Mississippi State coach John Cohen called this afternoon to say the school has launched a "Do It For Duffy" campaign to raise funds for former Bulldogs catcher Ryan Duffy, who was paralyzed from the neck down after diving off a dock in Key West, Fla., last month.
MSU is selling maroon wristbands for $5, but supporters are of course welcome to donate as much as they like. Cohen said the goal is to raise $100,000 to send Duffy to a premier recovery center in Atlanta. To purchase a wristband, just make checks out to the Ryan Duffy Recovery fund and send them to:
Mississippi State Baseball Office
PO Box 5327
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Cohen also weighed in on the new BBCOR-certified bats, which we wrote about Tuesday. He said the Bulldogs—who play in one of the most spacious fields in the Southeastern Conference—have hit just two home runs in batting practice and scrimmages since starting workouts on Aug. 21.
"And we have some guys with real power," he said. "Guys are killing balls, they just don't go. Nobody's going to hit balls out of our ballpark—I'm serious. [...] Continue Reading »
California's announcement that it will cut its 108-year-old baseball program at the end of the 2011 season shocked the college baseball world Tuesday, but nobody was blindsided more than Golden Bears coach David Esquer.
Esquer said he had no inkling his program was in jeopardy until he got official word at 9:30 Tuesday morning.
"It's shocking—that's the perfect word for it. It is shocking," Esquer said Tuesday evening. "Obviously Cal baseball has been around for over 100 years, and the beauty of the University of California is they're a passionate, loyal alumni group, whether they're football, basketball or baseball. That's a trademark of the alumni here, they love their school and are passionate about their alma mater. So there's a lot of disbelief. It's a big statement—it's a Pac-10 school that decided not to have baseball. That's saying something. We think we're the strongest conference in America as far as baseball, and our track record with national championships would probably prove that."
Esquer said his players were stunned when the coaches broke the news to them Tuesday.
"Various emotions. Some are angry, obviously, and disbelief, and there's some fear and a little bit of panic out of some," he said. "It's difficult to hear, and when it deals with their futures, it's kind of hard to hear. We've got a lot of kids committed to play on this team. I told them, if this is the last baseball team in Cal baseball history, we have the opportunity to give them one hell of a team. We have five returning key pitchers, including upperclassmen, and seven of our nine field players are returning. We are all excited to get back to work. [...] Continue Reading »
It looks like the Pacific-10 Conference will not be an 11-team baseball league after all. California shocked college baseball Tuesday by announcing it will drop five varsity sports, including baseball—after the 2011 season. ESPN and Baseball America columnist Jerry Crasnick first reported the news on Twitter.
"We've been hearing some rumors, but I just can't believe it," said former Cal outfielder Brett Jackson, who was playing a game in Cary, N.C., for Team USA when the news broke. "It was an absolute shock—it's a real shame. There've been some rumors, but you never think they would do that at Cal. I grew up a Cal fan, I'm a Bay Area guy, I just can't imagine there being no baseball at Cal."
That was the reaction around college baseball and the Pac-10, including at Bay Area rival Stanford.
"They've had a very rich college baseball tradition, been to the College World Series a couple of times and won a national title," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said in a statement. "It's a sad day for college baseball. [...] Continue Reading »
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