Western Illinois coach Stan Hyman was diagnosed last week with leukemia, he said this afternoon. He immediately began chemotherapy treatment at a clinic in nearby Peoria, Ill., and he said today that associate head coach Brock Bainter will run the program during the fall.
"Everybody’s hope is that I’ll beat the disease and be back by the end of the fall or the beginning of January," Hyman said. "They caught it pretty early on."
Hyman said he’ll have a better idea how his treatment is progressing in mid-August. Everyone here at Baseball America wishes him the best of luck with a speedy recovery.
Hyman regularly puts together one of the nation’s most rigorous nonconference schedules, and his Leathernecks have come up with big wins against ranked powers Missouri, Long Beach State and Oklahoma State over the last two seasons. He has guided Western Illinois to an 88-74 record in Summit League play during his eight-year tenure.
Washington State has hired Purdue assistant Spencer Allen to replace Travis Jewett, the Cougars assistant who left to take a job at Arizona State earlier this month. WSU head coach Donnie Marbut also announced that pitching coach Gregg Swensen has been promoted to associate head coach.
Allen spent the last two years at Purdue, where he coached the hitters to a school-record .309 batting average. Before that he spent two years as an area scout for the Tigers in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, and two years as an assistant at Creighton. He played his college ball at Iowa State and graduated in 2001. [...] Continue Reading »
New Orleans today announced that Bruce Peddie has been promoted to head coach, replacing Tom Walter (who left for Wake Forest last month). Walter said when he left that Peddie would be replacing him at UNO, and the school made it official Tuesday. Peddie spent the last three years as the Privateers’ associate head coach under Walter, and before coming to UNO he spent 11 years as the head coach at Division II Shippensburg (Pa.).
“It has always been my dream to be a Division I head coach, and I can’t begin to describe how excited I am,” said Peddie, who has 21 total years of coaching experience. “The tradition of this program combined with the love of college baseball in this city makes this an incredible opportunity.”
Drew Pomeranz has had a year to remember. The lefthander was nothing short of heroic for Mississippi in the NCAA tournament, nearly pitching the Rebels to Omaha singlehandedly. He came up just as big for USA Baseball’s collegiate national team this summer.
Pomeranz carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning Sunday to lead Team USA to an 8-1 win against Germany in the championship game of the Enbridge Nothern Gateway Pipeline World Baseball Challenge in Prince George, British Columbia. The Americans finished their summer campaign with a 19-5 record, including a 6-1 mark in the Challenge in Canada. The Americans also came within an out of winning the annual Japan Series on Japanese soil for the first time since 1974, but Japan rallied to overcome a three-run deficit in the ninth and went on to win the decisive game of the series in extra innings. [...] Continue Reading »
Washington has found its new baseball coach at last. The Huskies announced today that they have hired Lindsay Meggs away from Indiana State after a monthlong coaching search.
As first reported by the (Terre-Haute, Ind.) Tribune-Star, Meggs was offered the job Thursday, accepted it Friday and informed his players Saturday. Meggs led the Sycamores to a 77-79 record in three seasons at the helm after inheriting a team that finished last in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2006. They went 33-21 this spring to finish in second place in the Valley, and Meggs earned MVC coach of the year honors. It was a 15-win turnaround from 2008 for ISU.
"We’re very proud and happy to have Coach Meggs taking over our baseball program," Washington athletics director Scott Woodward said at a press conference today. "His record as a builder of programs, both on the field and in the classroom, is superb. He comes highly recommended by some big names in the college coaching world and we’re thrilled to have him."
BOSTON—It’s raining steadily now, and play has been halted here at the Cape Cod League all-star game. The Fenway Park groundscrew has covered the infield with the tarp here in the middle of the fifth inning, and I think it’s very unlikely any more baseball will be played tonight, judging by the doppler radar. For the record, the West leads 3-0 on the strength of two RBIs from Cotuit third baseman Zack Cox (Arkansas) and four innings of one-hit ball from four different pitchers.
Cox was the big winner tonight, impressing several scouts that I spoke with. He got the West on the board with an RBI triple over the center fielder’s head against Rob Rasmussen (UCLA) in the first inning, and he knocked an RBI single to left field in the second inning against Kyle Blair (San Diego). Cox was due to lead off the bottom of the fifth before play was stopped. [...] Continue Reading »
BOSTON—Conditions were not conducive to big displays of power at Fenway Park this afternoon. A thick, drizzly fog settled in around the ballpark, and the wind was gusting in from center field, knocking down a number of drives toward the Green Monster in left. But Harwich’s Connor Powers (Mississippi State) connected for three home runs over the monster in the opening round of the Cape Cod League’s home run hitting contest, then slugged two more in the championship round to defeat Cotuit’s Connor Rupp (Texas), who substituted for Kevin Patterson (Auburn).
"That wind was killing a lot of balls today, but that’s what you go for," Powers said, referring to his strategy to take aim at the Green Monster. "I’m not going to the opposite field—I’m looking to pull it. It’s definitely something I’ll never forget."
Powers is the second Mississippi State slugger to fare well in the Cape’s home run derby in three years, joining Mitch Moreland, who put on a show in Wareham in 2007 before losing to Luke Murton in the finals. Powers said afterward that he was going to call Moreland, who is now playing for Double-A Frisco in the Rangers system. [...] Continue Reading »
BOSTON—Greetings from Fenway Park, where the Cape Cod League’s all-star festivities are about to get rolling with the home run derby. It’s foggy and a bit chilly, and it’s been drizzling lightly on and off all afternoon, but I’m hopeful we can, in get the derby and the game (which starts at 7) before it starts raining significantly.
For the record, I’m taking Brett Eibner (Arkansas) in the home run derby—I want a righthanded hitter with power, and Eibner fits the bill. One scouting director I spoke with agrees with me, but two coaches I chatted with before the game like Jedd Gyorko (West Virginia), who is not oversized by has very quick wrists. I don’t see a lefty like Hunter Morris (Auburn) or Kevin Patterson (Auburn) faring particularly well here unless they can get in a groove to the opposite field. Then again, I believe the lefthanded-hitting Ken Griffey Jr. won the home run derby here at Fenway in 1999, so you never know.
New Maryland coach Erik Bakich has made a splash with his hire of pitching coach Sean Kenny, according to a source close to the situation. Kenny has spent the last six years as the pitching coach at Pepperdine, and the five before that as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at San Diego. He is widely regarded as one of the top pitching coaches on the West Coast, and he immediately gives the Terrapins added credibility. Kenny will assist in recruiting as well, though he will not be named Maryland’s recruiting coordinator.
Bakich is familiar with Kenny’s brother, Seth, who is an assistant coach at Austin Peay State, located not far from Vanderbilt (where Bakich was an assistant). Bakich’s other assistant, Dan Burton, also spent last year as a volunteer on the Austin Peay coaching staff.
Centenary announced Tuesday that it was dropping from Division I to Division III in all sports. According to the press release the Louisiana college released, the school will compete in the Summit League for two more years, and will honor the scholarships of current players.
“This is one part of an overall wide-ranging plan which will be implemented by incoming President Dr. David Rowe,” Ed Crawford, the acting chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, said in a press release. “Centenary must and will restructure its overall strategy to achieve financial and academic stability. We on the Board look forward to working with President Rowe as he helps rebuild an even more firmly established Centenary College as a leading institution of higher education in the South and in the nation.” [...] Continue Reading »
The NCAA has devised a solution—at least temporarily—to its bat rolling dilemma. Multiple sources have confirmed that the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee has recommended a moratorium on bats that use composite barrels, which tend to overperform near the end of their life cycles and are susceptible to a form of tampering known as "bat rolling." The moratorium will be considered (and likely approved) by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel at an August meeting.
This is a positive step to address a major issue that has exploded in college baseball over the last two seasons. We’ll have plenty more on the composite bat debate in this week’s On Campus.
The rumors connecting Kansas coach Ritch Price to the Washington job turned out to be baseless.
"There’s no truth to it at all," Price said Monday. "I signed a new contract after going to regionals this year. We’ve spent almost $4 million on upgrading our facilities since I’ve been there. I’m really happy here."
San Diego coach Rich Hill visited Washington but left without accepting the job and has since turned it down. Virginia Tech coach Pete Hughes was also offered the position last week and declined it.
The Cape Cod League has announced the rosters for next Thursday’s all-star game at Fenway Park. The Cape’s showcase event is the closest thing there is to a college baseball all-star game, and as usual the rosters are loaded with talent.
The East Division roster is led by starting pitcher Rob Rasmussen (UCLA), who is 2-0, 0.96 for Orleans this summer. The West Division counters with Brandon Workman (Texas), who is 1-0, 1.86 for Wareham. The West appears to have more thunder in its lineup, with Kyle Roller (East Carolina), Zack Cox (Arkansas), B.A. Vollmuth (Southern Mississippi), Brian Fletcher (Auburn) and Ryan Cuneo (Delaware) all representing power threats. The East, though, has an athletic, fast lineup led by speedsters Gary Brown (Cal State Fullerton) and Blake Kelso (Houston).
Gates open Thursday at 3 p.m., with the six-player home run derby slated to start at 5:15. The all-star game starts at 7. Baseball America will be on hand for all the festivities.
Arizona State coach Pat Murphy today confirmed that former Washington coach Ken Knutson is joining the Sun Devils’ staff as a volunteer assistant coach.
"Kenny’s history speaks for itself," Murphy said. "It’ll be a great addition to our staff."
Knutson served as Washington’s head coach from 1993-2009, finishing his 17-year stint as the Huskies’ all-time leader in coaching victories (584). He led Washington to six of the eight regional appearances in school history, most recently in 2004.
San Diego coach Rich Hill did not accept the Washington coaching job during his visit to Seattle, and he is now in Jamaica with his wife. It’s unclear whether or not Hill officially turned the job down, but the latest rumor circulating in college baseball circles is that Washington has shifted its focus to Kansas coach Ritch Price. A call to Price’s cell phone went straight to voicemail, and Kansas baseball secretary Marcia Bagby said he’s currently in Hawaii on KU business.
Price grew up in Oregon and played at Willamette (Ore.) University. Whether his roots would make him receptive to returning to the Pacific Northwest is unclear. We’ll have an update once we find out whether or not there’s any substance to this latest rumor.
Team USA lost a back-and-forth, extra-innings thriller to Japan 8-7 on Thursday, giving Japan a three-games-to-two victory in the annual series between the two teams.
Team USA broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the top of the ninth, a rally that started with back-to-back singles by Blake Forsythe (Tennessee) and Andy Wilkins (Arkansas). But Japan responded with three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame, highlighted by Masayoshi Kato’s two-run triple against Chad Bettis (Texas Tech).
The Americans came apart in the 11th, as reliever Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) made an errant pickoff throw that advanced the winning runner to third base with two outs. Shortstop Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton) then misplayed a ground ball to allow the winning run to score. It was Colon’s team-leading sixth error of the summer; no one else on the team has more than two. [...] Continue Reading »
It looks like hitting coach Jon Zuber is taking the fall for California’s disappointing 24-29 season. Northern California sources say—though the school has not confirmed—that Zuber, Cal’s all-time hits leader and a 2003 inductee into the California Hall of Fame, has been let go. This is a peculiar move, considering the Bears ranked third in the Pac-10 in batting (.298) and fourth in scoring (6.7 runs per game) in 2009. In addition, the Bears produced three hitters drafted in the first two rounds in June (Brett Jackson, Jeff Kobernus and Blake Smith) and two All-America hitters in 2008 (first-teamer Josh Satin and second-teamer/first-round pick David Cooper).
Texas coach Augie Garrido was fined $500 and sentenced to four days in jail plus 180 days of driver’s license suspension on Thursday morning for pleading guilty to a Feb. 2 drunken driving charge.
College baseball’s all-time winningest coach took full responsibility for his actions and was commended by judge Elisabeth Earle for being a role model for those who find themselves in his situation.
"Do what’s right," Garrido said. "I did what was wrong, and now I’m going to make it right by doing what’s right. They (UT baseball players) did that all season."
Back in February, Garrido was suspended for the Longhorns’ season-opening four-game series against Illinois-Chicago. Now that his legal proceedings have concluded, he can finally move on.
"Don’t drink and drive," Garrido said. "It’ll never be over. Now, it will be a responsibility to make good out of it and do good with it."
Washington has ramped up its efforts to hire a blue-chip coach to replace Ken Knutson. A source close to the situation confirmed to Baseball America that Washington has flown San Diego coach Rich Hill to Seattle on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the opening, and presumably to woo him. Common wisdom over the last few years has held that Hill would not leave USD unless it was for another top job in Southern California (like USC or San Diego State), but it appears he is seriously entertaining the notion of leaving his small, private school for a public school in the Pacific-10 Conference.
If Hill leaves, the Toreros have two very strong in-house candidates to replace him in assistants Eric Valenzuela and Jay Johnson.
This situation must develop quickly because Hill and his wife are scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon for Jamaica, where they are leading a mission trip. We’ll have more details as they become available.
As reported earlier today here on the College Blog, Washington was indeed bearing down on Virginia Tech coach Pete Hughes for its vacant head coaching job. The Huskies, in fact, offered the job to Hughes, but he turned it down.
"I was offered and declined the job at UW," Hughes said in an e-mail to BA’s John Manuel this afternoon. "Although we were blown away by the excitement to build an Omaha team in Seattle, we wanted to see the growth of the Hokies fully through. In the end, we love the direction of our program at Virginia Tech and the vision of our AD Jim Weaver."
Hawaii’s Mike Trapasso and San Francisco’s Nino Giarratano now seem like the front-runners. Gonzaga’s Mark Machtolf is expected to sign a five-year extension soon and appears out of the running for the Washington job.
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