CSTV writer Eric Sorensen continues his series of interviews with the CAA and Big West Conferences. He lists VCU, Old Dominion, and UNC-Wilmington as the favorites. He puts Delaware led by Alex Buchholz in the contender category and William & Mary as the Darkhorse. The full preview is available here. He also checks in on the Big West Conference where he predicts Long Beach State to win it. He puts Fullerton, Cal-Poly, and UC-Irvine as contenders with UC-Riverside as the Darkhorse. The full preview is available here.
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.
Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.), a junior outfielder from Virginia Tech hit .455 last week for Winchester, going 10-for-22 on the week. Cueto added seven runs, 10 hits, three doubles, two home runs and five RBIs for the Royals. Cueto slugged .864, while walking three times on his was to compiling a .520 on base percentage.
Jason Kipnis (Northbrook, Ill.), a sophomore outfielder out of Kentucky (according to some readers transferring to Arizona State) hit two more home runs last weeks to up his league-leading total to nine. Kipnis also added a .333 batting average with five runs, two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. Kipnis went 6-for-18 with six walks to finish with a .480 on base percentage.
Pitchers of the Week
Russ Brewer (Norwood, N.C.), a freshman righthander out of Vanderbilt went 1-0 on the week with a complete-game shutout for Waynesboro. Brewer allowed seven hits, walked none and struck out nine in the win. He faced just six batters above the minimum and held opponents to a .212 batting average against.
Ross Fetterly (Norfolk, Va.), a sophomore righthander from Old Dominion went 1-1 on the week. Fetterly pitched 16.1 innings and posted an ERA of 1.65, including pitching a complete game. He gave up 10 hits, 3 earned runs, three walks, lead the league with 16 strikeouts and held opponents to just a .179 batting average against.
DH Greg Miclat, Virginia
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.