Harvard coach Joe Walsh died Tuesday morning at the age of 58. Walsh coached the Crimson for 17 seasons, posting a 347-388-2 record, and had a 569-564-3 record overall including 15 seasons at Division III Suffolk (Mass.), his alma mater.
Walsh also was the pitching coach for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League from 1991-98, where he mentored the likes of Ben Sheets and Barry Zito, both on the '98 club. Former Walsh players such as Peter Woodfork (senior vice president, baseball operations, Major League Baseball), David Forst (assistant general manager, Athletics) and Ben Crockett (farm director, Red Sox) have gone on to front-office positions in professional baseball as well.
Walsh's Crimson teams won five Ivy League championships and made regional trips from 1997-1999 as well as 2002 and 2005.
In a press release, athletic director Bob Scalise said, "This is a tragic day for everyone associated with Harvard athletics, Massachusetts baseball and the larger baseball community. Joe's passion for the game redefined success in the Ivy League and he positively impacted the lives of so many people. To say that he will be missed would be an understatement."
Harvard had not yet named a replacement.
Mark Hogan, the winningest coach in Southeast Missouri State history, is retiring after 18 seasons. Pitching coach and ex-big leaguer Steve Bieser will serve as interim coach for the 2013 season, and a national search will be conducted at the end of the season. Bieser, an alumnus of the school whose son Cole is a rising senior at SEMO, will be a candidate for the permanent job at that time.
Hogan compiled a 526-456-1 record at SEMO, winning the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season title in 2002 and winning the conference tournament in 1998 and '02—the only two trips to regionals in program history. The Redhawks reached the OVC tournament title game seven times and made the tourney in each of Hogan's 18 seasons.
"Coach Hogan has been an extremely successful baseball coach for Southeast Missouri State University for the past 18 years," school president Kenneth W. Dobbins said in a release. "We sincerely appreciate his tenure, the legacy he provided for our baseball program, and most importantly, we thank him for his dedication to the success of our student-athletes. Many young men had great collegiate baseball experiences due to Coach Hogan's expertise, and several have gone on to professional careers. We certainly congratulate him for an outstanding career and wish him the best in his retirement." [...] Continue Reading »
Baseball America has confirmed that third baseman Trey Williams has decommitted from Pepperdine and instead will play at JC of the Canyons (Calif.) this upcoming season.
Williams was selected by the Cardinals in the 11th round out of Valencia (Calif.) High School, which is a mile away from JC of the Canyons, a member of the California Community College Athletic Association. This past season, the Cougars were 20-16-1 under head coach Chris Cota.
At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Williams has above-average righthanded power potential with natural bat speed and quick-twitch athleticism. He was ranked No. 99 on Baseball America's predraft BA500 and was one of 12 players in the top 100 to go unsigned at the July 13 deadline.
Williams will now be eligible for the 2013 draft.
BY PETER WARDELL
Stats reflect performance from July 16 to July 22.
1. Sean Manaea, lhp, Hyannis Harbor Hawks (Jr., Indiana State)
Statistics: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 1 GS, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 15 K
After appearances on the past two Cape League Hot Sheets, Manaea forced his way atop this week’s list with the top pitching performance of the summer. Facing a tough Falmouth squad Thursday night, the rising junior allowed just two hits while striking out 15 over seven scoreless innings. What’s more, Manaea has posted an astounding 37-0 strikeout-walk ratio over his last three outings (20 IP). Not including Manaea, only three other pitchers have amassed such a strikeout total over the entire summer.
“He’s getting better every start,” Hyannis manager Chad Gassman said. “He’s just not messing around at all anymore. Once he gets two strikes, he just knows he’s going to get them out.”
On Friday, Manaea was named the starting pitcher for the Western Division in this Saturday’s all-star game. [...] Continue Reading »
William & Mary hired Jamie Pinzino as its new head coach Monday. Pinzino spent 2012 as the Tribe's pitching coach under Frank Leoni, who resigned after the season.
Pinzino is a proven winner who successfully shepherded Bryant from Division II to D-I during his five seasons as head coach. In Bryan't second season at the D-I level in 2010, Pinzino earned Northeast Conference coach of the year honors after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-7 record in conference play, taking home the NEC regular-season title (they were not yet eligible for the conference tournament).
But he was forced to resign under bizarre circumstances after the season. Following a postseason banquet, Pinzino and assistant Andy Koocher were arrested for fighting with each other on the field in an alcohol-fueled incident. [...] Continue Reading »
Baseball America has learned that Maryland has hired Kansas State associate head coach John Szefc as its new head coach, filling the last remaining vacant head coaching job at a power-conference school this summer. An official announcement could come by Thursday.
During his 22-year coaching career, Szefc has proven himself as a top hitting coach and recruiter, and had success as a head coach. He spent seven years as the head coach at Marist from 1996-2002, leading the Red Foxes to three regionals. From 2003-08 he served as Louisiana-Lafayette's top assistant, running the Cajuns' aggressive offense and leading their recruiting efforts. He spent 2009 and '10 on the coaching staff at Kansas, then joined Brad Hill's staff at Kansas State before the 2011 season.
A native of Middletown, N.Y., Szefc now heads back to the East Coast, where he'll be much closer to his family. He takes over for Erik Bakich, who left Maryland after three seasons to assume the head job at Michigan.
The Terrapins made strides under Bakich, winning 32 games in 2012 (their most since 2002) and finishing 32nd in the RPI. Though Maryland missed the ACC tournament, it broke into Baseball America's Top 25 early in the season for the first time ever, and made a serious run at its first regional since 1971.
With a cash-strapped athletic department, Maryland isn't an easy place to win, as its facilities and operating budget lag way behind the ACC's powers. But Bakich recruited well and left a solid foundation in place for Szefc to work with. And Szefc has proven he knows how to win, even with modest resources.
BY PETER WARDELL
Editor’s note: Our latest installment of the Cape League hot sheet encompasses the last two weeks—statistics reflect performance from July 2 through July 15.
1. Brandon Trinkwon, ss, Hyannis Harbor Hawks (Jr., UC Santa Barbara)
Statistics: .439/.468/.789 (25-for-57), 16 R, 5 2B, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 4 BB, 5 K, 2-for-2 SB
Even before going 2-for-5 with a home run and a double last night, Trinkwon had been without question the hottest hitter on the Cape over the past two weeks. With eight multi-hit showings in his last 12 games, the rising junior has become a staple at the top of the lineup for the Harbor Hawks, showing tremendous patience and impressive pure hitting ability.
“He’s a very mature hitter,” Hyannis manager Chad Gassman said. “I’ve seen many times where he’s down in the count and he just clears it and goes back to work, looking for his pitch to hit. I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that he can forget the last pitch and go on to the next one so well.”
“I’m just trying to stay patient,” Trinkwon said. “I’m seeing the ball well, the bat feels good in my hands and I’m trying to relax at the plate. I dropped sizes in wood bat a couple weeks ago and that’s helped me get around on pitches much better—I’m starting to be able to barrel up balls pretty consistently.” [...] Continue Reading »
South Carolina coach Ray Tanner will take over as the school's athletic director, and associate head coach Chad Holbrook will be elevated to head coach. Baseball America has confirmed local media reports that Tanner will be announced as AD on Friday, while Holbrook's announcement is scheduled for Monday.
A strong case can be made that Tanner is the premier coach of his generation, and he is leaving the dugout at the top of his profession. Tanner led the Gamecocks to the College World Series Finals in each of the last three years, taking home the 2010 and '11 national titles and finishing as runner-up this year. That stretch established records with 22 consecutive NCAA tournament wins and 12 straight CWS wins.
In 16 seasons at South Carolina, Tanner led the Gamecocks to six College World Series, three SEC championships, six SEC Eastern Division titles and 13 straight regionals. South Carolina has also won 40 or more games in each of the last 13 years, and is one of just two schools in the nation to make at least 10 super regionals during that stretch.
Tanner is 738-316 in his career at South Carolina, and his .700 winning percentage is second-highest all-time among SEC coaches. In 25 seasons as a head coach (including nine seasons at his alma mater, North Carolina State), Tanner is 1,033-489-3 (.699). [...] Continue Reading »
Mike Zunino's trophy case continued to fill up on Friday, as he added the Golden Spikes Award to his Baseball America College Player of the Year Award and his Dick Howser Trophy. The Florida catcher received the Golden Spikes Award from USA Baseball in a live broadcast on MLB Network, beating out fellow finalists Carlos Rodon of N.C. State and Mark Appel of Stanford.
Zunino, who signed with the Mariners for $4 million as the No. 3 overall pick, hit .322/.394/.669 with 19 homers, 28 doubles and 67 RBIs as a junior for the Gators this spring. And he did it while starting 62 games behind the plate, providing strong defense and great leadership.
Zunino is just the third full-time catcher to win the GSA, joining future big league stars Jason Varitek and Buster Posey.
"I'm thrilled. Just be be in the same category as (the previous winners), and to be in the same presence as Mark Appel and Carlos Rodon, it's just a privilege to be here," Zunino said on the MLB Network broadcast.
The last two days have brought a pair of coaching hires as well as the week's second notable coaching retirement. Appalachian State hired former Oklahoma State assistant Billy Jones as its head coach, while Morehead State hired Louisburg (N.C.) head coach Mike McGuire. And Middle Tennessee State coach Steve Peterson retired after 25 years.
Jones has long been considered a standout recruiter and a top up-and-coming head coach prospect in college baseball circles. He has 18 years of coaching experience, including the last eight as Oklahoma State's recruiting coordinator, preceded by three years on the staff at North Carolina State. In Stillwater, he coached the hitters and helped lead the Cowboys to eight straight winning seasons, six regionals, a super regional and a Big 12 tournament title. His work on the recruiting trail helped land 31 players who went on to be drafted. His Division I coaching career began with two seasons at Oregon State in 1999-2000, followed by one year at Arizona State. He also has head coaching experience at Green River (Wash.) CC in 1997-98.
Jones replaces Chris Pollard, who left for the head job at Duke after leading ASU to its first regional this spring. [...] Continue Reading »
BY PETER WARDELL
Editor’s Note: BA intern Peter Wardell is spending the summer in the Cape Cod League, where he will take a weekly look at which players are hot and have a report here on the College Blog. This first CCBL hot sheet takes a look at the top performers up to this point of the summer season. Statistics reflect performance through Monday, July 2. Hot sheets from here on out will look at weekly performances.
1. Phillip Ervin, cf, Harwich Mariners (Jr., Samford)
By The Numbers: .364/.462/.873, 8 HR, 2 2B, 1 3B, 17 R, 16 RBI, 6 BB, 8 SO, 5-for-5 SB
Ervin has gotten off to a torrid pace on the Cape this summer. Through just 15 games, the rising junior has mashed a league-leading eight home runs, a number that has already eclipsed the season-ending totals of both the 2011 and 2010 CCBL home run champions. At 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, Ervin doesn’t possess a typical power hitter’s frame, instead utilizing lightning-quick hands, good bat control and patience at the plate. “He’s a very disciplined hitter,” said Harwich manager Steve Englert. “He has a great approach and is just playing relaxed.”
While it’s his offensive outburst that has garnered the attention of scouts thus far, Ervin’s performance in center field has been notable as well. He is an above-average runner with good instincts and a strong, accurate arm. He’s displayed adequate route running and good range, giving him the potential for five average to above-average tools. [...] Continue Reading »
San Jose State coach Sam Piraro announced his retirement today after 25 years as the Spartans' head coach. Associate head coach Mark O'Brien, who played for Piraro in 1991-92 and joined Piraro's staff last year after 10 seasons as the head coach at Santa Clara, was elevated to interim head coach while the school conducts a national search.
Piraro, the winningest coach in school history, went 806-632-6 at San Jose State, leading the Spartans to 18 winning seasons, two regionals (2000 and '02) and a trip to the 2000 College World Series. A San Jose native who was an infielder at San Jose State in 1971-72, Piraro began his coaching career in 1974 as SJSU's junior varsity coach. He spent seven seasons at Mission (Calif.) CC before becoming the Spartans' head coach. More than 50 of his former players are baseball coaches at the high school, community college or four-year college levels.
"I have been extremely honors to be the San Jose State University head baseball coach for the past 25 years," Piraro said in a release. "I have been blessed by being associated with wonderful young men and loyal assistant coaches. I have established a lifetime of friendships along the way."
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