Two years ago, the University of New Orleans athletic program left the Sun Belt Conference to pursue a move to Division III, and later decided to set its sights on D-II. In March, the school announced it would remain in Division I, and all that remained was to find a new conference, because UNO was unaffiliated since exiting the Sun Belt.
On Thursday, the Privateers and the Southland Conference announced that UNO will join the SLC, effective July 1, 2013. Earlier in the week, the Southland extended invitations to Abilene (Texas) Christian and Incarnate Word (Texas), which would need to reclassify as Division I institutions.
UNO baseball will play a full Southland schedule and be eligible for the conference tournament in its first season in 2014.
"This is an exciting day for the student-athletes, fans and the University," UNO baseball coach Bruce Peddie said. "Athletics at the Division I level will generate interest, garner local exposure and help increase admissions. I am very excited for the student-athletes and the fans that have supported all of our programs for years. I greatly appreciate the confidence that President (Peter) Fos and (athletics director) Derek Morel have shown us and look forward to bringing back the fans to the Lakefront."
The Privateers have a proud baseball tradition, which includes 14 trips to regionals and an appearance in the 1984 College World Series under coach Ron Maestri. New Orleans went to regionals as recently as 2007 and '08 under coach Tom Walter, now at Wake Forest. [...] Continue Reading »
The coaching carousel hasn't finished spinning yet.
Mike Villano, who has coached Western Illinois for the past three seasons, announced his resignation Wednesday. Assistant coaches Shane Davis and Cooper Stewart (who assisted in running the program in fall 2009 prior to Villano's arrival) will oversee the day-to-day operations until a head coach is named.
Villano is resigning to pursue an opportunity outside of coaching in business sales.
"I've been involved with baseball after college for 18 years, and everyone has to make decisions for different reasons," Villano said in a release. "I'm at a different chapter in my life to go experience a new challenge. I love Western, I love Macomb and I love these players . . . The foundation is here to win some championships and I for one will be their biggest fan."
Villano led the Leathernecks to the Summit League tournament in 2011 for the first time in three years; they went 21-38 overall that season and 13-15 in league play. WIU went 17-35-1 last year. [...] Continue Reading »
The Missouri Valley Conference announced Monday that Dallas Baptist will officially join the league as an affiliate member for baseball and will be eligible for the league's automatic bid starting in 2014. The league's invitation is for a six-year membership.
DBU had previously hoped to join the MVC and even played a Valley schedule this spring as a step toward gaining full membership. Then, last September, the Patriots accepted an invitation to join the revamped Western Athletic Conference. But when WAC expansion began to crumble, DBU looked at the MVC once again. The relationship is clearly beneficial for the Patriots and the Valley both.
As the MVC press release emphasized, DBU's addition gave the league a significant boost in the Ratings Percentage Index in 2012. The league finished the season as the No. 6-ranked conference and sent three teams to regionals (while DBU earned its third straight at-large bid as an independent). The Patriots went 41-19 overall and 14-7 against Valley teams, finishing 23rd in the final RPI rankings.
"There's no question that Dallas Baptist University is a premier power in Division I baseball," commisioner Doug Elgin said in the release. "Their addition to our conference as an affiliate member in baseball will strengthen our position in the national landscape, and we're excited to commit to one another for a lengthy term. The Missouri Valley Conference has a rich tradition in baseball, and the addition of Dallas Baptist will make us stronger." [...] Continue Reading »
The Santa Barbara Foresters beat the Seattle Studs 6-2 in the championship game of the National Baseball Congress World Series this weekend. The Foresters became the first team to repeat as NBC World Series champions since Kenai of the Alaska League in 1993-94.
For a while, the Foresters looked like they were going to steamroll their way to the title, entering the tournament on a nine-game winning streak (including six straight wins at the end of the California Collegaite League schedule to tie for the league title), and then winning their first five games in Wichita. But a loss to the Hays Larks last week put Santa Barbara's back up against the wall, and the Foresters responded.
"It was fun, and it was a grind," Santa Barbara coach Bill Pintard said. "Until we lost to Hayes on Thursday night, we had won 14 straight. Now we're on a two-game winning streak—but that's all we need." [...] Continue Reading »
As its search for a new head baseball coach approached its third month, George Washington finally made a decision Friday—to delay the search further.
The Colonials hired Tom Sheridan as associate head coach and announced that he will lead the program in an interim capacity into the fall, when the athletics department expects to announce a new full-time head coach.
Sheridan has spent the last 25 years as head coach at the Division III University of Mary Washington (Va.). He led the Eagles to 579 wins, 10 conference championships and 11 NCAA tournament appearances. Before that, he spent six seasons as an assistant at James Madison from 1982-87, helping lead the Dukes to the 1983 College World Series.
GW announced on May 19 that head coach Steve Mrowka would not be returning as head coach next year, ending his eight-year tenure. The Colonials reached the A-10 conference tournament just once in that period, in 2005.
The right candidate was under Middle Tennessee State's nose all along.
The Blue Raiders conducted a national search for their new head baseball coach after Steve Peterson retired on July 5, and today they announced that Peterson's long-time assistant, Jim McGuire, has been elevated to head coach.
MTSU did not handle the end of the search with an abundance of grace. After Liberty's Jim Toman withdrew his name from the mix last week, the Blue Raiders offered the job to Arkansas State coach Tommy Raffo earlier this week. Raffo turned it down, electing to stay put at Arkansas State, so MTSU went back to McGuire, who knows the program inside and out after 20 years on Peterson's staff.
"We had a thorough process that allowed us to talk with some of the most accomplished baseball coaches in the country," MTSU director of athletics Chris Massaro said in a release. "We were able to develop an outstanding pool of candidates that were interested in this job, which is a testimony to the work of Coach Peterson and Coach McGuire.
"From the beginning, I knew the great qualities of Coach McGuire, and he was able to demonstrate them further during the interview process. I am confident he will lead us to national prominence and a trip to Omaha." [...] Continue Reading »
BY PETER WARDELL
Stats reflect last week’s performance: July 23-29.
1. Sean Hagan, lhp, Falmouth Commodores (Sr., St. John’s)
Statistics: 1-0, 0.00, 9 IP, 1 GS, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K
Coming off a nine-inning no-decision last week versus Wareham, Hagan ensured the victory this time around, throwing a complete-game, one-hit shutout under drizzly rain at Brewster. The rising senior was nearly flawless, carrying a perfect game into the eighth inning and no-hit bid into the ninth before a bloop single broke it up for good.
“Obviously he had great stuff, but that was a game that was pitched,” said Falmouth manager Jeff Trundy. “Everything was working for him. Everything landed for strikes and he kept hitters off balance. It was the epitome of pitching.”
Added Hagan: “I typically struggle in the first inning and give up a hit early. For the most part though, I am able to get into grooves and that’s kind of the way I felt right away.”
2. Jeff Thompson, rhp, Bourne Braves (Jr., Louisville)
Statistics: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 1 GS, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K
Thompson, a rising junior from Louisville, was equally impressive Sunday night, tossing a six-inning no-hitter with nine strikeouts in a game called early due to weather. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound righthander, who sits in the low 90s with his fastball and mixes in a quality changeup and slider, was dominant from the onset, striking out the first four Harwich hitters before issuing his first walk. It was the first no-hitter in CCBL play since Y-D’s Jordan Pries tossed one in 2010.
3. Kyle Schwarber, lf, Wareham Gatemen (So., Indiana)
Statistics: .550/.609/.900 (11-for-20), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, 1-for-1 SB
Schwarber, a rising sophomore from Indiana, has been a key contributor for the Gatemen this summer, leading the team with a .331 batting average and 30 RBIs. Last week, the 19-year-old hit safely in all five of the team’s games, collecting extra-base hits in four.
“Kyle does everything for this team,” Wareham manager Cooper Farris said. “He works hard at his hitting. He comes to play every day and he’s just had a great summer.”
4. Sean Manaea, lhp, Hyannis Harbor Hawks (Jr., Indiana State)
Statistics: 1-0, 0.00, 6 IP, 1 GS, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K
Before starting for the Western Division in the CCBL all-star game on Saturday, Manaea turned in yet another impressive outing, tossing six scoreless frames with just two hits and nine strikeouts, to earn his fourth straight appearance on the Hot Sheet. On the summer, opposing hitters are now batting just .134 against the rising junior, who hasn’t issued a walk in more than 26 innings.
5. Tony Kemp, 2b, Cotuit Kettleers (Jr., Vanderbilt)
Statistics: .529/.619/.941 (9-for-17), 3 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 2 K, 2-for-3 SB
With an eight-game win streak, the Cotuit Kettleers have ridden to the top of the Cape League standings with just a week left in the regular season. Kemp, a rising junior from Vanderbilt who made an appearance on the first Cape League Hot Sheet, has been one of the team’s top performers with his well-rounded game. As of July 30, the 5-foot-6, 165-pound second baseman was riding an eight-game hitting streak while ranking first in the CCBL in stolen bases and second in walks.
“Tony gives you lots of different looks,” Cotuit manager Mike Roberts said. “He takes a lot of pitches, but when he does decide to swing the bat, the ball comes off it good. There’s a lot of dynamite in that package. He’s awfully fun to coach.”
6. Drew Dosch, 3b, Falmouth Commodores (Jr., Youngstown State)
Statistics: .556/.600/.833 (10-for-18), 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB
A first-team all-Horizon League honoree at Youngstown State this spring, Dosch has been one of the most consistent sluggers on the Cape this summer, leading the league with 11 doubles, while ranking near the top in batting average, home runs and RBIs. This past week, the rising junior continued his run of success, posting multi-hit games in all four contests.
“Drew’s just continuing to do what he’s done all summer,” Trundy said. “He’s had good at-bat after good at-bat and has swung away very few over the course of the summer.”
7. Tyler Horan, dh, Wareham Gatemen (Jr., Virginia Tech)
Statistics: .421/.476/.947 (8-for-19), 3 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K
Horan, a rising junior from Virginia Tech, has established himself as one of the league’s top power hitters over the past month, slugging his way atop the home run leaderboard (10) with three more this past week. A starting outfielder for the West in this past weekend’s all-star game, Horan has really made strides with his approach and hitting ability this summer, allowing him to further tap into his great raw power.
“Tyler’s really learned some discipline. He’s a strong kid and really motivated,” Farris said. “He was a football player and hasn’t played a whole lot of baseball—I think his best days are ahead of him.”
8. Ben Lively, rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (Jr., Central Florida)
Statistics: 0-1, 2.57, 7 IP, 1 GS, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 15 K
While other pitchers around the league may have posted better overall outings, it’s tough to find one as dominant as Lively’s 15-strikeout performance Friday night against Harwich. Backed by a low-90s fastball and sharp slider, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound righthander has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the summer, but has failed to put together complete outings. While he still wound up with the loss, the rising junior certainly impressed.
“He commanded the zone better than he has,” said Y-D manager Scott Pickler. “His fastball has some run to it. He threw his curveball and slider when he needed to and just pounded the zone and challenged hitters inside.”
As the Cape season nears its end, more players continue to end their summer campaigns. Wareham righthander Konner Wade (Arizona) and Hyannis righthander Jeff Hoffman (East Carolina) both shut down for the summer after inning appearances in Saturday’s all-star game, while Bourne slugger Mason Robbins (Southern Mississippi) also made the trip home. On the other hand, outfielder Michael Lorenzen (Cal State Fullerton) joined the Brewster Whitecaps on Tuesday after spending the summer with Team USA.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog