Tag Archive | "College Baseball"

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


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

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

Take a look:

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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College: Baseball America Top 25 for March 9


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

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

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

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

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College Baseball Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Inductees


Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 NCBHOF INDUCTEE EXTENDED BIOS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick Reichardt, Wisconsin, 1963-64 (Outfielder)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NATIONAL COLLEGE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE NOTES:

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

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

* National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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College: Vanderbilt Still No. 1 in BA Top 25


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

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

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

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

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

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College: Vanderbilt Still Atop BA Top 25 Rankings


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

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

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

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


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

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College: Arizona Stuns Rice with Walk Off Steal of Home


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

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

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

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

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

 

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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.

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USA Baseball Unveils 2015 50-Player Golden Spikes Watch List


Press Release by USA Baseball

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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College: Baseball America Releases 2015 Preseason Top 25


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

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

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

Baseball America Preseason Top 25

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

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College: Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Preseason Top 40


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

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

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

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

Source: Collegiate Baseball

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College: Tim Tadlock Wins Skip Bertman Award


Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Texas Tech skipper named National Coach of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coach of the Year Award

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College: Top 8 Seeds Fight for Spot in Omaha


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

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

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

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

National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association Poll

 

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

Dropped Out: No. 28 Liberty.

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

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College: 2014 Olerud Award Watch List Released


Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Small schools well-represented among 10 honorees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOHN OLERUD TWO-WAY PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Nick Howard

Virginia

ACC

Erik Samples

South Carolina Upstate

Atlantic Sun

Jacob Cronenworth

Michigan

Big Ten

J.D. Davis

Cal State Fullerton

Big West

Michael Foster

Northeastern

Colonial

Drew Reynolds

East Carolina

Conference USA

Josh Ingham

Central Connecticut State

Northeast

A.J. Reed

Kentucky

SEC

Ryan Wilson

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

Aaron Brown

Pepperdine

West Coast

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College: Semifinalists Announced for Brooks Wallace Award


Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BROOKS WALLACE AWARD WATCH LIST

Name

School

Conference

Blake Schmit

Maryland

ACC

Michael Russell

North Carolina

ACC

Trea Turner

North Carolina State

ACC

Michael Massi

Mercer

Atlantic Sun

Sam Haggerty

New Mexico

Mountain West

Dylan Bosheers

Tennessee Tech

Ohio Valley

Mikey White

Alabama

SEC

Alex Bregman

LSU

SEC

Vince Conde

Vanderbilt

SEC

Blake Trahan

Louisiana – Lafayette

Sun Belt

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USA Baseball Unveils Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List


Press Release USA Baseball

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kauffman Stadium to Host Game Benefiting College Baseball Hall of Fame


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

Kansas City Royals Press Release

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

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

classicK640

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

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

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

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

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College: Virginia Stays Atop NCBWA Division I Poll


The Virginia Cavaliers are still holding strong at the top of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division I poll after going 3-1 this past week. Virginia squared off with then #13 Clemson over the weekend taking two of three in Charlottesville. This is the fourth straight week at the top of the poll and the sixth week total for Virginia.

Former #1 holder Florida State dropped from the second spot to #5 after dropping two of three to Georgia Tech over the weekend in Atlanta.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year so far has been a team from Louisiana, and no it is not LSU. It is Louisiana Lafayette who sits ranked #2 this week after going 4-1 this past week. The next biggest surprise is sitting right behind Louisiana in Cal Poly at #3. The Mustangs just went 4-0 this past week including a sweep of Hawaii over the weekend.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (APRIL 14)

Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 30-6 3-1 1
2. Louisiana Sun Belt 34-4 4-1 3
3. Cal Poly Big West 30-5 4-0 6
4. Oregon State Pacific-12 27-7 2-1 5
5. Florida State Atlantic Coast 27-8 1-3 2
6. South Carolina Southeastern 28-7 2-2 4
7. Texas Big 12 29-8 3-1 9
8. LSU Southeastern 27-9-1 3-1 8
9. Louisville American Athletic 27-8 4-0 10
10. Oregon Pacific-12 27-10 5-0 12
11. Vanderbilt Southeastern 27-10 2-2 7
12. Ole Miss Southeastern 29-9 4-1 14
13. Oklahoma State Big 12 26-10 4-0 18
14. Houston American Athletic 26-9 1-3 11
15. Washington Pacific-12 24-7-1 2-1 20
16. Rice Conference USA 26-12 4-0 21
17. Alabama Southeastern 24-11 2-2 16
18. Florida Southeastern 23-13 3-1 24
19. Cal State Fullerton Big West 18-13 2-2 15
20. Miami Atlantic Coast 25-12 4-0 23
21. Clemson Atlantic Coast 21-14 1-4 13
22. Mississippi State Southeastern 22-15 2-2 19
23. UC Santa Barbara Big West 22-8 2-1 26
24. Kentucky Southeastern 23-13 1-3 17
25. Texas Tech Big 12 28-11 4-0 30
26. Indiana Big Ten 21-11 4-1 -
27. UCLA Pacific-12 19-15 1-3 22
28. Pepperdine West Coast 27-8 3-1 -
29. Tennessee Southeastern 23-11 2-2 27
30. Liberty Big South 29-8 4-0 -
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Arizona (17-20), Arizona State (19-14), Arkansas (22-15), College of Charleston (24-11), Dallas Baptist (25-10), Georgia (21-14-1), Georgia Tech (23-14), Iowa (20-13), Lipscomb (24-13), N.C. State (20-15), New Mexico (27-11-1), North Carolina (21-15), Oklahoma (23-14), Sam Houston State (25-11), San Diego (25-10), San Diego State (25-11), Seton Hall (25-7), Southern Miss (21-16), TCU (22-13), Texas A&M (22-15), UAB (24-12), UC Irvine (24-11), UCF (22-15), UNLV (25-11), UTSA (24-12), VCU (25-8).
Dropped out: N.C. State (25), Oklahoma (28), North Carolina (29).
By conference: Southeastern 9, Atlantic Coast 4, Pacific-12 4, Big 12 3, Big West 3, American 2, Big South 1, Big Ten 1, Conference USA 1, Sun Belt 1, West Coast 1.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.

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College: Virginia Claims #1 Spot in NCBWA Poll for Second Straight Week


Press Release National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association continues its tradition of NCAA Division I polls for the 17th year with its 2014 weekly surveys. Polls will be circulated from Feb. 17-June 26 (weekly through June 10) following the 68th annual NCAA World Series in Omaha, Neb., at TD Ameritade Park.

Cal State Fullerton (preseason No. 1), Oregon State (Feb. 17) and Virginia (Feb. 24-March 3) have held down the No. 1 positions in the first four 2014 surveys. Last season only five teams were No. 1 during the entire January-June NCBWA surveys. The poll voters come from 44 college baseball writers and related media persons from throughout the nation.

The current survey has representation by 11 different conferences among the 302 baseball-playing schools in the 2014 NCAA Division I ranks, and 13 circuits have been rated this season. The rankings of 2012 had a NCBWA-poll record 22 different DI conferences and independents rated at least one week while 12 separate circuits had team rankings in ’13.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (MARCH 3)

Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 9-2 3-1 1
2. Florida State Atlantic Coast 8-1 2-1 2
3. South Carolina Southeastern 10-0 3-0 6
4. Cal State Fullerton Big West 7-3 3-0 9
5. Oregon State Pacific-12 9-3 4-1 7
6. Vanderbilt Southeastern 10-2 3-2 4
7. LSU Southeastern 9-2 2-2 3
8. N.C. State Atlantic Coast 9-2 3-1 8
9. UCLA Pacific-12 7-4 3-1 13
10. Louisville American Athletic 8-3 3-1 12
11. Oregon Pacific-12 8-3 1-3 5
12. Mississippi State Southeastern 10-4 6-0 15
13. Oklahoma State Big 12 10-2 2-1 14
14. Cal Poly Big West 8-2 2-1 17
15. Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt 10-2 3-1 20
16. North Carolina Atlantic Coast 7-3 4-0 21
17. Ole Miss Southeastern 11-1 5-0 24
18. Rice Conference USA 7-5 1-3 10
19. Clemson Atlantic Coast 6-4 1-3 11
20. Texas Big 12 9-3 4-0 27
21. TCU Big 12 7-4 1-3 16
22. Kentucky Southeastern 9-2 4-0 30
23. Miami Atlantic Coast 5-5 1-2 19
24. Arizona State Pacific-12 6-4 3-0 29
25. Texas A&M Southeastern 7-4 1-3 18
26. Indiana Big Ten 4-5 2-0 25
27. Arkansas Southeastern 7-2 1-2 22
28. Sam Houston State Southland 10-2 3-1 -
29. College of Charleston Colonial 10-1 4-0 -
30. Texas Tech Big 12 9-3 3-2 26
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Alabama (5-5), California (6-2), Dallas Baptist (9-2), Florida (6-6), Florida Atlantic (8-3), fiu (11-1), Fresno State (9-2), Georgia Southern (10-2), Houston (8-2), Illinois (6-4), Iowa (9-1), Kansas (11-1), Kansas State (4-7), Maryland (8-2), Memphis (10-1), New Mexico (8-3-1), Ohio State (7-3), Oklahoma (7-4), San Diego (8-1), Seton Hall (7-2), USC (8-2), Tennessee (10-0), Tennessee Tech (11-1), Tulane (8-2), UC Irvine (8-3), UC Santa Barbara (7-1), VCU (10-1), VMI (7-3), Western Carolina (7-2), Wichita State (7-3).
Dropped out: Florida (23), Alabama (28).
By conference: Southeastern 8, Atlantic Coast 6, Big 12 4, Pac-12 4, Big West 2, American 1, Big Ten 1, Colonial 1, Conference USA 1, Southland 1, Sun Belt 1.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.

2014 NCBWA Polls (No. 1 Team):

  • Preseason (Cal State Fullerton)
  • Feb. 17 (Oregon State)
  • Feb. 24 (Virginia)
  • Mar. 3 (Virginia)

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College: NCBWA Announces 2014 Division I Preseason All-America Teams


Press Release National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

FORT WORTH, Texas – With solid representation from defending baseball champion, UCLA,
and 2013 runner-up, Mississippi State, the 14th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers
Association preseason All-America team premiers the top student-athletes from NCAA Division
I, which opens the season in less than two months – on Feb. 14, 2014.

If the 155th season of intercollegiate baseball is anything like the previous campaign, the 2014
All-America units should shine for weeks leading up and into the NCAA DI World Series in
Omaha, Neb., on June 14-24/25 and with strong-armed pitching in every corner. The Bruins
and Bulldogs, in fact, have five players on all the first two squads, while 2013 NCAA World
Series participants Indiana, Louisville, LSU, North Carolina, NC State, and Oregon State are
represented by a total of 12 standouts on the three teams. In all, there are players from 17
conferences and 35 schools nationwide.

Returning first-team standouts from the post-2013 NCBWA All-America team are power-hitting
Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber (18 home runs for second-most among the honorees) and
four pitchers (two starters, two relievers), who all held opposing hitters under .200 batting
averages.

UCLA righty, 2013 CWS Most Outstanding Player and Team USA standout David Berg leads
this pack with an NCAA-record 24 saves, 7-0 record and an 0.88 ERA. The other three
returning first unit pitchers – Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede, Mississippi State’s Jonathan Holder and
LSU’s Aaron Nola – were a combined 28-2 on the hill with 315 strikeouts and 21 saves by
Holder.

Joining them on the elite first crew are starters Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza of Cal
State Fullerton, UC Irvine’s Andrew Morales, and NC State’s Carlos Rodon (A-A-leading 170
strikeouts in 118-plus innings pitched. 2013 postseason second team All-America relief man
Nick Burdi of Louisville brings back 16 saves and an 0.78 ERA to compliment the six first-team
rotation pitchers, who own a composite 69-7 record.

The first squad also has representation from three UC Irvine Anteaters – 1B Connor Spencer,
3B Taylor Sparks and Morales. They all come from the same California high school programs,
which produced 2013 consensus All-America and Dick Howser Trophy winner, Kris Bryant of
the University of San Diego.

The first team chosen by consultation with individual schools’ media relations offices and the
NCBWA All-America committee features returning post-2013 second team All-America
designated hitter Nick Backlund of Mercer and 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year and Brooks
Wallace Award winning SS Alex Bregman of LSU. Utility player Drew Reynolds of East
Carolina adds a .322 batting average and 14 saves in 28 relief appearances.

The pitching-rich second squad boasts another sterling group of moundmen such as Big 12
Conference Pitcher of the Year Harrison Musgrave of West Virginia, Pac-12 Conference
Freshman Pitcher of the Year and 14-game winner Andrew Moore of Oregon State, 12-1
starter Trent Thornton of UNC, and Mississippi State’s Ross Mitchell, who led relief pitchers on
all college levels with 13 wins as a sophomore.

These youngsters also are the core of nominees for the initial ballot for the 28th annual Dick
Howser Trophy, presented by the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce and voted
upon by the NCBWA membership. The Howser Trophy will be awarded in Omaha, Neb., June
13, 2014, prior to the opening of the 67th annual NCAA World Series.

2014 NCBWA Division I Preseason All-America Team

FIRST TEAM (Statistics Are From 2013 Season)
Pos. Name, School, Class Avg. G AB R H 2B-3B-HR RBIs BB SO SB/SBA
C Kyle Schwarber, Indiana, Jr. .376 58 221 63 83 10-1-18 54 42 30 4/7
1B Connor Spencer, UC Irvine, Sr. .373 55 212 42 79 19-3-0 35 21 21 3/5
2B Ross Kivett, Kansas State, Sr. .360 64 261 57 94 15-4-3 39 29 27 26/36
3B Taylor Sparks, UC Irvine, Jr. .360 55 222 38 80 11-4-10 50 6 40 7/10
SS Alex Bregman, LSU, So. .369 67 282 59 104 18-7-6 52 24 25 16/17
OF Mike Papi, Virginia, Jr. .381 55 176 57 67 15-3-7 57 45 25 6/8
OF Casey Roche, Pittsburgh, Sr. .339 58 233 53 79 12-2-9 65 27 41 10/13
OF DJ Stewart, Florida State, So. .364 60 225 50 82 25-2-5 59 38 40 8/12
DH Nick Backlund, Mercer, Sr. .326 61 242 45 79 22-0-13 68 35 50 0/0
UT Drew Reynolds, East Carolina, Sr. .322 54 211 30 68 13-0-0 22 11 22 5/6
3-0, 2.92 ERA, 28 App, 0 GS, 0 CG, 14 SV, 40.0IP, 35H, 19R, 13ER, 19BB, 36K

Pos. Name School W-L ERA APP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO B/Avg.
SP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt, Jr. 14-1 2.32 17 17 0 0/1 0 101 64 32 26 63 103 .187
SP Thomas Eshelman, Cal St.-Fullerton, So. 12-3 1.48 17 16 2 0 0 115.2 86 26 19 3 83 .204
^SP Justin Garza, Cal St.-Fullerton, So. 12-0 2.03 17 17 0 0 0 115 84 27 26 17 95 .205
^SP Aaron Nola, LSU, Jr. 12-1 1.57 17 17 5 3/2 0 126 83 30 22 18 122 .188
SP Andrew Morales, UC Irvine, Sr. 10-0 1.89 17 13 0 0/4 0 95.1 78 20 20 21 85 .227
SP Carlos Rodon, NC State, Jr. 9-2 3.19 17 17 2 1/1 0 118.1 85 47 42 42 170 .201
^RP David Berg, UCLA, So. 7-0 0.88 46 0 0 0/6 21 71.1 49 7 7 8 73 .194
RP Nick Burdi, Louisville, Jr. 3-3 0.78 28 0 0 0/1 16 34.2 25 4 3 13 61 .197
RP Jonathan Holder, Mississippi State, Jr. 2-0 1.65 34 0 0 0/3 21 54.2 33 15 10 17 90 .153

SECOND TEAM
Pos. Name, School, Class Avg. G AB R H 2B-3B-HR RBIs BB SO SB/SBA
C Mark Zagunis, Virginia Tech, Jr. .341 62 232 62 79 14-3-9 51 32 29 19/24
1B Zach Stephens, Tennessee Tech, Sr. .336 57 229 59 77 17-1-15 71 38 74 0/0
2B Oscar Sanay, CSU Bakersfield, Sr. .362 59 224 48 81 13-6-1 45 25 22 4/6
3B Joey Pankake, South Carolina, Jr. .311 62 238 40 74 9-1-11 42 29 29 7/11
SS Trea Turner, NC State, So. .368 56 228 66 84 13-4-7 42 38 31 30/36
OF Skye Bolt, North Carolina, So. .321 54 212 48 68 14-2-6 51 32 28 10/13
OF Dylan Davis, Oregon State, Jr. .335 63 257 45 86 22-3-5 61 19 35 9/12
OF Brandon Downes, Virginia, Jr. .315 61 253 67 80 20-7-10 59 27 60 6/7
DH Kurt Wertz, Towson, Sr. .338 57 222 43 75 14-7-13 65 31 36 8/13
UT Ashton Perritt, Liberty, Jr. .343 40 172 34 59 7-2-6 17 9 4 18/21
3-2, 2.09 ERA, 22 App, 1 GS, 0 CG, 10SV, 38.2IP, 27H, 11R, 9ER, 13 BB, 37K

Pos. Name School W-L ERA APP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO B/Avg.
SP Andrew Moore, Oregon State, So. 14-2 1.79 19 18 3 3/3 1 131 93 33 26 28 72 .207
^SP Harrison Musgrave, West Virginia, Jr. 9-1 2.17 14 14 3 3/2 0 95.1 65 24 23 29 81 .197
SP Bryan Radziewski, Miami, Fla., r-Jr. 9-3 1.78 15 14 2 2/3 0 91 53 24 18 30 109 .175
SP Trent Thornton, North Carolina, So. 12-1 1.37 29 6 0 0/3 8 91.2 69 22 14 19 81 .204
SP Grant Watson, UCLA, Jr. 9-3 3.01 18 17 0 0/2 0 92.2 93 36 31 16 55 .266
RP Trace Dempsey, Ohio State, Jr. 3-0 1.02 31 0 0 0/5 17 35.1 22 6 4 11 28 .180
RP Brian Miller, Vanderbilt, Jr. 5-2 1.58 32 0 0 0/1 16 57 37 13 10 11 48 .180
RP Ross Mitchell, Mississippi State, Jr. 13-0 1.53 34 0 0 0/1 2 94 72 22 16 29 44 .214

THIRD TEAM
Pos. Name, School, Class Avg. G AB R H 2B-3B-HR RBIs BB SO SB/SBA
C Tyler Baker, Wichita State, Jr. .328 65 238 41 78 15-3-4 46 26 39 1/1
1B Michael Katz, William & Mary, Sr. .358 55 212 49 76 23-1-5 47 31 32 3/4
2B Ryan Lindemuth, William & Mary, Sr. .351 63 251 61 88 14-2-4 49 17 20 3/7
3B Kevin Kramer, UCLA, Jr. .278 66 245 41 68 11-2-3 42 30 30 9/18
Chesny Young, Mercer, Jr. .401 61 262 56 105 18-3-4 65 28 25 9/12
SS Aaron Attaway, Western Carolina, Sr..363 59 267 68 97 15-5-12 54 16 34 12/15
OF Garrett Bayliff, Wichita State, Sr. .379 63 240 44 91 9-1-0 39 24 38 11/16
OF Mark Payton, Texas, Sr. .393 50 178 27 70 11-8-0 29 28 23 3/6
OF Chad Carroll. James Madison, Jr. .389 51 193 50 75 14-8-3 55 13 31 21/24
DH Chase Raffield, Georgia State, Sr. .382 52 186 42 71 19-0-19 51 21 23 4/5
UT Clinton Freeman East Tenn. State, Sr..335 60 239 39 80 18-4-10 57 27 36 2/5
7-1, 3.04 ERA, 25 App, 3GS, 0CG, 8SV, 56.1IP, 62H, 20R, 19ER, 15BB, 51K

Pos. Name School W-L ERA APP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO B/Avg.
SP Daniel Gossett, Clemson, Jr. 10-4 2.56 16 16 1 1/4 0 98.1 78 40 28 38 91 .213
SP Cole Irvin, Oregon, So. 12-3 2.48 16 16 4 2/0 0 116 105 37 32 22 60 .248
SP Ryan Kellogg, Arizona State, So. 11-1 3.15 16 15 1 1/1 0 103 96 39 36 17 54 .246
SP Preston Morrison, TCU, Jr. 7-3 1.51 15 15 1 0/2 0 107 85 27 18 18 64 .217
SP Luke Weaver, Florida State, Jr. 7-2 2.29 17 15 0 0/1 0 98.1 78 26 25 19 119 .221
RP Zech Lemond, Rice, Jr. 7-2 2.02 32 1 0 0/7 14 75.2 56 19 17 21 71 .207
RP Sutter McLoughlin, Sacramento State, So. 1-3 2.11 28 0 0 0 17 38.1 27 13 9 9 26 .196
RP Ryan Thompson, Campbell, Sr. 9-1 0.88 31 0 0 0 10 71.2 51 9 7 15 57 .201
RP Josh Walker, New Mexico, Sr. 11-1 3.68 29 4 1 1/1 7 78.2 76 37 32 22 55 .258

*-Conference player of the year
^-Conference pitcher of the year

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College: NCBWA Announces Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List


Press Release National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NCBWA) — Fifty players have been named to the initial watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, as announced by the association on Tuesday.

UCLA junior David Berg and Mississippi State junior Jonathan Holder headline this year’s list of preseason nominees. Berg was the recipient of the Stopper of the Year Award in 2013 after leading the nation with 24 saves, while guiding the Bruins to their first College World Series title. Berg made 51 appearances during his sophomore campaign, finishing the season with a 7-0 record and a 0.92 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 78.0 innings of work. Holder collected 21 saves and a 2-0 record with a 1.65 ERA in 34 games. The Gulfport, Miss., native finished his sophomore season with 90 strikeouts in 54.2 innings as the Bulldogs finished as the national runner-up.

A total of 17 student-athletes on the 2014 preseason watch list tallied at least 12 saves a season ago. Also joining Berg and Holder on the watch list is Louisville’s Nick Burdi, who concluded the 2013 season with 16 saves and a 3-3 record with a 0.76 ERA in 35.2 innings of work. Berg, Burdi and Holder were all named preseason first team All-Americans in 2014 by the NCBWA.

Other notable nominees are members of the NCBWA preseason All-American second and third teams, including Ohio State’s Trace Dempsey, Vanderbilt’s Brian Miller, Mississippi State’s Ross Mitchell, Rice’s Zech Lemond, Sacramento State’s Sutter McLoughlin and Campbell’s Ryan Thompson.

The Southeastern Conference led the way with six players named to this year’s watch list, while the Big 12 Conference, Big South Conference, Big Ten Conference, Conference USA and Pac 12 Conference all had four pitchers on the list.

Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 21, including the national saves leaders. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 4, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition.

The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced during the 2014 College World Series.

Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia’s Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. Knebel won in 2011 with Southeastern Louisiana’s Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. Berg of UCLA was crowned the winner in 2013.

The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation’s top player. It also selects All-America Teams for all Divisions, a Division I Freshman All-American team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.

2014 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List

Pitcher School Yr.
Kevin Alexander Florida Atlantic Sr.
Brad Applin Rhode Island So.
David Berg UCLA Jr.
Nick Burdi Louisville Jr.
Ryan Burr Arizona State So.
Garrett Cleavinger Oregon So.
Dylan Cole Georgia Sr.
Jacob Cronenworth Michigan So.
Terrance Dedrick Auburn Sr.
Trace Dempsey Ohio State Jr.
Jacob Dorris Texas A&M-CC Jr.
Trevor Dunlap Washington Sr.
Eric Eck Wofford Sr.
Matt Eckelman Saint Louis So.
Taylor Edens VMI So.
Riley Ferrell TCU So.
Ian Gibaut Tulane So.
Joe Goodman High Point Jr.
Ryan Halstead Indiana Sr.
Dylan Hecht UCSB So.
Jonathan Holder Mississippi State Jr.
Jason Jester Texas A&M Sr.
Mason Klotz Southeastern Louisiana So.
Dimitri Kourtis Mercer Jr.
Karch Kowalczyk Valparaiso Sr.
Craig LeJeune George Washington Sr.
Zech Lemond Rice Jr.
Seth Lucio Tennessee Tech Jr.
David Mahoney Connecticut R-Jr.
Jake Matthys Kansas State So.
Chris McCue North Carolina Jr.
Brendan McCurry Oklahoma State Sr.
Sutter McLoughlin Sacramento State So.
Brian Miller Vanderbilt Jr.
Ross Mitchell Mississippi State R-Jr.
Kevin Mooney Maryland So.
J.D. Moore South Dakota State Jr.
Corbin Olmstead North Florida So.
Lawrence Pardo USF Sr.
Ashton Perritt Liberty Jr.
Jordan Piche Kansas Sr.
Tyler Powell Western Carolina Jr.
Reed Reilly Cal Poly Jr.
Drew Reynolds East Carolina Sr.
Josh Roeder Nebraska Jr. Jason Simms Sam Houston State Sr.
Travis Stout Jacksonville State Jr.
Ryan Thompson Campbell Sr.
Ian Tompkins Western Kentucky Jr.
Kevin Willman Northern Colorado Sr.

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USA Collegiate National Team Completes Sweep of Cuba


The USA Collegiate National Team finished up its summer schedule with a 5-3 win over Cuba. The win gave the USA a historic sweep and helped it finish with a 20-3 record.

Carlos Rodon (North Carolina State) got the start and was virtually untouchable. He tossed 6.2 innings of scoreless ball giving up just two hits. He struck out eleven en route to his third win of the summer.

The middle relief struggled a bit for Team USA giving up three runs in the eighth inning, but Ryan Burr (Arizona State) was able to come in an shut down the Cuban bats in the ninth to pick up his sixth save.

The big blow for Cuba to get back in the game came off the bat of Lazaro Herrera who came on to hit a pinch-hit three-run home run off of Chris Diaz (Miami, Fla.).

Team USA got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. After working a walk and then stealing second, Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) scored on a Michael Conforto (Oregon State) double.

Trea Turner (North Carolina State) got the offense going again in the fifth inning. After working a walk and quickly stealing second, he moved to third base on a wild pitch. Alex Bregman (LSU) wasted no time in bringing him in by hitting a sacrifice fly to center field to give Team USA a 2-0 lead.

Errors would be Cuba’s downfall as the game progressed. They gave up three unearned runs over the sixth and seventh innings.

Team USA finished the summer going 13-0 in exhibition games and 7-3 in international play.

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College: Kris Bryant Named 2013 Golden Spikes Award Winner


San Diego slugger honored as nation’s top amateur, edging Tyler Beede and Colin Moran

By USA Baseball

LOS ANGELES — USA Baseball announced Friday the selection of San Diego’s Kris Bryant as the recipient of the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The prestigious award recognizing the nation’s top amateur baseball player, now in its 36th year, was presented by Bob Horner, the first-ever Golden Spikes Award winner, live on MLB Network.

In partnership with Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and MLB Network, USA Baseball announced the Golden Spikes Award winner live on The Rundown, and the presentation was simulcast on GoldenSpikesAward.comUSABaseball.com and MLB.com.

Tyler Beede (RHP, Vanderbilt) and Colin Moran (INF, North Carolina) were the other finalists for the award. Bryant was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, while Moran was selected No. 6 by the Miami Marlins. Beede recently completed his sophomore season for the Commodores and is currently a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

“USA Baseball was delighted with the play across all levels of amateur baseball this year and could not be more proud of the three Golden Spikes Award finalists, Kris Bryant, Tyler Beede and Colin Moran,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball executive director/CEO. “Each of the three finalists we celebrate today represented the game of baseball with class both on and off the field this season. In the end, Kris’ season highlighted a fantastic year of amateur baseball, and we are honored to present him with this most prestigious honor.”

Bryant is the first Golden Spikes Award winner and the highest draft pick in San Diego’s history. The Las Vegas native was a consensus first-team All-American, the first Dick Howser Trophy recipient from San Diego and Baseball America’s 2013 College Player of the Year. Bryant crushed a nation’s best 31 home runs, a record in the BBCOR bat era of college baseball. Bryant also led the nation in runs (80), bases on balls (66), total bases (187) and slugging percentage (.820).

Bryant becomes the first infielder to win the Golden Spikes Award since Nebraska’s Alex Gordon won the award in 2005. Bryant is also the first player from the West Coast Conference to win the award.

Following the presentation live on MLB Network, the three finalists will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner, hosted at the Jonathan Club. Along with the Golden Spikes Award, Scott Brosius will be honored with the Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year Award, and Jackie Robinson will be celebrated with the Rod Dedeaux Award.

For the sixth year in a row, fans were able to stay up to date on the award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com. The website features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries and photographs and video highlights of the 2013 finalists.

Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the GSA. Following the first-ever presentation of the trophy to Horner of Arizona State, the GSA has been awarded each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.

The 2012 GSA winner was Mike Zunino of Florida. Past winners of the award include current Major Leaguers such as Bryce Harper (’10), Stephen Strasburg (’09), Buster Posey (’08), David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), Gordon (’05), Jered Weaver (’04), Rickie Weeks (’03) and Mark Kotsay (’95). Former big league stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell (’98), Jason Varitek (’94), Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79) and Horner (’78).

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Team USA Looks for Sweep of Cuba to Finish Off Summer Schedule


The United States Collegiate National Team has been busy over the past few weeks. In early July the team took a trip to Japan to play its Collegiate National Team in a five game set after playing a warm up game with the Shikoku College Baseball League All-Stars.

Team USA took that game against the Shikoku All-Stars 11-0, but then proceeded to down Japan in Game 1 of the series 6-3. But their winning streak wouldn’t last long as they dropped Game 2 4-0.

The USA would wind up dropping the series 3-games-to-2 after losing the final game in Tokyo 7-4.

Some of the highlights for the USA were Carlos Rodon. The left-handed starter pitched five shutout innings in his start against Japan. He had a great sophomore season with the NC State Wolfpack last season going 10-3 with a 2.99 ERA.

Another pitcher that did well was Matt Imhof. The lefty from Cal Poly came on in relief of a struggling Tyler Beede to pitch 6.2 innings. He gave up only one run and struck out six in his only appearance against Japan.

At the plate most of the hitters struggled a bit. As a team the USA hit just .234 over the five games. Tyler Sparks was one that stood out in the Japan series. The UC Irvine shortstop garnered two starts and three appearances over the series picking up six hits in eleven at-bats. Over those three games he drove in five runs which led the team in the series.

Currently the team is finishing up their summer schedule with a five game series with Cuba. So far the two teams have played four games with the USA winning all four. The final game will come tonight in Durham as Team USA looks to sweep the series.

Game 1,  Cuba 1, USA 2 (11)

In the first game last Thursday, Cuba tied the game in the top of the ninth inning to force extra frames. Carlos Rodon started and went 3.1 innings of scoreless ball. Cuba got a RBI single from Jose Fernandez (1-for-4) in the ninth to send it to extra innings.

With the tiebreaker rules putting runners at first and second to start each half inning, the USA finally took advantage in the eleventh. After failing to move the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, Matt Chapman, Cal State Fulleton, singled home the winning run with two outs. David Berg, UCLA, picked up the win with an inning of relief.

Game 2, USA 3, Cuba 2 (10)

After the first game went extra innings, the two teams decided to play another extra frame in Game 2. This time it was Team USA tying the game up late with a run in the seventh inning.

The USA took the lead for good in the top of the tenth. Trea Turner, North Carolina State, led off the inning by working a walk to load up the bases. After a strikeout, Kyle Schwarber , Indiana, drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly. Schwarber finished the game 2-for-3. He and Turner (2-for-4) were the only two hitters on either team with more than one hit.

David Berg picked up the win again in relief, but starter Luke Weaver, Florida State, pitched well going six innings giving up just two unearned runs.

Game 3, Cuba 0, USA 1

The third game in the series was another pitching duel. Brandon Finnegan, TCU, pitched seven shutout innings getting the start for Team USA. He gave up only three hits and struck out seven picking up the win.

For Cuba, Norge Ruiz pitched very well but in the end came out with the loss. He went 7.1 innings giving up just one run on three hits. He struck out eleven.

The only run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth for Team USA. Trea Turner (2-for-4) started the inning off with a single. Alex Bregman (1-for-3/LSU) followed him up with a single of his own to set up runners at first and second with no outs. After Schwarber hit into a fielder’s choice forcing Bregman out at second, Michael Conforto (0-for-1/Oregon State) came through with a sacrifice fly to left to score Turner.

Ryan Burr, Arizona State, picked up the save, his fifth of the summer, with a scoreless ninth inning.

Game 4, USA 3, Cuba 2

The fourth straight one run game went to Team USA once again. Both teams only scored in one inning as Cuba scored two in the third and the USA came back with three runs in the fifth inning.

Matt Imhof, Cal Poly, earned the win in relief of starter Erick Fedde, UNLV. Imhof pitched 1.1 scoreless innings giving up three hits.

The big hit for Team USA came off the bat of LSU shortstop Alex Bregman who had a two-run triple in the fifth. Those two runs tied the game. Bregman would score the winning run on a wild pitch by Cuba reliever Ismel Jimenez who took the loss.

Cuba stater Joel Suarez went four innings not allowing a single hit, but he gave up two runs after he walked two batters who came in to score on the Bregman triple off of Jimenez.

Team USA only picked up three hits in the game, but they worked seven walks.

Game 5, Cuba vs USA 7:05 EST from Durham Bulls Athletic Park

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