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College: Texas A&M Reaching Top of Baseball America Top 25

We have a new No. 1 in the Baseball America Top 25 Poll after former holder Vanderbilt went 1-3 this past week. Moving up from the second spot to take over the top of the poll is Texas A&M. Vandy dropped down to No. 5 after dropping 2-of-3 to Old Miss over the weekend and losing a mid week game to Lipscomb.

Texas A&M has been hot all year. They sit at 33-3 after going 3-1 this past week after taking 2-of-3 from Mississippi State in College Station. While A&M avoids Vanderbilt during the regular season, they still have a tough road ahead. After Arkansas visits Blue Bell Park this coming weekend, the Aggies will travel to one of the hardest places to play in college baseball, LSU who sits right behind at No. 2.

Dropping out this week were Rice, falling all the way from No. 14, Virginia, and California. Replacing them is Texas Tech at No. 25, North Carolina at No. 23, and College of Charleston at No. 22.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Texas A&M
33-3 3-1 2
2. LSU 31-6 4-1 3
3. UCLA
25-7 2-1 7
4. Louisville 27-8 3-1 5
5. Vanderbilt
28-9 1-3 1
6. TCU
26-8 2-2 4
7. Arizona State
23-9 2-1 9
8. Florida
28-9 4-0 10
9. Miami
28-9 4-0 11
10. Southern California
26-9 1-3 6
11. UC Santa Barbara
26-8 3-1 13
12. Illinois
28-6 4-0 17
13. Florida State
26-12 1-4 8
14. Missouri 24-12 2-1 20
15. Missouri State
24-8 4-0 24
16. Dallas Baptist
26-7 2-2 16
17. Oklahoma State
24-11 2-2 15
18. Coastal Carolina
25-9 2-1 18
19. UCF
25-12 2-2 12
20. Iowa
23-9 2-2 25
21. Florida Atlantic
28-8 2-2 21
22. College of Charleston
24-8 3-1 NR
23. North Carolina
22-14 4-1 NR
24. Maryland 24-10 2-3 19
25. Texas Tech
22-14 3-1 NR
Dropped Out: Rice (14), Virginia (22), Cal (23)

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College: Vanderbilt Still Atop the BA Top 25 Poll

Vanderbilt is still at the top of the Baseball America Top 25 after going 5-0 this week. The top 3 actually stayed the same while No. 4 Florida dropped to No. 10 this week after going 1-3. The Gators started off by dropping a mid-week game to in-state rival Florida State. They then dropped 2-of-3 to Missouri on the road.

Also dropping this week was Central Florida down to No. 12 after a 1-3 week. There were lots of comings and goings in the rankings as well. Maryland (No. 19), Missouri (No. 20), Florida Atlantic (No. 21), Missouri State (No. 24), and Iowa (No. 25) all entered the rankings this week while South Carolina, Texas Tech, Houston, Nebraska, and San Diego all fell out.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Vanderbilt
27-6 5-0 1
2. Texas A&M 30-2 3-0 2
3. LSU
27-5 4-0 3
4. TCU 23-6 2-2 5
5. Louisville
24-7 3-0 7
6. Southern California
25-6 3-0 8
7. UCLA 23-6 2-1 9
8. Florida State
25-8 3-1 10
9. Arizona State
21-8 3-1 11
10. Florida
24-9 1-3 4
11. Miami 24-9 4-0 12
12. UCF
23-10 1-3 6
13. UC Santa Barbara
23-7 4-0 15
14. Rice 22-12 3-1 14
15. Oklahoma State
22-9 3-1 17
16. Dallas Baptist
24-5 2-2 13
17. Illinois
24-6 5-0 24
18. Coastal Carolina
23-8 3-1 23
19. Maryland
22-7 4-0 NR
20. Missouri
22-11 2-2 NR
21. Florida Atlantic
26-6 4-0 NR
22. Virginia 19-11 1-3 16
23. Cal
21-9 1-2 21
24. Missouri State 20-8 3-1 NR
25. Iowa 21-7 4-1 NR
Dropped Out: South Carolina (18), Texas Tech (19), Houston (20), Nebraska (22), San Diego (25)

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College: Vanderbilt back on top of Baseball America Top 25

Baseball America released its weekly College Baseball Top 25 Poll with Vanderbilt retaking the top spot after LSU stumbled a bit this week.

LSU dropped to No. 3 after losing a weekend series to Kentucky. Twice it lost in extra innings. Vanderbilt took over the No. 1 spot again after winning 2-of-3 in a weekend series against in state rival Tennessee. This weekend Vandy will travel to face Georgia.

Texas A&M moved up to No. 2 as the top three were rearranged. Those were the only changes in the Top 10 as the rest stayed in place. Three teams dropped out of the Top 25 (Texas, Oregon, and Indiana). While Nebraska, Coastal Carolina, and San Diego moved in.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Vanderbilt
22-6 3-1 2
2. Texas A&M 27-2 3-1 3
3. LSU
23-5 2-2 1
4. Florida 23-6 3-1 4
5. Texas Christian
21-4 4-0 5
6. Central Florida
22-7 2-2 6
7. Louisville 21-7 3-1 7
8. Southern California 22-6 3-1 8
9. UCLA
21-5 4-0 9
10. Florida State 22-7 3-1 10
11. Arizona State 18-7 3-0 11
12. Miami
20-9 2-2 13
13. Dallas Baptist
22-3 4-0 15
14. Rice 19-11 3-2 14
15. UC Santa Barbara
19-7 3-1 16
16. Virginia 18-8 4-1 20
17. Oklahoma State
19-8 3-1 23
18. South Carolina
19-9 1-3 12
19. Texas Tech
18-10 2-2 18
20. Houston 19-9 2-2 17
21. California 20-7 2-2 21
22. Nebraska 21-7 4-1 NR
23. Coastal Carolina
20-7 3-1  NR
24. Illinois 19-6 2-1 25
25. San Diego 16-9 3-1 NR
Dropped Out: Texas (19), Oregon (22), Indiana (24)

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College: Vanderbilt – Arkansas Game Provides Wild Play at the Plate

One of the best plays at the plate happened this past weekend when the Vanderbilt Commodores faced off with the Arkansas Razorbacks at home.

During the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday and the game tied at seven in the bottom of the tenth inning, Vanderbilt’s Ro Coleman was at third with one out. Zander Weil sent a fly ball down the right field line setting up the play at the plate that has everyone talking.

Take a look:

 

Vanderbilt would go on to win 8-7 in 12 innings.

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College: LSU Still on Top of Baseball America Top 25 Poll

This week’s Baseball America Top 25 poll is out. LSU still ranks atop the nation after going 3-1 this weekend. They are joined by four other SEC teams in the top 10 alone. Florida comes in right behind LSU at No. 2 followed by No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 5 Texas A&M, and No. 6 South Carolina.

Texas A&M has run their unbeaten streak to 21 games after going 5-0 this weekend. This weekend they will head to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide. The Tide is coming off a series win over then No. 15 Mississippi State in Starkville so A&M will have their hands full.

Falling hard this week was Virginia who dropped from No. 3 to No. 14 after a winless week. The Cavaliers were swept by in state rival Virginia Tech over the weekend.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. LSU 18-2 3-1 1
2. Florida 18-3 4-1 2
3. TCU 14-2 4-0 4
4. Vanderbilt 16-4 5-0 5
5. Texas A&M
21-0 5-0 10
6. South Carolina
17-3 5-0 7
7. Central Florida
17-4 3-2 6
8. Southern California 17-3 2-2 9
9. UCLA
14-5 3-1 11
10. Rice 15-6 4-0 12
11. Louisville 14-6 4-1 13
12. Texas Tech 14-5 4-1 14
13. Florida State 17-4 4-1 18
14. Virginia 12-5 0-4 3
15. Oregon 14-6 1-4 8
16. Arizona State 12-6 3-1 16
17. Miami 15-6 5-0 19
18. Dallas Baptist 15-2 5-0 20
19. UC Santa Barbara 13-5 2-1 21
20. Mississippi State 16-6 2-3 15
21. Texas 13-7 3-1 22
22. Houston 13-7 4-0 24
23. Georgia Tech
14-5 3-1 NR
24. Indiana 13-4 5-0 NR
25. Illinois 14-4 3-1 25
Dropped Out: North Carolina (17), Cal State Fullerton (23)

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College: Baseball America Top 25 for March 9

Baseball America released its College Top 25 poll for March 9 with LSU taking over the top spot after a rough week for former No. 1 Vanderbilt.

LSU improved to 15-1 after running through the competition at the Houston College Classic to take over the No. 1 spot in the poll. They are joined by fellow SEC team Florida who now sits at No. 2 in the poll after jumping over Virginia.

Several teams made huge jumps in the poll including Southern California (No. 25 to No. 9) and Texas A&M (No. 22 to No. 10.) Houston had the biggest fall. The preseason top 5 team fell from No. 8 to No. 24 after a 1-3 weekend ran their record to a disappointing 9-7.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. LSU 15-1 5-0 2
2. Florida 14-2 4-1 4
3. Virginia 12-1 2-1 3
4. TCU 10-2 3-1 7
5. Vanderbilt 11-4 2-2 1
6. Central Florida 14-2 4-1 13
7. South Carolina 12-3 5-1 12
8. Oregon 13-2 3-0 19
9. Southern California 15-1 3-1 25
10. Texas A&M 16-0 4-0 22
11. UCLA 11-4 1-3 6
12. Rice 11-6 3-1 15
13. Louisville 10-5 3-1 17
14. Texas Tech 10-4 1-3 5
15. Mississippi State 14-3 1-3 9
16. Arizona State 9-5 2-1 18
17. North Carolina 10-4 4-1 20
18. Florida State 13-3 5-0 21
19. Miami 10-6 2-2 11
20. Dallas Baptist 10-2 4-1 23
21. UC Santa Barbara 11-4 3-1 24
22. Texas 10-6 2-2 14
23. Cal State Fullerton 9-5 4-0 NR
24. Houston 9-7 1-3 8
25. Illinois 11-3 1-3 NR
Dropped Out: Oklahoma State (10), Maryland (16)

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College Baseball Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Inductees

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

LUBBOCK, TexasOne of only three men to twice win a recognized college player of the year award plus two men who led their teams to the World Series at both the collegiate and Major League levels highlight the 2015 National College Baseball Hall of Fame induction class.

“This class features players and coaches with some incredible superlatives,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “There are some unique and outstanding accomplishments by the individuals in this class.”

This year’s class, which will be inducted as a part of the annual celebration of college baseball on June 28-29 in Lubbock, Texas, is headlined by Lance Berkman, who led Rice to its first College World Series appearance before embarking on a stellar Major League career; and Frank Viola, the talented left-hander who led his St. John’s club to Omaha in 1980 and went on to a 15-year Major League career that included winning the 1988 American League Cy Young Award.

The switch-hitting Berkman was named National Player of the Year by the NCBWA in 1997 on the strength of a .431 batting average, 41 home runs and 143 RBIs. During his three years at Rice, the Owls made their first NCAA tournament appearance in 1995 and their first College World Series appearance in 1997.

Viola registered a 26-2 career record at St. John’s, leading the Redmen in 1980 to Omaha, where he opened the CWS with a 6-1 victory over eventual national champion Arizona. However, it was another postseason win, a 1-0, 12-inning thriller in the 1981 NCAA regional over Yale and Ron Darling for which he is best remembered.

Also included in the class are Joe Arnold, a two-time NJCAA All-American pitcher at Miami-Dade who also earned Most Valuable Player honors at the 1966 NJCAA World Series; former Lubbock Christian and Texas Tech coach Larry Hays, one of only eight coaches at any level of college baseball with 1,500 wins; Al Holland, who shattered records in his four years at North Carolina A&T; Bill Holowaty, the third-winningest coach in NCAA Division III history; Mike Kelly, who was the consensus national player of the year in 1990 and winner of the Golden Spikes Award in 1991; and Rick Reichardt, who won the first recognized collegiate national player of the year award in 1964.

As a junior college player at Miami-Dade, Arnold played for the legendary Demie Mainieri. He is one of only two junior college players to twice be named NJCAA All-American as well as MVP of the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. He later attended Arizona State where he won 11 games, finishing his collegiate playing career with a 40-5 record. He later enjoyed a stellar coaching career, leading Florida Southern to two NCAA Division II national championships before assuming the reins at the University of Florida, where he twice took the Gators to Omaha.

Hays coached Lubbock Christian to 695 wins and the 1983 NAIA national championship before moving across town to Texas Tech, where he assumed a program that had a losing record throughout its history. In his 22 years on campus, he led the Red Raiders to 813 wins and all four of their con­ference championship titles, as well as their first nine NCAA tournament appearances. In 2008, he became only the fourth coach in NCAA history to win 1,500 games.

Holland rode a blazing fastball to a record-setting career in which he tossed four no-hitters and twice led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings. His microscopic 0.26 ERA in 1975 also led the nation and is the third best ERA in NCAA Division I history.

Holowaty led Eastern Connecticut State to four NCAA Division III national championships and was honored four times as the national coach of the year. His 1,404 wins trail only 2009 inductee Gordie Gillespie and 2013 inductee Don Schaly on the Division III list.

Kelly’s three years at Arizona State rank as three of the most illustrious in school history. He is on a list with 2006 inductees Robin Ventura and Brooks Kieschnick as the only NCAA Division I players to twice take home player of the year honors. He finished his career in Tempe with a .376 batting average, 46 homers and 194 RBIs.

Reichardt was the first player in Big Ten history to repeat as batting champ. His 1964 batting aver­age of .443 in Big Ten play earned him The Sporting News National Player of the Year recogni­tion, plus All-America honors from ABCA.

“Our voting committees consists of longtime college baseball media members, active and former coaches, retired umpires, past inductees, college baseball historians and in several cases they are also former players,” Gustafson said. “I commend them on another outstanding job.”

Tickets for the 2015 induction will be available in May on the Hall of Fame’s website at www.collegebaseballhall.org.

For more information, contact Mike Gustafson, National College Baseball Hall of Fame president and CEO, atgus@collegebaseballfoundation.org.

2015 NCBHOF INDUCTEE EXTENDED BIOS:

Joe Arnold, Miami-Dade/Arizona State, 1965-67 (Pitcher)

As a pitcher at Miami-Dade College, he was a two time All-American. In 1965 and ’66, he finished with a combined record of 29-4, while being named the MVP of the 1966 Junior College World Series. In 2006, he was recognized as a member of the 50th Anniversary NJCAA World Series Team. His record of 30 2/3 innings pitched at the 1966 Junior College World Series still stands.

After Miami-Dade, Arnold played for Arizona State University. In one year he compiled an 11-1 record, giving him a total of 40 wins and 5 losses in three years of collegiate competition.

As the Florida Southern head coach from 1977 to 1983, he led the Moccasins to a 316-69 record for a .821 winning percentage. Arnold’s Moccasins teams won Regional titles in six of his seven years and NCAA Division II National Championships in 1978 and 1981. From 1984 to ’94 he served as head coach of the Florida Gators and led them to 434 wins and a .640 winning percentage. In addition, his Gator teams appeared in 1988 and ’91 College World Series.

Lance Berkman, Rice, 1995-97 (First baseman/Outfielder)

Berkman hit .322 with six home runs and a Southwest Conference-leading 26 doubles as a freshman. Rice went 43-19 overall and finished one game behind Texas Tech in the SWC, which was good enough to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

As a sophomore, he led the SWC with 20 home runs and finished fourth in the batting race with a .398 average. The Owls finished at 42-23 and won the final SWC post-season tournament.

Berkman turned in one of the greatest seasons in Division I history in 1997, winning the WAC Triple Crown with a .431 average, 41 homers and 134 RBIs. He also led the conference in runs and hits. Overall, he was 11th in the nation in batting, second in runs, third in hits, second in slugging, and first in total bases, RBIs and home runs. In the NCAA Tournament, Rice swept through the Central Regionals, and Berkman was named the Most Outstanding Player. The Owls’ subsequent trip to the College World Series was the first in school history. For his efforts, he was named National Player of the Year by the NCBWA and was unanimous All-American at first base.

Berkman’s final career stats: .385 batting average, 67 home runs with 272 RBIs.

Larry Hays, Lubbock Christian/Texas Tech, 1971-2008 (Coach)

The first 16 of his 38 seasons as head coach were spent coaching the Lubbock Christian (NAIA) baseball program. From 1971 to 1986, Hays had 10 seasons with 40 or more wins with the Chaparrals, winning the NAIA national championship in 1983. He went 695-381 while coaching the Chaps.

When he took over at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders had an overall losing record, but Hays put out a winning product in two years. The best times, however, came in a stretch from 1995 to 2004. In that span, Tech won two Southwest Conference championships and two Big 12 Conference championships. He won a tournament title in each conference. Tech made nine NCAA tournament appearances, including eight straight from 1995 to 2002.

Hays’ season honors included being named coach of the year following nine different seasons. The highlight was the 1997 season when he was selected Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year by the Big 12 coaches, The Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman.

On April 2, 2008, Hays won game No. 1,500. He left with a career total of 1,509 wins – good for 5th among coaches at four-year schools at the time, behind only Gordie Gillespie, Augie Garrido, Gene Stephenson and Mike Martin.

In 1991, Hays was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame, and in 2001 he became the first collegiate baseball coach to be inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.

Al Holland, North Carolina A&T, 1972-1975 (Pitcher)

Holland pitched at North Carolina A&T from 1972-1975 before beginning a 10-year Major League Baseball career. He threw four no-hitters in college, one in each year he pitched. His no-hitter in 1972 against North Carolina Central included 25 strikeouts.

As a freshman in 1972, Holland led the nation in strikeouts (143) and was second in ERA (0.54). The following year, NC A&T’s last in the NAIA, he recorded an ERA of 1.03 and added another 102 strikeouts. Though the Aggies moved up to NCAA status, Holland continued to dominate the competition during the next two years with a 0.95 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 1974, and a nation-leading 0.26 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 1975.

Holland was a two-time NAIA All-American in 1972 and 1973. He was named to the MEAC Hall of Fame in 1993.

Bill Holowaty, Eastern Connecticut State, 1969-2013 (Coach)

One of the most successful coaches in NCAA Division III history, Holowaty retired with a 1,404- 525-7 career record. Holowaty led Eastern to four national championships and was national coach of the year four times. He finished third on the NCAA Division III wins list behind Gordie Gillespie and Don Schaly, both previous inductees of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. He has the most victories of any coach – in any sport – in New England intercollegiate history.

Having been named national coach of the year four times and regional coach of the year 14 times, Holowaty’s legend was built upon consistency. In addition to winning four national championships, the Warriors posted at least 30 wins 28 times in the last 40 seasons under the head coach and brought a streak of 11 straight 30-win seasons into 2012, when they fell one win shy of extending that streak. Only one Holowaty-coached team in 44 seasons ever won less than 60 percent of its games. Despite winning “only” 58.5 percent of its game, that 1989 team came within an acrobatic outfield catch by its opponent of reaching the national tournament. The following year, the Warriors recorded the first of four 40-win campaigns, and advanced to the national tournament, where they proceeded virtually unchallenged to a second national title.

Under Holowaty, Eastern either won the Little East Conference regular-season or post-season championships or both in the same season 14 times in 16 years. The Warriors are the only program to win back-to-back LEC tournament titles – having done it twice – and are the only program to win consecutive outright LEC regular-season titles, having captured four straight between 2002 and 2005. Eastern won or shared LEC regular-season titles eight times in the first nine seasons of LEC competition.

Mike Kelly, Arizona State, 1989-91 (Outfielder)

Kelly put together one of the best three-year careers in the illustrious history of Arizona State baseball. He was a career .350 hitter with 197 runs scored, 46 doubles, 194 RBIs and 46 home runs. His 46 home runs rank third in ASU career history.

At the time of his induction into the ASU Hall of Fame in 2014, Kelly also ranked sixth in RBIs (194) and ninth with in runs scored (197). He was a three-time All-American during his playing career, including winning the 1991 Golden Spikes Award and was the consensus 1990 National Player of the Year. He was also the 1990 Pac-10 Player of the Year after a season when he hit .376 with 17 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs and 82 RBIs, which ranks among the top individual efforts in college baseball history.

Kelly was the second overall selection in the 1991 major league draft by the Atlanta Braves and went on to play parts of six seasons in the major leagues with four different teams.

Rick Reichardt, Wisconsin, 1963-64 (Outfielder)

A native of Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, he enrolled at Wisconsin to play football. During the 1963 baseball season, he led the Big 10 in home runs (5) and batting average and recorded a .429 average in conference games. He also was a third-team All-Big Ten selection.

During the 1963 football season, Reichardt led the Big Ten in receptions with 26 catches for 383 yards and one touchdown for the conference champion Badgers.

In the 1964 baseball season, he finished second in the nation with a .443 batting average in conference games, also a school record. He was the first Big Ten player to repeat as batting champion and recorded 15- and 17-game hitting streaks. On the season, he also scored 28 runs and stole nine bases, which led the conference. Following that season, he was named first-team All-Big Ten and first-team All-American by ABCA and The Sporting News.

He finished his Wisconsin career with a .394 batting average, a school record, and was named the 1964 National Player of the Year by The Sporting News. Reichardt signed the largest Major League Baseball bonus contract at the time with the LA Angels.

Frank Viola, St. Johns, 1979-81 (Pitcher)

Viola recorded a 6-1 record with a 2.09 ERA during his first season at St. John’s. He followed that up in 1980 with a 10-1 record and a 2.16 ERA in 87.2 innings and recorded his best season in 1981, finishing with a 10-0 record and a 0.87 ERA in 83 innings pitched.

St. John’s appeared in NCAA post-season play in each of his three years and in game one of the 1980 College World Series, Viola helped defeat eventual national champion Arizona, 6-1. His most memorable victory was a 1981 Regional victory of Yale and Ron Darling, in which Viola pitched 11 scoreless innings. Following the 1981 season, Viola was named first-team All-America by Baseball America.

NATIONAL COLLEGE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE NOTES:

Mike Kelly joins Brooks Kieschnick and Robin Ventura as the only players to win an ac­knowledged national player of the year award in two separate years.

Larry Hays is one of only eight coaches in the history of college baseball at any level with 1,500 wins, joining Augie Garrido, Gordie Gillespie*, Gene Stephenson*, Mike Martin, Lloyd Simmons, Wayne Graham*, Mark Marquess and Larry Hays*.

* National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

Lance Berkman will be the fifth-youngest inductee at 39 years, 4 months (Brooks Kieschnick was the youngest at 34 years, 1 month, followed by Nomar Garciaparra, John Olerud and Robin Ventura at 38 years, 11 months)

Frank Viola’s 1981 NCAA regional win over Yale and Ron Darling was detailed by legend­ary New Yorker scribe Roger Angell, who covered the anticipated matchup during the 1981 MLB strike and watched the game with 92-year old Smokey Joe Wood.

Both Larry Hays and Bill Holowaty played and coached collegiate basketball.

Rick Reichardt won the first acknowledged national player of the year recognition when he was named The Sporting News Player of the Year in 1964.

Joe Arnold was named to the JUCO World Series 50th Anniversary Team in 2007.

This is the first induction class since 2012 in which every member is living.

The three pitchers (Arnold, Holland, Viola) in this class combined to go 96-12 in their collegiate careers.

The three coaches in this class (Arnold, Hays, Holowaty) combined to win seven national championships, with a total of 3,723 wins.

The three position players in this class combined to win seven national player of the year recognitions.

With the induction of the 2015 class, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame will have 93 inductees

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College: Vanderbilt Still No. 1 in BA Top 25

Baseball America released its Top 25 College Baseball Rankings for March 2. At the top once again is Vanderbilt who really had a strong weekend scoring in double figures four out of five games.

LSU stayed right behind at No. 2 this week but we finally have movement in the top 5. Houston struggled this week going 2-3 with a four game split with Columbia and fell to No. 8 this week. Virginia moved up one spot to No. 3 and Florida leapfrogged No. 5 Texas Tech to moved to No. 4.

The SEC is dominating the Top 10 with four teams ranked (No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 2 LSU, No. 4 Florida, and No. 9 Mississippi State).

The state of Texas has seven teams in the Top 25 starting with No. 5 Texas Tech and including No. 7 TCU, No. 8 Houston, No. 14 Texas, No. 15 Rice, No. 22 Texas A&M, and No. 23 Dallas Baptist.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Vanderbilt 9-2 5-0 1
2. Louisiana State 10-1 4-0 2
3. Virginia 10-0 3-0 4
4. Florida 10-1 4-0 6
5. Texas Tech 9-1 1-0 5
6. UCLA 10-1 4-0 8
7. Texas Christian 7-1 1-0 7
8. Houston 8-4 2-3 3
9. Mississippi State 13-0 5-0 13
10. Oklahoma State 7-4 3-1 10
11. Miami 8-4 3-1 11
12. South Carolina 7-2 1-1 12
13. Central Florida 10-1 3-1 15
14. Texas 8-4 1-2 9
15. Rice 8-5 3-2 14
16. Maryland 7-2 2-1 16
17. Louisville 7-4 4-1 17
18. Arizona State 7-4 3-1 18
19. Oregon 10-2 3-1 20
20. North Carolina 6-3 2-1 19
21. Florida State 8-3 4-0 25
22. Texas A&M 12-0 5-0 NR
23. Dallas Baptist 6-1 0-0 23
24. UC Santa Barbara 8-3 2-2 22
25. Southern California
12-0 4-0 NR
Dropped Out: Kennesaw State (21), Mississippi (24)

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College: Vanderbilt Still Atop BA Top 25 Rankings

Vanderbilt remained atop the Baseball America Top 25 this week after taking two out of three from Indiana State over the weekend. In fact the top 7 remained in tact with no changes.

Many schools had to change venues due to terrible weather this week including top ranked Vandy. The Commodores headed to Port Charlotte, FL to take on Indiana State.

UCLA jumped up into the top 10 while Miami dropped out. Two new teams made it into the rankings in No. 23 Dallas Baptist and No. 24 Mississippi. Falling out were Liberty and Florida International.

The state of Texas is still dominating the top 10 with four teams including No. 3 Houston, No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 7 TCU, and No. 9 Texas. Rice is not far behind at No. 14.


Team
W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Vanderbilt 4-2 2-1 1
2. Louisiana State 6-1 3-1 2
3. Houston 6-1 3-1 3
4. Virginia 7-0 4-0 4
5. Texas Tech 8-1 4-1 5
6. Florida 6-1 3-1 6
7. Texas Christian 6-1 3-1 7
8. UCLA 6-1 3-1 11
9. Texas 7-2 5-0 10
10. Oklahoma State 4-3 3-1 9
11. Miami 5-3 1-3 8
12. South Carolina 6-1 4-0 13
13. Mississippi State 8-0 4-0 14
14. Rice 5-3 3-1 15
15. Central Florida 7-0 4-0 22
16. Maryland 5-1 2-1 16
17. Louisville 3-3 1-2 12
18. Arizona State 4-2 2-2 18
19. North Carolina 4-2 1-2 17
20. Oregon 7-1 5-0 20
21. Kennesaw State 5-2 3-1 19
22. UC Santa Barbara 6-1 3-1 24
23. Dallas Baptist 6-1 3-1 NR
24. Mississippi 4-2 2-1 NR
25. Florida State 4-3 1-3 21
Dropped Out: Florida International (23), Liberty (25)

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College: Arizona Stuns Rice with Walk Off Steal of Home

This is something I have never seen, and many never see again.

With the game tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth, two outs, two runners on, Arizona junior Kevin Newman stole home to win the game. That’s right he had a walk off steal of home.

Rice closer Matt Ditman was zoned in on the hitter while Newman got a huge lead and bigger jump. With a left-handed batter up Newman had a clear path to the plate. However, Newman was safe because Rice catcher Hunter Kopycinski failed to hold onto the ball. During the slide, Newman knocks the ball out of Kopycinski’s glove. If he is able to hold on Newman is easily out.

It was a fitting end to a terrible inning by No. 7 Rice. The Owls committed four errors in the inning and actually led 6-5 at the start of the ninth.

So how rare is this? The last time it happened in Major League Baseball was in 1982.

 

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USA Baseball to Host Cuba in Friendship Series

Press Release USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation announced on Wednesday that the two international baseball powers will continue their home-and-home international friendship series in the U.S. this July. 2015 will mark the fourth consecutive year the two countries have met on the baseball diamond for a five-game series. The U.S. hosted in 2013, while Cuba hosted the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2012 and 2014.

Co-hosted by the Charlotte Knights and the Durham Bulls, the 2015 series will be contested entirely in the state of North Carolina. The two nations will open and close the series at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., on July 1 and 6, while the Durham Bulls will host games on July 2 and 3 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and the Charlotte Knights will host play on the Fourth of July at BB&T Ballpark in uptown Charlotte.

“It is a thrill to bring the Cuban National Team to North Carolina for five competitive, entertaining games in Cary, Durham and Charlotte, this summer,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO. “Building on the success of the first three years of this renewed friendship series should make for an incredible experience for the players, coaches, fans and the international baseball community.”

After a 16-year hiatus, USA and Cuba resumed a yearly international friendship series on the baseball field in 2012 with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team traveling to Havana for an intense five-game series that saw the host nation score a 3-2 series victory. In 2013 (in the U.S.) and 2014 (in Cuba), the host nations dominated play with five-game sweeps. In three years of renewed rivalry, Cuba leads the series 8-7.

“It’s exciting to be entering the fourth consecutive year of international friendship series between these two historic baseball countries,” said World Baseball Softball Confederation Ambassador, Antonio Castro. “The games in Cuba in 2014 were an incredibly positive experience for the players and fans, and we look forward to the same kind of atmosphere this year in the United States.”

The USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., which opened in 2007, has been a friendly home to the Collegiate National Team program. The Collegiate National Team sports a 16-1-1 all-time record at the NTC, including a 3-2 victory in its only previous match up against Cuba in Cary.

The Durham Bulls Athletic Park has also been good to the Collegiate National Team. Since opening in 1995, and becoming an unofficial yearly home to the team in 2003, the Collegiate National Team has posted a 44-7 record in 51 contests there. The Collegiate National Team and Cuba have met once before at the DBAP, with Team USA winning the final game of the 2013 series, 5-3, in front of a joyous hometown crowd.

July 4, 2015 will mark the first game USA Baseball has played in the Charlotte Knights new home, BB&T Ballpark. Opened prior to the 2014 season, the Collegiate National Team was scheduled to play the Chinese Taipei National Team in the ballpark last July, but inclement weather forced a postponement and the game was ultimately made up in Durham. USA and Cuba did meet at the Knight’s previous home, Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, S.C., in August of 1988, with the Red, White and Blue winning both contests.

Since USA Baseball began keeping official records following the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, the Collegiate National Team is 35-65 in 100 meetings with the Cuban National Team; however, Team USA holds a 22-20 advantage in games hosted in the U.S., most recently winning all five games of the 2013 international friendship series.

The 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will be managed by St. John’s University skipper, Ed Blankmeyer. The remainder of the coaching staff and players invited to the Collegiate National Team and Collegiate National Team Training Camp will be announced throughout the spring.

For more information on the Collegiate National Team, please visit USABaseball.com.

Posted in College, Latin, N. America0 Comments

College: Cal State Fullerton to Represent USA at 2015 World University Games in Korea

This summer in Gwangju, South Korea the 2015 World University Games will take place from July 3-14. Representing the USA at the games will be the Cal State Fullerton Titans.

The four-time national champion Titans are ranked No. 23 in the Baseball America preseason rankings. The team is coming off its 40th consecutive 30 win season.

Originally USA Baseball was going to send an All-Star team to the World University Games. However, eleven teams showed interest before Fullerton was chosen.

A pair of Titan players, pitchers Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza, competed with the USA Collegiate National team a year ago finishing with an 18-8-2 record competing both in Cuba and the Netherlands.

The games are held every two years in different cities around the world. Internationally it is known as Universiade. In 2013, they were held in Kazan, Russia where the US finished in 6th place with 40 medals. This year will be the US’s largest participation ever with 550 athletes competing in 21 sports.

Posted in Asia, College, N. America, News, Tournaments0 Comments

USA Baseball Unveils 2015 50-Player Golden Spikes Watch List

Press Release by USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball released its 50-player preseason USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list on Tuesday, beginning the organization’s journey to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country in a trophy presentation on Tuesday, June 23 in Los Angeles. Sponsored by Major League Baseball, and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, 2015 marks the 38th year of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award.

The preseason watch list features 50 of the nation’s top amateur players, and will be a “rolling” list until May 22 — when the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists are announced — ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award throughout the collegiate and high school seasons.

“It is hard to believe that we will be presenting the Golden Spikes Award for the 38th time this June,” said USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO, Paul Seiler. “2015 looks to be another outstanding year for amateur baseball and we can’t wait to follow the competition across all levels of the game this season.”

Six players on the watch list have previously been named semifinalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award in their careers. Nathan Kirby (LHP, junior, Virginia), Michael Murray (RHP, junior, Florida Gulf Coast) and DJ Stewart (OF, junior, Florida State) were all semifinalists for the award in 2014, while David Berg (RHP, senior, UCLA), Alex Bregman (SS, junior, LSU) and Thomas Eshelman (RHP, junior, Cal State Fullerton) earned the recognition in the 2013 season.

Players on the list represent 17 different collegiate athletic conferences, led by Southeastern Conference with 12 players named to the watch list. The Atlantic Coast Conference has 10 athletes on the list, while the Pac 12 has eight. 2014 NCAA Division I national champion, Vanderbilt, leads all institutions with three players on the preseason watch list, while Cal State Fullerton, Florida, Miami (Fla.), TCU, UCLA and Virginia all placed a pair of athletes on the list.

Also appearing on the list are three non-NCAA Division I athletes. Phil Bickford (RHP, sophomore, College of Southern Nevada) is the lone junior college representative after winning the Robert A. McNeese Award in the Cape Code League last summer. Two-time Division III national player and pitcher of the year, Chris Haddeland (RHP, senior, Linfield), returns to the watch list after receiving consideration for the Golden Spikes Award late into the 2014 season. Brendan Rodgers (SS, senior, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS) is the only high school athlete on the preseason watch list. Bryce Harper (2010) and Alex Fernandez (1990) are the only two non-NCAA Division I winners of the award.

On April 9, USA Baseball will release its 60-man midseason watch list, shaped by the Golden Spikes Award committee. On May 22, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award. The semifinalists list will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow the amateur game closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 37 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Friday, May 22, marks the day when amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process, all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list. On Tuesday, June 3, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.

The 2015 Golden Spikes Award winner will be named on Tuesday, June 23, at a presentation in Los Angeles. The finalists and their families will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner that evening at the Jonathan Club in downtown Los Angeles.

Last year, University of Kentucky’s two-way star, A.J. Reed, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Kris Bryant (2013), Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).

The anticipated timeline for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award announcements is:

  • Tuesday, February 10: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 50-man preseason watch list
  • Thursday, April 9: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 60-man midseason watch list
  • Thursday, May 7: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 30-man preliminary list
  • Friday, May 22: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists, voting begins
  • Friday, May 29: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
  • Tuesday, June 3: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists, voting begins
  • Friday, June 12: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
  • Tuesday, June 23: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation

A complete list of the 50-player USA Baseball preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School, Conference
David Berg, RHP, Senior, UCLA, Pac 12
Phil Bickford, RHP, Sophomore, CC of Southern Nevada, Scenic West (JC)
Alex Bregman, SS, Junior, LSU, SEC
Walker Buehler, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Austin Byler, 3B, Senior, Nevada, Mountain West
Shaun Chase, C, Senior, Oregon, Pac 12
Zack Collins, C, Sophomore, Miami, ACC
Wil Crowe, RHP, Sophomore, South Carolina, SEC
Tyler Davis, RHP, Senior, Washington, Pac 12
Steven Duggar, OF, Junior, Clemson, ACC
Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Riley Ferrell, RHP, Junior, TCU, Big 12
Blake Fox, LHP, Junior, Rice, C-USA
Carson Fulmer, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Kyle Funkhouser, RHP, Junior, Louisville, ACC
Justin Garza, RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton, Big West
Eric Gutierrez, 1B, Junior, Texas Tech, Big 12
Chris Haddeland, RHP, Senior, Linfield, Northwest Athletic (DIII)
Ian Happ, OF, Junior, Cincinnati, American Athletic
Tyler Jay, LHP, Junior, Illinois, Big 10
Casey Jones, OF, Senior, Elon, CAA
James Kaprielian, RHP, Junior, UCLA, Pac 12
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Junior, Virginia, ACC
Jake Lemoine, RHP, Junior, Houston, American Athletic
Brett Lilek, LHP, Junior, Arizona State, Pac 12
Richie Martin, SS, Junior, Florida, SEC
Tate Matheny, OF, Junior, Missouri State, Missouri Valley
Michael Matuella, RHP, Junior, Duke, ACC
Andrew Moore, RHP, Junior, Oregon State, Pac 12
Preston Morrison, RHP, Senior, TCU, Big 12
Michael Murray, RHP, Junior, Florida Gulf Coast, Atlantic Sun
Sheldon Neuse, 3B, Sophomore, Oklahoma, Big 12
Kevin Newman, SS, Junior, Arizona, Pac 12
Connor Panas, 3B, Senior, Canisius, MAAC
Cal Quantrill, RHP, Sophomore, Stanford, Pac 12
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Senior (High School), Lake Mary (Fla.), High School
Chris Shaw, OF, Junior, Boston College, ACC
Logan Shore, RHP, Sophomore, Florida, SEC
DJ Stewart, OF, Junior, Florida State, ACC
Christin Stewart, OF, Junior, Tennessee, SEC
Andrew Suarez, LHP, RS-Junior, Miami, ACC
Dansby Swanson, SS, Junior, Vanderbilt, SEC
Keegan Thompson, RHP, Sophomore, Auburn, SEC
Trent Thornton, RHP, Junior, North Carolina, ACC
Blake Trahan, SS, Junior, Louisiana-Lafayette, Sun Belt
Christian Trent, LHP, Junior, Ole Miss, SEC
Robert Tyler, RHP, Sophomore, Georgia, SEC
Brandon Waddell, LHP, Junior, Virginia, ACC
Colin Welmon, RHP, Senior, Loyola Marymount, West Coast
Mikey White, SS, Junior, Alabama, SEC

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College: Baseball America Releases 2015 Preseason Top 25

Baseball America has released its preseason Top 25 for the upcoming 2015 college baseball season. At the top is the defending NCAA College World Series champion Vanderbilt Commodores. Vandy is one of three SEC teams in the top 10 this year and five in the top 15.

A couple teams from Texas come in at their highest preseason ranking ever as Houston starts the year out at No. 3 and Texas Tech opens the year at No. 5. The third spot matches the highest Houston has ever been preseason or otherwise.

Three other schools make their first ever appearance in the BA Preseason Top 25. Maryland comes in at No. 16 in its first year  in the Big Ten. Kennesaw State opens up at No. 19 and rounding out the Top 25 is Liberty.

Baseball America Preseason Top 25

2015 Rank, Team, 2014 Record, Final 2014 Rank
1. Vanderbilt, 51-21, 1
2. LSU, 46-16, 22
3. Houston, 48-18, 11
4. Virginia, 53-16, 2
5. Texas Tech, 45-21, 9
6. Florida, 40-23, 18
7. Texas Christian, 48-18, 5
8. Oklahoma State, 48-18, 10
9. Miami, 44-19, 23
10. Texas, 46-21, 4
11. UCLA, 25-30, NR
12. Louisville, 50-17, 6
13. South Carolina, 44-18, 25
14. Mississippi State, 39-24, NR
15. Rice, 42-20, NR
16. Maryland, 40-23, 14
17. North Carolina, 35-27, NR
18. Arizona State, 33-24, NR
19. Kennesaw State, 40-24, 16
20. Oregon, 44-20, NR
21. Florida State, 43-17, 19
22. Central Florida, 36-23, NR
23. Cal State Fullerton, 34-24, NR
24. Clemson, 36-25, NR
25. Liberty, 41-18, NR

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USA: ABCA Officially Supports Pitch Smart

Press Release USA Baseball

The American Baseball Coaches Association board of directors votes unanimously

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball, Major League Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association announced on Tuesday that the ABCA is officially supporting USA Baseball and MLB’s joint youth arm care safety initiative, Pitch Smart. The announcement follows the ABCA’s board of directors unanimously voting in favor of supporting the initiative that was launched in late 2014.

“Major League Baseball is pleased that the ABCA has endorsed the Pitch Smart pitching safety program,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who received the 2015 ABCA Honor Award on January 4, 2015 at the ABCA Convention. “Keeping pitchers healthy should be a common goal of everyone in baseball. Pitch Smart is a great example of the entire baseball community, professional and amateur, coming together to make our game better.”

The Association is involved in numerous programs that promote the integrity of the profession and the development of the game of baseball, and, each January, the ABCA hosts the largest baseball convention in the world. Approximately 4,000 coaches attend the convention, which is held at various locations around the country. The 2015 iteration was attended by commissioner, Rob Manfred, as he continues to further engage the amateur baseball community.

“With its endorsement of Pitch Smart, it is clear that the American Baseball Coaches Association is making player health and safety a priority in everything it does,” said USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO, Paul Seiler. “It is the support of the ABCA and other organizations that confirms our belief that baseball has united in protecting our young athletes.”

The ABCA is committed to the success and growth of baseball through youth baseball. In the past 12 years, thousands of young people have gone through ABCA sponsored youth clinics. Each year, several hundred young players attend ABCA clinics in Montgomery, Alabama; Lewiston, Idaho; and Grand Junction, Colorado.

“The ABCA is proud to endorse Pitch Smart along with Major League Baseball and USA Baseball,” said ABCA executive director, Craig Keilitz. “Education is one of our organization’s cornerstones and the health and safety of our young players is a major priority. Pitch Smart provides clear guidelines for our coaches, particularly those who are new to the profession, and we look forward to being involved in the further development of this initiative for years to come.”

The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 6,600 members represent all 50 states and 24 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, Junior College, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth.

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USA Baseball Forms Golden Spikes Award Committee

Press Release USA Baseball

13-man selection committee will be responsible for identifying candidates for the nation’s premier amateur baseball award

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced today the formation of the Golden Spikes Award committee that will select the watch lists and semifinalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur baseball player in the U.S.

“As the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award continues to grow, it is important to have the top voices in the game assist in the process of honoring amateur athletes,” said Cody Wilcoxson, USA Baseball’s director of communications, who oversees the Golden Spikes Award for the organization. “The committee members are all dedicated to their coverage and support of the amateur game, and their presence on the committee continues to make the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award the preeminent amateur honor.”

In aggregate, the committee members have more than 250 years of playing, coaching, scouting and reporting experience in amateur baseball. The group includes six former NCAA college baseball players, three of which played in the College World Series, and two committee members that coached teams to the College World Series.

The committee is responsible for selecting the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list, the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list, the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award preliminary list and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists.

Once the committee selects the semifinalists for the award, USA Baseball will have its Golden Spikes Award voting committee, comprised of past USA Baseball national team coaches and media, USA Baseball’s board of directors, members of the media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and past winners of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total, vote for the finalists and, eventually, the winner of the prestigious award.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Beginning with the semifinalists on May 22, amateur baseball fans all across the country are encouraged to vote for their favorite candidate on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names. On Tuesday, June 2, USA Baseball will announce the finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.

Since 2013, the presentation of the award is held each summer in Los Angeles is partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation. The finalists for the award and their families are honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner following the presentation of the trophy.

The members of the Golden Spikes Award committee are:

  • Jim Callis, senior writer for MLB.com, draft and prospect expert who has been covering the amateur baseball landscape since 1988
  • Eric Campbell, USA Baseball’s general manager of national teams, former head coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy has selected national team athletes for USA Baseball since 2000
  • Shaun Cole, USA Baseball’s director of the 18U National Team, responsible for the selection of the USA Baseball 18U National Team after five seasons as pitching coach at the University of Arizona, a 2012 NCAA national champion
  • Justin Dedeaux, Rod Dedeaux Foundation board of directors, former coach and player at the University of Southern California, a 1963 NCAA national champion
  • Aaron Fitt, editor and national writer for D1Baseball.com, has covered the college baseball beat since 2004
  • Nick Herfordt, Division II, Division III and NAIA correspondent for Perfect Game USA, founder of College Baseball Lineup and the Tino Martinez Division II Player of the Year Award
  • Tim Kay, USA Baseball’s director of video scouting, provides scouting analysis for national team selection after previously working in advanced scouting for the Washington Nationals
  • John Manuel, editor-in-chief for Baseball America, has covered all levels of baseball for the publication since 1996
  • Jonathan Mayo, senior writer for MLB.com, has served as a draft and prospect expert for MLB.com since 1999
  • Ben McDonald, winner of the 1989 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, college baseball hall of fame class of 2008, currently serves as color analyst for ESPN college baseball broadcasts
  • Kyle Peterson, baseball analyst for ESPN, has covered college based since 2003, recognized as the 1995 and 1997 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, played in two College World Series at Stanford
  • Nathan Rode, national supervisor for Prep Baseball Report, has covered high school baseball and the MLB First-Year Player Draft since 2007
  • Kendall Rogers, national writer and editor for D1Baseball.com, has covered college baseball since 2000

The anticipated timeline for the committee’s announcements is:

  • Tuesday, February 10: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 50-man preseason watch list
  • Thursday, April 9: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 60-man midseason watch list
  • Thursday, May 7: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award 30-man preliminary list
  • Friday, May 22: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists, voting begins
  • Friday, May 29: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award semifinalists voting ends
  • Tuesday, June 3: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists, voting begins
  • Friday, June 12: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award finalists voting ends
  • Tuesday, June 23: 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award trophy presentation

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USA: Blankmeyer to Manage Collegiate National Team

Press Release USA Baseball

Five-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year will guide team in international play this summer

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DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball officially named St. John’s University head coach, Ed Blankmeyer, as the manager for the 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team on Tuesday. Blankmeyer previously served as an assistant coach on the 2010 Collegiate National Team that posted a 16-3 record and captured the silver medal at the FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

“We are thrilled to have Ed lead the Collegiate National Team program in 2015,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s executive director/CEO. “He has Team USA experience in 2010, as well as an impressive resume in two decades at St. John’s, and, most importantly, a passion for coaching student-athletes to succeed.”

The winningest coach in St. John’s baseball history, Blankmeyer is in his 20th season at the helm of the Red Storm baseball program and has posted a 647-405-3 (.615) record. Blankmeyer has guided the Red Storm to three BIG EAST Tournament crowns as well as four BIG EAST regular season titles, and has led the squad to the NCAA Tournament eight times, including one NCAA Super Regional appearance.

“I am extremely honored and excited to be selected to manage the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team,” said Blankmeyer. “We have an outstanding schedule lined up and I am looking forward to both working with and learning from the amazing coaching staff that we have assembled. Above all else, I feel privileged to represent the United States of America.”

Also the winningest coach in the history of BIG EAST play with 287 conference victories, Blankmeyer has earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors a conference-record five times and has been named the American Baseball Coaches Association Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times. Blankmeyer, who has guided St. John’s to six 40-win seasons, has had 88 All-BIG EAST selections and has seen 65 of his players drafted and/or signed to professional contracts, including 2014 World Series champion Joe Panik.

In 2010, Blankmeyer assisted University of Utah coach, Bill Kinneberg, with a Collegiate National Team roster that included future Major League players Matt Barnes, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, Brad Miller and George Springer. The club posted a 16-3 record for the summer, including a five-game sweep of the Korean National Team in a series hosted in the U.S., before falling in a heart-breaking 4-3 extra-inning affair to Cuba in the championship game 2010 FISU World University Baseball Championships.

The complete 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team coaching staff and schedule will be released in announcements later this spring on USABaseball.com.

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College: Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top 40

With the college baseball season just a short six weeks away we are starting to see some preseason polls come out. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper released their preseason Top 40 with defending champion Vanderbilt holding down the top spot.

In 2014 CBN had Vanderbilt at #9 before they won their first ever College World Series. The Commodores opponent in the championship, Virginia, started off ranked #12. While the preseason #1 Cal-State Fullerton wound up finishing the season ranked #29 after finishing the season with a 34-24 record.

The state of Texas is highly thought of early on with four teams in the top 10 of the preseason poll. No other state has more than one. Of course, some teams will surprise and some will disappoint.

Rank Team (2014 Record) Points
  1. Vanderbilt (51-21) 494
  2. Texas Christian (48-18) 492
  3. Virginia (53-16) 489
  4. Louisiana St. (46-16-1) 487
  5. Oklahoma St. (48-18) 485
  6. Florida (40-23) 483
  7. Texas (46-21) 480
  8. Houston (48-18) 479
  9. Texas Tech. (45-21) 477
10. UCLA (25-30-1) 473
11. Florida St. (43-17) 469
12. Louisville (50-17) 468
13. Cal. Poly (47-12) 467
14. Miami, Fla. (44-19) 465
15. Oregon (44-20) 462
16. U.C. Santa Barbara (34-17-1) 460
17. Cal. St. Fullerton (34-24) 458
18. Stanford (35-26) 457
19. Arizona St. (33-24) 454
20. Mississippi St. (39-24) 452
21. South Carolina (44-18) 449
22. Rice (42-20) 446
23. Liberty (41-18) 445
24. North Carolina (35-27) 443
25. College of Charleston (44-19) 440
26. Georgia Tech. (37-27) 438
27. Kennesaw St. (40-24) 436
28. Clemson (36-25) 432
29. St. John’s (35-20) 430
30. Kent St. (36-23) 427
31. Ball St. (39-18) 425
32. Wichita St. (31-28) 424
33. Tennessee (31-23) 421
34. San Diego (34-20) 419
35. Loyola Marymount (32-24) 417
36. Arkansas (40-25) 414
37. Maryland (40-23) 412
38. Nebraska (41-21) 411
39. U.C. Irvine (41-25) 409
40. Illinois (32-21) 405
Other Teams Receiving Votes: Oregon St. (49-15), San Diego St. (42-21), Louisiana-Lafayette (58-10), Kentucky (37-25), Washington (41-17-1), Mississippi (48-21), Southern California (29-24), Alabama (37-24), Texas A&M (36-26), Arizona (22-33), New Mexico (37-20), Nevada-Las Vegas (36-25), Dallas Baptist (40-21), Indiana St. (35-18), Sacramento St. (40-24), Troy (25-32), Texas St. (30-28), Pepperdine (43-18), Grand Canyon (30-23), Miami, Ohio (30-27), Southern Mississippi (35-25), Florida International (36-20), Indiana (44-15), Sam Houston St. (43-19), Michigan (30-29-1), Central Florida (36-23), Florida Gulf Coast (39-22), Stony Brook (35-18), St. Louis (34-21-1), Seton Hall (39-15), Creighton (32-17-1), Campbell (41-21), South Alabama (22-33), Winthrop (27-30), Coastal Carolina (24-33), William & Mary (34-22), Wright St. (35-22), Central Michigan (35-23), Bryant (42-16), S.E. Missouri St. (37-20), Tennessee Tech. (40-19), Mercer (38-17), Samford (35-25), Western Carolina (37-18), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (31-27), Southeastern Louisiana (38-25).

Source: Collegiate Baseball

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College: Tim Tadlock Wins Skip Bertman Award

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Texas Tech skipper named National Coach of the Year

LUBBOCK, Texas — The National College Baseball Hall of Fame is proud to announce Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock as the 2014 Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year.

Tadlock will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s annual Night of Champions celebration on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

Picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 preseason poll, Tadlock has the Red Raiders in Omaha with a 45-19 record. In only his second year as head coach, he has led Texas Tech to wins at the Coral Gables NCAA regional and back-to-back 1-0 victories over College of Charleston in the Super Regional.

The 2014 Red Raiders finished the regular season with a record of 40-16, 14 wins better than their 2013 regular-season record of 26-30.

The award, sponsored by Easton-Bell Sports, is named for Bertman, who coached at LSU from 1984 to 2001. During his tenure, he won five national championships and was named National Coach of the Year six times. He coached 31 players who went on to play Major League Baseball and was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2006. Since that time, three of his players have joined him in the Hall of Fame.

For more information on the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, contact the Hall of Fame at (806) 749-CBF3 or visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.

Coach of the Year Award

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College: Top 8 Seeds Fight for Spot in Omaha

The Road to Omaha kicks off today as the regional round starts today at sixteen different spots around the country.  As the rounds progress you can follow the bracket here.

The top eight seeds were announced earlier this week with the Oregon State Beavers (42-12) picking up the top seed. In the top eight there were a few teams nobody expected when the season began. Following up Oregon State is SEC power Florida (40-21). The SEC only placed two teams this  year in the top 8 seeds. Next up at #3 is Virginia (44-13), followed by #4 Indiana (42-13), #5 Florida State (44-15), #6 UL-Lafayette (53-7), #7 TCU (42-15), and #8 LSU (44-14-1).

The top eight seeds don’t really match up with the final rankings as all of the major polls had UL-Lafayette ranked first. In fact many of the polls had a few teams outside of the top 10 including TCU and Indiana.

LSU (SEC), TCU (Big 12), Indiana (Big 10), and UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt) all won their conference tournaments. Oregon State won the Pac-12 but there is no conference tournament.

National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association Poll

 

Rank School Record Previous
1 Louisiana-Lafayette 53-7 2
2 Oregon State 42-12 1
3 Virginia 44-13 3
4 LSU 44-14-1 8
5 Florida State 43-15 6
6 Cal Poly 45-10 4
7 Oklahoma State 45-16 7
8 Louisville 45-15 5
9 Houston 44-15 12
10 Florida 40-21 14
11 Indiana 42-16 18
12 South Carolina 41-18 9
13 Vanderbilt 41-18 10
14 Miami (Fla.) 41-17 11
15 Rice 41-18 17
16 TCU 42-15 20
17 Mississippi 41-18 16
18 Washington 39-15-1 13
19 Oregon 42-18 15
20 Texas 38-18 19
21 Nebraska 40-19 24
22 Mississippi State 37-22 21
23 Texas Tech 40-18 22
24 Pepperdine 39-16 29
25 Sam Houston State 41-17 23
26 Clemson 36-23 26
27 Arkansas 38-23 27
28 Dallas Baptist 40-19 30
29 Alabama 34-22 25
30 San Diego State 42-19 NR

Dropped Out: No. 28 Liberty.

Others Receiving Votes (Listed Alphabetically): Arizona State (33-22), Bryant (42-14), Cal State Fullerton (32-22), Campbell (40-19), College of Charleston (41-17), Columbia (29-18), Creighton (32-17-1), Georgia Tech (36-25), Indiana State (35-16), Kentucky (35-23), Liberty (41-16), Long Beach State (32-24), Maryland (36-21), Old Dominion (36-24), Sacramento State (39-22), UNLV (35-23).

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College: 2014 Olerud Award Watch List Released

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Small schools well-represented among 10 honorees

LUBBOCK, Texas — As postseason play begins for many teams across the country, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame has released the initial watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award.

The award, named for the Washington State star who achieved success as both a first baseman and a left-handed pitcher, will be presented as part of the annual College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

Players from across the country and representing schools both large and small highlight the list. Among the smaller schools on the list are Central Connecticut State and South Carolina Upstate.

“These may be smaller schools, but the young men from these schools have statistics that stack up against any other school in the country,” said Chris Curbo, Olerud Award co-chair. “They have impressive numbers both on the mound and at the plate, and that makes them very valuable to their teams, regardless of the size of their school or the conference they play in.”

Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has the highest batting average among the watch-list honorees at .359, and he has 22 home runs. He also has a 2.11 earned-run average in 98 innings pitched and has played in 54 games.

Louisiana-Lafayette senior left-hander and outfielder Ryan Wilson has the lowest ERA on the watch list at 1.55 in 52 1/3 innings pitched. He also has a .250 batting average.

“This list represents players from across the country,” Curbo said. “It’s a small number of players who are called two-way players, and we’re proud to honor their contributions.”

For more information on the Olerud Award or the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, visitwww.collegebaseballhall.org.

JOHN OLERUD TWO-WAY PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Nick Howard

Virginia

ACC

Erik Samples

South Carolina Upstate

Atlantic Sun

Jacob Cronenworth

Michigan

Big Ten

J.D. Davis

Cal State Fullerton

Big West

Michael Foster

Northeastern

Colonial

Drew Reynolds

East Carolina

Conference USA

Josh Ingham

Central Connecticut State

Northeast

A.J. Reed

Kentucky

SEC

Ryan Wilson

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

Aaron Brown

Pepperdine

West Coast

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College: Semifinalists Announced for Brooks Wallace Award

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

ACC, SEC continue to dominate watch list for nation’s top shortstop

LUBBOCK, Texas — The Southeastern Conference dominated the bids for NCAA regional play with 10 teams, and it also, along with the Atlantic Coast Conference, dominates the semifinalist list for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award.

The Brooks Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, recognizes the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented during the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

“The players from these two conferences have stood out throughout the season,” said Tyler Young, Wallace Award co-chair. “To have six players from these two conferences consistently make it through the selection process is quite remarkable.”

Vanderbilt’s Vince Conde and Mercer’s Michael Massi both have the best fielding percentage among the semifinalists at .982. Conde also has a .306 batting average with nine doubles, one triple, four home runs and 43 RBIs. Massi has a .346 average with 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs.

Tennessee Tech’s Dylan Bosheers leads in several offensive categories, including batting average (.368), home runs (11) and RBIs (56).

North Carolina’s Michael Russell leads the semifinalists in doubles with 19.

“Each of these players has recorded great statistics all season,” said Larry Wallace, award co-chair. “They each bring something to the table and will make the selection of the three finalists difficult.”

For more information on the Brooks Wallace Award or the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.

BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Blake Schmit

Maryland

ACC

Michael Russell

North Carolina

ACC

Trea Turner

North Carolina State

ACC

Michael Massi

Mercer

Atlantic Sun

Sam Haggerty

New Mexico

Mountain West

Dylan Bosheers

Tennessee Tech

Ohio Valley

Mikey White

Alabama

SEC

Alex Bregman

LSU

SEC

Vince Conde

Vanderbilt

SEC

Blake Trahan

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

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USA Baseball Unveils Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List

Press Release USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball released its 50-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.

The watch list will continue to be a “rolling” list until May 27 — when the semifinalists for the award are announced — ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17.

Twenty-three new players were added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 27 others from the preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch list players, placing nine on the midseason update, while 17 different NCAA conferences had at least one athlete on the list. The Atlantic Coast Conference had six athletes on the list.

Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Louisiana State, Oregon State, Pepperdine and Virginia each had two athletes on the midseason watch list. Vanderbilt junior right-handed pitcher, Tyler Beede, is featured on the 2014 Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list after being one of three finalist for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award.

In addition to Beede, Thomas Eshelman (Cal State Fullerton) and Aaron Nola (Louisiana State) were both semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award in 2013.

USA Baseball officials will announce the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Thursday, May 8. USA Baseball will then release the semifinalists on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names.

Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).

Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).

Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:

Friday, Feb. 14: 60-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, April 10: 50-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, May 8: 30-man watch list, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Tuesday, May 27: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Friday, May 30: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Tuesday, June 3: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 13: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 17: Golden Spikes Award presentation

The complete 2014 preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name, new players bolded)
Brady Aiken, LHP, Senior, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS
Brian Anderson, IF, Junior, Arkansas
Brett Austin, C, Junior, NC State
Tyler Beede, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Austin Cousino, OF, Junior, Kentucky
J.D. Davis, OF/RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Joey Epperson, OF/IF, RS-Senior, UC Santa Barbara

Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Sophomore, Cal State Fullerton
Erick Fedde, RHP, Junior, UNLV
Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU
Blake Fox, LHP, Sophomore, Rice
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Clinton Freeman, OF, Senior, East Tennessee State
Jeff Gardner
, OF, Senior, Louisville
Aaron Garza, RHP, Junior, Houston

Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina
Chris Haddeland, RHP, Junior, Linfield
Ian Happ, IF, Sophomore, Cincinnati
Seth Harrison, OF, Senior, Louisiana Lafayette
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia

Ross Kivett, IF, Senior, Kansas State
Ryan McBroom, OF, Senior, West Virginia
Daniel Miles, IF, Junior, Tennessee Tech
DJ Miller, IF, Senior, Delaware State
Corey Miller, RHP, Senior, Pepperdine
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast

Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, LSU
Mike Papi, OF, Junior, Virginia
Mark Payton, OF, Senior, Texas
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
Kyle Schwarber, C, Junior, Indiana
Kade Scivicque, C, Junior, LSU
Austen Smith, IF, Senior, Alabama

DJ Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Ryan Thompson, RHP, Senior, Campbell
Trent Thornton, RHP, Sophomore, North Carolina
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Luke Weaver, RHP, Junior, Florida State
Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco

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Kauffman Stadium to Host Game Benefiting College Baseball Hall of Fame

Wichita State, Missouri to play April 22 at home of Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals Press Release

Kauffman Stadium will soon be the site of a college baseball border clash.

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame “Classic at The K” will feature a matchup between the Wichita State Shockers and the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. Farmland Foods will be the presenting sponsor of the game, which will benefit the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Lubbock, Texas.

classicK640

“We are so honored that David and Dan Glass and the Royals organization have chosen to host this game,” said Hall of Fame Executive Vice President of Development Jana Howser, daughter of late Royals Hall of Fame Manager Dick Howser. “We look forward to a wonderful night of college baseball.”

Wichita State leads the all-time series, having won six of the 10 matchups between the teams. They last met in 2004 with the Shockers winning, 3-0.

Tickets in the BATS Crown Club, which will include a special menu offered at a reduced price, will be available for $25 for adults and $14 for youth ages 14 and under. Fans may also purchase tickets in the KIA Diamond Club for $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Please note that Royals Crown Club and Diamond Club seat holders will be given a special opportunity to purchase tickets in these two areas and will receive an email with information on how to purchase tickets within the next week. In addition, general admission seating in the lower seating bowl will be available for purchase at $10 for adults and $5 for youth.

Fans may purchase tickets online at www.royals.com/hofgame, by visiting the Kauffman Stadium Box Office or by calling 1-800-6-ROYALS.

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