit the rest of the way. He struck out eight on the night and did not walk a batter.
Wallace gave the Americans a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single.
The game was delayed by over an hour due to a rain storm which started around 90 minutes prior to first pitch… Manager Mike Weathers played in the Oakland A’s minor league system in Birmingham, AL in the mid-1970’s for three years… RHPs Jacob Thompson (Virginia) and Brian Matusz (San Diego), neither of which are injured, left the team for precautionary reasons due to a high number of innings pitched over the previous eight months… Thompson finished the summer 1-2 with a 1.27 ERA, Matusz was 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA… junior national team invitee, Tyler Stovall, a lefthander/outfielder from Hokes Bluff (AL) High School joined the team on Wednesday and will be with the team through the end of the week… Team USA is now 2-2 against Communist-led governments over the last four games (China and Cuba).
The five-game series with China continues in Rome, GA on Thursday and Ft. Mill, SC on Friday, finishing off the nine-game (two-day) American trip with the Netherlands and Russia in North Carolina… the team closes out their schedule at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands starting on August 2.
Team USA got four runs in the middle innings to knock off China 4-1 in the second game of their five game series. Team USA was led on the mound by Josh Romanski (San Diego), Brett Hunter (Pepperdine), and Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss). Romanski started for Team USA and went four innings while giving up one run on six hits with six strikeouts. He ended up getting a no decision as Brett Hunter (1-0) picked up the win by going the middle four innings without allowing a run on one hit and two walks. Cody Satterwhite pitched a perfect ninth inning to get his fourth save. Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) went 2-4 with a run scored to lead the offensive attack for the national team. Brett Wallace (Arizona State) got a run-scoring double to help the offensive attack. Team USA and China will play on Wednesday at 7 pm in Birmingham (AL).
We can now look ahead to the 2008 MLB Draft prospects as Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) and Justin Smoak (South Carolina) lead the draft eligible players. They will also be joined by pitchers Jacob Thompson (UVA) and Brian Matusz (USD). All four of these players are on Team USA this summer as the team will take part in the Pan-American games and the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands. Ike Davis (Arizona State) and Jordan Danks (Texas) also get some talk about being in the top of the 2008 draft. We have found two sites that are already giving their predictions on the upcoming draft which can be read about by clicking the links below.
USA Baseball Release
CARY, NC— Wei-Hua Lee (2-0) pitched a complete-game, seven hitter as Chinese Taipei (2-3) scored two runs in the top of the seventh to defeat Team USA (8-2) 3-2 on Monday morning. Lee struck out four and walked one. The five-game series continues in Kannapolis, NC on Tuesday at 7 p.m. after the U.S. won the first three games.
The American bullpen blew a one-run lead in the seventh when Josh Romanski (0-1, San Diego) put two runners on and Joe Kelly (UC Riverside) walked the bases full Kelly then gave up a two-run single to Ying-Chien Liao to give CTBA a 3-2 lead.
Reliever Jordy Mercer (Oklahoma State) kept the game to within one, getting three consecutive outs after Kelly walked two straight to begin the inning.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Brett Wallace (Arizona State) and Petey Paramore (ASU) gave the Americans a 2-1 lead in the fourth.
The Taiwanese took a 1-0 lead in the first off of Ryan Berry (Rice) on an RBI double from Chien-Ming Su. Berry was making his first start for Team USA since pitching for Rice in the College World Series. Berry went the first six innings, giving up one run on four hits, using just 68 pitches.
Taiwanese starter Wei-Hua Lee was making his second start on the American tour. He gave up one run on five hits in CTBA’s first game on Thursday… the team’s start time of 10 a.m. is the second earliest start of the season. They play host Brazil on the third day of the Pan American Games at 9 a.m.
The Chinese Taipei series closes out in Kannapolis, NC (July 3) at 7 p.m. The 10-game North Carolina home stand continues with Japan on July 4, beginning a five-game series in Durham, NC (July 4, 6, 7, 8) and Kannapolis (July 5).
Both Jedd Soto and Steve Rodriguez have signed new contracts at their respective schools. Soto has been with Saint Mary’s since the 2004 season where he has a 60-96 record. I know that record doesn’t sound great but the program was in shambles before he joined and has increased the win total in every year since joining the program. The press release for Soto is available here. They will open the season on January 26th when they host Nevada.
Steve Rodriguez of Pepperdine University signed his new deal through the 2012 season. He has been the head coach of the Waves since the 2004 season and has a 113-76 record. Rodriguez knows that the expectations are always high at Pepperdine because he was a member of the 1992 National Championship squad. His press release about his new contract is available here. The Waves will open in Vegas against the Rebels of UNLV on Groundhog Day. (Just found out Runnin’ Rebels is for the Basketball program only)
Jedd Soto sat down with guest host Rich Davi to discuss his Saint Mary’s Baseball program. It is a very interesting interview in which he goes into details about his preparations and expectations for the season. He also talks about how the stability of his staff has helped create a good working relationship between the coaches and the players. The full interview is linked here.
Louisville has released the 2007 schedule. They will be appearing in my neck of the woods April 13th-15th at Uconn. The full schedule is available in PDF format.
St. Mary’s and Head Coach Jedd Soto have released the 2007 schedule. They play a very challenging schedule including visiting my favorite coach in Paul Mainieri at LSU. The full schedule is available here.
LSU also have released new artist renderings of the New alex Box Stadium which is due to open in 2008. The drawings are available here.
St. Louis and Head Coach Bob Hughes have announced the signing of five student athletes for the 2008 season. They are continuing to build a good program in the A-10. Full release here.