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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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High School: San Clemente Wins NHSI

CARY, North Carolina – The National High School Invitational was this past week at the National Training Complex. The tournament, in its fourth year, featured some of the best high school teams from all over the country.

This year the tournament featured schools from Texas, Florida, California, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Washington, and North Carolina. The first three years of the tournament the title went to a California school twice (2013 and 2012 – Mater Dei) and a Florida school (2014 – Orlando’s First Academy).

After a one year hiatus, the championship is back in California.

San Clemente defeated College Park 8-3 in the championship game on Saturday bring the title back to the state where Mater Dei held it for two straight years.

The tournament featured some of the top ranked high school teams in the country by MaxPreps including No. 6 ranked San Clemente. Also ranked were No. 5 College Station (TX), No. 4 Mosley (FL), and No. 25 Puyallup (WA). These rankings were from 3/23 and are likely to change after the tournament.

For video recaps and other news and notes from the tournament, visit USABaseball.com.

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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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USA wins Women’s Baseball Pan Am Qualifier

Press Release WBSC

SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic — World No. 2 USA won the first-ever Women’s Baseball Pan American Games Qualifier in the Dominican Republic, defeating Venezuela, 3-0, in the finale.

The 2015 Toronto Pan American Games will be the first-ever multi-sport “mega-event” to stage women’s baseball. In total, four baseball/softball disciplines will be featured at the 2015 Pan American Games: men’s baseball and men’s softball, and women’s baseball and women’s softball. Baseball and softball are two of the 36 sports on the Toronto 2015 program.

The 2015 Pan American Women’s Baseball Championship/Pan Am Games qualifier ran from 8-12 March and featured the Women’s National Teams of USA, No. 5 Venezuela, No. 8 Cuba, No. 10 Puerto Rico and unranked host Dominican Republic.

In additional to USA, Venezuela, Cuba, and Puerto Rico all made the cut to be at the historic debut of Women’s Baseball at the Pan Am Games, while hosts Dominican Republic were eliminated.

No. 4 Canada automatically secures a place in the 2015 Pan Am Games, which will be staged in July at the new baseball/softball complex just outside Toronto.

USA was the only country from the Americas region to medal at last year’s WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup VI, taking the silver medal in Miyazaki, Japan.

The 2015 Pan American Women’s Baseball Championship is being organised by the Dominican Baseball Federation (FEDOBE), in conjunction with the Pan American Baseball Confederation (COPABE) — the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s baseball arm for the Americas.

Copyright © 2015 WBSC. All rights reserved.

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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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MLB: Will We See a Return of Bullpen Cars?

Major League Baseball released new rules to help speed up the game play which seems to be a big concern for new commissioner Rob Manfred. I like what they have done in terms of speeding up the in between inning happenings. This is how the KBO works albeit with a shorter clock between innings at two minutes in Korea.

I think the time limits they are given give the players plenty of time to move on and off the field and get ready for play the next half inning. They will now get 2:45 in nationally televised games and 2:25 for locally televised games. Plus I like that they are going to discourage longer lingering behavior through fines and warnings. This will hopefully cut down on unneeded practices, and I bet Nomar Garciaparra is glad he is no longer in the league.

My question is will there be a return of the much missed bullpen cars of old? Wouldn’t this keep some of the slower relief pitchers in the game from not having enough time to warm up? Many of the younger generation may not remember them, or maybe they only saw one in the movie Major League.

Bullpen Car Indians

It has been twenty years, wow has it been that long, since we have seen any sort of bullpen car. And the last one wasn’t even a car, it was a motorcycle with a sidecar courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers. However, it does seem like there have been some sightings of bullpen cars in various minor league stops around the country and overseas. Perhaps the greatest one ever was dubbed the “tugboat” in Seattle

tugboat bullpen car Seattle

I do hope that the fine system is progressive in order to really hit hard the repeat offenders. For some the fine might have to get high before they take any corrective action.

There are more rules including a batter must keep a foot in the batter’s box between pitches, with some exceptions. There are also some changes to the replay rules.

For more information on these, you can view the press release by MLB here.

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MLB, MLBPA Announce Pace of Game Initiatives and Replay Modifications

Press Release by Major League Baseball

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark and Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, the Chairman of Major League Baseball’s Pace of Game and Instant Replay Committees, today jointly announced additions to the sport’s pace of game program, which will be effective in Spring Training, the regular season and the Postseason, and a series of modifications to the instant replay system. The World Umpires Association also has given its assent to the new efforts, which will be reviewed by the parties following the conclusion of the 2015 World Series.

PACE OF GAME

  • The pace of game program will enforce the batter’s box rule, requiring that all batters must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box unless one of a group of exceptions occurs. The new rule at the Major League level mirrors 6.02(d), which was in place in Minor League Baseball in 2014.
  • A second new component to the pace of game program is the addition of timers that will measure non-game action and break time between innings and pitching changes during each Major League game. One timer will be installed on or near the outfield scoreboard, and a smaller timer will be installed on the façade behind home plate near the press box. Immediately following the third out of each half-inning, the timer will count down from 2:25 for locally televised games and from 2:45 for nationally televised games. An MLB representative attending each game will operate the timers from the ballpark and will track the following events:

Time Remaining

Activity

40 Seconds

PA announces batter and begins to play walk-up music

30 Seconds

Pitcher throws final warm-up pitch

25 Seconds

Batter’s walk-up music ends

20 Seconds-5 Seconds

Batter enters the batter’s box

20 Seconds-0 Seconds

Pitcher begins motion to deliver pitch

  • Pitchers will be permitted to throw as many warm-up pitches as they wish prior to the point when 30 seconds remain on the clock; however, pitchers will be deemed to have forfeited any of their traditional eight warm-up pitches that they are unable to complete prior to the 30-second deadline. Exceptions to these rules will be made in a variety of circumstances, including if the pitcher or catcher ended the prior half-inning at bat or on base.
  • Batters will be encouraged to get into the batter’s box with 20 seconds remaining on the timer. This is the same time that the broadcasters return from commercial. The pitcher is expected to begin his motion to deliver the pitch as soon as the batter gets into the batter’s box and becomes alert to the pitcher. Batters who do not enter the box prior to five seconds remaining on the timer and pitchers who do not begin the motion to deliver the pitch prior to zero seconds remaining on the timer will be deemed to have violated the break timing rules.
  • These rules will be enforced through a warning and fine system, with discipline resulting for flagrant violators. No fines will be issued in Spring Training or in April of the 2015 regular season. Donations will be made to the Major League Baseball Players Trust charitable foundation based on the level of adherence to the new rules.

Commissioner Manfred said: “These changes represent a step forward in our efforts to streamline the pace of play. The most fundamental starting point for improving the pace of the average game involves getting into and out of breaks seamlessly. In addition, the batter’s box rule will help speed up a basic action of the game.”

Clark said: “The Players believe that enforcing the rules that currently exist regarding between inning breaks and plate appearances is the best way to address the issue of pace of play. We’re confident that today’s announcements will have a positive impact on the pace of the game without jeopardizing the integrity of the competition.”

Schuerholz said: “The Pace of Game Committee wants to take measured steps as we address this industry goal to quicken the pace of our great game. It is not an objective of ours to achieve a dramatic time reduction right away; it is more important to develop a culture of better habits and a structure with more exact timings for non-game action.”

Brian Lam, who represents the Major League Umpires, stated: “These strides to hone the pace of game over time will improve the natural rhythm of baseball, and we applaud and support the Players Association and the Commissioner’s Office as we all move toward this goal.”

INSTANT REPLAY MODIFICATIONS

  • Managers may now invoke instant replay from the dugout and will no longer be required to approach the calling umpire to challenge a call. Managers may hold play from the top step of the dugout by signaling to players and the home plate umpire that he is considering a challenge. A decision can be communicated verbally or with a hand signal. To challenge an inning-ending call, managers will be required to leave the dugout immediately in order to hold the defensive team on the field.
  • Whether a runner left the base early or properly touched a base on a tag-up play will be reviewable.
  • A manager will retain his challenge after every call that is overturned. Last year, a manager retained his challenge only after the first overturned call.
  • A manager must use a challenge in order to review whether a play at home plate included a violation of the rule governing home plate collisions. However, in the event that a manager is out of challenges after the start of the seventh inning, the Crew Chief may still choose to review whether there was a violation of the rule.
  • During Postseason games, regular season tiebreaker games and the All-Star Game, managers will now have two challenges per game.
  • Instant replay will not be utilized during 2015 Spring Training, but it will be in place for exhibition games at Major League ballparks prior to the start of the 2015 regular season.

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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

MLB: Pitchers and Catchers Start Reporting Today for Various Teams

And it begins.

The first teams reported for spring training today. Well the pitchers and catchers did. This may not seem like a big day to many, but it marks the first day toward what everyone is waiting for…..Opening Day.

Opening Night is Sunday April 5th with the Cubs and Cardinals facing off at Wrigley Field. The following day is when the rest of the league will get started with a full slate of games.

Not sure when your team will report? Well here is a list courtesy of SpringTrainingOnline.com.

2015 Spring Training Reporting Dates: Major-League Teams

Organization Pitchers & Catchers First
Workout
Position
Players
First full workout
Arizona D-Backs Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Atlanta Braves Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Baltimore Orioles Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Boston Red Sox Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Chicago Cubs Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Chicago White Sox Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Cincinnati Reds Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb.23 Feb. 24
Cleveland Indians Feb. 18 Feb. 20 Feb. 22 Feb. 24
Colorado Rockies Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 26 Feb. 27
Detroit Tigers Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Houston Astros Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Kansas City Royals Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Los Angeles Angels Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Los Angeles Dodgers Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24
Feb. 25
Miami Marlins Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Milwaukee Brewers Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Minnesota Twins Feb. 22 Feb. 23 Feb. 27 Feb. 28
New York Mets Feb. 19 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 26
New York Yankees Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Oakland Athletics Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Philadelphia Phillies Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Pittsburgh Pirates Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
St. Louis Cardinals Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
San Diego Padres Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
San Francisco Giants Feb. 18 Feb. 19 Feb. 23 Feb. 24
Seattle Mariners Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 24 Feb. 25
Tampa Bay Rays Feb. 21 Feb. 22 Feb. 26 Feb. 27
Texas Rangers Feb. 20 Feb. 21 Feb. 25 Feb. 26
Toronto
Blue Jays
Feb. 22 Feb. 23 Feb. 26 Feb. 27
Washington
Nationals
Feb. 19 Feb. 20 Feb. 24 Feb. 25

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MLB: Alex Rodriguez Apologizes in Letter

On Tuesday Alex Rodriguez released a statement via a letter apologizing to the fans, his teammates, and the Yankees organization.

How fitting that the day Arod refuses the Yankees offer to use Yankee Stadium for a press conference that Anthony Bosch, the clinic’s founder, was sentenced to four years in federal prison for illegally supplying steroids.

The Yankees still owe Rodriguez some $61 million over the remaining three years of his career. He enters the 2015 season at the age of 39 having sat out the entire 2014 season.

Let’s forget about the need of the Yankees for him to return to something that resembles his former self. Instead I’d like to focus on the fact that Rodriguez took the easy way out, again, by not facing the press. The Yankees wanted him to apologize before spring training started to avoid the circus. This just isn’t going to cut it. Expect day one of spring training to be a circus regardless.

If you have not read what is in the letter, I feel the best way is to hear it read in the voice of Morgan Freeman. After all, Alex is just a huge joke anyway, and this is really funny.

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Today in Baseball History – February 17th

February 17, 1964

Former Chicago White Sox shortstop Luke Appling is elected into the Hall of Fame.

Appling was a seven-time All-Star who collected 2,749 hits over his career. His career was interrupted by World War II in 1944-45.

He won two batting titles (1936 & 1943) and was a good leadoff hitter for many years topping the .400 mark in OBP eight times.

Born on this day:

1893 Wally Pipp

1915 Rod Dedeaux

1944 Dick Bosman

Died on this day:

1986 Red Ruffing

1989 Lefty Gomez

Posted in MLB, N. America, Today in Baseball History0 Comments

MLB: 1920s Footage of Babe, Ty, Dazzy, and the Big Train

If you missed Jonah Keri’s article over at Grantland the other day, well you missed something good. Keri took a stroll through the MLB Production headquarters recently and got to see how all the old film is getting digitized.

But the best part was he shared some of the stuff he saw.

Probably the most popular out of the short videos he shared was just under two and a half minutes, but it features four of the greatest players to ever don a uniform in Dazzy Vance, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Walter Johnson.

It is such a great video, in what has been called an instructional video by many because of the content, but it is great in that it shows these great players as human. Here you can see Babe Ruth taking horrible swings we have all taken popping up balls, or Ty Cobb lunging at a ball. But you be the judge. Here is the video.

You can check out the other footage Keri shows off in his article here. It includes a young Bryce Harper playing junior college ball, some 1982 Montreal Expos highlights, some 50’s Reds spring training action, and my favorite some footage of the 1905 Giants.

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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

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

MLB: Miami Marlins to Host 2017 Midsummer Classic

According to a report from the Miami Herald, the Miami Marlins will host its first MLB All-Star Game in 2017. This will mark three straight years of NL teams hosting the game with Cincinnati this summer and San Diego in 2016.

The Marlins were to hold the 2000 All-Star Game but were stripped of that honor after the team won the 1997 World Series and subsequently had a fire sale ridding itself of all its high priced talent. Instead, Atlanta held the game in 2000.

Marlins Park opened in 2012 after the team left Pro Player Stadium where it hosted games along with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

New commissioner Rob Manfred has stated in the past he would like to start a bidding process for the midsummer classic, but outgoing commissioner Bud Selig had already made certain promises to teams with newly built stadiums.

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

Canada: Five to be Inducted into Hall of Fame for 2015

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for 2015. Three of the inductees were players all having stared on the diamond for the Toronto Blue Jays. One was the longest tenured manager in Montreal Expos history and the last covered both teams during a storied writing career.

Carlos Delgado, Corey Koskie, Matt Stairs, Felipe Alou, and Bob Elliott will all be inducted in a ceremony to take place on June 13 in St. Marys, Ont.

For information on all, check out the article on the Hall of Fame’s website. Here you will find a brief bio on all of the well deserving inductees for 2015.

Posted in N. America, News0 Comments

Pecos League to Partner with Amtrak for 2015 Season

Joe Anton, who writes quite a bit about independent baseball over at Baseball Essential, has reported that the Pecos League will be sending its players to games this season via Amtrak.

The Southwest Chief train of Amtrak runs from Chicago to Los Angeles passing through several stops for the Pecos League teams including Lamy, NM; Las Vegas, NM; Trinidad, CO; and Garden City, KS.

The Pecos League has taken a lot of flack over the low pay, and sometimes no pay, of its players over the course of its four year existence. Some immediate feedback was that the players would have to pay their own way. However, that was quickly put to rest by a member of the league. There were many players who have openly complained about not getting gas money to travel in their own cars to games in the past.

If done correctly, this could be a win-win for both the league and Amtrak. But we have all seen how independent leagues have ruined good things in the past. Hopefully, the Pecos League will not follow suit here.

You can read Anton’s article here.

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

Manic Monday – Great Fight from the Past

This is an older fight, but one that most of us remember seeing on ESPN or the news. In this crazy world of baseball fights it seems nothing is off limits. Just look at what happened to Don Zimmer, but that’s a story for another day.

This took place back in July of 2001. Feeling he had been thrown at twice, Pawtucket Red Sox player “Izzy” Israel Alcantara takes matters into his own hands. From his reaction, I get the feeling he felt the catcher was in on it.

Alcantara would go on to play overseas as well playing in Korea (LG Twins and Doosan Bears) and in Taiwan (Uni-President Lions).

Take a look at this beauty from ’01.

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

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

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

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