The College Baseball Blog continues our series of interviews with head coaches checking in with Northeastern Head Coach Neil McPhee who is entering his 23rd season in charge of the team. Last year, his squad finished with an overall record of 24-22 and 12-17 in the CAA which was good enough for eighth place but did not qualify for the CAA tournament. This was the first time in 15 years that the Huskies missed out on their conference tournament. Continue reading CBB checks in with Neil McPhee (Northeastern)
FROM PRESS RELEASE
Old Dominion is the overwhelming favorite to capture the CAA baseball championship in 2008 according to a vote of the league’s head baseball coaches.
The Monarchs finished atop the poll with 99 points and received nine of a possible 10 first-place votes since coaches weren’t allowed to rank their own teams. Continue reading 2008 CAA Preseason Poll
CSTV Editor Doug Kroll checks in with his weekly article on the top college baseball players. The position in which he focuses on this week is the closer. He lists Cole St. Clair of Rice in the top spot. He has struggled throughout his career with the Owls as he tends to be injured every season. Continue reading CSTV’s Top Closers
Pedro Alvarez of Vanderbilt has been named the Pre-Season National Player of the Year for the 2008 season by Louisville Slugger.
Joining Alvarez on the first team are Pitchers Jacob Thompson (UVA), Preston Guilmet (Arizona), Anthony Shawler (ODU), Brian Matusz (USD), Josh Satow (ASU), Scott Gorgon (UCI) and Reliever AJ Griffin (USD). Rounding out the infield are Brett Wallace (1B, ASU), Blake Stouffer (2B, TAMU), Johnny Giavotella (2B, UNO), Alex Buchholz (SS, Delaware) and Buster Posey (C, FSU). In the outfield are Dominic De la Osa (Vanderbilt), Kyle Russell (Texas) and Brad McElroy (Charlotte). Josh Romanski of San Diego made the first team as a Utility player.
For those who are wondering: Yes, Ryan Flaherty earned 2nd team honors at SS, though I’m wondering how Vanderbilt’s Mikie Minor was not deemed among the twenty-nine pitchers selected to the three team All-America list which can be read here.
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 JMU inks four during Fall Signing period
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.