Tag Archives: SEC

Corbin set to decide about Oregon

The College Baseball Blog is on top of this breaking news that Tim Corbin has, in fact, been heavily courted in the last week by the University of Oregon. Despite public denials, solid information but uncorroborated information indicates that Corbin has been offered the job and the opportunity to play with NIKE founder Phil Knight’s substantial checkbook. The offer almost certainly includes a massive paycheck, first-hand input on stadium construction with a budget of approximately $10 million and the veritable NIKE name. Furthermore, as Brett Hait of the Nashville City Paper notes, the departure of Chancellor Gordon Gee to Ohio State removed one of Corbin’s biggest supporters in the building of the Vanderbilt program into a national power. Nevertheless, Corbin has strong ties to the Vanderbilt community and advantages in place in Nashville. Among his closest friends is Basketball coach Kevin Stallings (whose son Jacob is believed to be the Commodores #1 recruiting target at Catcher). And Vice Chancellor and athletics czar David Williams remains the driving force behind improvements to Hawkins Field.Corbin has assembled a stellar and very well compensated assistant coaching staff led by recruiting coordinator Erik Bakich and former National Pitching Coach of the Year Derek Johnson. Corbin also values the ability to sell a globally elite education and a University endowment in excess of $3 billion that allows Vanderbilt to be among the most liberal universities in the nation for providing aid and grants to all students.

Corbin met with Vanderbilt officials Tuesday morning and is expected to withdraw his name or accept the job sometime in the coming days. In 2005 and 2006, Corbin was offered and turned down offers to take over Auburn and LSU’s programs after courtships. This past Spring, Corbin rebuffed interest from the University of Tennessee. Sources in the media (including Aaron Fitt of Baseball America and Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com) and in Nashville have indicated a belief that Corbin is more likely to remain a Commodore.

Draft Deadline: The new rules

When MLB changed it’s draft rules last October, there were two key points to note:

1) Teams that do not sign a top 2 Round pick will receive a comparable pick in the 2008 draft. If you fail to sign the 7th overall pick, you would receive pick 7A in 2008. For example, if Tampa fails to ink David Price and if Tampa finished last in the standings again, they would receive the first overall pick and then receive pick 1A (functionally, the second overall pick). This provides significant leverage by improving the team’s BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). A draftee is in the same spot as before, but it’s a little easier for the team to stick to slot guidelines knowing they would be forfeiting a whole lot less. Source and a list of the unsigned first rounders.

2) Everything must be done by midnight Wednesday. That means not just an agreement in principal. A signed agreement won’t even cut it unless the player has passed his physical. It’s hard to tell if a physical can be performed before a contract is signed, because all draft rules aren’t public, but which unsigned stars go in for a doctor’s visit tomorrow or Wednesday morning can probably be an indicator as to who’s close to closing their deal. Source.

Notable unsigned players as of yesterday include #1 Price (Tampa Bay), #2 Mike Moustakas (Kansas City Royals), #3 Josh Vitters (Chicago Cubs) and #5 Matt Weiters (Baltimore Orioles).

UPDATE: Yahoo Sports has written an article on this topic. It is available here.

Oregon comes calling


Oregon may not be earning any friends at OSU by talking to Pat Casey, but were there really any friendships there to begin with? Brian Meehan of the Oregonian weighed in on coaching search etiquette. You can read the column here. The article has some info on the folks who are on NIKE’s wish list (Dave Serrano of UC Irvine, Pat Casey of OSU and Dave Brundage of the Braves AAA team).

Meanwhile, Mo Patton of the Tennessean reported that Vanderbilt skipper Tim Corbin was out in Eugene over the weekend. You can read the article here. There is an uncorroborated rumor that Corbin was indeed offered the opportunity to restart the Duck program in 2009. Corbin flirted with LSU’s vacancy last year and Auburn’s two years prior. Corbin turned down both opportunities but noted that the interviewing process is a good means of information exchange in the building of programs. From a Vanderbilt fan perspective and as a massive supporter of Corbin, considering Oregon makes sense for two reasons: 1) the opportunity to learn about Oregon’s plans for building a program for the bottom up and 2) the challenge involved (turning Vandy around was a challenge in which Corbin has and is succeeding famously). On the other hand, Corbin has no connections to the Northwest. The X-Factor? The departure of Chancellor Gordon Gee (to OSU) removes one of the biggest promoters of Vanderbilt baseball. This blogger says: just another in a line of Corbin paying respect with a visit and bringing home ideas to build on the Commodore foundation. After all, is Corbin willing to give up the recruiting advantage he and recruiting coordinator Erik Bakich share with Stanford, Rice and Tulane that Will Kimmey documented two years ago?

Cuba ends Team USA’s summer

Courtesy of USA Baseball
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Cuba (8-0 WPT) ran the table on the rest of the World Port Tournament, eliminating Team USA (25-12, 4-4 WPT) from the finals and ending their summer, following a 5-1 victory. The Cubans will take on Chinese Taipei, who also beat the USA twice over the last 10 days, in the finals starting at 7 a.m. Eastern.

The Americans sent the go-ahead run to the plate in the eighth against reliever Yulieski Gonzalez with two outs, after putting two runners on with no outs against starter Arley Sanchez. Gonzalez got a hard lineout, followed by a strikeout and then walked Jordy Mercer (Oklahoma State) to load the bases. Gonzalez though got Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) to strikeout, part of a nine-pitch at-bat, to keep Cuba in front 4-1.

Gonzalez then pitched a scoreless ninth, after Cuba added a run in the top of the inning, for the two inning save.

Three Cuban home runs were more than enough for Sanchez, who tired after seven-plus innings. Sanchez allowed a single unearned run on seven hits, while striking out six and walking one. Sanchez allowed a walk and a single in the eighth, before being relieved by Gonzalez.

Mike Minor (5-2, Vanderbilt), took the loss, going the first four innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits, two of which that left the ballpark. Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) and Brett Hunter (Pepperdine) each gave up single runs in their relief appearances.

A one-out error by Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) at short came back to haunt the Americans as Tournament RBI leader, Yosvani Peraza, hit a two-run homer to give Cuba a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Minor had a 33-pitch first inning.

A solo home run by Jose Julio Ruiz gave Cuba a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Hector Olivera’s solo home run off of Satterwhite in the seventh made it 4-0.

TEAM NOTES
Josh Romanski (San Diego) made a nice diving catch in the fourth, towards the line, to rob Alexei Bell of a hit… Cleanup hitter LF Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) missed the last five games, minus a pinch-hit performance yesterday, with a sore foot… 3B Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) was the designated hitter the last four days due to a sore arm… Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) ended the summer on an eight-game hit streak, while Jordan Danks (Texas) ended it on a seven-game streak.

WORLD PORT NOTES
Japan (0-7) and the Netherlands (3-4) close out the regularly scheduled tournament games tonight… Chinese Taipei (4-4), who finished yesterday, gained the tiebreaker with the USA yesterday, forcing the USA to win today to advance, based on number of wins against (2-0), if the USA and Taipei were tied and in runs allowed between the three tied teams, if the Netherlands were to finish in a three-way tie with the USA and Taipei (12 runs for Taipei to 13 runs for the USA to 21 runs for the Netherlands)… Games can be followed live on the internet at http://www.worldporttournament.nl/… Stats are available at: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hwede/stats07/wpt07/ and under live scoring.

FINAL TEAM LEADERS FOR THE SUMMER
Hitting–Average (Alvarez-.315), Home Runs (Alvarez/Kieschnick-7), RBIs (Alvarez-30), Runs (Danks-37) Hits (Alvarez-40), Walks (Danks-25), Doubles (Smoak-10), Triples (Danks-2), Multi-Hit Games (Alvarez-12); Pitching—Wins (Minor-5-2), ERA-Reliever (Hunter-0.66), Saves (Satterwhite-4), ERA-Starter (Ross-0.82), Strikeouts (Ross-39), Appearances (Hunter-14)

Commodores Baseball Update

This is my inaugural post on the CBB and I’ll be helping Brian and the team cover Vanderbilt, SEC and Southeastern College Baseball. Up first are three recent developments with Commodore baseball: Ryan Davis’ transfer, David Price’s negotiations with Tampa Bay and a first commitment for the Class of 2009.

Mike Rapp of VandySports.com (Rivals) caught up with Coach Tim Corbin and discussed Davis’ transfer. Corbin wishes Davis well and thanks Ryan for his contributions to the program. Davis should be a key contributor to San Diego next year in the Outfield or at DH. Mike’s article can be read here.

Meanwhile, Chris Lee of VandySports.com landed the first public interview in some time with the #1 overall pick of the 2007 Draft. Negotiations appear to be heating up with Tampa in this final week of signing eligibility. Rivals subscribers can read Price’s thoughts and the potential for returning at Vandy for a swan song here (Rivals subscription required).

On the recruiting trail, Commodores recruiting coordinator Erik Bakich picked up his first verbal commitment for the class of 2009. Dough Fritz at the Johnson City Press is reporting that Catcher/Firstbaseman Dylan Pratt will enter the program as a Sophomore in the 2008-09 school year. Pratt was on the Commodores’ radar as a HS Junior; however, an injury led to a loss in interest. Recent strong performances changed Bakich and Corbin’s mind and Pratt will come on board after spending a year at Walters State Community College, where he will play alongside former Vandy target Adam Milligan. The full article can be read here. Perfect Game rated Pratt 8.5 out of 10 in the summer between his Sophomore and Junior years of High School.

In other Commodore news, it’s expected that both All-American RF Dom De la Osa and reserve OF Jonathan White will be returning for their Senior seasons with the ‘Dores, providing strong outfield depth for the ’08 campaign.

Photo courtesy of Mike Rapp of VandySports.com


USA drops critical game to Chinese Taipei

FROM USA BASEBALL
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Team USA (25-11, 4-3 WPT) was beat for the second time by Chinese Taipei (4-4 WPT) at the World Port Tournament, 1-0, forcing the Americans to have to beat first place Cuba on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s finals. If they lose on Saturday, their summer is over.

The Americans forced one last rally in the ninth inning off of Wei-Hua Lee, who finished with a complete game four-hitter. Tommy Medica (Santa Clara) had a one-out pinch-hit single, before a two-out bunt base hit by Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) in front of the plate, followed by a walk, loaded the bases. But Petey Paramore (Arizona State) struck out on a 2-2 pitch to give the Taiwanese the victory.

Lee worked his magic all day long, retiring 10 in a row early, and then another nine in a row into the eighth inning.

Tyson Ross (4-1, California) lost for the first time this summer, pitching seven-plus innings, giving up one run on six hits. He put runners on base in seven of the eight innings, but got 13 groundball outs. With a runner on base in the eighth, Brett Hunter (Pepperdine) came on and struck out the side.

Ryan Flaherty’s (Vanderbilt) hit in the fifth, the 3500th hit in the tournament’s history, broke a string of 10 in a row retired by Lee, and loaded the bases for the first of two times. Two walks followed Flaherty, before Jordy Mercer (Oklahoma State) struck out to end the threat and keep Taipei up 1-0.

A one-out triple by Chien-Yu Kuo came around to score on a groundout to give Taipei a 1-0 lead in the first.

TEAM NOTES
Ryan Flaherty’s single in the fifth inning was the 3500th hit in the tournament’s 22-year, 11-time history… Standings heading into tonight’s game between Cuba and the Netherlands are the Cubans are 6-0, Japan is 0-7 and the Netherlands is 3-3… Netherlands will need to win twice and have Team USA lose to Cuba in order to get into the Finals… The Americans won four of five from Chinese Taipei in the States and lost the first game at the World Port Tournament, 10-5… Jordan Danks has hit safely in the last six World Port Games… games can be followed live on the internet at http://www.worldporttournament.nl/… Stats are available at: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hwede/stats07/wpt07/ and under live scoring.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
The Americans will close out the summer with a game against Cuba (8 a.m. Eastern). The Finals between the first place team, currently Cuba (6-0) and the second place team are on August 12 at 7 a.m, Eastern, finishing the summer for the Americans.

Duo Pushes Team USA into Second

-Courtesy of USA Baseball-

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS— Team USA (25-10, 4-2 WPT) moved into sole possession of second place with two days to play at the World Port Tournament following a 10-2 win over host Netherlands (3-3 WPT) on a cool and windy Thursday evening.

Jordan Danks (Texas) fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle, going 3-for-5 with a solo home run and RBI double, while Tommy Medica (Santa Clara) drove in two runs with two hits. Justin Smoak (South Carolina) walked twice and got two hits.

Team USA pushed across three runs in the first and fourth innings to give Ryan Berry (2-1, Rice) a 7-1 lead. Berry rebounded to go seven innings, giving up a run on five hits.

After walking three and scattering four hits over the first two innings, Berry pitched to the minimum over the final five innings. He got out of the first two innings with just one run, thanks to two double plays, and after a second inning walk, retired seven and then a final eight in a row. He used just three pitches to retire the side in the seventh. The Dutch had just one hit from the third until a three-hit ninth inning, finishing with eight hits.

Back-to-back doubles by Danny Espinosa (Long Beach State) and Danks made it 5-1 in the fourth as part of a three-run inning, chasing starter and loser Diegomar Markwell from the game. Medica’s second RBI single then made it 6-1 off of reliever Kenny Berkenbosch, before a sacrifice fly pushed it 7-1.

The Americans took an early 3-0 lead in the first. Danks took the second pitch of the bottom of the first to right field for his second home run of the summer. Team USA then doubled the score on a play at the plate on a slow groundball to short that was dropped by catcher Sidney de Jong. A Josh Romanksi (San Diego) sacrifice fly then made it 3-0, the second unearned run of the inning.

TEAM NOTES
The Americans are 4-1 against Netherlands this summer, winning two of three in the States, prior to the tournament… standings heading into the final two scheduled days are Cuba at 6-0, Chinese Taipei at 3-4 and Japan at 0-7… Danks has hit safely in the last five World Port contests… the third double play of the night by the Americans came on a play in which Espinosa when behind the back at second, flipped to a bare-handed second baseman Ryan Flaherty and then over to first for the out in the fifth… the Toronto Blue Jay mascot was in attendance for the later game between the U.S. and the Netherlands… games can be followed live on the internet at http://www.worldporttournament.nl/ … Stats are available at: http://utopia.ision.nl/users/hwede/stats07/wpt07/ and under live scoring.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
The Americans will play twice more to close out the summer with consecutive games against Chinese Taipei (8 a.m. Eastern) and Cuba (8 a.m.). The Finals between the top two teams are on August 12 at 7 a.m, Eastern, finishing the summer.

Ryan Davis and Mike Roskopf set to transfer

Ryan Davis of Vanderbilt is set to transfer to San Diego according to a few sources including Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com. Davis had become a role player in the 2007 season, splitting time with Parker Hanks and Matt Meingasner in left and at DH, after nearly capturing a batting crown by hitting .340 in SEC play in 2006. Due to the Senior year return of All-American RF Dom De la Osa, Vandy has four capable bodies competing for time in left field (Hanks, Jonathan White, red-shirt freshman Steven Liddle and highly touted freshman Joey Manning). With the opportunity to prove himself ahead of the 2008 draft, Davis stands to be a potential middle of the order bat for the Torreros and will have the opportunity to help contribute to the Toreros run to Omaha in 2008, while playing closer to his Arizona home. Thanks to NY Dore for providing the information used in this report.

Rivals.com is reporting that NC State first baseman/designated hitter Mike Roskopf is transferring to Southern California to play under Chad Kreuter. Roskopf hit .316 with 13 homers with 42 RBI. He will be an instant addition to the Trojans squad hopefully leading them to the Pac-10 Championship in 2008.