Western Michigan coach Billy Gernon has come to expect the unexpected from Brent Alwine. Lightly recruited out of high school in Denver, Ind., the 5-foot-6 Alwine became a four-year starter for Gernon's IPFW Mastodons before graduating in 2006, with a .311 career batting average.
"He's always been a very resilient person—hence his nickname, Seabiscuit," Gernon said, alluding to the famous racehorse.
So when Alwine, now an assistant coach under Gernon at Western Michigan, was critically injured in a car accident in August, Gernon never stopped believing Alwine would somehow recover.
In January, Alwine will return to Western Michigan as a volunteer assistant, in a limited capacity.
"He has made a miraculous recovery, but has more recovery to go," Gernon said. "His family and loved ones and coaching staff are excited about the progress that he's made, and we're excited that he'll be rejoining the team in the middle of January, taking it one step at a time and one day at a time through his continual rehabilitation. We've been informed that these injuries can sometimes take a full year for a full recovery. We're just excited that Brent is clearly going to have something very close to—if not completely—a normal life; he just might have a few things to deal with.
"It's very good news after something that at first glance looked like Armageddon." [...] Continue Reading »
A freshman pitcher at Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville was found dead Sunday morning at the bottom of a stairwell at a local apartment complex.
Travis Madden, a native of Inez, Texas, had reportedly left an off-campus party the night before and walked toward his on-campus dorm. Police were not aware of any connection between Madden and the apartment complex where he was found, according to the Victoria (Texas) Advocate. The police will continue to investigate pending the results of an autopsy.
"This is something you don't have a script for," coach Jason Gonzales told the Advocate. "It's been a very emotional day."
In other baseball news at small colleges in Texas, the Brownsville Herald reported that NAIA Texas-Brownsville will shut down its baseball program after this season. Texas-Brownsville and Texas Southmost College have had an educational partnership, but the impending end of that arrangement will split the student body in half, leaving half the amount of athletic fees to support the programs at UTB, according to the paper.
Baseball America has confirmed reports that blue-chip shortstop recruit C.J. Hinojosa will not enroll early at Texas this winter, as he had previously intended.
"When you're dealing with young kids, things happen," said Longhorns recruiting coordinator Tommy Harmon.
Hinojosa, a switch-hitter from Klein Collins High in Spring, Texas, is a standout student who tried to shoulder a double course load this fall in order to graduate early, but the academic burden took a toll on him. He remains committed to Texas, but now the Longhorns must hope he gets through the 2012 draft and arrives on campus next fall.
Though Hinojosa has the talent to be drafted as high as the first round, he and his family place a high value on education, and the Longhorns still stand a legitimate chance of landing him.
"A college education is a big part of life after baseball," Hinojosa told Baseball America in October. "If I'm not blessed enough to make it to the major leagues and last a couple of years there—most careers are done at age 25, 26, and they have nothing to fall back on. I want to be a businessman if baseball doesn't work out." [...] Continue Reading »
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