Weekend Winners: Middle Tennessee State was the big weekend winner, as they swept a three game home series with Missouri State. Also posting impressive weekends were UALR, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana-Monroe, New Orleans, Troy, and Western Kentucky. UALR took two of three games at home against Northern Iowa, and just missed a sweep with a one run loss on Saturday. Florida Atlantic finished the weekend with a 2-1 series record against Fordham. Florida International posted a 20 run Saturday in route to a two games to one series victory over Jacksonville. Louisiana-Monroe hosted the ULM and ended the weekend with a 2-1 record. New Orleans won the first three games of their home series against Towson before losing the Sunday finale to open the season 3-1. Troy lost a Friday contest against Kentucky in the Caravelle Resort Invitational before winning their next three games to end the tournament at a very solid 3-1. Western Kentucky took a single game from Toledo on Friday night, but the Saturday and Sunday meetings were canceled due to inclement weather. Continue reading
Here are some of the best Newspaper articles about College Baseball for the past weekend of Feb. 20th-Feb. 22nd. If you have an article that you would like to see featured please email me by clicking here.
The first article is by Nate Owen who recently joined us as a CBB contributor. He wrote a season preview of the Northeastern Huskies for the Huntington News. Continue reading
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
NEW ORLEANS – After winning its second tournament title and making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in five seasons, along with the majority of its line-up returning, Western Kentucky University is expected to top the Sun Belt Conference in 2009, according to a vote by the league’s 11 head coaches. The Hilltoppers veteran ace Matt Ridings has been tabbed Preseason Pitcher of the Year, while ULM’s shortstop Ben Soignier has been selected as the Preseason Player of the Year. Continue reading
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The UALR baseball team added 10 players during November’s early signing period, receiving National Letters-of-Intent from three high school and seven junior-college players. The Trojans added five pitchers, one catcher, three infielders and two outfielders, including Arkansas natives Tyler Cameron (El Dorado, Ark./Parkers Chapel HS), Kaleb Jobe (Bryant, Ark./Bryant HS) and Art Slaton (Hot Springs, Ark./Hot Springs Lakeside HS).
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The UALR baseball team announced its 2009 schedule on Wednesday, a slate which features 31 home games beginning with a four-game series against Northern Iowa on Feb. 20-22 at Gary Hogan Field. Continue reading
Georgetown Baseball Announces Incoming Recruiting Class
– Head Coach Pete Wilk announced that Georgetown Baseball will be welcoming eight new players to the fold this upcoming season. Billy Cosmopulous, Nick Geary, Will Harris, Alex Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Bobby Kirby, Andy Lentz and Rand Ravnaas comprise the incoming class that will try and help the Hoyas move up in the BIG EAST pecking order.
Courtesy of Valley League
Winchester utility player Luke Greinke (Orlando, Fla./Auburn) was named Most Valuable Player and Waynesboro skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt was selected as Coach of the Year as the Valley Baseball League announced its 2007 All-League awards on Wednesday, August 8.
Greinke, a rising senior at Auburn, filled several roles for the Winchester Royals and was a true utility player with solid play in the field, at the plate, and on the mound. Offensively, he battered the baseball while playing first base, outfield, and designated hitter. He led the league with a .417 batting average to claim the league’s batting title. He also led the VBL with a .642 slugging percentage and .517 on-base percentage while collecting 12 doubles, five homers, and 32 RBIs for a potent Winchester offense that led the league hitting .275 as a team. Greinke was equally as impressive on the mound, going 3-1 with a 2.66 ERA in eight appearances covering 50 2/3 innings.
Nesselrodt was named the league’s top coach for the second consecutive season. The Generals finished with the league’s top record in the regular season at 30-13-1 and also have the league’s best mark over the last two years combined at 57-28-1. Waynesboro has held true to its top seed by advancing to the VBL championship series.
Greinke was one of 16 players selected to the 2007 Valley League All-League squad. Waynesboro and its championship opponent Luray, the defending league champion, each placed three players on the All-League squad to lead the way. Front Royal, Harrisonburg, New Market, and Winchester each placed two players on the team with Covington and Staunton adding the last two picks.
Three players were repeat selections to the squad, led by Luray short stop Tyler Kuhn (Louisville, Ky./West Virginia), who was the 2006 VBL MVP. Entering the championship series, Kuhn was hitting .314 with seven doubles, two triples, three homers, 21 RBIs, 20 walks, and seven steals.
The other repeat picks both came from Waynesboro. Kurt Davidson (North Canton, Ohio/Akron) was the selection at first base after being honored at third base in 2006. He leads the league by a wide margin with 51 RBIs and 61 hits. Davidson is also second with 90 total bases while hitting .305 with 12 doubles and five homers. A clutch hitter all season, Davidson had the game-winning RBI in the Generals’ semifinal game three win over Covington and in the championship series opener in the 14th inning against Luray.
The other repeat honoree was Generals ace Jon Dages (Indianapolis, Ind./Butler), who went 7-2 with a 2.62 ERA. Entering the championship, he ranks second in the league with 68 2/3 innings pitched and seven wins.
Waynesboro’s other all-league winner was second baseman Brandon Sizemore (Bryceville, Fla./Tallahassee C.C.). He sits third in the league with 53 hits and leads the Generals with 13 doubles. Sizemore is hitting .277 with a triple, three homers, 27 RBIs, and 13 steals.
Luray’s other selections came from their dynamic duo of starting pitchers, Robert Gilliam (Chapel Hill, N.C./UNC-Greensboro) and Dustin Umberger (Hummelstown, Pa./Liberty). Gilliam won the honor of the league’s ERA leader for the regular season and carries a 1.26 mark and a 7-1 record into the final series. He also has a save and has struck out 81 batters in 57 innings. Umberger ranks second in the league with a 1.45 ERA and led the league with eight wins on a perfect 8-0 record. He ranks third with 76 strikeouts in 56 innings.
Greinke, the all-league pick at the utility spot, was joined by teammate Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla./Virginia Tech). The outfielder ranks fourth in the league with a .328 batting average and fifth with a .537 on-base percentage. He led the Royals with six home runs while adding eight doubles, 24 RBIs, 20 walks, and 11 steals.
Front Royal’s two picks include third baseman Bennett Davis (Katy, Texas/Manatee C.C.) and closer Joel Brookens (Fayetteville, Pa./North Carolina St.). Davis sits second in the league with 14 doubles. He hit .280 with three home runs, 36 runs scored, 30 RBIs, and 14 steals. Brookens leads the league with 13 saves and ranks second with 19 games finished. He had a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings and held opponents to a .129 batting average.
Harrisonburg placed two players on the all-league squad after finishing second in the regular season. Outfielder Robert Taylor (Ingram, Texas/Arkansas-Little Rock) and relief pitcher Garrett Parker (Duncanville, Texas/Howard-Payne) represented the Turks. Taylor ranks third in the league with a .352 batting average. He scored 22 runs, had six doubles, four homers, 14 walks, and a .420 on-base percentage. Parker finished 2-1 with a 0.84 ERA and eight saves in 21 1/3 innings. He did not allow a run until the postseason and ranks fifth in the league in saves.
New Market had two all-league selections with catcher Nick Stanley (Largo, Fla./South Florida C.C.) and designated hitter Nolan Brannon (St. Petersburg, Fla./Tampa). Stanley ranks fifth in the VBL with a .325 batting average and leads the league with 15 doubles. He had 50 hits, 23 runs, two homers, 20 RBIs, and 16 walks. Brannon hit .323 with 41 hits, six doubles, 17 RBIs, and 15 walks.
The final two selections were Covington outfielder Jason Kipnis (Northbrook, Ill./Kentucky) and Staunton closer Bobby Hernandez (Key West, Fla./Barry). Kipnis shares the league lead with nine home runs and won the home run derby during the 2007 all-star game in Front Royal. He ranks second with a .591 slugging percentage, second with a .498 on-base percentage, first with 46 runs scored, second with 41 RBIs, first with 91 total bases, first with 49 walks, and second with 24 stolen bases. Hernandez was second in the league with 12 saves and second with 21 appearances. He had a 1.78 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings while holding opponents to a .143 batting average.
The awards were voted upon by the league’s 11 head coaches, broadcasters, and select media members who covered the league.
2007 Valley League MVP – Luke Grineke, Winchester
2007 Valley League Coach of the Year – Lawrence Nesselrodt, Waynesboro
2007 Valley League Batting Champion – Luke Greinke, Winchester
2007 Valley League Pitching ERA Leader – Robert Gilliam, Luray
2007 Valley League All-League Team
1B – Kurt Davidson, Waynesboro (Akron)
2B – Brandon Sizemore, Waynesboro (Tallahassee C.C.)
3B – Bennett Davis, Front Royal (Manatee C.C.)
SS – Tyler Kuhn, Luray (West Virginia)
OF – Jose Cueto, Winchester (Virginia Tech)
OF – Jason Kipnis, Covington (Kentucky)
OF – Robert Taylor, Harrisonburg (Arkansas-Little Rock)
C – Nick Stanley, New Market (South Florida C.C.)
DH – Nolan Brannon, New Market (Tampa)
UT – Luke Greinke, Winchester (Auburn)
SP – Jon Dages, Waynesboro (Butler)
SP – Robert Gilliam, Luray (UNC-Greensboro)
SP – Dustin Umberger, Luray (Liberty)
RP – Joel Brookens, Front Royal (North Carolina St.)
RP – Bobby Hernandez, Staunton (Barry)
RP – Garrett Parker, Harrisonburg (Howard-Payne)
Note: Due to a tie, three relief pitchers were selected
Players of the Week
Kevin Dietrich (Monroe, N.C.), a senior outfielder for UNC-Pembroke and the New Market Rebels finished in the top-five in batting average (.429) and slugging percentage (.643). Dietrich led all players with 12 hits and six doubles while adding three RBIs and six runs in seven starts last week. This season Dietrich leads New Market with a .392 batting average, six doubles, one home run and has added seven RBIs in thirteen games.
Kurt Davidson (North Canton, Ohio), a junior from Akron, catches and plays the infield for the Waynesboro Generals. Last week, Davidson led the league in slugging (.714), total bases (20) and RBIs (11) while finishing third in doubles (4) and second in hits (11). Davidson helped lead the Generals to a 5-1 record overall as they sit just a game back of Harrisonburg in the Valley League. This season Davidson has started 19 games, hitting .307 with five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 21 RBIs.
Pitchers of the Week
Chad Sherman (Bullard, Texas), a freshman right handed pitcher from Panola J.C. threw a complete game shutout to lead Staunton on the mound. Sherman gave up three hits and struck out eight as the Braves shutout New Market 5-0 on Tuesday. Sherman needed just 90 pitches to get through the game and did not allow a runner to advance past second base. In the game Sherman faced just one batter above the minimum.
Ashur Tolliver (Sherwood, Ark.), a freshman from Arkansas-Little Rock went eight innings allowing just one run, on three hits and struck out 13 as Harrisonburg defeated Luray 6-1 on Friday. Tolliver finished the week with a 1.12 ERA walked just one batter to improve to 2-0 on the season. Overall, Tolliver has posted a 2.00 ERA, striking out 24 and allowing four earned runs in 18 innings pitched.
One of our loyal readers sent me the above link of the Louisiana Ragin‘ Cajuns winning the Sun Belt regular season title by crushing Arkansas-Little Rock by a score of 28-3 on Saturday. The championship is the Cajuns second title in the last three years. They missed the title in 2006 by a measly one game.
Louisiana Ragin‘ Cajuns Recap
Arkansas-Little Rock Recap
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock have released their 2007 schedule. There is no major surprises with them facing the teams in the Sun Belt conference in addition to mid-major powers in Northern Iowa and Creighton. The full press release is available here and the schedule in HTML format here.