Tag Archive | "NCAA Division I"

FLORIDA NO. 1 IN COLLEGIATE BASEBALL NEWSPAPER POLL


Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Press Release

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Florida (10-1) has been ranked No. 1 in the latest NCAA Division I baseball poll by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

The Gators, who have been ranked No. 1 four consecutive polls, have won eight in a row. Over the past weekend, Florida swept a 3-game series over previously unbeaten Miami, Fla.

The Gators have now beaten the Hurricanes 11 consecutive games dating back to the 2010 season and swept Miami in a 3-game series in Coral Gables for the first time since 2006 and just the second time in school history.

Poll Notes: Other teams have been red-hot. Kentucky (11-0) and Gonzaga (10-0) enter the rankings after being unbeaten so far. Oregon has won 10 straight while Maryland has captured eight in a row with a microscopic team ERA of 0.95. Purdue (8-1) is off to its best start since the 1959 season. Cal. St. Fullerton has won seven straight while UCLA has captured six in a row along with Texas A&M. Four teams fell out of the top 30 in Southern California (1-3 last week), Cal. Poly (2-2), Baylor (3-2) and College of Charleston (2-2). New teams in the poll this week are Kentucky, Gonzaga, Purdue (8-1) and Central Florida (10-2).

The Collegiate Baseball newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1957 college baseball season.

(Top 30 Agate Follows)

 

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s

NCAA Div. I Poll (As of March 5, 2012)

www.baseballnews.com

Rank School (Record) Points Previous
  1. Florida (10-1) 497   1
  2. South Carolina (9-1) 494   2
  3. Stanford (10-1) 492   3
  4. Rice (11-1) 491   4
  5. Texas A&M (11-1) 490   5
  6. North Carolina (8-2) 486   6
  7. Arkansas (11-2) 482   7
  8. Florida St. (9-1) 478 10
  9. Oregon (10-1) 474 15
10. Georgia Tech. (10-2) 471 12
11. Louisiana St. (10-2) 469 13
12. Cal. St. Fullerton (8-3) 468 17
13. Arizona St. (8-2) 466 11
14. Miami, Fla. (8-3) 464   8
15. Georgia (10-2) 461   9
16. Louisville (8-3) 459 14
17. Oklahoma (7-3) 457 16
18. Arizona (8-2) 455 18
19. Stetson (9-2) 453 19
20. Clemson (5-4) 448 20
21. Maryland (9-1) 445 27
22. Mississippi (9-2) 441 23
23. Kentucky (11-0) 438
24. Gonzaga (10-0) 436
25. California (8-2) 435 25
26. Texas Tech. (9-3) 434 24
27. UCLA (8-3) 433 28
28. Oregon St. (8-4) 431 26
29. Purdue (8-1) 428
30. Central Florida (10-2) 426

 

LOUISVILLE SLUGGER‘S” NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

LHP Brian Holmes, Wake Forest: Holmes fired a 9-inning no-hitter during a 5-1 win over Marshall. He struck out 10 and walked one. At one point, he retired 15 of 16 batters. The only trouble he had was in the sixth. He hit one batter, walked another and then hit a batter to load the bases with one out. Nathan Gomez followed with a sacrifice fly that allowed Marshall’s only run to score. The next batter flew out to end the inning. Holmes then retired the final nine batters of the game.

RHP Marcus Stroman, Duke: Stroman struck out a career-high 17 batters in seven shutout innings as the Blue Devils beat George Washington, 13-2. Stroman’s 17 strikeouts were two shy of the Atlantic Coast Conference single-game record of 19.

1B Mason Katz, Louisiana St.: Katz was 13-for-19 in five games last week with 5 doubles, 3 homers, 8 RBI and 12 runs scored. He reached base safely in 17 consecutive plate appearances at one point and fell just one shy of the NCAA record of 18 set by Shaun Larkin of Cal. St. Northridge in 2002.

2B Tyler Vaughn, Troy: With only eight career games and four career at-bats prior to this week, Vaughn went 8-for-10 at the plate with 3 doubles, 5 runs scored and 5 RBIs. At one point, he reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances. Defensively, he was perfect on 15 defensive opportunities and turned a pair of double plays.

1B/RHP Jacob Mayers, Richmond: Mayers went 6-for-12 with 4 homers, 6 runs scored, 13 RBIs, and 5 walks. He also pitched seven innings and struck out eight batters.

SS Richie Rodriguez, Eastern Kentucky: Rodriguez belted 4 home runs with 9 RBI and scored 7 runs with a 1.462 slugging percentage. In a game against Indiana St., he hit 3 home runs with 7 RBI.

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Corky Palmer Elected to Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame


Former Southern Miss Baseball Coach Corky Palmer Elected to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

Joining Palmer in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame 2011 induction class is former Southern Miss punter Jerrel Wilson

Aug. 31, 2010

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame announced today the 2011 induction class which includes former Southern Miss head baseball coach Corky Palmer.

“I am very honored and humbled to be a member of such an elite fraternity of Mississippians,” Palmer said. “I consider this one of the highest honors in my career, right there with being named the head coach at Southern Miss and taking the Golden Eagles to Omaha in 2009. It is truly special to be inducted in your home state’s hall of fame.”

Palmer coached baseball at all levels for 32 years in the state of Mississippi, but is most remembered for turning his Alma Mater at Southern Miss into one of the nation’s elite programs.

In his 12 years at the helm of the Golden Eagles, Palmer amassed a 458-281-1 record while guiding Southern Miss to eight NCAA Regionals, including each of his final seven seasons. It was also Palmer who guided Southern Miss to the 2009 College World Series, one of the most memorable events in the history of Southern Miss athletics.

Joining Palmer in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame 2011 induction class is former Southern Miss punter Jerrel Wilson, who is the only punter in NFL history to led league in punting average four times. In his fourteen-year pro career he played more games in a Kansas City Chiefs/Dallas Texans uniform than any other player in franchise history. He was selected by Pro Football Hall of Fame to All-Time AFL team.

The other members of the induction class includes: Jeff Brantley, Con Maloney, Rita Easterling, and Mike Kinnison.

The six will be enshrined at the 49th annual BancorpSouth Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Weekend on July 29-30, 2011.

Source: USM Release

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NCAA To Speed Up College Baseball Games


UNITED STATES – The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee has voted to implement rules that address the pace of play and proposed an alteration to the rules governing obstruction by fielders.

After allowing the use of a pitch and between innings clock experimentally last year, the committee voted to mandate the use of a timing device and implemented penalties for non-compliance. Current rules require pitchers to start their delivery in no more than 20 seconds without runners on base. This rule remains and an umpire will be required to monitor and enforce this time limit. Additionally, in non-televised games, umpires will enforce a 90 second limit between innings. The committee recommended a time limit for televised games of 108 seconds, which the Southeastern Conference used experimentally during the 2010 season. However, the committee acknowledged that the time between innings will continue to be a negotiable point in television agreements.

“The committee was pleased with the results of the clock experimentation last year,” said Gary Overton, chair of the committee and associate athletics director at East Carolina University. “We believe that enforcing these time limits will keep the pace of the game moving without artificially altering the game.”

In this proposal, conferences may choose to use a visible clock and assign a qualified operator (e.g., back-up umpire) to administer these rules.

The committee also proposed a slight change to the obstruction rules, in an effort to provide fielders the ability to make a play on a thrown ball during a play at a base. Previously, any contact made between a fielder and runner could be called obstruction unless the fielder had possession of the ball. In the new proposal, a fielder that has established himself will be provided the opportunity to field the throw without penalty.

“This change is being made after careful consideration of our current rule and how this play was adjudicated previously,” said Overton. “The rules governing collisions and dangerous plays have not changed, but the committee believes the fielder must be allowed some room to make a play on a thrown ball.”

The committee plans to collect and distribute numerous video examples to assist umpires, coaches and student-athletes with the understanding of this rules change. During pickoff plays, an exception was approved that requires the fielder to have possession of the ball before any contact with the runner occurs.

The committee’s proposals will be sent to the membership for comment and be reviewed by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel at their August meeting.

The committee approved two points of emphasis for this rules cycle as well, which covers the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The relationship between coaches and umpire is an area of continued concern and the management of the pace of play/batter’s box rules are the points the committee believes require additional attention.

“The committee recognizes the need for coaches and umpires to continue to engage in healthy discussion and explanation of the rules without creating unneeded delays in the game and unsporting conduct,” Overton said. “This is the balance we’re trying to achieve.”

In other actions, the committee:

• Limited offensive team personnel to the warning track area (recommended to be 15 feet) outside the dugout during home run celebrations.

• Will allow the experimental use of re-entry rules for Division III institutions in response to requests for additional participation opportunities. In this experimental phase, mutual consent of both coaches must be in place (or conference policy), similar to the use of the 10-run rule. The re-entry rule allows a starter to return to the game after being substituted for, but he must return to the same position in the lineup. The pitcher and designated hitter may not re-enter the game once removed.

• Named Jeff Hurd, senior associate commissioner at the Western Athletic Conference, as chair of the committee.

Photo courtesy of Texas-Arlington Athletics

Source: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

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Boston College Hires Mike Gambino


UNITED STATES – Mike Gambino, a 1999 graduate of Boston College, has been named head baseball coach, Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo announced today.

Gambino, who was an assistant coach for the Eagles from 2003-05, replaces Mik Aoki who resigned to become the head coach at Notre Dame.

“We are very excited to bring back Mike Gambino as our new head coach,” DeFilippo said. “As a former player and assistant coach here, Mike has the experience and passion to bring the baseball program to the next level. He has already hit the ground running.”

Gambino has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech under former BC head coach, Pete Hughes. He served as the Hokies’ recruiting coordinator and also worked with the hitters and infielders. Virginia Tech’s batting average improved 40 points (from .279 to .319) under his direction since the 2006 season.

Mike Gambino’s Career:
2010-2010 – Boston College head coach
2007-2010 – Virginia Tech assistant coach
2006-2007 – Detroit Tigers regional scout
2003-2005 – Boston College assistant coach
2000-2002 – Played in Boston Red Sox minor league system
1995-2000 – Played at Boston College

CALVI NAMED COACH-IN-WAITING
In the three weeks since University of South Alabama head baseball coach Steve Kittrell announced his retirement at the end of the 2011 season, Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann has received interest from numerous qualified candidates to take over the reins of the program. In the end, Erdmann looked at the kings of the NCAA diamond to find Kittrell’s successor.

Mark Calvi, assistant coach for College World Series champion South Carolina, was named associate head coach/head coach in waiting at South Alabama Thursday. He is scheduled to be introduced Friday at a 1 p.m. press conference at the Mitchell Center, and will become the program’s fifth head coach at the conclusion of the 2011 campaign.

OWENS NAMED BRYANT UNIVERSITY SKIPPER
Bryant University Director of Athletics Bill Smith is pleased to announce the hiring of two-time MAAC Coach of the Year Steve Owens as the next head coach of the Bulldog baseball program.

Owens comes to Bryant from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., where he led the Dolphins to 11-straight winning seasons in as many years. Owens boasts a career record of 587-299-1 (.662), averaging nearly 31 wins per season, while his leadership has led to 27 players signing professional contracts.

Owens also brings a long list of accolades to Smithfield. The 2004 and 2006 MAAC Coach of the Year, he has been named the conference Coach of the Year seven times, ABCA NCAA Regional Coach of the Year on five occasions and is a 10-time recipient of the Louisville Slugger Coaching Award.

MIK AOKI TO LEAD NOTRE DAME
Mik Aoki (pronounced A-O-key), the only head baseball coach to lead Boston College to an NCAA Regional since 1967, has been named the 20th head baseball coach in University of Notre Dame program history.

Aoki arrives in South Bend after a four-year stint in as the Eagle head coach in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He brought the Boston College baseball program into the national forefront after leading the Eagles to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament each of the past two seasons (the only two ACC Tournament appearances in school history) and their first NCAA Regional appearance in 42 years (2009).

In 2009, the Eagles nearly knocked off number-one national seed Texas in an NCAA-record 25-inning game that would have propelled them to the finals of the ’09 Austin Regional and given Boston College a great chance at reaching its first Super Regional in program history.

COPPIN STATE HIRES SHERMAN REED
Former Coppin State assistant coach Sherman Reed was named Friday as the new head coach of the Eagle program announced director of athletics Derrick Ramsey.

Reed replaces Mike Scolinos who left the program in June to pursue other professional opportunities.

Reed was an assistant coach at Coppin State in 2008 under former head coach Harvey Lee and in 2009 working with Scolinos.

Reed played collegiately at Towson from 1979-83 under former Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers coach Billy Hunter. He then spent 10 seasons playing independent baseball prior to beginning his coaching career.

Photo courtesy of Boston College Athletics

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Todd Whitting To Coach Houston Cougars


UNITED STATES – Returning to his alma mater, Todd Whitting rejoined the University of Houston baseball program as its head coach on Friday, Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades announced.

Whitting becomes the eighth coach in program history and brings a solid resume as a coach and as a recruiter, roles he held for seven seasons at TCU and as an assistant at Houston from 1995 to 2003.

During his career, he has been a part of programs that won 16 conference regular-season and tournament championships, competed in 13 NCAA Regionals, five NCAA Super Regionals and one NCAA College World Series.

He also worked closely with 57 players that were drafted by major league organizations.

Whitting quickly developed a reputation as one of the nation’s top recruiters at both TCU and Houston. He was instrumental in bringing three signing classes to TCU that ranked among the nation’s top 10 by Baseball America magazine, including the No. 3 class in 2010.

As a Cougar, he assembled Houston’s 2000 signing class that was ranked No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball magazine.

With an award-winning background and strong recruiting ties in Houston, the state and across the country, Whitting was the best choice to lead the Cougars into the future, Rhoades said.

A three-year letterman with the Cougars, Whitting graduated from UH in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. He has a 6-year-old son, Matthew.

Photo courtesy of Houston Athletics

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2010 NCAA Coaching Carrousel


UNITED STATES – After 23 seasons, the University of North Florida baseball team is under new direction as Raymond “Smoke” Laval officially becomes the head coach of the Ospreys. Laval replaces Hall of Fame head baseball coach Dusty Rhodes, who announced his retirement in August effective at the end of the 2010 season. He is a 30-year college coaching veteran with 12 years of Division I experience as a head coach.

Laval (pictured) served as LSU’s head baseball coach for five seasons (2002-2006). In five years at the helm of the LSU program, he guided the Tigers to two College World Series berths (2003 and 2004), two NCAA Super Regional titles, three NCAA Regional championships, one SEC title, two SEC division championships and two Top 10 finishes. Laval, the 2003 SEC Coach of the Year, finished his career at LSU with a 210-109-1 (.658) overall record and the highest winning percentage in SEC regular-season games. He coached two players to SEC Player of the Year accolades and had 23 players drafted by Major League clubs. Laval boasted a school-record 12 SEC Academic Honor Roll members in 2004 and in 2005.

TOMMY BOGGS NAMED CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY SKIPPER
Concordia University Texas today announced that Tommy Boggs, former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher with the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves, has been named as the University’s new head baseball coach. The Tornados competed in the NCAA Division III World Series in 2002 after a 35-13 season record, making them the only Division III University from the State of Texas to compete in the Division III World Series, to date.

IPFW NAME BOBBY PIERCE NEW SKIPPER
IPFW Director of Athletics has announced that Bobby Pierce has been hired as the Mastodons’ new head baseball coach. Pierce comes to IPFW after a successful stint at Metro State College in Denver, Colorado. He led Metro State to Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) tournament berths in each of his two seasons at the helm.

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT NAME JASON GILL NEW COACH
Loyola Marymount University Athletics Director Dr. William Husak formally announced on Thursday that Jason Gill has been named head coach of the LMU baseball program. After serving as an assistant coach at LMU in 1999 and 2000, Gill, who has spent the last four years working under head coach George Horton at Oregon and Cal State Fullerton, will return to the bluff to become the seventh head coach of the Lions’ program.

EASTERN KENTUCKY HIRES JASON STEIN
Former Eastern Kentucky University infielder Jason Stein was named the school’s new baseball coach, EKU Director of Athletics Mark Sandy announced on Thursday. A two-time All-OVC honoree for Athletics Hall of Fame coach Jim Ward from 1992-95, Stein later served as an assistant coach to Ward from 1998-2000.

CARDENAS TABBED AS SFA LUMBERJACKS COACH
Stephen F. Austin athletics director Robert Hill announced Wednesday the promotion of Johnny Cardenas as head coach of the Lumberjack baseball program. Cardenas had served as interim head coach of the `Jacks since the position became vacant in early June.

BILLY GERNON NAMED WESTERN MICHIGAN COACH
The Western Michigan Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Tuesday, June 22, the hiring of Billy Gernon as the eighth head coach of the Bronco baseball program. Gernon was previously the head coach at IPFW for nine seasons before spending the last two as an assistant at Michigan State. Gernon is the all-time winningest coach in IPFW history.

UH SKIPPER RAYNER NOBLE RESIGNS
University of Houston Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades announced Tuesday evening that baseball head coach Rayner Noble and the Athletics Department settled on a mutually agreeable resignation.

CENTRAL ARKANSAS HIRES ALLEN GUM
Allen Gum was named the head baseball coach at Central Arkansas, athletic director Dr. Brad Teague announced Tuesday. Gum compiled a 226-68 record in five seasons at the helm of Southern Arkansas and recorded five consecutive 40-plus win seasons. His .769 winning percentage is the second best in the Gulf South Conference. The Muleriders have also spent 24 weeks at number one in the nation during the past three seasons.

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Anthony Rendon Wins Dick Howser Trophy


UNITED STATES – Rice sophomore third baseman Anthony Rendon is the recipient of the 24th annual Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s player of the year. The presentation was made Friday evening in Lubbock, Texas as part of the festivities to recognize and induct the College Baseball Hall of Fame and the awarding of several other national honors for 2010.

Rendon is just the second player in Conference USA history to be named Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. He picked up that honor again this year while leading the Owls to the regular season league championship and the school’s 16th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. The two-time first team All-CUSA selection was named to the C-USA Championship All-Tournament team and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Austin Regional. The Houston native was also named the Male Athlete of the Year for all sports in Conference USA.

He batted .402 in conference play and finished the season hitting .394 overall. Rendon led Conference USA in home runs with 26 and had more homers than strikeouts (22) all season long. Rendon ranks among the nation’s leaders in runs scored (83) and walks (65) while maintaining a .530 on-base percentage. He had 12 doubles and 85 RBI, while posting an .801 slugging percentage.

Rendon has also been named the 2010 National Player of the Year by Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association.

He won the Howser Trophy over two other outstanding finalists: Miami (Fla.) catcher Yasmani Grandal and Mississippi pitcher Drew Pomeranz.

The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

A Florida native, Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State University (1957-58), then coached the Seminoles in 1979 after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. The baseball stadium on the Florida State campus is named for Howser.

NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport’s only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.

The College Baseball Foundation was established in 2004 and has inducted 57 greats into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock. The group promotes the highest ideals and recognition of greatness on college baseball diamonds in the 150 years since the first intercollegiate contest in 1859 between Amherst and Williams. The groups also have come together in 2010 to select the Dick Howser Trophy, Brooks Wallace Award (Division I Shortstop of the Year), NCBWA Stopper of the Year, CBF Pitcher of the Year, John Olerud Award (top twoway player) and NCBWA National Coach of the Year. The Pro-Line Athletic/NCBWA All-America and Freshman All-America teams, the NCBWA Freshman Player and Pitcher of the Year also are being presented by these national entities.

The Howser Trophy was created in 1987, shortly after Howser’s death. Previous winners of the Howser Trophy are Mike Fiore, Miami, 1987; Robin Ventura, Oklahoma State, 1988; Scott Bryant, Texas, 1989; Alex Fernandez, Miami-Dade Community College South, 1990; Frank Rodriguez, Howard College (Texas), 1991; Brooks Kieschnick, Texas, 1992 and 1993; Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, 1994; Todd Helton, Tennessee, 1995; Kris Benson, Clemson, 1996; J. D. Drew, Florida State, 1997; Eddy Furniss, LSU, 1998; Jason Jennings, Baylor, 1999; Mark Teixeira, Georgia Tech, 2000; Mark Prior, P, USC, 2001, Khalil Greene, SS, Clemson, 2002; Rickey Weeks, 2B, Southern U., 2003; Jered Weaver, P, Long Beach State, 2004; Alex Gordon, 3B, Nebraska, 2005; Brad Lincoln, P/DH, Houston, 2006; David Price, P, Vanderbilt, 2007; Buster Posey, C, Florida State, 2008 and Stephen Strasburg, P, San Diego State, 2009.

Photo courtesy of Rice Athletics

Source: The College Baseball Foundation

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Bryan Holaday Claims Johnny Bench Award


UNITED STATES – TCU senior catcher Bryan Holaday was named the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award recipient. The award is given to the top catcher in collegiate baseball. Holaday is the 11th player to win the award since its inception in 2000. It is the first major award won by a TCU baseball player in school history.

A first-team all-conference member, Holaday adds to his list of accolades, which also include second-team All-America honors. He is a three-time MWC Hitter of the Week winner and was also named MVP of both the Houston College Classic and the Mountain West Conference Tournament. He earned a spot on the 11-man College World Series all-tournament team.

Holaday was clearly the leader of the team, helping lead the Horned Frogs to their first-ever appearance in the College World Series. He was one of just two Frogs to start all 68 games this season. He hit .355 with a school-record 99 hits. He tallied 72 runs scored and drove in 53. Holaday hit 24 doubles, one triple and 17 home runs.

Defensively, Holaday guided a staff that posted a 3.55 ERA. As a team, the Frogs surrendered just 30 stolen bases in 57 attempts. Holaday threw out 46% of the runners trying to steal and posted a .988 fielding percentage.

He was one of three finalists for the award, joining Miami’s Yasmani Grandal and Coastal Carolina’s Jose Iglesias at the award’s ceremony in Wichita, Kansas.

Previous Winners:
2009 – J.T. Wise, University of Oklahoma
2008 – Buster Posey, Florida State University
2007 – Edward Easley, Mississippi State University
2006 – Jake Smith, East Carolina University
2005 – Jeff Clement, University of Southern California
2004 – Kurt Suzuki, Cal State – Fullerton
2003 – Ryan Garko, Stanford University
2002 – Jeremy Brown, University of Alabama
2001 – Kelly Shoppach, Baylor University
2000 – Brad Cresse, Louisiana State University

Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

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Daniel Bibona Claims Lowe’s Award


UNITED STATES – Five-time all-American and Big West Conference pitcher of the year Daniel Bibona from the University of California, Irvine, has been selected as the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner for baseball.

The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I baseball coaches, national media and fans, is awarded annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I baseball. The announcement and trophy presentation were made today by Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, during the NCAA College World Series® in Omaha.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete, with criteria including community service, excellence in the classroom, outstanding character and competition on the field.

In addition to his conference pitcher-of-the-year and all-America honors, Bibona owns the UC Irvine record for career strikeouts. His team advanced to NCAA post-season play for the fifth straight time. Bibona is one of 30 semifinalists for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, recognizing the game’s top player.

Bibona graduated this month with a degree in sociology and a 3.25 grade point average. He was the 2010 Big West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In addition to being a regular visitor at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and coaching youth baseball, Bibona is a member of a non-profit organization called American Home Dream, which assists children with terminal illnesses.

This marks the fourth year for the baseball division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The University of Alabama’s Emeel Salem was the inaugural winner in 2007, Rice University’s Cole St. Clair was the recipient in 2008 and the University of Florida’s Brandon McArthur took home the award in 2009.

ABOUT THE AWARD
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: classroom, community, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards that a senior season can bring. Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award program has expanded the past two years to include a total of nine NCAA® Division I sports – football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball and softball in addition to men’s and women’s basketball. The award is sponsored by Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA®, and managed by Premier Sports Management. For more information, visit www.seniorCLASSaward.com.

ABOUT LOWE’S
With fiscal year 2009 sales of $47.2 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a FORTUNE® 50 company that serves approximately 15 million customers a week at more than 1,700 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

ABOUT THE NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I.

Photo courtesy of UC Irvine Athletics

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Ruffin Wins Stopper of the Year Award


UNITED STATES — Texas relief pitcher Chance Ruffin is the 2010 recipient of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Stopper of the Year Award, the NCBWA announced Saturday in Omaha on the opening day of the College World Series.

Ruffin ranks second in the nation with a microscopic 1.11 earned run average, which was the Longhorns’ lowest single-season ERA since 1982 and fifth best all-time. The junior from Austin, Texas, compiled a 6-1 record and 14 saves and fanned 97 batters in just 64.2 innings.

Ruffin currently leads the nation and finished second on Texas’ single-season list with 13.50 strikeouts per nine innings. He also became the first Texas player to record 10 or more wins in a season (2009) and 10 or more saves in a season (2010).

During the season Ruffin, logged scoreless inning streaks of 22.1 and 21.1 and showcased some late-inning heroics. In the ninth inning of games, he fanned 47 of the 120 batters (39.2%) he faced, registered a 0.87 ERA and held opponents to a .145 batting average.

He earned his third consecutive All-Big 12 honor this season after being named to the first team. Ruffin, who’s efforts helped Texas capture the 2010 Big 12 regular season crown, finished league play with a 3-0 mark and five saves. In 31.0 innings pitched, he allowed just three earned runs for an impressive 0.87 ERA and tallied 50 strikeouts. Big 12 opponents hit .180 against him.

Ruffin was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the Compensatory Round A of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The Tigers used the 48th overall pick to chose the Longhorns’ closer. It was the highest selection for a Texas player since Drew Stubbs (8th overall) and Kyle McCulloch (29th overall) were picked in the 2006 draft.

This year’s finalists also included Kevin Arico of Virginia, Neil Holland of Louisville, Chris Dennis of Portland and Jordan Swagerty of Arizona State.

The Stopper of the Year will also be recognized on the College Baseball Awards show, July 2 in Lubbock, Texas. This event will feature the presentation of the Dick Howser Trophy to the National Player of the Year. Other awards scheduled to be presented during the show include the Brooks Wallace Award, honoring the nation’s best shortstop, and the Pitcher of the Year Award. All of the NCBWA season awards will be recognized during the show.

For more information on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year, contact Julie St.Cyr at the Big West Conference at 949-261-2525 or Russ Anderson at Conference USA at 214-774-1351.

Photo courtesy of Texas Media Relations

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Trio Named Howser Trophy Finalists


UNITED STATES – Miami (Fla.) catcher Yasmani Grandal, Mississippi pitcher Drew Pomeranz and Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon have been named as finalists for the 2010 Dick Howser Trophy in balloting by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and in conjunction with the College Baseball Foundation, the Dick Howser Trophy committee and the St Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

The winner of the Howser Trophy will be announced in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2, during the College Baseball Awards Show, held at the United Spirit Arena and shown on MLB.com. The nationally broadcasted event will follow the College Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 1 in Lubbock.

All three finalists for the 24th Annual Howser Trophy embody the principles of character, leadership, desire, and competitive spirit exhibited by Dick Howser, the All-America shortstop and later head coach at Florida State, before managing the Kansas City Royals to the world championship in 1985.

Grandal (pictured) had one of the most impressive offensive seasons in Miami history, leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in batting average (.401), slugging percentage (.721) and on-base percentage (.527). He is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award in addition to being named the 2010 ACC Player of the Year and a first team NCBWA Pro-Line Athletic All-America selection. Grandal was also selected by the Cincinnati Reds with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. On the year, he has 89 hits, 24 doubles, 15 homers, 60 RBI, 57 walks, 56 runs scored and 160 total bases in 62 games.

Pomeranz finished the year with a 9-2 record and held a 2.24 ERA to go along with 139 strikeouts. The junior was named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year for his efforts, becoming the first Ole Miss pitcher to claim the award since its inception in 2003. His 139 strikeouts ranks second all-time on the single-season list and pushed him to 344 strikeouts for his career, setting a new career record for strikeouts. The left-handed pitcher is a first team NCBWA Pro-Line Athletic All-America selection and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians with the fifth overall pick in the MLB Draft – the highest draft pick in Ole Miss history.

Rendon is just the second player in Conference USA history to be named Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. He picked up that honor again this year while leading the Owls to the regular season league championship and the school’s 16th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. The two-time first team All-C-USA selection was named to the C-USA Championship All-Tournament team and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Austin Regional. He batted .402 in conference play and finished the season hitting .394 overall. Rendon led Conference USA in home runs with 26 and had more homers than strikeouts (22) all season long. Rendon ranks among the nation’s leaders in runs scored (83) and walks (65) while maintaining a .530 on-base percentage. He had 12 doubles and 85 RBI, while posting an .801 slugging percentage.

The Dick Howser Trophy, given in memory of the former Florida State University All-America shortstop and major league player and manager who died of brain cancer in 1987, is regarded by many as college baseball’s most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration for the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser’s life.

Photo courtesy of Miami Hurricanes Athletics

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TCU Skipper Named Coach of the Year


UNITED STATES – After leading his team to the program’s first appearance at the NCAA College World Series, TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle was named the National Coach of the Year by the National College Baseball Writers Association.

The award, which was voted on by the NCBWA Board of Directors, was chosen from a list that included all Division I Conference Coaches of the Year and the coaches of the eight NCAA College World Series teams. Schlossnagle, who was the only coach to appear on every voter’s ballot, received the honor Saturday morning at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Schlossnagle led the 3rd-ranked Horned Frogs (51-12) to their fourth straight 40-win campaign and fifth consecutive Mountain West regular-season title in 2010 on the journey to Omaha. TCU won the MWC Tournament title, taking just three games to earn the league’s automatic bid for the fourth time in just five seasons in the league.

Entering the 2010 NCAA College World series, Schlossnagle has posted a 379-179 career record over nine seasons as a head coach. In seven seasons as the Horned Frogs’ skipper, he has led TCU to seven consecutive NCAA Regional appearances, earned six MWC Coach of the Year awards and accumulated a 302-132 record.

Schlossnagle’s Horned Frogs will face Florida State at 1 p.m. (CT), Saturday, on the first day of the NCAA College World Series. They will then face the winner or loser of the Florida-UCLA game on Monday.

ALL-TIME WINNERS
2010 – Jim Schlossnagle TCU
2009 – Brian O’Connor Virginia
2008 – Mike Batesole Fresno State

Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

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2010 NCBWA All-American Baseball Team


UNITED STATES – Several candidates for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy highlight the 15th Annual Pro-Line Athletic National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-America Team announced Wednesday.

Among the 58 standouts on the three units, there are student-athletes from 20 different conferences and 11 conference championships teams. The three All-America squads are also made up of 14 conference Players of the Year and 11 conference Pitchers of the Year winners.

Members of this year’s team lead the nation in 12 different categories, including runs (Nate Roberts, High Point, 88), doubles per game (Ryan Soares, George Mason, 0.60), triples per game (Zack MacPhee, Arizona State, 0.25), home runs (Jordan Ribera, Fresno State, 27), RBIs per game (C.J. Cron, Utah, 1.65), walks (Michael Choice, UT Arlington, 76), slugging percentage (Paul Hoilman, ETSU, .860), on-base percentage (Roberts, .573), earned run average (John Stilson, Texas A&M, 0.80), wins (Matt Purke, TCU, 14), saves (Kevin Arrico, Virginia, 18) and strikeouts per nine innings (Chase Ruffin, Texas, 13.49).

The three finalists for the 24th Annual Dick Howser Trophy, as voted upon by NCBWA members and awarded since 1987, will be announced on Saturday, June 19, in Omaha at 10 a.m. (CDT) at the Rosenblatt Stadium Media Room. The Dick Howser Trophy recipient will be named during the College Baseball Awards Show on July 2 at the United Spirit Center in Lubbock, Texas, on MLB.com.

2010 NCBWA Division I All-America Team:

C – Yasmani Grandal, Miami Hurricanes (.401)
1B- Hunter Morris, Auburn Tigers (.386)
2B- Zack MacPhee, Arizona State Sun Devils (.394)
SS- Jedd Gyorko, West Virginia Mountaineers (.381)
3B- Anthony Rendon, Rice Owls (.394)
OF- Alex Dickerson, Indiana Hoosiers (.419)
OF- Chris Duffy, Central Florida (.447)
OF- Gary Brown, Cal State Fullerton (.438)
DH- C.J. Cron, Utah Utes (.431)
UT- Mike McGee, Florida State Seminoles (.328/12 Saves)
SP- Chris Sale, Florida Gulf Coast (11-0)
SP- Anthony Meo, Coastal Carolina (13-2)
SP- Drew Pomeranz, Ole Miss (9-2)
SP- Danny Hultzen, Virginia Cavaliers (11-1)
SP- Cole Green, Texas Longhorns (11-2) – pictured
RP- Chance Ruffin, Texas Longhorns (6-1/14 Saves)
RP- Neil Holland, Louisville Cardinals (8-1/17 Saves)
RP- Kevin Arrico, Virginia Cavaliers (1-1/18 Saves)

Photo courtesy of Texas Media Relations

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Purke, Baltz Named NCBWA Top Frosh


UNITED STATES – St. John’s outfielder Jeremy Baltz and TCU left-handed starting pitcher Matt Purke have been named the 2010 Pro-Line National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman Hitter and Pitcher of the Year recipients, as announced by the organization today.

Baltz led the Red Storm with a .396 batting average and set school records with 85 RBIs and 24 home runs, claiming the team’s version of the Triple Crown. His 24 home runs are the most by a freshman this season. The Vestal, N.Y., native was selected the 2010 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, leading St. John’s in slugging percentage (.771), multiple-hit games (29), multiple-RBI games (25) and total bases (185). He also had 16 doubles, a triple, 95 hits and scored 64 runs. He was a unanimous first team all-BIG EAST honoree and earned second team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball.

Baltz helped lead St. John’s to a 43-18 overall record and its conference-record sixth BIG EAST Tournament title, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Charlottesville Regional. The outfielder was named the regional’s MVP. Baltz also has been named Freshman Player of the Year by the Collegiate Baseball News.

Purke has posted a 14-0 record with a 3.23 ERA in 103 innings pitched this season. The Spring, Texas, native has struck out a team-leading 133 batters, walked 28, recorded one complete game and held opponents to a .219 batting average during 18 appearances during 2010. The left-hander went into the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 3 in the country in wins and 12th in strikeouts. He was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and received second team All-American honors and Freshman Pitcher of the Year from Collegiate Baseball News.

Purke leads the Mountain West with 14 wins and 133 strikeouts. The left-hander also ranks in the conference’s Top 10 in ERA (4th), innings pitched (4th) and opponents batting average (2nd). He is the third Horned Frog to be named a Freshman of the Year in school history.

The left-hander has helped lead TCU to a 51-12 record and their first appearance in the College World Series, with NCAA Fort Worth Regional and Austin Super Regional Championships. The Horned Frogs also captured the MWC Regular Season and Tournament titles. Purke has been named one of the finalists for the College Baseball Foundation’s Pitcher of the Year Award.

Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

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2010 NCBWA Freshman All-America Team


UNITED STATES – A total of 30 standout freshmen college baseball players from every part of the country are featured on the 2010 Pro-Line Athletic National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Freshman All-American Team, the organization announced today.

The 2010 Pro-Line Athletic NCBWA Freshman All-American Team features players from 13 conferences and six conference championship teams. The two All-American squads are also made up of 10 conference “Rookie of the Year” winners.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association’s official Web site, www.ncbwa.com.

Pro-Line Athletic, owned by Badger Sport, supplies caps and uniforms to several D-1 college baseball teams and this is the fifth season Pro-Line has sponsored the NCBWA’s Players of the Week. The sponsorship provides for plaques to be awarded to each of the weekly winners and other promotional consideration. For more information about Pro-Line and Badger, visit their web sites at: www.badgersport.com and www.prolinecap.com

2010 NCBWA Freshman All-America Team

First Team
C – Kevin Plawecki, Purdue
1B- Barrett Barnes, Texas Tech (pictured)
2B- Steve Nyisztor, Rutgers
3B- Austin Maddox, Florida
SS- Eric Stamets, Evansville
OF- Jeremy Baltz, St. John’s
OF- Jabari Henry, Florida International
OF- Max White, Oklahoma
DH- Adam Brett Walker, Jacksonville
UT- Matt Boyd, Oregon State
SP- Justin Jones, California
SP- Matt Purke, TCU
SP- Michael Wacha, Texas A&M
RP- Tyler Gebler, Rutgers
RP- Brett Huber, Mississippi
RP- Brady Rodgers, Arizona State

Second Team
C – Ronnie Freeman, Kennesaw State
1B- Max Muncy, Baylor
2B- Cory Spangenberg, VMI
3B- Ryan Dalton, UT-San Antonio
SS- Deven Marrero, Arizona State
OF- Patrick Biondi, Michigan
OF- Gerrett Custons, Air Force
OF- Dan Gulbransen, Jacksonville
DH- Carlos Lopez, Cal St Fullerton
UT- Brian Johnson, Florida
SP- Kyle Hansen, St. John’s
SP- Kurt Heyer, Arizona
SP- Hudson Randall, Florida
RP- E.J. Encinosa, Miami, Fla.
RP- Dylan Floro, Cal St Fullerton
RP- Matt Price, South Carolina

Photo courtesy of Red Raiders.com

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2010 NCBWA District Players of the Year


UNITED STATES – Nine of college baseball’s finest student-athletes have been named 2010 National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America District Players of the Year, as the NCBWA announced these 11th annual awards today.

Last year’s District standouts included eventual Dick Howser Trophy recipient and Washington Nationals’ pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State, West Virginia SS Jedd Gyorko, consensus All-America 3B Anthony Rendon of Rice, and OF Kent Matthes of Alabama, among others. Rendon is the only repeater from the 2009 NCBWA District selections.

The 2010 NCBWA District Players of the Year:

District 1 - 3B/RP Joe Leonard (Pittsburgh)
District 2 - SS Jedd Gyorko (West Virginia)
District 3 - C Yasmani Grandal (Miami, Fla.)
District 4 - SP Anthony Meo (Coastal Carolina)
District 5 - OF Alex Dickerson (Indiana)
District 6 - OF Aaron Senne (Missouri)
District 7 - 3B Anthony Rendon (Rice)
District 8 - C/1B/DH C.J. Cron (Utah)
District 9 - 2B Zack MacPhee (Arizona State).

Leonard already has received All-America recognition from Collegiate Baseball, and the junior from Dawson, Pa., was one of the most versatile players in the Big East Conference in ‘10.

Gyorko, a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award, is a hometown Morgantown, W. Virginia., native who batted .381 with a career-high 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 28 doubles, 90 hits, and 71 runs for the Mountaineers.

Grandal (pictured) posted some of the most impressive numbers ever by a Miami catcher after his family won an extraordinary national lottery to come to the United States from Cuba at the age of 10.
Meo has been the mainstay on a Coastal Carolina staff, which helped CCU roll to the national lead in overall victories with 55 in its first 63 games this season.

Dickerson, the 2009 Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year, suffered no sophomore slump in ranking among Big Ten and national leaders in almost every batting category.

Senne was the Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Year and a 2010 All-American after hitting .400 with 16 home runs, 59 RBI and 22 doubles. He became the first Tiger to hit .400 since 1988.

Rendon is just the second player in Conference USA history to be named Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons after picking up that honor this year while leading the Owls to the regular season league championship.

Cron, one of the nation’s most versatile standouts, started at catcher, first base and designated hitter for the 2010 Utes. The sophomore from Phoenix, Ariz., already has been selected to a pair of All-America teams while pacing Utah in virtually every category on offense.

MacPhee, another of the splendid sophs honored and Phoenix resident, was a first team All-America and 2010 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year. He enters the Tempe Super Regional with a .381 batting average and team-high .490 on-base percentage and .686 slugging percentage.

Photo courtesy of Miami Athletics

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16 Teams In Hunt For 2010 CWS


UNITED STATES – The NCAA baseball field for the super regionals is finally set.

The 11th-ranked and top-seeded University of Miami baseball team won its 12th consecutive home regional under skipper Jim Morris with a 10-3 victory over No. 4 seed Texas A&M Tuesday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park.

The Hurricanes (43-18) will now advance to the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional to take on No. 3 national seed Florida in a best-of-three series beginning next weekend.

NCAA SUPER REGIONAL MATCHUPS:

Miami (43-18) vs. Florida Gators (45-15)
TCU Horned Frogs (49-11) vs. Texas Longhorns (49-11)
Alabama Crimson Tide (41-23) vs. Clemson Tigers (41-22)
Arkansas Razorbacks (43-19) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (50-8)
S. Carolina Gamecocks (46-15) vs. C. Carolina Chanticleers (55-8)
Cal State Fullerton Titans (44-16) vs. UCLA Bruins (46-16)
Oklahoma Sooners (39-21) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (50-12)
Vanderbilt Commodores (45-18) vs. Florida State Seminoles (45-17)

Photo courtesy of Texas Media Relations

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LSU Ousted From NCAA Tournament


UNITED STATES – There will be a new College world Series champion in 2010.

UC Irvine eliminated defending CWS champion LSU before getting knocked out of the tournament by UCLA at the Los Angeles Regional. The Bruins advance to the super regionals next weekend against the winner of Monday night’s clash between Cal State Fullerton and Minnesota.

The Texas Longhorns, which lost to the Tigers in last year’s CWS championship game, advanced to the super regionals with a win against the Rice Owls. Coach Augie Garrido’s pitching-rich squad will face a solid TCU Horned Frogs team next weekend.

Below are brief summaries of each NCAA regional:

LOS ANGELES REGIONAL
UCLA (46-16) advanced to the super regionals with a 6-2 victory against the UC Irvine Anteaters. The Bruins will clash with either Cal State Fullerton or Minnesota next weekend.

CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL
St. John’s (43-19) knocked off Virginia (49-12) on Sunday to force a regional championship encounter on Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

NORWICH REGIONAL
Florida State eliminated Oregon 5-3 Sunday to advance to the super regionals. The Seminoles (45-17) will meet either Louisville or Vanderbilt next weekend.

LOUISVILLE REGIONAL
Vanderbilt (44-18) blanked Louisville (50-13) Sunday to force a regional championship battle Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

CORAL GABLES REGIONAL
Texas A&M (43-20-1) outslugged Miami (42-18) Sunday to force a regional championship clash Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

TEMPE REGIONAL
No. 1 national seed Arizona State defeated Hawaii 8-4 Sunday to advance to the super regionals. The Sun Devils (50-8) will play either Arkansas or Washington State next weekend.

GAINESVILLE REGIONAL
Florida routed Florida Atlantic 15-0 Sunday to advance to the super regionals. The Gators (45-15) will host either Miami or Texas A&M next weekend.

ATLANTA REGIONAL
Alabama (40-23) rolled past Georgia Tech (47-14) Sunday to force a regional championship matchup Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

COLUMBIA REGIONAL
South Carolina thumped Virginia Tech 10-2 Sunday to advance to the super regionals. The Gamecocks (46-15) will play either Coastal Carolina or the College of Charleston next weekend.

MYRTLE BEACH REGIONAL
Coastal Carolina nipped the College of Charleston 8-7 Sunday to force a regional championship game Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

AUBURN REGIONAL
Auburn edged Clemson 11-10 Sunday to force a regional championship battle Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

FAYETTEVILLE REGIONAL
Washington State topped Arkansas 10-7 Sunday to force a regional championship clash Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

NORMAN REGIONAL
Oklahoma Sooners (39-21) slipped past North Carolina 3-2 to advance to the super regionals.

TEXAS REGIONAL
Texas beat Rice 4-1 Sunday to advance to the super regionals. The Longhorns (49-11) will face TCU next weekend.

FORT WORTH REGIONAL
TCU shutout Baylor 9-0 Sunday to advance to the super regionals. The Horned Frogs (49-11) will tangle with Texas next weekend.

FULLERTON REGIONAL
Cal St. Fullerton (44-16) defeated Minnesota (32-29) Sunday to force a regional championship clash Monday night with the winner advancing to the super regionals.

Photo courtesy of Texas Athletics

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2010 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Finalists


UNITED STATES — Five of college baseball’s top relief specialists have been selected as finalists for the sixth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, the NCBWA announced Wednesday.

This year’s finalists include NCAA saves leaders Kevin Arico of Virginia and Neil Holland of Louisville, along with Chris Dennis of Portland, Chance Ruffin of Texas and Jordan Swagerty of Arizona State.

Arico, with an NCAA-tying 16 saves, set a single-season school record for the Cavaliers and earned ACC First Team All-Conference honors. He is 1-1 this season with a 2.93 earned run average. In 27.2 innings pitched, Arico has recorded 38 strikeouts and seven walks.

Holland, also owning an NCAA-tying 16 saves, helped the Cardinals clinch their second straight BIG EAST regular season title and capture their first-ever national seed in the NCAA Tournament. In 51.1 innings pitched, the right-hander from Owensboro, Ky., holds an impressive 8-0 record and has allowed 12 earned runs while striking out 52 and carrying a 2.10 ERA.

Dennis, registering a 5-1 record, finished the season with a 1.88 earned run average and 51 strikeouts over his 43.0 innings of work. The Bothell, Wash. native allowed just nine earned runs and 11 walks.

Ruffin (pictured), a Golden Spikes semifinalist, leads the nation with a minuscule 0.77 ERA. He owns a 6-1 record and 13 saves and has fanned 89 batters in just 58.1 innings. He earned his third consecutive All-Big 12 honor this season after being named to the first team.

Swagerty, pacing the Pac-10 with 14 saves, assisted in Arizona State grabbing the conference title and the overall No. 1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. In 29.2 innings of work, the Sachse, Texas, native owns a 2.12 ERA with 10 walks and 39 strikeouts.

More than 50 of the nation’s top collegiate relief pitchers were included in the selection process for this year’s NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award, beginning with initial preseason nominations by baseball contacts at NCAA Division I schools.

The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced on Saturday, June 19, the opening day of the 2009 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, Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007, Georgia’s Joshua Fields topping the field in 2008 and San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbing the honor last season.

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.

For more information on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year, contact Julie St. Cyr at the Big West Conference at 949-261-2525 or Russ Anderson at Conference USA at 214-774-1300.

Photo courtesy of Texas Athletics

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2010 Johnny Bench Award Finalists


UNITED STATES – The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced today the three finalists for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza.

The Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award finalists are (in alphabetical order):

– Yasmani Grandal, University of Miami
– Bryan Holaday (pictured), Texas Christian University
– Jose Iglesias, Coastal Carolina University

A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010.

Bench’s career honors include: National League Rookie of the Year (1968); National League Most Valuable Player (1970, 1972); World Series Most Valuable Player (1976); 14-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner. In 1980, he set an endurance record by catching 100+ games for 13 consecutive seasons. Bench was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989 with the fourth highest percentage of total votes cast.

PREVIOUS WINNERS:
2009 J.T. Wise, University of Oklahoma
2008 Buster Posey, Florida State University
2007 Edward Easley, Mississippi State University
2006 Jake Smith, East Carolina University
2005 Jeff Clement, University of Southern California
2004 Kurt Suzuki, Cal State – Fullerton
2003 Ryan Garko, Stanford University
2002 Jeremy Brown, University of Alabama
2001 Kelly Shoppach, Baylor University
2000 Brad Cresse, Louisiana State University

Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

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Field Set For NCAA Title Chase


UNITED STATES – The Arizona State Wildcats have been tapped as the top-seeded team for the 2010 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The consensus No.1 team in the nation in most polls, the Texas Longhorns, are seeded second.

The remainder of the eight national seeds are No.3 Florida, No.4 Coastal Carolina, No.5 Virginia, No.6 UCLA, No.7 Louisville and No.8 Georgia Tech.

Below is the complete field for this year’s tournament:

Arizona St. Region (Tempe, AZ)
1. Arizona St. (47-8) vs 4. Milwaukee (33-24)
3. Hawai’i (33-26) vs 2. San Diego (36-20)

Texas Region (Austin, TX)
1. Texas (46-11) vs 4. Rider (36-21)
3. UL-Lafayette (37-20) vs 2. Rice (38-21)

Florida Region (Gainesville, FL)
1. Florida (42-15) vs 4. Bethune-Cookman (35-20)
3. Oregon St. (31-22) vs 2. Florida Atlantic (35-22)

Coastal Carolina Region (Myrtle Beach, SC)
1. Coastal Carolina (51-7) vs 4. Stony Brook (29-25)
3. NC State (38-22) vs 2. College of Charleston (42-17)

Virginia Region (Charlottesville, VA)
1. Virginia (47-11) vs 4. Virginia Commonwealth (34-24-1)
3. St. John’s (NY) (40-18) vs 2. Ole Miss (38-22)

UCLA Region (Los Angeles, CA)
1. UCLA (43-13) vs 4. Kent St. (39-23)
3. UC Irvine (37-19) vs 2. LSU (40-20)

Louisville Region (Louisville, KY)
1. Louisville (48-12) vs 4. St. Louis (33-27)
3. Illinois St. (31-22) vs 2. Vanderbilt (41-17)

Georgia Tech Region (Atlanta, GA)
1. Georgia Tech (45-13) vs 4. Mercer (37-22)
3. Elon (38-22) vs 2. Alabama (37-22)

Miami Region (Coral Gables, FL)
1. Miami (40-17) vs 4. Dartmouth (26-17)
3. Florida International (36-23) vs 2. Texas A&M (40-13-1)

Fullerton Region (Fullerton, CA)
1. Cal St. Fullerton (41-15) vs 4. Minnesota (30-28)
3. New Mexico (37-20) vs 2. Stanford (31-23)

UCONN Region (Norwich, CT)
1. Florida St. (42-17) vs 4. Central Connecticut St. (33-21)
3. Oregon (38-22) vs 2. Connecticut (47-14)

TCU Region (Fort Worth, TX)
1. TCU (46-11) vs 4. Lamar (35-24)
3. Arizona (33-22) vs 2. Baylor (34-22)

Auburn Region (Auburn, AL)
1. Auburn (40-19) vs 4. Jacksonville St. (32-24)
3. Southern Miss (35-22) vs 2. Clemson (38-21)

South Carolina Region (Columbia, SC)
1. South Caroina (43-15) vs 4. Bucknell (25-33)
3. The Citadel (42-20) vs 2. Virginia Tech (38-20)

Arkansas Region (Fayetteville, AR)
1. Arkansas (40-18) vs 4. Grambling (22-30)
3. Kansas St. (35-20) vs 2. Washington St. (34-20)

Oklahoma Region (Norman, OK)
1. Oklahoma (44-15) vs 4. Oral Roberts (35-25)
3. North Carolina (35-20) vs 2. California (29-23)

Photo courtesy of ASU Athletics

Source: NCAA

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2010 All-MWC Baseball Team


UNITED STATES – The Mountain West Conference announced its 2010 Baseball All-MWC Team and postseason awards today as selected by the league’s seven head coaches.

Utah catcher/first baseman C.J. Cron earned MWC Player of the Year honors, while TCU right-hander Steven Maxwell was named MWC Pitcher of the Year, and TCU left-hander Matt Purke garnered MWC Freshman of the Year accolades. TCU skipper Jim Schlossnagle earned his fifth consecutive MWC Coach of the Year honor.

Cron, a 6-4, 230-pound sophomore from Phoenix, Ariz., led the MWC with 43 runs batted in, 79 total bases and a .806 slugging percentage in Conference play. He also ranked among the top-10 in batting average (.429), hits (42), runs scored (26), doubles (10), home runs (9) and on-base percentage (.462) against league opponents.

Maxwell, a 6-0, 180-pound junior from The Woodlands, Texas, posted a 4-1 record in MWC games. He registered a 3.35 earned run average in 51.0 innings of work against Conference opponents, ranking third in the league in both categories.

Purke (pictured), a 6-4, 180-pound left-hander from Spring, Texas, posted a league-best 6-0 record and struck out a Conference-high 64 MWC opponents this season. He also ranked second in the Mountain West with a .215 opposing batting average while compiling a 3.78 ERA in league contests.

Schlossnagle led the sixth-ranked Horned Frogs to their fourth straight 40-win campaign and fifth consecutive Mountain West regular-season title. Now in his seventh season with TCU, Schlossnagle has a record of 294-131 with the Frogs and a career mark of 371-178.

2010 All-Mountain West Conference Baseball Team
Catcher: Bryan Holaday, TCU
First Base: Matt Curry, TCU
Second Base: Jerome Pena, TCU
Shortstop: Taylor Featherston, TCU
Third Base: Nick Kuroczko, Utah
Outfield: Brandon Meredith, San Diego State
Outfield: Jason Coats, TCU
Outfield: Brance Rivera, TCU
DH/Utility: C.J. Cron, Utah
Pitcher: Willy Kesler, New Mexico
Pitcher: Steven Maxwell, TCU
Pitcher: Matt Purke, TCU
Reliever: Tyler Lockwood, TCU

Player of the Year:
C.J. Cron, Utah

Pitcher of the Year:
Steven Maxwell, TCU

Freshman of the Year:
Matt Purke, TCU

Coach of the Year:
Jim Schlossnagle, TCU

Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics

Source: Mountain West Conference

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2010 Big Ten Baseball Awards


UNITED STATES – On the evening before the start of the 2010 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, the Big Ten Conference announced the season’s All-Big Ten teams and individual honors, recognizing Indiana’s Alex Dickerson as the Player of the Year, Ohio State’s Alex Wimmers as Pitcher of the Year, Michigan State’s Ryan Jones as Freshman of the Year and Minnesota’s John Anderson as Coach of the Year.

The Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year a season ago, Dickerson becomes the third Hoosier to be named Big Ten Player of the Year and the first since 2002. The sophomore is just the sixth player to earn Freshman and Player of the Year honors in the same career and the first to do it in successive seasons.

The 2009 Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Year, Wimmers (pictured) becomes the first pitcher in Big Ten history to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons. The junior led the Big Ten with a 1.60 ERA, .218 opponents’ batting average and tied for the lead in wins.

Jones is the second Spartan in history and first since 2005 to be named Freshman of the Year. The second baseman finished sixth in the Big Ten with a .380 average in all games.

Selected by his peers as Big Ten Coach of the Year, John Anderson led Minnesota to its 22nd overall Big Ten title and first since 2004. The honor is the fifth of Anderson’s career, as he also received top accolades in 2000 and in three straight years from 20002 to 2004.

Dickerson, Wimmers and Purdue starter Matt Bischoff were unanimous selections to the All-Big Ten first team, joined on the first team by Indiana’s Josh Lyon, Michigan’s Ryan LaMarre, Michigan State’s Jonathan Roof, Minnesota’s Nick O’Shea, Northwestern’s Eric Jokisch, Chris Lashmet, Zach Morton and Paul Snieder, Ohio State’s Zach Hurley and Penn State’s Ben Heath.

The complete All-Big Ten teams, All-Freshman team and individual award winners can be found below.

2010 ALL-BIG TEN BASEBALL TEAM
1B – Nick O’Shea, Minnesota
2B – Zach Morton, Northwestern
SS – Jonathan Roof, Michigan State
3B – Chris Lashmet, Northwestern
OF – Alex Dickerson, Indiana State*
OF – Ryan LaMarre, Michigan
OF – Zach Hurley, Ohio State
C – Ben Heath, Penn State
DH – Josh Lyon, Indiana
SP – Eric Jokisch, Northwestern
SP – Alex Wimmers, Ohio State*
SP – Matt Bischoff, Purdue*
RP – Paul Snieder, Northwestern

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Alex Dickerson, Indiana*

PITCHER OF THE YEAR:
Alex Wimmers, Ohio State

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:
Ryan Jones, Michigan State

COACH OF THE YEAR:
John Anderson, Minnesota

* – Unanimous Selection

Photo courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

Source: Big Ten Conference

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2010 BIG EAST Baseball Awards


UNITED STATES – Pittsburgh third baseman Joe Leonard became the third Panther player to be named BIG EAST Player of the Year as he earned the conference’s top individual honor Tuesday in advance of the 2010 BIG EAST Baseball Championship at Bright House Field.

Louisville pitcher Thomas Royse (pictured) was chosen as BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, while St. John’s outfielder Jeremy Baltz was tabbed as the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. Connecticut head coach Jim Penders was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year.

In addition to announcing the winners of the major awards, the conference also presented the All-BIG EAST First, Second and Third Teams at the opening ceremonies. Royse and Baltz were both unanimous selections to the All-BIG EAST First Team.

Louisville, which won its second straight BIG EAST regular-season championship had four first team selections in Royse, relief pitcher Neil Holland, first baseman Andrew Clark and second baseman Ryan Wright. Pittsburgh also had four first team picks in Leonard, pitcher Corey Baker, catcher Cory Brownsten and designated hitter Kevan Smith.

Connecticut pitcher Matt Barnes, West Virginia shortstop Jedd Gyorko, Rutgers outfielder Pat Biserta and Villanova outfielder Matt Szczur also earned All-BIG EAST First Team honors.

2010 ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
C – Cory Brownsten, Pittsburgh
1B – Andrew Clark, Louisville
2B – Ryan Wright, Louisville
SS – Jedd Gyorko, West Virginia
3B – Joe Leonard, Pittsburgh
OF – Pat Biserta, Rutgers
OF – Jeremy Baltz, St. John’s*
OF – Matt Szczur, Villanova
DH – Kevan Smith, Pittsburgh
P – Matt Barnes, Connecticut
P – Neil Holland, Louisville
P – Corey Baker, Pittsburgh
P – Thomas Royse, Louisville*

BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Joe Leonard, 3B, Pittsburgh

BIG EAST PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Thomas Royse, RHP, Louisville

BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Jeremy Baltz, OF, St. John’s

BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Penders, Connecticut

* unanimous selection

Photo courtesy of Louisville Athletics

Source: BIG EAST Conference

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