Falmouth coach Jeff Trundy perfectly summed up Todd Cunningham’s Cape Cod League season thus far: "He’s opened up a lot of eyes up here."
Perhaps no player in the Cape has had more of a breakout summer than Cunningham, who was tied for the league lead in batting (.385) and was the circuit’s sole leader in on-base percentage (.473) through Monday. A prototypical table-setter with above-average speed and plenty of patience, Cunningham had six stolen bases in seven tries and sported a tidy 10-12 walk-strikeout ratio. He’s also a switch-hitter who avails himself well from both sides of the plate, though he’s better as a lefthanded hitter.
"Number one, he makes contact," Trundy said. "He’s always in good balance, he makes contact, and really is able to put the bat head on the baseball. He squares up the ball, he’s got good hands. He uses his lower half, but you really notice his hands because he uses them real well. He puts the ball in play with two strikes, and he runs well." [...] Continue Reading »
There has been plenty of action on the assistant coaching carousel this week. On Monday, the Arizona Republic reported that Washington State associate head coach Travis Jewett is joining the Arizona State staff, replacing Josh Holliday (who left last week to take the vacant recruiting coordinator position at Vanderbilt). Jewett has spent the last five years at Washington State and had stints at Washington and Gonzaga before that. Also in that story, the Republic reports that former Washington head coach Ken Knutson is a candidate for ASU’s vacant volunteer assistant job.
Two assistants were hired in the state of North Carolina on Tuesday. New Wake Forest coach Tom Walter hired Brown assistant Bill Cilento as an assistant coach, working with hitters and infielders. Walter knows Cilento well from their days coaching together at New Orleans, though Cilento has spent the last three years at Brown. [...] Continue Reading »
San Diego State righthander Stephen Strasburg has completed a sweep of the major college baseball awards by capturing the prestigious USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award.
In partnership with Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media, the award was presented live at MLB All-Star FanFest in St. Louis. Strasburg beat out other finalists Dustin Ackley (North Carolina), Mike Leake (Arizona State), Kent Matthes (Alabama) and A.J. Morris (Kansas State). [...] Continue Reading »
The last two seasons for Oklahoma State were clouded by lefthander Andrew Oliver’s wrangling with the NCAA after he was ruled ineligible (and later reinstated by court order) for violating the NCAA’s "no agent" rule. Now the Cowboys are facing more infractions issues.
The Tulsa World has reported that Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, athletic director Mike Holder and baseball coach Frank Anderson will be in Indianapolis to meet with members of the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Aug. 7. The Cowboys are alleged to have committed a NCAA rules major violation, which the World reports stems from a former player accepting a free used car from a church group in 2007. According to the paper, the athletic department wrote the president saying that church members "have made clear that their gifts were motivated by their concern for the young man (and) not by his association to (OSU)." The OSU athletic department described the church’s gift as "an innocent and charitable act."
The Committee on Infractions will determine next month whether violations occurred and whether they are major or secondary violations.
Vanderbilt lost one of the nation’s best recruiters when assistant coach Erik Bakich left to become the head coach at Maryland last week, but the Commodores will replace Bakich with another elite recruiter. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Wednesday that Vandy will hire Arizona State recruiting coordinator Josh Holliday to fill the same role in Nashville.
Holliday, who brought in the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class last fall to help the Sun Devils get back to Omaha with a very young team, has proven his recruiting mettle in two years at ASU and three years at Georgia Tech. He also had stints on the coaching staffs at North Carolina State and Oklahoma State. From 1996-99, he starred on the field for the Cowboys, who were then coached by his father, Tom (now the pitching coach at N.C. State).
This marks the second time this week that a highly regarded recruiting coordinator has left a good job for the Southeastern Conference, where assistants are simply paid better than they are anywhere else. On Tuesday, Auburn announced that it hired East Carolina recruiting coordinator Link Jarrett as its new director of player development. Among Jarrett’s responsibilities will be assisting Scott Foxhall with the Tigers’ recruiting efforts.
"The vision and plan that J.P. (head coach John Pawlowski) and Fox (Foxhall) shared with me was an exciting plan and I wanted to be a part of it," Jarrett said. "J.P. expressed to me the style of baseball he preferred to play, and also the type of players that he and Fox have been recruiting to Auburn. This balanced style of play and recruiting plan also excited me, and was a formula I am very comfortable with. The Auburn administration and community were very welcoming and accommodating to my family and me, and I am very excited to help J.P., the staff and players fulfill their vision of getting Auburn back into the national spotlight."
The Cape Cod League all-star game is the closest thing there is to a college baseball all-star game. No other game in the spring or summer can match the talent assembled on both teams in the Cape’s showcase game, which this year will take place in Fenway Park on July 23. As that date approaches, we present the first of our weekly Cape Cod League updates.
This week, let’s shine the spotlight on the Bourne Braves, off to a 10-6 start despite losing five players to Team USA and several others to injuries. As a result of those holes, Bourne coach Harvey Shapiro has had to recruit several juniors to fill out his roster, which is always a risk because those players can sign pro contracts at a moment’s notice. But in Bourne’s case, it’s worked out very well, at least for the time being.
"I have a number of juniors; I had to pick them up, because they’re the only ones available," Shapiro said. "I think that has helped us. The juniors are older, they have more maturity than freshmen, so I think that helps. I always say I’m three or four players away from being really good, three or four players away from being bad." [...] Continue Reading »
UNC Asheville has hired Tom Smith to replace Willie Stewart as its head coach. Smith spent the last two years as a Bulldogs assistant under Willie Stewart, who resigned in May. Smith spent 28 years as the head coach at Asheville’s powerhouse Roberson High before joining the UNCA staff as a volunteer in 2008, then moving into an assistant job in 2009.
"Tom Smith is a proven leader with tremendous desire who will direct our baseball program forward,” director of athletics Janet R. Cone said. “He has the knowledge of the game of baseball and is a proven recruiter. [...] Continue Reading »
In a year that has seen the baseball programs at Vermont and Northern Iowa cut and the program at Massachusetts narrowly avoid the same fate, another program is trying to escape the chopping block. Fundraising efforts are underway to save the baseball program at Division III Wisconsin-La Crosse, but there’s still a long way to go.
Spearheading the effort is Zach Thiel, who has two cousins who play for UW-L. Thiel has set up a website to try to raise $50,000 by the Sept. 1 deadline to spare the program for another year, and so far the site has raised $17,310 in just a few weeks. If you’d like to make a donation, visit www.saveuwlbaseball.com.
In order to secure the program’s long-term future, UW-L needs major donors to step forward. Athletic director Joe Baker said the program needs to raise between $350,000 and $375,000 by May to be included in the athletic department’s five-year budget. But the first step is to get to $50,000 this summer.
It hasn’t taken Erik Bakich long to settle into his new gig as Maryland’s head baseball coach. In fact, when we spoke with Bakich on Tuesday (a day after he was formally introduced at Maryland), he was already in his comfort zone: on the recruiting trail.
Bakich made his reputation at Vanderbilt as one of the nation’s top recruiters thanks to his tireless work ethic and keen eye for talent. Like fellow former Clemson assistants Tim Corbin (now the head coach at Vandy) and Kevin O’Sullivan (Florida), Bakich will spend plenty of hours recruiting even now that he’s a head coach.
"Looking at the way Coach Corbin did it the first couple of years, taking me under his wing, and watching Coach O’Sullivan—he’s out here now—I don’t think I could ever not be on the road," Bakich said. "I love being out there, I love the chase."
Bakich thinks he’s found a young recruiter in the same mold in Dan Burton, who starred for Louisville’s 2007 College World Series team and spent last year recruiting for Austin Peay State in a volunteer capacity. Bakich hired Burton to be his recruiting coordinator, and Bakich has already been in contact with candidates for his pitching coach job. [...] Continue Reading »
The NCAA has released television ratings for the 2009 College World Series, and the news is good for broadcasts on both ESPN and ESPN2. Overall, the 2009 CWS (the 30th straight Series broadcast by ESPN) was the most-viewed and highest-rated in the history of both ESPN and ESPN2. Having marquee names like Louisiana State and Texas go deep into the Series figured to be a boon for ratings, and indeed it was. Let’s crunch some numbers:
• Overall, ESPN averaged 1,450,000 households, 1,928,000 viewers and a 1.5 rating, marking increases of 33 percent (vs. 1,091,000), 37 percent (vs. 1,408,000) and 36 percent (vs. 1.1), respectively, over 2008.
• ESPN’s three CWS Finals telecasts averaged 2,059,000 households; 2,762,000 total viewers; and a 2.1 rating, making it the most-viewed and highest-rated Finals since the tournament expanded to the best-of-three format in 2003. This season’s games marked increases of 24 percent (vs. 1,664,000), 26 percent (vs. 2,193,000) and 24 percent (vs. 1.7), respectively, over last year. [...] Continue Reading »
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog