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College: LSU Still Atop Baseball America Top 25

LSU is once again at the top of the Baseball America Top 25 after a 3-0 weekend sweeping then No. 21 Missouri at home. The Tigers will end the season with a series on the road against South Carolina before heading into the SEC Tournament.

A lot of the Top 10 shuffled around after No. 1 and No. 2 stayed put. Texas A&M fell in 2-of-3 this weekend at home against South Carolina dropping them to No. 8. Another team that dropped a bit this week was Arizona State falling from No. 9 to No. 16 after losing 2-of-3 to UCLA at home.

Illinois is up to No. 4 after running their winning streak to 24 games tying Texas A&M for the longest this season. Rice is back in the Top 25 once again along with Oregon State and Radford making appearances this week.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Louisiana State
43-8 3-0 1
2. UCLA
36-12 3-1 2
3. Louisville
40-12 4-1 4
4. Illinois 43-6 3-0 7
5. Texas Christian
39-9 2-0 5
6. Florida
38-14 3-1 10
7. Vanderbilt
36-16 1-2 6
8. Texas A&M
42-9 1-2 3
9. Florida State
37-16 2-2 8
10. Missouri State
38-10 4-0 13
11. Dallas Baptist
39-9 3-0 14
12. UC Santa Barbara
35-13 1-3 11
13. Oklahoma State
31-16 0-1 12
14. Iowa
37-12 4-0 16
15. Southern California
34-16 2-2 15
16. Arizona State
30-17 1-2 9
17. Miami
38-13 4-0 17
18. College of Charleston
39-10 3-1 19
19. Houston
32-16 3-1 25
20. Arkansas
30-19 1-1 20
21. Rice
33-16 4-0 NR
22. California
31-16 2-1 23
23. Oregon State
32-14 3-0 NR
24. Radford
36-14 3-0 NR
25. Florida Atlantic
36-14 1-3 18
Dropped Out: Missouri (21), North Carolina (22), Auburn (24)

Posted in College, N. America0 Comments

College: First Pitcher of the Year Watch List Released

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

LUBBOCK, Texas — As conference play begins to wind down for many schools, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame released today the initial watch list for the Pitcher of the Year Award.

The award, sponsored by Diamond, will be presented on June 29 in Lubbock as part of the annual Night of Champions.

There are eight schools with multiple representatives on the watch list, led by TCU with three — right-handers Preston Morrison and Riley Ferrell and left-hander Alex Young. Morrison is 8-1 on the season with a 1.81 earned run average. Ferrell has a 0.95 ERA and 10 saves. Young has the most strikeouts among the three Horned Frogs, with 56 in 54 innings.

“To have three pitchers from one school make the watch list is a sign of their dominance on the mound,” said Raymond Richardson, Pitcher of the Year committee co-chair. “Those three guys have been impressive all year, both in early action and in conference play.”

Vanderbilt’s Carson Fulmer, 7-1, leads the watch list in strikeouts with 90 in 64 innings, while Texas Tech’s Corey Taylor brings the lowest ERA at 0.36 in 50 innings pitched.

“Each of the pitchers on this list has some strong numbers this season,” said Chris Snead, Pitcher of the Year Award co-chair. “There’s still a lot of baseball to be played so it will be interesting to see how things sort out toward the end of the season.”

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

 

PITCHER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Matthew Crownover

Clemson

ACC

Kyle Funkhouser

Louisville

ACC

Brendan McKay

Louisville

ACC

Nathan Kirby

Virginia

American Athletic

Nolan Blackwood

Memphis

American Athletic

Tommy Peterson

South Florida

American Athletic

Carson Cross

UConn

American Athletic

Anthony Kay

UConn

American Athletic

Eddie Muhl

George Washington

American Athletic

Kevin Duchene

Illinois

Big Ten

Tyler Jay

Illinois

Big Ten

Mike Shawaryn

Maryland

Big Ten

Josh Roeder

Nebraska

Big Ten

Michael Freeman

Oklahoma State

Big 12

Riley Ferrell

TCU

Big 12

Preston Morrison

TCU

Big 12

Alex Young

TCU

Big 12

Corey Taylor

Texas Tech

Big 12

Austin Kerr

Coastal Carolina

Colonial

Tyler Peitzmeier

Cal State Fullerton

Big West

Dillon Tate

UCSB

Big West

James McMahon

Southern Mississippi

C-USA

Taylor Clarke

College of Charleston

Colonial

Jeff Degano

Indiana State

Missouri Valley

Adam Whitt

Nevada

Mountain West

Bubba Derby

San Diego State

Mountain West

Ryan Burr

Arizona State

Pac-12

Andrew Moore

Oregon State

Pac-12

David Berg

UCLA

Pac-12

James Kaprielian

UCLA

Pac-12

Luke Gillingham

Navy

Patriot

Jett Meenach

Navy

Patriot

Alex Lange

LSU

SEC

Jesse Stallings

LSU

SEC

Tanner Houck

Missouri

SEC

Grayson Long

Texas A&M

SEC

Carson Fulmer

Vanderbilt

SEC

Matthew Milburn

Wofford

Southern

Trevor Belicek

Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Southland

Stuart Holmes

Nicholls State

Southland

Justin Sinibaldi

Nicholls State

Southland

Evan Challenger

Georgia Southern

Sun Belt

Josh Burchell

Alabama A&M

SWAC

Joseph Camacho

Alabama State

SWAC

J.D. Busfield

Loyola Marymount

West Coast

David Hill

San Diego

West Coast

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

College: First Brooks Wallace Award Watch List Released

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

LUBBOCK, Texas — Although big-name schools often dominate the college baseball conversation, they don’t rule the initial watch list for the 2015 Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award.

The 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 29 in Lubbock.

Small-school representatives on the watch list include Lipscomb’s Grant Massey, who leads the watch list with a .386 batting average and a .994 fielding percentage. Morehead State’s Robby Spencer leads the list with 48 RBIs and is tied for the lead in home runs at eight. Alex Bregman, 2013 Wallace Award winner, also has eight homers on the season.

“Some of the small and mid-major schools don’t get the same publicity as a lot of the larger schools do, but they definitely play some high-caliber baseball,” said Tyler Young, Wallace Award co-chair. “Those guys have quality numbers and they deserve to be on this list.”

Several conferences have multiple players on the list, led by the SEC and Pac-12, each with five. The West Coast Conference has four players on the list. The ACC, Big South and Big West conferences each have three players on the list.

“Those are all definitely well-known conferences within Division I baseball,” said Larry Wallace, co-chair of the Wallace Award committee. “But there are 23 conferences represented on the list. There’s great baseball being played all across the country, and it’s great to be able to recognize that.”

 

BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Eli White

Clemson

ACC

Sutton Whiting

Louisville

ACC

Daniel Pinero

Virginia

ACC

Danny Mendick

UMass Lowell

America East

Hunter Allen

East Carolina

American Athletic

Dylan Moore

UCF

American Athletic

Matt Maul

Saint Joseph’s

Atlantic 10

Cole Peterson

St. Bonaventure

Atlantic 10

Grant Massey

Lipscomb

Atlantic Sun

Adam Walton

Illinois

Big Ten

Sheldon Neuse

Oklahoma

Big 12

Keaton Jones

TCU

Big 12

Eric Lowe

Villanova

Big East

Michael Paez

Coastal Carolina

Big South

Ryan Hodge

Gardner-Webb

Big South

Tommy Houmard

UNC Asheville

Big South

Peter Van Gansen

Cal Poly

Big West

Garrett Hampson

Long Beach State

Big West

Mikey Duarte

UC Irvine

Big West

Mitch Roman

Wright State

Horizon

Matt Parisi

Dartmouth

Ivy

Bobby Sheppard

Buffalo

MAC

Camden Duzenack

Dallas Baptist

Missouri Valley

Joey Hawkins

Missouri State

Missouri Valley

Danny Sheehan

San Diego State

Mountain West

Robby Spencer

Morehead State

Ohio Valley

Dylan Bosheers

Tennessee Tech

Ohio Valley

Kevin Newman

Arizona

Pac-12

Colby Woodmansee

Arizona State

Pac-12

Trever Morrisson

Oregon State

Pac-12

Tommy Edman

Stanford

Pac-12

Kevin Kramer

UCLA

Pac-12

Mikey White

Alabama

SEC

Richie Martin

Florida

SEC

Nick King

Georgia

SEC

Alex Bregman

LSU

SEC

Dansby Swanson

Vanderbilt

SEC

Connor Lloyd

McNeese State

Southland

P.J. Biocic

Alabama State

Southwestern

Robert Garza

Texas Southern

Southwestern

Clayton Taylor

Omaha

Summit

Blake Trahan

Louisiana Lafayette

Sun Belt

Kodie Tidwell

Louisiana Monroe

Sun Belt

David Fletcher

Loyola Marymount

West Coast

Logan Steinberg

Saint Mary’s

West Coast

Kyle Holder

San Diego

West Coast

Jose Vizcaino Jr.

Santa Clara

West Coast

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

College: Initial 2015 Olerud Award Watch List Released

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

LUBBOCK, TexasWith just about a month until the postseason rolls around, the National College Baseball Hall of Fame announces its watch list for the 2015 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, which honors the nation’s top player both on the mound and at the plate.

A total of 36 players representing conferences and schools large and small are on the watch list. Included on the list are players from traditional powers such as Arizona, Virginia and Louisville, as well as smaller schools such as Bradley, Akron and Austin Peay.

“This year’s Olerud watch list is shaping up to be a competitive group of talented players from across the nation,” Olerud Award co-chairman Chris Curbo said. “It will be exciting to watch.”

The award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s, and who was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The award will be presented as part of the Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions celebration, June 28-29 in Lubbock.

The wide-open field has some very talented players putting up incredible numbers. In terms of offense, Wake Forest’s slugging infielder Will Craig leads the way, topping the rest of the field in batting average (.407), home runs (12) and RBIs (58) in games played through April 15. Hot on his heels, however, is Arizona infielder Bobby Dalbec, with 10 home runs and a .343 average.

In terms of pitching, Bradley’s Elliot Ashbeck and Oklahoma’s Robert Tasin pace the field with seven wins each, followed closely by Brandon Gold at Georgia Tech and Brendan McKay at Louisville, who are 5-1. Cole Hallum at Campbell has a miniscule 0.52 ERA, ahead of St. Bonaventure’s Thad Johnson at 0.58.

“This year’s watch list includes some tremendously talented players who are putting up incredible numbers,” Olerud award co-chair George Watson said. “It’s going to be extremely difficult paring this list down to find an eventual winner, as everyone is deserving of the recognition that comes with the award.”

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

Elliot Ashbeck

Bradley

Missouri Valley

Carmen Benedetti

Michigan

Big Ten

Trenton Brooks

Nevada

Mountain West

Jeff Campbell

North Dakota

WAC

Quinn Carpenter

Texas Tech

Big 12

Austin Christiansen

Nebraska

Big Ten

Conor Costello

Oklahoma State

Big 12

Will Craig

Wake Forest

ACC

Jacob Cronenworth

Michigan

Big Ten

Bobby Dalbec

Arizona

Pac-12

Kevin Doherty

Virginia

ACC

Matt Fielder

Minnesota

Big Ten

Anthony Gonsolin

St. Mary’s

West Coast

Brandon Gold

Georgia Tech

ACC

Josh Graham

Oregon

Pac-12

Cole Hallum

Campbell

Big South

Anthony Herrera

Louisiana-Monroe

Sun Belt

Thad Johnson

St. Bonaventure

Atlantic 10

Curtis Jones

Houston Baptist

Southland

Jake Kalish

George Mason

Atlantic 10

Sean Keselica

Virginia Tech

ACC

Kenny Koplove

Duke

ACC

Matt LaRocca

Akron

Mid-American

Adam Lau

Alabama-Birmingham

Conference USA

Andrew Lee

Tennessee

SEC

Kyle Marsh

Central Florida

AAC

Brendan McKay

Louisville

ACC

Alex Perez

Virginia Tech

ACC

Tyler Peyton

Iowa

Big Ten

Alex Robles

Austin Peay

Ohio Valley

Jayson Rose

Utah

Pac-12

Anthony Sequera

Oral Roberts

Summit

Logan Sherer

UNC-Charlotte

Conference USA

Robert Tasin

Oklahoma

Big 12

Andrew Utterbeck

Alabama A&M

SWAC

J.C. Wilhite

Alabama

SEC

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

College: LSU Still Atop Baseball America Top 25

For the third week in a row LSU tops off the Baseball America Top 25. The Tigers took two of three from Mississippi State in Starkville over the weekend. Two of the three games went to extra innings.

The top six teams stayed the same with Illinois moving up to No. 7 after sweeping Ohio State over the weekend. Losing the weekend series Ohio State fell out after being ranked No. 25 last week. Illinois has won 21 in a row which is the longest current streak.

Arizona State fell to No. 9 after losing a weekend series with California, who jumped up to No. 23 after taking two of three from the Sun Devils.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Louisiana State
40-8 3-1 1
2. UCLA
33-11 2-2 2
3. Texas A&M
41-7 4-0 3
4. Louisville 36-11 2-1 4
5. Texas Christian
37-9 3-1 5
6. Vanderbilt
35-14 2-2 6
7. Illinois
40-6 4-0 8
8. Florida State
35-14 2-1 9
9. Arizona State
29-15 1-3 7
10. Florida
35-13 2-1 10
11. UC Santa Barbara
34-10 3-0 11
12. Oklahoma State
31-15 2-1 12
13. Missouri State
34-10 4-0 14
14. Dallas Baptist
36-9 4-0 15
15. Southern California
32-14 2-2 13
16. Iowa
33-12 3-1 16
17. Miami
34-13 3-0 17
18. Florida Atlantic
35-11 2-1 18
19. College of Charleston
35-9 3-0 19
20. Arkansas
29-18 3-0 23
21. Missouri
28-20 2-2 20
22. North Carolina
29-16 0-1 22
23. California
29-15 3-1 NR
24. Auburn
32-17 3-1 NR
25. Houston
32-16 3-1 NR
Dropped Out: Maryland (21), Memphis (24), Ohio State (25)

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

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)

Posted in College, N. America0 Comments

WBSC Announces Groups for 2015 U18 Baseball World Cup

The World Baseball Softball Confederation recently announced the groups for the upcoming 2015 U18 Baseball World Cup. The tournament will take place in Osaka, Japan from August 28 to September 06.

Twelve teams will compete for the title. Each group will play a round robin with the top three from each group moving on to the second round. During that second round a super round robin will be played with the two teams with the best overall records competing for the championship.

The championship will be played in historic Koshien Stadium which was built in 1924. The USA heads into the tournament as the two-time defending champs.

Group A (with current world ranking):

No. 1 Japan
No. 2 USA
No. 12 Mexico
No. 14 Australia
No. 15 Brazil
No. 20 Czech Republic

Group B:
No. 3 Cuba
No. 4 Chinese Taipei
No. 7 Canada
No. 8 South Korea
No. 11 Italy
No. 29 South Africa

Posted in Asia, Europe, Latin, N. America, News, Oceania, Tournaments1 Comment

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)

Posted in College, N. America0 Comments

MLB: 2015 Major League Baseball Predictions

Today is Opening Day, a day which should be a national holiday in my opinion. With that being said, I am going to go through a yearly ritual that is meaningless but fun.

Last season my 2014 MLB predictions did not go all that well, as you can see here. However, it is still a fun thing to go through each year.

So without further adieu, here are my 2015 MLB predictions.

* Wild Card Teams

AL East

1. Baltimore Orioles
2. *Boston Red Sox
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. New York Yankees

I do not feel that the AL East will be all that strong. I think Baltimore will be the cream of the crop in the East and will win the division. I was torn between Boston and Toronto to pick up a Wild Card spot, but I am going with Boston.

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers
2. *Chicago White Sox
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Minnesota Twins

With Price taking over the head of the rotation in Detroit, they are going to be back and strong as ever. I think they win the division again with their hitting. I don’t see the Royals making it back, not with the new additions to the Sox. To me this will be a hotly contested division and should be fun to watch all year.

AL West

1. Seattle Mariners
2. Anaheim Angels
3. Houston Astros
4. Oakland A’s
5. Texas Rangers

The Mariners are going to be good. Anaheim will still be strong, but the most improved will go to Houston. The Rangers and A’s will bring up the rear of the division all year battling it out for last place.

AL Wild Card Game – Chicago over Boston
AL Division Series – Detroit over Seattle & Baltimore over Chicago
AL Championship Series – Detroit over Chicago

NL East

1. Washington Nationals
2. Miami Marlins
3. New York Mets
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Atlanta Braves

I have no faith in my Braves this year. Not after the exodus that took place. The Nationals are the team to beat, perhaps in the NL. They are going to be strong. I like the Marlins to finish second and maybe even push for a Wild Card spot late in the year, but I see them coming up short.

NL Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. *Chicago Cubs
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers

I like how the Cubs look this year, but I don’t seem them making it to the World Series like I have seen others call for. The Cardinals will be hard to beat in the division but Pitt will really push Chicago. So will Cincinnati.

NL West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. *San Diego Padres
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Dodgers are the team to beat once again. The Padres will really push them this year and the Giants will be back with a strong team. I would not have picked the Padres over the Giants for the Wild Card, except yesterday they traded for the best closer in baseball.

AL Wild Card Game – San Diego over Chicago
AL Division Series – Los Angeles over St. Louis & Washington over San Diego
AL Championship Series – Los Angeles over Washington

World Series – Los Angeles Dodgers over Detroit in six games.

Posted in MLB, N. America0 Comments

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)

Posted in College, N. America0 Comments

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.

Posted in N. America, Tournaments0 Comments

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.

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

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.

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

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

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

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.

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

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