FROM CONFERENCE PRESS RELEASE
The Vanderbilt Commodores are predicted to repeat as the 2008 Southeastern Conference baseball champions, as voted by the league’s 12 baseball coaches in the 17th annual preseason SEC poll.
The Commodores, ranked as high as No. 3 nationally in the preseason polls, seek to capture their fifth SEC Championship, having also won titles in 1973, 1974, 1980 and 2007. Vanderbilt returns eight position starters and four pitchers from their 2007 squad which also won the SEC Tournament and earned the National No. 1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament. Continue reading
The College Baseball Blog is always searching for articles about College Baseball teams and players. We focus today on the College Newspapers which are providing season previews for many teams.
The first article from the Arizona Daily Wildcat writer Bobby Stover who talks about the expectations on the Arizona program as they are listed in the Top 5 in many polls including some which have them in the number 1 spot. Continue reading
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.
Patrick Ebert of PG Crosschecker checks in with his early signing period standout classes. You can read his full review here. In alphabetical order (with three of each class’ top names), Ebert notes:
- Arkansas, led by Austin Wright, Bobby Bundy and Tyler Sample.
- Florida, with Ryan Weber, Nick Maronde and Jerico Weitzel.
- Georgia, featuring Brett DeVall, Michael Palazzone and Xavier Avery.
- Kentucky, boasting Alex Meyer, Andy Burns and Daniel Webb.
- San Diego State, lining up Isaac Galloway, Ryan O’Sullivan and Matt Lollis.
- UCLA, landing Gerrit Cole, Clark Murphy and Chris Amezquia.
- Vanderbilt, snaring Sonny Gray, Jack Armstrong and Jason Esposito.
Doug Kroll of CSTV checks in with an article going over a few schedules for the 2008 season and how they dealt with the uniform start date. He looks at UCLA, NC State, Cal-State Fullerton, Auburn, and Florida. The article is available by clicking here.
It is in the media. New scholarship and roster-size limits will likely lead to some uncomfortable situations this fall, particularly with respect to the new transfer restrictions. That said, new Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan seems to be spitting mad about a one-sided article in the Gainesville Sun that paints him in less than positive light.
The article involves allegations regarding a meeting with a local high school coach, who’s son is on the Gators squad. The high school coach alleges that O’Sullivan took away the scholarship of his son, Bo Smith, at the 11th hour before classes and that O’Sullivan has only a passing familiarity with his own roster.
The Florida Athletics department hit back this morning, citing massive inaccuracies in the article and defending Coach O’Sullivan. The real story is likely somewhere in the middle, as always, but look for roster issues to come up at numerous schools this fall, particularly those with large recruiting classes and with new coaches. One thing is for certain, though: this was not how O’Sullivan wanted to start out with the local media.
Read the Gainesville
Sun article here
Read the UF
Press Release response here
New Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan and The University of Florida athletic department has released the 2008 baseball schedule on Wednesday. The Gators will open the season on February 22nd when they take on Siena for a three game set. The Gators will make the trip down to the University of Miami the next weekend before coming back home to take on defending Ivy League Champs Brown. The Gators will play Florida State three times this season with a game in each teams respective ballpark and a neutral site game in Jacksonville. In addition to the strong OOC schedule, Florida will play a full 30 games in the SEC which is highlighted by a visit from SEC power Vanderbilt to end the season. The full schedule is available here.
Boston.com is reporting that Blaine O’Brien of Scituate MA has verbally committed to playing for the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2008-2009 school year. O’Brien is a 6’7 185 pound right hander who also drew interest from Florida and Vanderbilt before settling on the Bulldogs. The full article is available here.
The University of Florida has released head baseball coach Pat McMahon from his contract after back to back disappointing seasons. He led the Gators to the College World Series in 2005 but lost the championship series to Texas. Athletic Director Jeremy Foley (no relation) has announced a national search will begin immediately for a new coach.
Official Florida Release
GAINESVILLE – Sophomore right-hander Kyle Sweat tossed eight shutout innings as UCF (18-19) upended Florida (20-16), 6-2, on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville. Sweat (3-2) retired the final 10 Gators he faced and did not surrender a hit after the fourth inning in matching the longest outing of his career. His teammates backed him with a 14-hit offensive attack, led by junior Dwayne Bailey (3-for-4). UF plated two runs in the ninth and had the potential tying run at the plate to close the contest.
Tyson Auer’s two-run single in the third inning kept UCF’s longest hitting streak of the season alive. Auer pushed it to 12 games by going 2-for-5 and also swiped his team-best 17th base vs. the Gators.
The Gators return to SEC action on Friday night when they face No. 9 Arkansas (25-10) in the opener of a weekend series at 8:05 p.m. in Fayetteville. Each team has an 8-4 mark in league play, with Florida leading the East and the Hogs on top in West. To celebrate the upcoming bye weekend in Conference USA play, UCF will host its annual UCF Baseball Golf Classic Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Shingle Creek Golf Club.