Friday, November 09, 2007

Coming Soon

We might experience some slight delays in the coming days as we are moving the Blog over to a new domain. Keep checking this site to see if we can get the new domain working correctly.

Kroll checks in with NJIT's Saporito

Doug Kroll of CSTV checks in with his weekly article about College Baseball this week's installment focuses on NJIT's ace starting pitcher P.J. Saporito. He had a huge summer pitching for the Brockport Riverbats of the NYBCL as he pitched a perfect game on July 26th. This was the first perfect game in the history of the NYCBL which finished their 20th season in 2007. The Highlanders head coach Brian Callahan was very excited to get the program more attention with the perfect game as he had people calling him often to talk about the perfect game over the summer. Callahan faces a tough challenge with the Highlanders as they are playing a tough independent schedule which includes a trip to Miami to take on the Hurricanes over spring break. The full 2008 schedule is available here. The full article about the Highlander program is available by clicking here.

FAU Fall Ball Recap

The FAU Owls are finishing up the Fall season on Friday November 9th when they host a Scout Day for their final practice. The team played a three game intrasquad scrimmage where the Blue team won three straight games. They were led by assistant coach John McCormack who defeated fellow assistant coach Norberto Lopez. There is a full recap of each game available by clicking here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Baseball America checks in on Duke and BC

Baseball America writer Aaron Fitt recently wrote an article on the Duke Blue Devils and Boston College Eagles baseball program. Both teams have been bringing up the rear of the pack through their history in one of the best conferences in the country. The Duke Blue Devils are led by third year head coach Sean McNally who led the Blue Devils to a 29-25 overall record in 2007 the first time they finished over .500 since 1998. The Blue Devils struggled in conference only picking up six wins in 30 conference games. Mik Aoki is entering his second season with the Eagles where he led them to a 24-27-1 overall record and 12-17 in the conference. The full article from Baseball America is available here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baylor Bears Unveil 2008 Schedule

Baylor baseball head coach Steve Smith announced the Bears' 2008 schedule Wednesday. The 55-game regular season slate includes 31 games at Baylor Ballpark, including the third-annual QTI Baylor Classic.

The Bears open the 2008 season with nine consecutive home games, starting with a three-game series Feb. 22-24 against Purdue. Baylor welcomes Illinois, Illinois-Chicago and Stephen F. Austin for the QTI Baylor Classic Feb. 29 through March 2.

2008 season tickets go on sale Dec. 1. For more ticket information, contact the Baylor Ticket Office at 254.710.1000 or 1.800.BAYLOR.U.

Baylor's 2008 schedule features 25 games (45.4 percent of schedule) against 10 opponents who participated in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, including nine games against 2007 Super Regional participants and a three-game series at 2007 College World Series participant Mississippi State (March 7-9). The Bears play 18 games against six opponents who finished the 2007 season ranked in the Baseball America Top 25.

From March 7 to March 23, Baylor plays 12 consecutive games against teams who participated in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Bears play 10 of 12 games against 2007 tournament teams from April 18 to May 4.

"This is a good schedule, both for the players and the fans," Smith said. "It gives the players a chance to be in a familiar environment in the season's first nine games and again to open Big 12 play. Plus, fans have plenty of opportunities at various points in the season to not only see us play but to see us play top-level competition."

Due to new NCAA legislation, no Division I program can start its season prior to Feb. 22. This means only three weekends of non-conference play before Big 12 Conference play begins the weekend of March 14; Baylor hosts Oklahoma State to start Big 12 play this season. The new legislation also means an increase in the number of midweek games.

"I'm very much in favor of the universal start date," Smith said. "I wish the end of the season had been pushed back some to compensate, but it is what it is. All teams must adjust to only three weeks prior to conference play, and all teams must play two midweek games on a regular basis, so there's no competitive advantage one way or the other. What the new format does allow is more opportunities for pitchers, and that is a definite plus."

Along with the traditional split-series in Big 12 play, Baylor also hosts Texas for a midweek non-conference tilt April 22. The Bears and the Longhorns meet May 2-4 in Big 12 action with the series opener at Baylor Ballpark and the series' final two games at Austin.

"We've wanted to play Texas in a midweek non-conference game for a while, and the new schedule format made this game even more practical," Smith said. "Obviously, this is a great opportunity for fans to see two of the conference's top programs in another game. More than that, though, it is an opportunity for both teams to play top competition in a midweek game. This helps our RPI, Texas' RPI and the conference's RPI."

Baylor's split-series against Texas A&M is April 18-20 with the series opener at College Station and the series' final two games at Baylor Ballpark. Other Big 12 schools visiting Waco this season are Oklahoma State (March 14-16), Kansas (April 4-6) and Nebraska (April 25-27). Baylor travels to Missouri (March 21-23), Oklahoma (March 28-30), Kansas State (April 11-13) and Texas Tech (May 16-18) this season in Big 12 play. The 2008 Big 12 Championship is May 21-25 at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

Last season, Baylor's strength of schedule ranked 20th nationally; the Bears joined Texas (10th), Portland (15th), Texas A&M (17th) and Georgia (18th) as the only teams in the top 20 not from the state of California. Baylor's strength of schedule has ranked 20th or better nationally in each of the past seven seasons: 10th in 2006, seventh in 2005, 11th in 2004, fifth in 2003, seventh in 2002 and 10th in 2001.

Baylor returns 19 letterwinners, six position starters and eight pitchers from a 2007 squad that posted a 36-27 record and reached the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in 10 years.

Baylor Press Release.

Baseball Schedule.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Green Wave 2008 Schedule

The Tulane Green Wave have put out their 2008 schedule. They will play 36 home games at newly renovated Turchin Stadium. They will open the season against the University of Illinois-Chicago who competed in the NCAA Tournament in 2007. They will also face NCAA tournament participants East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, Pepperdine, Southern Miss, and TCU. They will also square off against to College World Series teams in UC-Irvine and Rice. The Green Wave will participate in one of the elite tournaments this year when they head up to the Metrodome to take part in the Dairy Queen Classic with Minnesota, Pepperdine, and TCU. The Green Wave will welcome conference opponents Marshall, Southern Miss, UCF, and Rice to Turchin Stadium. They will head to conference opponents UAB, Houston, Memphis, and East Carolina. The Green Wave will also host the 2008 Conference USA championships from May 21-25. The full schedule is available in PDF format here.

USC finishes Fall Ball

The USC Trojans baseball squad has put the finishing touches on Fall Workouts with a three game intrasquad scrimmage. The Gold squad defeated the Cardinal squad two games to one. Game 1 was won by the Cardinal team by a score of 5-2 with the Gold team winning the final two games by scores of 17-6 and 6-2. The star for the Gold team was Nick Buss who went 6-12 with four stolen bases. Buss was named the MVP of the historic Alaska Baseball League this summer. The Cardinal team struggled at the plate with NC State transfer Mike Roskopf leading them by going 3-12. The full recap of the scrimmages is available here.

CBB Top Position Players for 2008

Pedro Alvarez, Vanderbilt.
This hard-hitting, Junior third baseman from Horace Mann High School in the Bronx, New York is one of the pre-season favorites for the Golden Spikes Award and was the only 2007 Golden Spikes finalist to return in 2008. Alvarez is lethal at the plate, as a career .360 batter with an NCAA high 40 career home runs (among active players). In 2006, he hit .329 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI en route to earning National Freshman of the Year. In 2007, he improved to .386, 18, 68, which leading Vanderbilt to a number 1 ranking for the majority of the season. Alvarez is deadly from the left side of the plate and is protected in Coach Tim Corbin’s lineup by being sandwiched between another pair of returning all-America players, RF Dominic De la Osa (.378, 20, 62) and SS Ryan Flaherty (.381, 4, 57). Alvarez is also a spectacular fielder with cat-like reflexes and a cannon arm; however, Pedro’s flair for the dramatic defensive play also leads to his fair share of errors. Those errors and a tendency to strikeout too often will be the items Alvarez looks to improve in his swan song season.

Dominic de la Osa, Vanderbilt
Hitting in the coveted “Mickey Mantle spot” (in front of Pedro Alvarez, as Mantle did when Roger Maris hit 61), Dominic de la Osa exploded in 2007, proving to be one of the top speed-power guys in the nation. Entering last season with a .300 average and 16 home runs in solid, if unspectacular Freshman and Sophomore years, “of the Bear” set career highs with a .378 average, 65 runs, 23 doubles, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. A consensus first team All-America, de la Osa was expected to be a first day pick in the MLB draft before plummeting to the 10th round and the Tigers. An abysmal summer on the Cape left de la Osa with more to prove and he returned to man Rightfield as a Senior for Coach Corbin.

Justin Smoak, South Carolina
Joining Brett Wallace and Yonder Alonso as the elite first basemen in College Baseball, Smoak enters his Junior year in second place on the career homerun list among active players. As a Freshman, he hit .303 with 17 homeruns and 63 RBI. Smoak improved on those numbers last year, hitting .317 with 19 homeruns and another 63 RBI. Most impressive, however, is Smoak’s patience, with 94 walks against 79 strikeouts. The switch-hitting lefty is also thrifty with the glove, sporting a career .994 fielding percentage. Smoak is perfectly positioned for a true, breakout season in a good hitter’s ballpark.

Yonder Alonso, Miami
Alonso was named the top first baseman in the Cape Cod League in 2007. He hit an outstanding .338 for the summer after hitting .376 with 18 homers during the 2007 season for the Hurricanes. Alonso is a patient hitter as he walked 64 times during the collegiate season and 36 times in the CCBL. He only struck out 56 times combined. He needs to work on his defense as he is limited to playing only first base. He should develop more power before getting drafted in 2008 as he will become stronger and a better hitter. Alonso should be able to compete for many National Player of the Year awards in 2008 in addition to conference accolades.

Buster Posey, Florida State

Posey is one of the College Baseball Blog's favorite players. He moved to catcher before the 2007 season as the Seminoles had an opening behind the plate. Buster hit .382 with 3 homers and 65 RBI at FSU while spending his summer with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox where he batted .281 as he struggled to adjust to the Cape Cod League pitching. One scout told us that Posey improved his draft stock with the move behind the plate but needs to refine his catching skills as he is raw at calling games and blocking pitches. Posey should be one of the top catchers in the ACC competing with Tim Federowicz for conference awards. The CBB will be seeing Posey this season when FSU comes to Boston College for a three game set. The CBB expects Posey to be drafted in the top five rounds of the 2008 draft.

Brett Wallace, Arizona State
Wallace led the Sun Devils back to the College World Series in 2007 where he hit an outstanding .404 for the season while hitting 16 home runs. He won the Pac 10 Triple Crown as was named the Player of the Year in the conference. Brett spent the summer of 2007 with the USA National team where he competed in the Pan-Am Games and the World Port Tournament. He hit .312 with two homers and 26 RBI for the summer. Wallace is a big guy as he is listed at 6'1 245 pounds so he struggles in the field and will likely be stuck at first base in MLB or moved to DH if he is put in the American League.

Thanks to NewYorkDore for helping out with some of the previews.

Holy Cross announces 2008 Schedule

Worcester, Mass. – Holy Cross athletic director Richard M. Regan Jr. and head baseball coach Greg DiCenzo have announced the Crusaders’ schedule for the 2008 season, which is set to begin on March 1-2, when Holy Cross travels to DeLand, Florida to face Stetson University for games scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.

The Crusaders will then travel to Rollins College for a single game against the hosting team (March 3). While at Rollins, Holy Cross will play St. Joseph’s (March 4), Georgetown and Rollins (March 5), St. Joseph’s (March 6), Georgetown (March 7), and a game to be determined on March 8.

Holy Cross will host Assumption in a doubleheader for its’ first play at Fitton Field of the season. The Crusaders will visit the University of Washington for two doubleheaders (March 15-16) and then head to Siena (March 19).

The Crusaders play the next three games at home, facing LeMoyne (March 20), Quinnipiac (March 22), and Connecticut (March 25). Holy Cross will then travel to Boston College for a single game scheduled on March 26.

Holy Cross kicks off its Patriot League action when it travels to Lehigh (April 5-6) to play two doubleheaders. After traveling to Massachusetts (April 1), the Crusaders will return home to host Harvard (April 2) and a doubleheader with Army (April 5-6). Holy Cross will host Northeastern (April 8) and Hartford (April 9) followed by hitting the road to face Bucknell for four games (April 12-13).

The Crusaders will host Central Connecticut (April 15) followed by a non-conference game at Dartmouth (April 16). Holy Cross will continue its Patriot League play, hosting its’ final two doubleheaders against Lafayette (April 19-20). The Crusaders will play the next seven games on the road beginning with a doubleheader at Brown (April 23) and then to Navy for two doubleheaders (April 26-27), and finishing up the regular season with an away game at Rhode Island (April 29).

The Patriot League Tournament is scheduled for May 10-11 and 17-18, with locations to be determined.

Full Schedule

Monday, November 05, 2007

Lafayette Leopards Update

The Lafayette Leopards have put out the 2008 schedule which is highlighted with a season opening series at VMI. They will make a trip to Bradenton Florida for their annual trip to Florida to play four games. They will open the Liberty Bell Classic on March 25th against the Penn Quakers and will play the winner of the St. Joe's/Delaware matchup on April 1st. The Leopards will host Patriot League opponents Bucknell and Navy. They will head on the road to take on Holy Cross, Army, and Lehigh. The College Baseball Blog will be in attendance for at least one of the doubleheaders at Holy Cross. The full schedule for the Leopards is available here.

The Lafayette Athletic Department is renovating many fields at the Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex. The Baseball program is getting the most benefit in these renovations with an expansion of the dugouts, more seating, and a better locker room for the team. The full release is available here.

UTA releases 2008 schedule

Thirty-one games at Clay Gould Ballpark - including a home stretch in March to open Southland Conference play - highlight the 2008 UT Arlington baseball schedule released earlier this week by head coach Jeff Curtis.

The Mavericks open the season Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. against Arkansas-Little Rock.

UTA will play seven games against Big 12 competition. The Mavericks participate in a neutral-site event at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas, and do battle in two games against Tarrant County rival TCU.

The biggest difference this season is a late start. The NCAA pushed back Opening Day until Feb. 22, which means the Mavericks will cram 56 games into a season that lasts two fewer weeks. Instead of the single mid-week game that became commonplace over the past several years, the Mavericks and most other NCAA Division I teams will play two. In fact, UTA plays a Tuesday, April 15 game against Oklahoma State at Clay Gould Ballpark before traveling to Austin for a game the next day against Texas.

"Finding teams to play is never difficult, but getting the dates to work was a trick this season because of the shorter year," says Curtis, whose team will try to bounce back from a 13-40 finish last season. "What it means is that teams are going to have to have a deep, deep pitching staffs. We're going to find out pretty quick what players we'll have out there because of the number of games we have to start the year."

Including the season-opener, UTA will play 10 games in the first eight days of the season.

The Southland Conference opener is scheduled Friday, March 14 at home against Lamar, which finished 34-25 overall last season and won the SLC East Division crown with a 20-10 record. That series will close out a stretch the features eight of nine games at home. The only road game in that mix is in Fort Worth against TCU.

"With that many games at home and Lamar coming in, it's really important that we're playing well in that two-week span," Curtis said.

The popular UTA Invitational begins March 6 and includes the Mavericks, Dallas Baptist, McNeese State and Oral Roberts. That game against McNeese State will not count in the conference standings.

Each team in the SLC will play a three-game set against every other team in the league except one. This year, UTA will not face Central Arkansas. UTA's regular-season schedule ends Saturday, May 17 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The SLC Baseball Tournament is scheduled May 21-25 in Huntsville.

Curtis said another differences from last year to 2008 is that rainouts might simply not be made up. There might not be enough open dates in the schedule.

"It's a lot of games in a short amount of time, but kids really enjoy that 56-game schedule," Curtis said. "We're looking forward to it. Last season was unusual and disappointing, so we're ready to get underway."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

FSU Fall Ball Recap

The Florida State Seminoles have finished up Fall practice this week with a two Garnet vs. Gold games.

The Garnet team won Game 1 with a 9-0 shutout of the Gold Team in five innings. Matt Fairel picked up the victory by going three innings while allowing only three hits and two walks. Buster Posey also pitched a shutout inning while allowing one hit. Jack Posey (Buster's brother) led the offense with three RBI's. Jimmy Marshall of the Gold team came in to pitch the third inning but was lit up for six runs (one earned) while walking four batters. The Gold offense was led by Ruairi O'Connor who went 2-2.

Game 1 Recap
Game 1 Box Score

Game 2 was won by the Garnet team with a 7-5 victory to complete the sweep. They were led by Tennessee transfer Tony Delmonico who went 2-3 with two RBI. Mike McGee (Garnet team) chipped in with three hits in the victory. Elih Villanueva pitched three perfect innings with two strikeouts with Mike McGee picking up the victory on the mound by pitching two perfect innings. Trenton Jarvis had the best day on the mound for the Gold team by pitching two scoreless inning while allowing only one hit. Dennis Guinn led the Gold offense with a three run homer in the fourth inning.

Game 2 Recap

Game 2 Box Score