Tag Archives: SEC

Title IX issues at Mississippi State?

The Reflector (Student newspaper of Mississippi State) checks in with an article about Title IX which is asking for protection of the men’s sports. The Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk is quoted saying “What I really want to see is Title X, Where’s our protection? Where’s the protection against men’s sports being cut?” I find this type of comment right on the mark because many schools have decided to cut funding for many sports at smaller school to get in complaince with Title IX. When I do start to have issues with Mr. Polk is when he states the following: “It doesn’t bother me at all that women’s softball gets to give out 20 scholarships, I just want to be able to offer the same amount, especially since we’re one of the biggest sources of revenue for the athletic department.” This is a very offensive statement because for many years MSU gave out a very large percentage of scholarships to his team and other male programs while forgetting about women’s athletics. Remember Women’s sports before Title IX? Very few people remember them before Title IX.

The full article is available here.

Sorenson and Kroll check in

Eric Sorenson has posted his thoughts about the first weekend of college baseball. He is impressed with the way Oregon State played out in Hawaii as I think most people are. He also believes that San Diego is the real deal and should be respected but face a tough weekend with the trip to Austin to play the Longhorns. He also discusses some other issues which can be read here.

Doug Kroll also has posted an article on CSTV about the top games in the month of February. He believes the Houston College Classic is a must see like all college baseball writers have been drooling over for a few months. David Price vs Joe Savery? Will it happen? We will have to wait and see. The full article is available here.

Kent State Q and A



We recently had a chance to have a Question and Answer session with Kent State Head Coach Scott Stricklin. He is entering his third season with the Golden Flashes. He has also been an assistant coach with Georgia Tech under former Kent State Head Coach Danny Hall for the 1998 and 1999 season as a volunteer assistant coach before moving to Vanderbilt where he worked as the pitching coach for two seasons. He then went back to Georgia Tech in July of 2001 where he stayed until July of 2004 when moved on to become the Head Coach at Kent State.

1. Andrew Davis had a great year batting .376 in 56 games last season but Kent State lost most of their position players. What players have stepped up to fill these holes?

We lost a lot of offense off of last year’s club. There is no question that losing Emmanuel Burriss, Joe Tucker, Drew Saylor, Kurt Eichorn, and Todd Balduf will raise some serious questions about our offensive capabilities. However, we had several freshman that got significant playing time last year. We expect Brad Winter, Chris Tremblay, Ryan Mitchell and Jason Patton to all step up and be leaders. Greg Rohan sat out last year due to an injury and he should hit in the middle of our order. Junior college transfer Doug Sanders will hit near the top of the order and we expect big things from him as well. Andrew Davis is the back bone of our team and he will hit in the three hole. Will Vazquez is our only other senior position player and he will be our everyday catcher. Freshmen Jared Bartholomew, Brandon White, and Anthony Gallas should contribute as well.

2. Kent State returns most of the pitching staff from last year including starters Alan Morrison and John Pacella. They also return a solid closer in Ryan Davis who had 14 saves in 2006. Are there any players expected to compete for a weekend spot in the rotation?

There is no question that our strength will be our pitching staff. We did lose Chad Wagler who was our number one starter a year ago but we feel like we have a lot more depth in year’s past. Our weekend rotation is still question because we are waiting to see how Chris Carpenter and Evan Smith come back from injury. Carpenter was a 7th round draft choice out of high school and looks like he is returning to that form. Evan Smith has been in and out of our rotation for the last three years. Steven Ross has been impressive early on and will be our number one starter to begin the season and I see no reason why that will change. JJ Pacella has been very consistent for us and he will be in the mix as well. We also have Morrison, Dominique Rodgers, Steven Davis, and freshman Kyle Smith competing for a weekend starting role. Should be interesting to see who steps up the next couple of weeks.

Our bull pen will be very strong as we return all of our key components from last year. Ryan Davis was outstanding for us in the closer’s role and Reid Lamport, Jason Seelman, and Rodgers are all back as set-up guys. When you add freshman Robert Sabo, Jon Pokorny, and Brad Stillings to that mix, we feel very good about what our pitching staff can accomplish this season. Another pleasant surprise has been Ryan Steele. He is a converted catcher who has dominating stuff. he just needs to gain some more experience on the mound.

3. Scott, What do you think is the biggest difference between coaching at Kent State when compared to other schools you have been at like Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt?

The are certainly some differences between Kent State and Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. The biggest difference is probably on the recruiting side. At Tech and Vandy, we recruited on a national scale while at Kent State, we focus on the talent in the state of Ohio. There is also the weather factor. We practice in our indoor fieldhouse until we can get outside. The ACC and SEC schools are outside when they begin practice in January. Obviously, the ACC and SEC are tougher conferences than the MAC. However, the programs in the Mid-American Conference have all made increased commitments to baseball and I think there is no doubt that we are improving as a whole. We have new stadiums at Central Michigan, Ohio University, Miami of Ohio, and Kent State. Look for the MAC to get two teams in the NCAA tournament very soon. When we get that accomplished, we need to find a way to get to a super regional. That will go a long way toward earning more respect for our conference nation wide.

4. The uniform start date goes into effect next season, How will that affect your team in the future? In 2007, you will not have a home game until March 20th which is over a month into your season.

The start date really will not affect us much. This year we started practice on January 23rd indoors. Next year we will begin February 1st. We move our opening weekend back one week. What many northern schools are looking to do in the future is to play four game series or tournaments on early season weekends. I think you will find the southern schools receptive to this because they will have to add a lot of mid week games to their schedules if they do not. Currently, most southern schools like to spread their games out so they are only playing one mid week game. It really puts a lot of strain on your pitching staff when you consistently are playing five games per week. The big difference is that mid-week games do not happen up north until mid March at the earliest. The southern schools can get some mid week games in right away.

5. What team in the MAC will provide the biggest challenge for your team this season?

The MAC is a toss up this year. There are several teams that will contend for the title. Central Michigan returns the most form last year and is the pre season favorite. Miami (OH) has a couple of very good arms in their starting rotation that are capable of beating anyone. Eastern Michigan has the reigning pitcher of the year in Jeff Fischer pitching for them on Fridays and Western Michigan has freshman All American, Ethan Hollingsworth, returning to the mound for them. Ball State is in the same position as us. We both lost a lot of offense and we need some young guys to step up.

6. What player or coach have you enjoyed working with the most?

That’s a tough one. It’s difficult to single out one individual in particular. However, one player that really stands out is Jonathan Douillard from Vanderbilt. He was catcher that was actually the first commitment I ever received as a recruiting coordinator. He was the type of player who always worked hard and was a tremendous team leader. It was no surprise to see him behind the plate when Vanderbilt broke through and made the regionals a few years ago. The program took huge strides in the four years he was there and he was a big reason for it. He made everyone around him better and he never took a day off. I just really loved coaching the kid and had a lot of respect for him.

The College Baseball Blog would like to thank Steve for taking the time to help out the site by answering some questions. We are trying to set up some more interviews with some more head coaches to talk about the upcoming season. If anyone has any questions or comments about the site feel free to contact me.

Arkansas Preview


The Arkansas Razorbacks are expected to compete for the SEC title this year behind Preseason All-American pitcher Nick Schmidt. They are coming off a 39-21 record overall and a respectable 18-12 record in the conference. There is some heat on Head Coach Dave Van Horn to produce since his teams have been talented but have failed in the eyes of the Razorbacks supporters. The full article from Scout.com is available here.

Vandy Articles

CSTV has posted two articles on the Vanderbilt Baseball team. The first article deals with ace pitcher David Price. It talks about how dominant he has been the last few summers on the USA National Team. He has a 95+ fastball with two off-speed pitches that he can through for strikes. The full article is available here.

The second article is about David Price’s teammate Pedro Alvarez who spurned the Boston Red Sox in 2005 to pursue a college education at Vanderbilt. Alvarez has become a superstar at Vandy nailing 22 home runs as a freshman. The full article is available here.

Ole Miss

There is a very good article by Scout.com today on Justin Henry of the Ole Miss Baseball Team. The article talks about how he motivates the team as the captain of the squad. He also discusses how he has been a member of some of the best teams in teh history of the school. The full article is available here.

Huge loss for Vols

Julio Borbon will be out 8-10 weeks with an ankle injury which hampers the beginning of the season for the Tennessee Vols. They are expected to compete for teh SEC championship this year and Julio was expected to be the catalyst for the program. He led the team in hitting in 2006 with a .366 batting average. The full article written by Kendall Rogers is available here.

Rivals.com Top 25

Rivals has released their top 25 for the upcoming season. The top team is Rice with UNC, University of South Carolina, Virginia, and Miami rounding out the top 5. I believe that Miami is a little overrated being in the top 5 but we will have to see how the season falls to find out the truth. It is nice to see 3 ACC teams in the Top 5.

The full poll is available here.

Four added to the Hall of Fame

The College Baseball Hall of Fame has elected four new members. The four people were Lou Gehrig, Christy Mathewson, Joe Sewell, and Jack Barry. Lou Gehrig played with the Columbia Lions before joining the New York Yankees and having a great professional career. Mathewson played for Bucknell from 1898-1900, in addition to Baseball, Mathewson played Football and Basketball. Joe Sewell played at Alabama from 1918-1920 and returned to coach the team in 1964 where he compiled a record of 106-79 in five seasons. Sewell and Gehrig were roommates with the New York Yankees which is ironic since they both are great players and contributers to the College Baseball World. Jack Barry played for Holy Cross from 1905-1908 and returned to the school in 1920 to coach the team. Barry is known as the Knute Rockne of the College Baseball World where he compiled a record of 616-150-6 (.802).

The full press release from The College Baseball Foundation is available here in PDF format.