CSTV Editor Doug Kroll checks in with his weekly article about some of the off-season coaching moves. The biggest move was George Horton heading to Oregon to restart the Duck program. This set off a chain reaction as UC-Irvine head coach Dave Serrano went to Fullerton while former USC coach Mike Gillespie came out of retirement to take over the UC-Irvine job. He also talks about Kevin O’Sullivan who took over Florida after being an assistant with Clemson, Turtle Thomas went down to Florida International from Arizona State where he was a longtime assistant, and finally with Todd Raliegh taking over Tennessee after being the head coach at Western Carolina. The full article is available here.
Our good friend Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com has started doing previews of conferences for the 2008 season.He is one of the top college baseball writers in the country with the depth of his knowledge about the players and coaches across the country. The previews are brief but informative especially the lower level conferences. Continue reading Rivals Conference Previews
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 ARIZONA NO. 1 IN COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER POLL
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 PITCHERS DOMINATE 2008 NCBWA PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM
We have three schedules to post on this cold Thursday afternoon. We found Fordham’s 2008 schedule where they are coming off a 36-21 regular season with a 19-8 record in the Atlantic 10. They lost in the A-10 Championship game to Charlotte which ended the season. Fordham will open the season at Wichita State and host Charlotte in a key A-10 series. The full schedule is available at the link below.
The Marshall Thundering Herd will open the 2008 season at Western Carolina for a three game set from February 22nd-24th. The next weekend they will head down to Conway, SC to take part in the Bash at the Beach but before the first game in the tournament Marshall will play Western Carolina for the fourth straight time. The Bash at the Beach will have Marshall facing off against Coastal Carolina, West Virginia, and George Mason. The highlight on the Marshall home schedule is a visit from Rice on March 21st-23rd. The full schedule is available by clicking the link below.
The Furman Paladins will head down to Knoxville on February 25th for a single game to open the season. They will play at Charleston Southern on February 27th. The first home series for the Paladins is March 1st and 2nd when NJIT comes to town to play two doubleheaders. The two marquee home games are on April 22nd when South Carolina visits and Tennessee on May 13th. Both of these games will take place at the Greenville Drive’s stadium. The full schedule is available at the link below.
The College Baseball Blog took some time off for the Holiday so we are catching up on some the schedules that we missed that were released over the last week. Some of the big time programs that have released a schedule are Kansas led by Ritch Price expects to compete for the 2008 Big 12 title and Notre Dame who looks to return to prominence under second year head coach Dave Schrage. The links to schedules are available below.
FROM VALLEY BASEBALL LEAGUE
Baseball website PGcrosschecker.com recently compiled its list of the top 20 players in the Valley Baseball League. The list was compiled by Allan Simpson with input from the league’s managers and scouts.
Similar to the recently released Baseball America list, PG Crosschecker identified Winchester’s Luke Greinke as the league’s top prospect. He was also the league MVP. He was followed by Covington outfielder Jason Kipnis, but then six of the next seven players listed were pitchers.
Simpson noted that league officials felt that the 2007 season saw a jump in overall talent around the league, in particular in the pitching department. The numbers appear to support that assertion. In 2007, league pitchers as a whole had a 3.70 earned run average while hitters had a .247 batting average as a league. In 2006, hitters posted a .258 average while pitchers compiled a 3.88 ERA, and the year before saw a .257 batting average and 3.97 ERA as a league.
While Waynesboro finished first in the regular season and won the Jim Lineweaver Cup as league champions, the Generals placed just three players in the top 20 and none higher than #11. In fact, many of the top prospects come from the lower half of the standings. Simpson noted that was a sign of the league’s improved depth.
PGCrosschecker.com Valley League Top 20 Prospects
1. Luke Greinke, UT, Winchester (Auburn)
2. Jason Kipnis, OF, Covington (Arizona State)
3. Zac Blakney, RHP, Fauquier (Montevallo)
4. Shayne Moody, SS, Woodstock (Charlotte)
5. Ashur Tolliver, LHP, Harrisonburg (Arkansas-Little Rock)
6. Donald Jordat, RHP, Luray (Miami-Dade C.C.)
7. Rob Gilliam, RHP, Luray (UNC Greensboro)
8. Tim Sexton, RHP, Staunton (Miami-Dade C.C.)
9. Josh Judy, RHP, Haymarket (Indiana Tech)
10. Tyler Kuhn, SS/2B, Luray (West Virginia)
11. Pat Irvine, C/OF, Waynesboro (Elon)
12. Garrett Parker, RHP, Harrisonburg (Oklahoma City)
13. Bobby Hernandez, RHP, Staunton (Barry)
14. Josh Eidell, RHP, Woodstock (Villanova)
15. Elih Villanueva, RHP, Luray (Florida State)
16. Jeremy Cruz, 1B, Luray (Stetson)
17. Chris Masters, LHP, New Market (Western Carolina)
18. Brandon Sizemore, 2B, Waynesboro (Charleston)
19. Kurt Davidson, C/1B, Waynesboro (Akron)
20. Dustin Umberger, RHP, Luray (Liberty)
Full scouting reports from the summer on each player are available here. A subscription is required to view the insider-level reports.
Jeff Sziksai, a Reynolds graduate and former WCU player, met with Western officials on Monday in Cullowhee. Georgia Tech associate head coach Bobby Moranda will also get an interview this week.
WCU assistant coach Eric Filipek, former N.C. State assistant Chris Roberts and Vanderbilt assistant Erik Bakich got their chances last week.
Virginia Tech 4
Virginia Commonwealth 9
The VCU Rams got seven runs in the first two innings to cruise to a 9-4 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Duke Blue Devils have continued their strong start to the season with a 7-4 victory over the Temple Owls. They used a squeeze play in the bottom of the sixth by Jonathan Foreman which got Alexander Hassan home to get the 5-4 lead and they tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning to get to the final score.
NC State 8
The UNC-Greensboro Spartans used a seven run fifth inning to cruise to a 10-8 victory over the NC State Wolfpack. Korey Judd picked up the win for the Spartans while Nate Karns picked up the loss.
NC State Recap
St. Bonaventure 5
Miami (FL) 2
Eddie Williams was able to scatter six hits and seven walks to only allow two runs in his 6.2 innings of work to pick up the huge victory for the Bonnies. It is only their second victory on the season. Miami was led on offense by Mark Sobolewski who went 4-4 in the losing effort.
James Madison 5
Brandon Marsh picked up his second straight game-winning RBI as he drove in Greg Miclat with the winning run in the ninth inning. Jake Rule picked up his first victory in a Cavs uniform while Casey Lambert picked up his third save of the young season. Allie Swanson picked up his third loss of the season for the Dukes. All-American Kellen Kulbacki went 1-4 in the losing effort for the Dukes.
The Georgia Southern Eagles knocked off the Yellow Jackets today 11-4 in the season opener for Georgia Tech. Chris Hollis, Jeremy Beckham, and Matt Miller led the offensive charge for the Eagles. Hollis had a 2-4 day with two runs scored and two RBI’s. Jeremy Beckham went 3-5 with a run and an RBI. The big day was had by Matt Miller who pumped in five RBI’s in his two hits. The Eagles pitching on the day was led by a very good pitching performance from reliever A.J. Battisto who pitched 3 innings of shutout relief to give the Eagles the victory. Georgia Tech leading offensive force Matt Wieters was held hitless on the day in four at-bats. Danny Payne had two hits in three at bats today. David Duncan pitched five innings but gave up six runs (all earned) to pick up the loss in his first start of the year. Duncan looked shaky to the CBB staff last season when we had a chance to see him.