Oral Roberts head coach Rob Walton was named the field manager for the 2008 USA National Team. He will be joined by Old Dominion head coach Jerry Meyers who will act as the pitching coach. The other two assistant coaches are San Francisco head coach Nino Giarratano and Ritch Price of Kansas. The team will hold training camp in conjunction with their tour of the New England Collegiate Baseball League starting on June 10th. They will then head down to the Coastal Plain League to present the National Team Trials on June 20th. The team will be named on June 24th before starting up a seven game series with Chinese Taipei from June 25th-July 1. On the next day the team will fly over to Europe to play in the 2008 Dutch Honkbal Tournament and play a two-game set against the Czech Republic. The team will stay in Europe until July 18th when they begin competition in the IV FISU World Collegiate Championship in Brno, Czech Republic. The full release is available here.
FROM PRESS RELEASE
HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 29, 2007 – James Madison University baseball head coach Joe “Spanky” McFarland announced the signing of three high school athletes and a junior college player who will join the Dukes for the 2008-09 school year.
“We’ve had two highly-ranked recruiting classes in a row,” commented McFarland, who is entering his 11th season with the Dukes. “This class is small, but we’re trying to fill in some key holes from what’s left of the last two classes. We needed to add a catcher, and of course you need pitching every year. Plus there’s always a chance we lose a few guys in the draft and we have to prepare for that. As far as hitting, the catcher is a left-handed hitter and the outfielder is a switch hitter so that helps us out. Basically, we’re just trying to fill in the pieces to the puzzle to add to the last two classes.” Continue reading
FROM NORTHEASTERN MEDIA RELATIONS
Head coach Neil McPhee of the Northeastern University baseball team has announced his 2008 schedule and it includes 30 CAA contests, the 19th annual Baseball Beanpot Tournament and the fifth annual exhibition with the 2007 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. The season will begin with the exhibition at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla. on Feb. 29. The team will then spend a week playing at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. before heading north. The Huskies will host CAA opponents George Mason, UNC Wilmington, Towson, Hofstra and James Madison at Friedman Diamond while traveling to Delaware, Georgia State, Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion and William & Mary. The CAA Tournament will take place May 21-24 at Brooks Field in Wilmington, N.C.
FROM PRESS RELEASE
HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 3, 2007 – Seven home dates to open the season and the usual 30-game Colonial Athletic Association slate highlight the 2008 James Madison University baseball schedule announced Wednesday by 11th-year head coach Spanky McFarland.
“It’s not one of our strongest schedules, but there were a lot of factors that went into that,” McFarland commented. “With starting conference play against William & Mary on the second weekend, we lost a big travel weekend opportunity. Then there are some schools we’ve played regularly that weren’t able to fit us in their schedule this year. We also have a young team that didn’t make the conference tournament last year, so we wanted to focus on building confidence and making the tournament this year.”
The 2008 season is the first for the new uniform start date for baseball in NCAA Division I. Beginning this season, no team can begin play prior to Friday, February 22. The Dukes open the season that weekend, February 23 and 24, with a doubleheader against Binghamton on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.
“The new rule doesn’t affect us too much because of where we’re located. This was a compromise between some of the northern conferences that wanted to start in March and the southern schools that used to start in January. Our schedule is really about the same. It will be interesting to see how it affects the southern schools that can’t spread their games out like they used to and will need more pitching. I expect that we won’t see as many 40-win teams in the nation. It also gives more validity to the national polls with everyone starting on the same date.”
With 10 weekends necessary to play 30 conference games, JMU will begin CAA play in the second weekend with a three-game home series against William & Mary. Other home CAA series include Towson, Delaware, VCU, and UNC Wilmington.
The Dukes will have three of their longest CAA road trips all in one season with series at Georgia State, Hofstra, and Northeastern. JMU will also have series at Old Dominion on Easter weekend and at George Mason. The Atlanta and Boston trips will be extended with each opened by single games at Tennessee and Marist respectively. UT is entering its first season with former JMU assistant Todd Raleigh as head coach.
JMU’s schedule will also feature traditional home and away dates against Virginia Tech and George Washington. The Dukes will face in-state opponents Longwood and Radford four times each, splitting time home and away, while facing Liberty three times, including twice on the road. One-time opponents include a home date with Stony Brook and a road game at East Tennessee State that follows a weekend at Radford.
JMU is currently planning a new baseball facility to be located at Memorial Hall on South High Street (route 42). While the exact completion date has not been determined, the 2008 campaign could be the final season of JMU baseball at Long Field/Mauck Stadium. The Dukes are 658-218-4 all-time in the facility that opened in 1980.
GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, breaking a five-all tie to extend the Pirates’ current winning streak of four games with a 9-5 victory over former Colonial Athletic Association foe Old Dominion Wednesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
Harrison Eldridge and Stephen Batts put the Pirates (25-12) on top for good as each belted a pair of two-run shots in the seventh. Freshman shortstop Gerard Hall hit his first collegiate homer, a solo shot in the top of the fourth for Old Dominion (25-16).
ECU will be back in action this weekend when they play host to Savannah State in a non-conference series. The Monarchs return to action this weekend when they host Delaware in a three-game CAA series.
Southern Miss 16, Louisiana-Monroe 4
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss’ Mike Cashion earned a victory in his second-straight start and the Golden Eagles scored 16 runs on 10 hits to defeat Louisiana-Monroe, 16-4, tonight, at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in front of 3,115 in attendance.
Brian Dozier led the Golden Eagles with three hits, two RBIs and scored three runs. Jody Blount hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Drew Carson finished with two hits and Michael Ewing, Trey Sutton, James Ewing and Trey Cuevas each had one hit and two RBIs.
Matt Laird, Kyle Suire and Greg Manley led Louisiana-Monroe with two hits each. Laird, Suire, Bo Bowman and A.J. Siggers all finished with an RBI.
Southern Miss (23-15) scored 16 runs on 10 hits, while Louisiana-Monroe (23-16) scored four runs on 10 hits and committed five errors.
The Golden Eagles host C-USA rival UAB for the final three games of the current eight-game homestand this weekend, April 20-22. ULM kicks off a four-game home stand on Friday with a weekend series against Sun Belt foe Western Kentucky at Warhawk Field at 6 p.m.
Memphis 13, Austin Peay 7
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Michael Murray was perfect in four at-bats and freshman Dylan Cupples struck out a career-best five batter and allowed just three hits in six innings as Memphis earned a series sweep of the Governors with a 13-7 win on Wednesday evening. Memphis is now 24-14, marking the first time since 2001 that a Tiger squad has been 10 games over .500.
Austin Peay (20-16) got on the board first with a run in the opening frame, but Memphis set the tone for the contest by answering with a pair of tallies in the top half of the second. Kyle Norrid’s four-pitch got the rally going and Michael Murray followed with a double into the left centerfield gap. Designated hitter Ben Grisham got Memphis on the board when he lined a two-run single to left center for two of six two-out scores for the Tigers.
Memphis will host Marshall in a Conference USA series beginning on Friday. Austin Peay will host Southeast Missouri in an OVC series, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday.
UAB 15, Jacksonville State 5
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB Blazers bounced back from Tuesday’s disappointing loss and returned the favor Wednesday night, taking advantage of 13 walks to beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 15-5, at Young Memorial Field. The Blazers were led by junior outfielder Phil Bell who was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two doubles. Junior right-hander Dustin Colburn earned the win on the mound.
UAB is now 17-22 on the year, just two wins shy of matching last season’s win total. JSU falls to 21-17 with the loss.
The Blazers will return to Conference USA action when they travel to Southern Miss for a weekend series. The Gamecocks, who are tied for first place in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 9-3 mark in the Conference, return to action with a three-game Conference series at Eastern Kentucky this weekend.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss starting pitcher Mike Cashion pitched five innings, giving up one run on six hits, Michael Ewing hit a two-run single in the second inning and Trey Cuevas hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to lead the Golden Eagles to a 4-2 win over No. 13 Ole Miss at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field in front of 5,132.
Cashion (1-0) earned his first win since defeating Memphis on April 1, 2005, before sustaining a season-ending elbow injury the next week at East Carolina. He threw 86 pitches, walked three batters and struck out one. Jared Cavenaugh pitched two innings of relief, giving up one hit, two walks and struck out three batters. Tyler Conn (4) earned his fourth save of the season, giving up one unearned run on two hits and struck out one batter.
Ole Miss starter Brett Buckvich (4-2) was credited with the loss, pitching three innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits, walking four and striking out three batters. Four Rebel pitchers walked eight batters and struck out five.
Southern Miss (21-13) scored four runs on five hits and committed one error, while Ole Miss (24-11) scored two runs on nine hits. The Rebels left 12 runners stranded and the Golden Eagles left 10 runners on base.
Southern Miss hosts Conference USA foe Tulane as part of EagleFest Weekend on April 13-15 at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field. Ole Miss will travel to Baton Rouge to face LSU in Southeastern Conference action.
Tulane 5, Louisiana 4
METAIRIE, La. – Junior second baseman Brad Emaus and sophomore right fielder Warren McFadden had three hits apiece and the pair combined to provide the game’s winning run as the Tulane University baseball team used the come-back attack to defeat Louisiana, 5-4, Wednesday evening at Zephyr Field.
The Ragin’ Cajuns jumped on Tulane starter Matt Goebel for four runs in the top of the second, but the senior right-hander settled down to pitch four shutout innings the rest of his outing. The Green Wave offense, meanwhile, plated single runs in the second and fourth innings, two in the fifth and another in the sixth to pull out the victory.
With the win, Tulane improves to 25-10 on the year and is now 7-4 against teams from the state of Louisiana in 2007. Louisiana, meanwhile, falls to 26-8. The Green Wave travel to Southern Miss for a C-USA series this weekend, while the Ragin’ Cajuns hit the road to face defending league champion Troy in a Sun Belt series.
Rice 13, Lamar 4
BEAUMONT, Tex. — Every Rice starter collected a base hit by the fourth inning on the way to a season-high 20 hits, including a grand slam home run by junior first baseman Joe Savery, on the way to a convincing 13-4 road victory over Lamar Wednesday evening at Vincent-Beck Stadium in Beaumont.
Rice jumped on the scoreboard for eight early runs. In the first inning junior Tyler Henley knocked a two-out single into left field and was able to score easily on a triple to right-center by Savery. Savery then scored on Jordan Dodson’s double to left-center and the Owls had two runs in the first inning of game for the first time since late February.
The Owls improved to 27-10 on the season with the team’s eighth win in a row. Lamar fell to 22-15 overall.
The road swing continues for Rice. The Owls next face crosstown rival Houston in a three-game Conference USA weekend series April 13-15 at UH’s Cougar Field. Lamar travels to Sam Houston State for a Southland Conference series this weekend.
Murray State 7, Memphis 6
Memphis reliever Will Hudgens struck out a career-high eight batters and held Murray State hitless in five innings of work, but the Tigers were unable to overcome an early 6-2 deficit as they suffered a 7-6 loss to Murray State Wednesday night at Nat Buring Stadium. The loss was just the second of the year for Memphis when playing at home.
Memphis scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but left the tying run stranded on third.
Both teams return to action this weekend with conference series. Memphis (19-14) will travel to Birmingham to face UAB in C-USA action. Murray State (9-21) will host Eastern Kentucky in an OVC series.
East Carolina 3, UNC Wilmington 2
Henderson singled down the left field line with one out and then moved into scoring position on his fourth stolen base of the year, setting up the game-winning hit for the Pirates (22-12).
Shane Mathews picked up his league-leading ninth save after working the ninth inning where he allowed one hit. Josh Ruhlman notched his second win and improved to 2-0 after working 1 2/3 innings where he retired all five batters he faced. Freshman right-hander Mike Anderson tossed a career-best 6 1/3 innings allowing two runs on three hits with two punch-outs and one walk before giving way to Mike Flye, who faced one batter, then was replaced by Ruhlman in the seventh.
UNCW (16-20) reliever Allen Flood suffered the loss after working just two-third’s of an inning where he allowed the game-winning run on two hits. Starter Andrew Morgan worked a career-best 5 1/3 innings, struck out a career-high five batters, surrendered one run (unearned) on four hits while walking one before giving way to Jessee Haney. Haney came in with runners on the corner in the sixth and got Henderson to ground into an inning ending 1-6-3 double-play. Haney finished the game allowing one run (earned) on one hit in 2 2/3 innings with two strikeouts. Flood replaced Haney in the ninth before being replaced himself by Larry Salefsky ( 1/3 IP).
The Pirates will stay on the road this weekend when they travel Charleston, WVa. to take on Marshall in a three-game Conference USA series at Appalachian Power Park. UNCW travels to Delaware for a CAA series.
UAB-Kennesaw State postponed to April 23.
Daniel Hargrave drove in the game winning run with a double in the top of the ninth to lead the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks to the 3-2 victory over the Hofstra. Cody Dickens picked up the victory by working the final 1.2 innings and did not surrender a run. Steve Halford went 2-3 for his 18th multiple hit game of the season. UNC-Wilmington and Hofstra finish the series tomorrow at 1 pm.
The Delaware Blue Hens picked up a 6-2 victory over the George Mason Patriots on Saturday. The Blue Hens got a strong seven innings allowing two runs from starting pitcher Billy Harris. He also struck out seven batters. Ryan Jablonski and Bill Merkler hit homers to lead the Blue Hen offense. Mike Modica picked up the loss for George Mason to drop his record to a 2-4 mark.
The Northeastern Huskies used five homers to get a 9-3 victory over James Madison in Game 2 of the CAA conference showdown. Jeff Thomson picked up the victory for Northeastern by working 7.2 innings while giving up three runs to up his record to 3-2 on the season. James Madison starter Justin Wood only lasted 4.0 innings while giving up six runs on nine hits. Northeastern was led by Frank Pesanello went 3-4 with two runs and three RBIs which all came on his two homers. The teams will play the final game of their three game set at 1 pm Sunday where James Madison will try to salvage a game.
James Madison Recap
The CAA has picked the VCU Rams to win the conference this season. They received 4 first place votes with UNC Wilmington and Delaware getting 3 and Old Dominion get a lone vote. The rest of the pre-season poll is available here. The College Baseball Blog staff might be seeing some CAA action at Northeastern this season so keep your eyes open.