Saturday, October 06, 2007

NAIA announces new playoff format

By Special Contributor
Bob Broughton,

Last week, the NAIA Council of Presidents unanimously approved a new qualification scheme for baseball and ten other sports. The change will take effect for the 2009 season.

The term the NAIA uses for this is “direct qualification”. It means that the qualifiers for the NAIA national championship tournament in Lewiston, ID are the winners of nine opening-round tournaments, plus the host school, Lewis-Clark State. More specifically,

  • Each opening-round tournament consists of five teams. 45 teams will be involved in direct qualification.
  • 22 of these teams are determined by conference tournaments. The champion of a conference with at least six baseball-playing members becomes an automatic qualifier.
  • 22 more teams are at-large selections.
  • One spot is reserved for “true independents”.
  • Competition in the opening-round tournament is double-elimination.
There are some important details missing from this announcement, which will be discussed further down. However, this new arrangement is already an improvement over the status quo, which is 14 regional tournaments, followed by seven super-regional tournaments. The problem is that most of the good NAIA teams are in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and the sun belt. The result has been that some very good teams have stayed home while some not-very-good teams have qualified for the national tournament.

The missing details are, who hosts the opening-round tournaments, and how the tournaments are seeded. It doesn't look like the top nine teams are going to be the hosts. It's possible that the top nine could include a couple of schools within a few miles of each other, and it's also possible that the top nine could include schools that don't have adequate facilities for hosting a tournament of this nature. (Wireless access for live bloggers, for example.) The NAIA would like to play these tournaments in locations where there's a chance of drawing good crowds, in order to make some money to contribute to travel expenses.

Once the sites are determined, who goes to which tournaments? The fairest way to do it would be the way the NCAA sets up the basketball regional tournaments, but the NAIA simply can't afford this amount of travel. The “Final Recommendations” document implies that 15 teams would be flying to the opening-round tournaments, but there's no information about what this is based on. It certainly suggests that most teams would be playing within a bus ride from home. Is there going to be a rule that qualifying teams from the same conference would be sent to different opening-round locations?

The main criticism I have of the new arrangement is, 45 teams is overkill. In the NAIA's final poll last season, only 37 teams received votes. It would make more sense to limit it to 36 teams, an even four teams per location.

The automatic bid for Lewis-Clark State is also a contentious issue, but not for the reason you might think. I haven't bothered to check when the last time was that the Warriors were not ranked among the top ten teams; let's just say that it was quite a while ago. What puts Lewis-Clark State in a privileged class is the fact that their entire regular season, in effect, consists of exhibition games. In 2006, 40 of the 49 games that they played were at home (one road game was rained out), and two of the road games were at nearby Washington State and Gonzaga. They only played three double-headers (one scheduled double-header was rained out.) Can you say, “recruiting advantage”?

It isn't difficult to understand why the NAIA has passed on another opportunity to correct this inequity. The national championship tournament is an important source of revenue for the NAIA. The tournament would still turn a profit without Lewis-Clark State's participation, but it would be a smaller profit. The national championship tournament will continue as the “Lewis-Clark State Invitational” because of financial reality.

NAIA press release: NAIA Presidents Approve Direct Qualification

Task Force Final Recommendations (MS Word document)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Field Set for 2008 Pepsi Johnny Quik Tournament

According to a press release from Fresno State, the field for the 2008 Pepsi Johnny Quik Tournament has been set. The Fresno State Bulldogs will act as host of the tournament with Utah, New Mexico State, Portland, Gonzaga, and Indiana all taking part in the week long tournament from March 10th-15th. The full press release from Fresno State is available here.

More 2008 Schedules

The College Baseball Blog has come across some more 2008 Baseball Schedules. The schedules are linked below.

East Carolina
Miami (OH)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Checking in with Jacob Thompson

Eric Strow, a senior writer of The Cavalier Daily, recently checked in with Jacob Thompson. He spent the summer of 2007 pitching for Team USA in the Pan-American games and several international exhibitions. He was shut down before the end of the summer to save his arm for the 2008 season. The full article from The Cavalier Daily is available here. The College Baseball Blog had a chance to see Thompson in 2007 when his Cavaliers visited Boston College. The full report is available here.

JMU releases 2008 Schedule

HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 3, 2007 – Seven home dates to open the season and the usual 30-game Colonial Athletic Association slate highlight the 2008 James Madison University baseball schedule announced Wednesday by 11th-year head coach Spanky McFarland.

“It’s not one of our strongest schedules, but there were a lot of factors that went into that,” McFarland commented. “With starting conference play against William & Mary on the second weekend, we lost a big travel weekend opportunity. Then there are some schools we’ve played regularly that weren’t able to fit us in their schedule this year. We also have a young team that didn’t make the conference tournament last year, so we wanted to focus on building confidence and making the tournament this year.”

The 2008 season is the first for the new uniform start date for baseball in NCAA Division I. Beginning this season, no team can begin play prior to Friday, February 22. The Dukes open the season that weekend, February 23 and 24, with a doubleheader against Binghamton on Saturday and a single game on Sunday.

“The new rule doesn’t affect us too much because of where we’re located. This was a compromise between some of the northern conferences that wanted to start in March and the southern schools that used to start in January. Our schedule is really about the same. It will be interesting to see how it affects the southern schools that can’t spread their games out like they used to and will need more pitching. I expect that we won’t see as many 40-win teams in the nation. It also gives more validity to the national polls with everyone starting on the same date.”

With 10 weekends necessary to play 30 conference games, JMU will begin CAA play in the second weekend with a three-game home series against William & Mary. Other home CAA series include Towson, Delaware, VCU, and UNC Wilmington.

The Dukes will have three of their longest CAA road trips all in one season with series at Georgia State, Hofstra, and Northeastern. JMU will also have series at Old Dominion on Easter weekend and at George Mason. The Atlanta and Boston trips will be extended with each opened by single games at Tennessee and Marist respectively. UT is entering its first season with former JMU assistant Todd Raleigh as head coach.

JMU’s schedule will also feature traditional home and away dates against Virginia Tech and George Washington. The Dukes will face in-state opponents Longwood and Radford four times each, splitting time home and away, while facing Liberty three times, including twice on the road. One-time opponents include a home date with Stony Brook and a road game at East Tennessee State that follows a weekend at Radford.

JMU is currently planning a new baseball facility to be located at Memorial Hall on South High Street (route 42). While the exact completion date has not been determined, the 2008 campaign could be the final season of JMU baseball at Long Field/Mauck Stadium. The Dukes are 658-218-4 all-time in the facility that opened in 1980.

Commodores open with Beavers, ASU in 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --Vanderbilt opens the 2008 baseball season against two-time defending champion Oregon State as head coach Tim Corbin released the schedule today. The Commodores will take on four teams that played in the College World Series a year ago and 11 teams that made it into the NCAA tournament.

"I think this is a challenging schedule right off the bat with two teams that made it to Omaha last season including the national champion, " said Corbin. "The SEC schedule is always tough and we have several midweek games against teams that made it to the NCAA tournament as well. We have an experienced team returning and look forward to the challenge."

The season opener against the Beavers will be played on Feb. 22 at Arizona State's tournament in Tempe, Ariz. VU will also take on 2007 CWS participant Arizona State (Feb. 23) and Miami of Ohio (Feb. 24) in the tourney. Vanderbilt starts a 15-game homestand against Evansville on Feb. 27 at 4 p.m. VU hosts Kansas, Iowa and Xavier in the Music City Classic Feb. 29-March 2. The Commodores will play a four-game series with Illinois-Chicago starting on Thursday, March 6 and ending on March 9. The Flames won the Horizon League last spring and participated in the NCAA tournament.

VU hosts another NCAA tourney team in Western Carolina (March 11-12) before opening Southeastern Conference play against South Carolina (March 14-16) at Hawkins Field. Louisville, a team that advanced to its first ever College World Series last June, comes to Nashville for a single game on March 18. Vanderbilt will close out the homestand against Lipscomb on March 19.

VU will make five SEC road trips in 2008, starting with Alabama on March 21-23. The Commodores will then return home for midweek games against Belmont (March 25) and Middle Tennessee (March 26), before hosting Arkansas (March 28-30). Saturday's game against the Razorbacks will be televised on Fox Sports Net at 3 p.m. CT.

Eleven road games are on the docket in April starting with a contest at Middle Tennessee (April 2). Vanderbilt will then take the first of back-to-back trips to Mississippi against Ole Miss (April 4-6). The Commodores will host Western Kentucky (April 8) and Austin Peay (April 9) in midweek action before traveling to Starkville, Miss., to take on 2007 CWS participant Mississippi State (April 11-13). Two road contests against Lipscomb (April 15) and Western Kentucky (April 16) precede a three-game series against Auburn (April 18-20) at Hawkins Field. The Commodores close out April with games at Austin Peay (April 22) and Belmont (April 23), and at home against Kentucky (April 25-27).

VU will open May with a three-game set at rival Tennessee (May 2-4), with the Saturday game set for television on Fox Sports Net. The Commodores will then take on Memphis at Pringles Park in Jackson, Tenn., on May 6. The Tigers were one of two area teams to play at the NCAA Nashville Regional along with Austin Peay last June. Tennessee Tech (May 7) and a series against Georgia (May 9-11) closes out the regular season home campaign. Vanderbilt will take on Florida (May 15-17) in Gainesville in a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series as eligible teams will have an extra day to prepare for the Southeastern Conference tournament (May 21-25) in Birmingham, Ala.

NCAA Regionals (May 30-June 2) and Super Regionals (June 6-9) will be played at school host sites, while the College World Series (June 14-25) is set for Omaha, Neb.

The full Commodores schedule is available here.

Texas Tech Baseball Announces 2008 Schedule

A total of 34 home games and eight NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2008 Texas Tech Baseball schedule that was announced today by Head Coach Larry Hays.

The 2008 season marks the first under the new NCAA guidelines that mandate a universal start date for all of college baseball and that date will be Feb. 22. The Red Raiders will kick of the 2008 season at home with a four-game series against Northern Illinois Feb. 22-24 with a doubleheader set for Saturday, Feb. 23.

Following a midweek trip to New Mexico on Tuesday, Feb. 26, Texas Tech will take part in the Eighth-Annual Minute Maid College Classic where the Red Raiders will face Houston, Tennessee and Rice. The game against Tennessee will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools while the game against Rice will mark the first of eight opponents that the Red Raiders will face who advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament. The Minute Maid College Classic is set for Feb. 29-March 2 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Texas Tech will return home for a six-game homestand beginning on March 4 as the Red Raiders will play their first Tuesday-Wednesday series of the year against Central Arkansas. Due to the reduction in the number of days allowed for competition in 2008, Texas Tech will play a total six, two-game midweek series. Other midweek series for the Red Raiders will be at home against UC-Riverside (March 25-26), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (April 1-2), New Mexico (April 8-9), and Dallas Baptist (May 13-14) while on the road at UNLV (April 15-16).

Texas Tech will kickoff the Big 12 Conference season on the road at Texas A&M as the Red Raiders and Aggies open league play against each other for the third time since 2002. The Texas Tech-Texas A&M series is scheduled for March 14-16 at Olsen Field in College Station.

The home portion of the 2008 Big 12 season will begin with a three-game series against the Texas Longhorns, March 20-22. The series against Texas is being played Thursday through Saturday due to the Easter Holiday falling on Sunday, March 23.

The Red Raiders will take on Missouri (March 28-30), Kansas State (April 18-20), Oklahoma (April 25-27) and Baylor (May 16-18) all at Dan Law Field while facing Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma State on the road.

Texas Tech will wrap up the regular-season schedule at home for the first time in four years as the Red Raiders will face the Baylor Bears, May 16-18. The Big 12 Championship at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City is set for May 21-25 while the NCAA Regionals are set for May 30-June. The Road To Omaha continues with the NCAA Super Regionals June 6-9 and the 2008 NCAA Champion will be decided at the College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium June 13-23.

Texas Tech

Copy of the schedule

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Illinois State puts out 2008 schedule

NORMAL, Ill. - With the 2007 Major League Baseball regular season over and the playoffs just a day away, the Illinois State baseball team has also caught the fever and has already begun preparing for the 2008 season. With a solid mix of returning veterans and young, raw talent, the Redbird baseball team will be put to the test in its 2008 schedule. Five NCAA qualifiers highlight the 54-game schedule for the Redbirds, which kicks off Feb. 22, 2008, at Tennessee Tech in Cooksville, Tenn.

After the `Birds begin the season with a three-game set against Tennessee Tech, the team will head to Clarksville, Tenn., to play in the Austin Peay Tournament Feb. 29-March 2. Illinois State will play Big Ten Conference member Indiana, as well as Valparaiso, during the tournament, and will play one more game in Clarksville before beginning its spring trip in Florida.

The Redbirds will spend eight days in the Sunshine State, playing a series at NCAA Regional qualifier Bethune-Cookman March 7-9. The rest of the trip will be spent at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The IMG Academy, which specializes in professional instruction to amateur and professional players, will allow the Redbirds to fine-tune their skills before beginning the demanding Missouri Valley Conference slate.

"I think that at the beginning of the year, when you are coming from indoors to outdoors, we try to play a competitive schedule that will help our RPI," said head baseball coach Jim Brownlee. "I think this schedule does that. We have a lot of good teams on our schedule, including five regional teams.
"When you make the schedule three years ahead of time, you can't always project how teams will be. But you like to have a nice balance, and with this schedule, we hope to get ourselves into the top-40 in order to be an at-large team. That's our goal every year, and we like to also give our kids a chance to go to a different part of the country every year."

After returning from its spring trip, ISU will play in-state rival Illinois-Chicago before diving into Valley play at home versus 2007 NCAA Super Regional qualifier Wichita State March 21-23. The Redbirds will also host Northern Iowa (April 11-13) as well as in-state rivals Bradley (May 2-4) and Southern Illinois (May 9-11).

"I think the league is going to be very interesting from the standpoint that there were a lot of good players that were lost," said Brownlee. "Wichita State is good every year and they have their top-three starting pitchers back, and that will be a good challenge for our hitters. There are no easy games in our league, and its something that I'm proud of; its one of the best in the country. Creighton and Evansville have also had some good teams recently and should be tough again this year.

"I think it's our goal to move into that top-three of the Valley standings. I can see us being able to do that, and based on the performances I have seen this fall, we have a good chance of doing that."

The Redbirds will travel to 2007 MVC Tournament champion Creighton March 28-30 before playing Evansville (April 4-6) and Missouri State (April 25-27) on the road. ISU concludes its season with a three-game series at Indiana State (May 15-17).

Illinois State will also see its share of schools from the Midwest, as the `Birds will play six other non-conference games against schools from Illinois, including Eastern Illinois (March 26) and Illinois April 22. The Redbirds will also travel to Iowa City, Iowa, April 2 for a game against Iowa and will face fellow Big Ten member Purdue April 9.

"We're very fortunate to be located in a state that has nine division one schools that we can play, so it helps with the short amount of time that the guys will miss from class," said Brownlee. "It also allows us to play some competitive teams. The Big Ten got the best of us last year, so it will be a good test. We want to take care of business within the state, and that's always a goal. It's very easy to schedule our non-conference games, and we like to schedule games close to where our guys are from."

2008 Schedule

Pacific releases 2008 Schedule

The Pacific Tigers have released the 2008 schedule. They will open the season in Houston taking on the Cougars in a three game set from February 22nd-24th. They will then return home for a three game set the next weekend with PAC-10 member Washington which is proceeded by a mid-week game against Santa Clara. They will also play Gonzaga, Minnesota, and Stanford in OOC weekend home series. They will play a full Big West schedule in which they host UC-Santa Barbara, Cal-St. Fullerton, UC-Riverside, and Cal-State Northridge. They will head to conference opponents UC-Davis, Cal Poly, Long Beach State, and UC-Irvine. They will end the season on May 23rd-25th at Oregon State in their final three games of the season. The full schedule is available here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Corbin Lands Another Top Rated '09 Recruit

The College Baseball Blog has been closely following the monster class that Coach Tim Corbin and Recruiting Coordinator Erik Bakich have been assembling. The class includes an incredible amount of talent and will continue in the tradition of Bakich reeling in top talent. In six years on West End, Bakich has landed a top 25 rated class in each year, including the #1 rated class of 2006 that included current All-Americans Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty.

The latest HS Senior to commit to Coach Corbin is Joseph Loftus of Academy of Holy Angels (Savage, MN). As a junior, Loftus hit .531 with 9 homers and 34 RBI in 64 ABs. He earned a trip to the Area Code Games and was rated a 10 of 10 by Perfect Game USA. Mike Rapp identified Loftus as one of Vanderbilt's three remaining targets in a article last month. Mike noted that Loftus was considering offers from Arizona State and Notre Dame.

Loftus and Jason Esposito are expected to battle it out to replace Pedro Alvarez at third in 2009. Alvarez is expected by many to be a candidate for the first overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft. Alvarez' former teammate, David Price, took that honor in 2007.

Loftus joins the following players in the Commodores class of 2009:
RHP Jack Armstrong (Jupiter, FL)
RHP Will Clinard (Clarksville, TN)
3B/SS Jason Esposito (Bethany, CT)
LHP Grayson Garvin (Atlanta, GA)
RHP Sonny Gray (Smyrna, TN)
OF Matt Marquis (Annandale, NJ)
OF Adam Milligan (Walters State)
RHP Navery Moore (Nashville, TN)
1B/C Dylan Pratt (Walter State)
RHP/OF Ryan Westmoreland (Portsmouth, NH)
LHP Corey Williams (Huntsville, AL)

Of the 10 high school recruits, Perfect Game gave its perfect 10 rating to all but Moore (did not attend showcase), Westmoreland (did not attend showcase, 9 in 2006) and Williams (9.5).

Augie always going with the flow!!!!!!!

Augie Garrido has been in the college baseball business for 39 years, so there is nothing that ever throws him or surprises him.

"It's always day to day," said the UT boss, who has guided the Longhorns to the College World Series five times in the last eight years and captured the National Championship twice (2002 and 2005).

"This, however, will be the most different fall than we ever have had," said Garrido, who gathered his team together in the final days of September.

"The NCAA decided that we have 132 days to play and practice," he continued. "So, we will have 33 days of fall practice. You will be able to get a better read on your team with so much more time in the fall. In the past, you were having to make decisions without too much information. That will no longer be the case.

"There will be time to compete for positions. We used to start the games in January and this year it will be into February."

Garrido said fall practice won't end until Nov. 2, with completion of the Orange and White Fall World Series games.

When the 2008 season begins, the Horns will play their initial home games at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

"Because," the skipper begins, with a smile crossing his face, "Disch-Falk looks like a Baptist church in Beirut."

While Garrido certainly sounds as though he likes the changes the NCAA has made, especially with regard to having more time in the fall, don't be too sure.

"What else can I do, but go with the flow?" he asks. "I want us to take advantage of this new schedule. We're going to play intrasquad scrimmage with Baylor (Oct. 14), for example. They feel as we do."

But on the NCAA, Garrido says, "They have these ideas from time to time and I just adjust to them because I don't have the time to be on the Policy Committee. The NCAA always is going to do what it wants to do. It's up to me to make the best of it.

"You can't play four games in five days (during the season). I think we have some of the best pitching around and we don't have five starters."

The UT coach welcomes back several regulars from last year's positional starters, including outfielders Kyle Russell and Jordan Danks, catcher Preston Clark, infielders Pat McCrory and Travis Tucker and DH Russell Moldenhauer. Infielders David Hernandez and Michael Torres just arrived, transferring from Fresno State and Southern Cal, respectively.

Pitchers Kenn Kasparek and Riley Boening return after missing last year due to injury, joining veterans Austin Wood, Kyle Walker, Hunter Harris and Keith Shinaberry, transfers Casey Whitmer (from Florida State) and Marcus Thackett (Oral Roberts) and others.

"The longer fall will give the players more time to master skills," Garrido said. "The key is to focus on what you are doing on that day at that moment. You can't live in the past. You have to live in the moment.

"I want our guys to come out and embrace every day. I want them to be excited about the chance to play baseball. I want them to learn that a mistake is not a failure, but an opportunity to learn. Failure belongs to our opponents not to us."

This story is from

For the 2008 Roster go here

Mississippi State releases 2008 schedule

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Twenty-two games against 2007 NCAA Tournament participants and a 31-game slate of contests at Dudy Noble Field highlight Mississippi State University’s 56-game baseball schedule for 2008.

Mississippi State opens its 118th season of baseball and veteran skipper Ron Polk’s 29th coaching campaign with the Bulldogs Feb. 22-24 in Jacksonville, Fla., with a three-game road series against first-time foe North Florida.

State ushers in its 31-game 2008 home schedule February 26 against UAB, the first game of a season-longest 14-game homestand for the Diamond Dogs. During that stretch State hosts another first-time foe, Air Force, in a three-game series and meets Big 12 Conference power Baylor in the three-game Cadence Bank Challenge. MSU wraps up the early-season run of home games and launches SEC competition Mar. 14-16 with a three-game series against instate league rival Ole Miss.

Baylor is the first of eight teams on MSU’s 2008 schedule that advanced to the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Austin Peay State University, Memphis and Southern Miss along with SEC foes Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and South Carolina also reached the 64-team field of the NCAA Tournament last season. Three of those opponents (Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina) advanced to NCAA Super Regional competition.

Other opponents scheduled to visit Dudy Noble Field in the coming season are Arkansas-Little Rock, Memphis and South Alabama along with SEC rivals Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The MSU-Georgia baseball series March 28-30 anchors MSU’s annual spring homecoming celebration, Super Bulldog Weekend.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to make one appearance in 2008 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss., taking on Ole Miss Apr. 15 in the second annual Governor’s Cup game.

Two Mississippi State baseball games have been selected for live broadcast by the SEC’s Regional Sports Network (RSN) as part of the SEC game of the week television series shown on FOX Sports Net South. MSU’s May 10 game at LSU and a regular season-ending May 17 home matchup with Arkansas are part of the league’s eight-game TV package.

MSU returns 20 letter-winners and 14 players who drew starts on the 2007 State team that finished with a 38-22 record and advanced to the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

2008 MSU schedule

Highly touted recruits have Fla. State baseball ready to reload

The Florida State baseball team has always been one of the best teams in the nation under Mike Martin in regards to recruiting. To the surprise of nobody, Martin's 2008 class is no different.

The Seminoles have the second-best recruiting class in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball and will welcome in 20 newcomers to the team that includes 11 pitchers, of which four are left-handed, four infielders, three outfielders and three catchers.

While 15 of the 'Noles' 20 recruits were playing high school ball last season, five players make their way over to Tallahassee by way of transfer. Headlining the transfer class are infielders Tony Delmonico and Stephen Halford. Expect both Delmonico and Halford to contribute immediately to the team with last season's infielders Tony Thomas, Jr. and Mark Hallberg opting out of school early for the Major League Draft.

Delmonico comes to FSU from the University of Tennessee, where he was arguably the Volunteers' best player last season. As a sophomore, Delmonico led the team in home runs (9), RBIs (49), walks (35) and runs scored (53). Adding a productive player like Delmonico should make the losses of Thomas and Hallberg much more bearable.

Halford, meanwhile, transfers in from UNC-Wilmington. Halford played every game for UNCW at the shortstop position last season as a freshman and was outstanding at the plate, hitting .352 and scoring 52 runs while setting a freshman school record with a 12-game hitting streak

For the full story go Here.

For the FSU Release go HERE

College of Charleston Fall World Series Update

Mike Hentz led the White offensive attack with three hits and five of his teammates had two-hit games to propel the White squad to a 13-6 win on Sunday at Patriots Point. The White take a commanding 3-1 lead in the eighth annual Fall World Series. Austin Morgan led off the top of the second with a double to right field and eventually scored on a Matt Leeds ground out to open the scoring. Morgan finished with two hits on the afternoon. The White would then go on to score multiple runs in every remaining inning but the sixth to close out the game. Joash Brodin, Gabe Marchant, Click here for rest of article.

Fall Practice Underway at UCF

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Just over four months after UCF's 2007 season came to a close, the Knights officially began preparing for 2008 when fall camp opened at Jay Bergman Field Monday. The Black and Gold was greeted with windy conditions and a little bit of rain, as the Knights are hoping to have a few questions answered in the upcoming weeks.

"The weather was a little cooler than it was in the month of September, and the players were anxious to get on the field and start playing baseball," said head coach Jay Bergman, who is starting his 26th season at the helm of the program. "They've been spending a lot of time lifting weights and doing some four-on-one stuff, but now we can get on the field as a team.

"The general attitude of the players has been very good all fall, and it was good the second half of last season. Our players have matured and are understanding the level of competition we are playing in. They are working hard to improve their skills so they will be able to compete at the Conference USA level.

"By the end of the month, I hope that we will have established ourselves defensively, and at least have found out that we have five, maybe six starting pitchers. Offensively we want to be able to move the runners and find out who is going to hit with runners in scoring position. So I think that is what we are looking for at the end of fall practice. If we can accomplish those things, then this fall will be very beneficial."

Bergman's squad went 27-32 in 2007 and 7-17 in its second season in C-USA. The Knights went 1-2 in the C-USA Championship, eliminating Houston May 24 in what was the first 1-0 win in league tournament history. For 2008, UCF returns all eight of its defensive starters, its top three starting pitchers and its closer. However, the Black and Gold lost its designated hitter (senior Matt Horwath - .336 BA) and two key setup men (senior Brian Brooks - UCF's career record-holder in relief appearances with 82, senior Derek Abriola - ranks fifth in relief appearances with 62).

On Monday, UCF was working hard at moving runners from second base with less than two outs and did not seem to be having difficulties sending the ball to right field. Sophomore third baseman Chris Duffy, meanwhile, discovered a groove in batting practice, placing numerous line drives into the outfield grass.

In a short live-game session, the coaching staff got a look at LSU transfer Robert Lara behind the plate, and he immediately showed off his defensive tactics by backing up a wild throw to first base to keep the runner from going to second. The staff also got its first glimpse of junior-college transfer Colin Arnold, as the 47th-round MLB draft pick saw time in left field.

Team two completed their inning at the dish when senior catcher/first baseman Tim Russell drove in junior outfielder Chadd Hartman from second base on a single down the right-field line. With team one at the plate, junior first baseman Kiko Vazquez, senior second baseman Dwayne Bailey and junior shortstop Eric Kallstrom all ripped line drives to lead-off the inning. And Duffy sent a hard shot to the gap in right-center that would have been a double if the wind did not hold it up long enough for the outfield to get to it. On the bases, senior right fielder Ryan Richardson received a lot of praise for his work in breaking up a double play with a hard slide into second base. UCF coaches Craig Cozart and Bryan Peters did the pitching for the Knights.

UCF's fall camp is scheduled to come to a close in early November.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Jett Ruiz turns up at San Diego

Jett Ruiz formerly a catcher with the Boston College Eagles has turned up with the San Diego Toreros. He left the Boston College program last season late in the year over the emergence of freshman catcher Tony Sanchez Jr. Ruiz will enter San Diego as a junior but will likely not see much time behind the plate with Logan Gelbrich expected to handle the pitching staff in 2008. Ruiz struggled mightily in the ACC the last two seasons. He showed a few glimpses of talent but could not become a consistent hitter.

Monday, October 01, 2007

San Diego releases Fall Schedule

The San Diego baseball program has released their fall schedule for 2007. They will play 13 intrasquad scrimmages with three games against Long Beach State scheduled from October 26th-28th with the first two games at Long Beach State and the final game hosted by the Toreros. They will finish the fall with a Fall World Series on November 16th and 17th. The full schedule is available here.

Tulane finishes Week 1 of Fall Ball

The Tulane baseball program finished their first week of practice with an intrasquad scrimmage. The team played a seven inning game which ended 1-1. Head Coach Rick Jones called for one more at bat with Marc Robert stepping to the plate. He promptly put the first pitch over the wall in left for Team Green. A full recap of the scrimmage is available here.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Yale 2008 schedule is out

The Yale Bulldogs have released their 2008 schedule. They will open the season on March 1st when they start a three game set against George Washington. They will then head out on a 15 day road trip where they will play 15 games against seven different opponents including perennial national power South Carolina on March 11th and 12th. The Bulldogs will play conference opponents Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, and Brown at Yale Field. The Bulldogs have conference road games against Penn, Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth. Yale will play interstate rival UConn in Storrs on March 26th and Quinnipiac in Hamden on April 2nd. The full schedule for the Bulldogs is available here.

Quinnipiac knocks off Yale to take City Series

The Quinnipiac Bobcats knocked off the Yale Bulldogs over the weekend by a score of 5-2. The Bobcats took advantage of a key Bulldog error in the bottom of the third which gave the Bobcats an early 2-0 lead. The Bobcats would extend the lead to get the 5-2 victory. In the consolation game, Southern Connecticut State knocked off New Haven 8-2. A full recap is available here.