December 25, 2006
By Aaron Fitt
When Mark McCormick and Ryan Lamotta arrived on Baylor’s campus as the jewels of a promising 2002 recruiting class, Bears coach Steve Smith felt like he got the players he wanted out of the state of Texas for the first time.
“Then we went through a couple years there coming off the basketball stuff that really, really hurt us in the state,” Smith said. “There was so much negative publicity around basketball, it really did affect us in-state.”
He’s referring, of course, to the 2003 murder of Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy by teammate Carlton Dotson and the subsequent misconduct and resignation of basketball coach Dave Bliss. Smith and his baseball program had nothing to do with any of that, yet they suffered on the recruiting trail from the PR fallout.
But it turns out the Baylor coaching staff was right to believe its 2002 class was a harbinger of good things to come for the baseball program. Three years later, that class played a crucial role in Baylor’s first trip to the College World Series since 1978. All of a sudden, the Bears found themselves out of basketball’s dark shadow.
“I always wondered if we got to Omaha what kind of impact it would have on recruiting, and it had a big one,” Smith said. “And it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Added recruiting coordinator Mitch Thompson: “It was quite a time, because we’d make an offer to a kid and he’d accept it. We didn’t lose a single kid that we offered.”
Now Baylor is harvesting the fruits of that 2005 CWS run and the ensuing recruiting boon. With four elite recruits and a number of other potential high-impact players, Baylor’s 2006 haul ranks as the nation’s best.
Unique In The Big 12
Many scouts considered premium bats Aaron Miller and Dustin Dickerson top-two-rounds talents in the 2006 draft, but they slipped to the 11th and 15th rounds because of their strong commitments. Both should both emerge as middle-of-the-order threats for Baylor, quite possibly as soon as this spring. Miller figures to take over the right-field job in 2007, while Dickerson will see time at first base or left field. Infielders Shaver Hansen and Raynor Campbell and catcher Gregg Glime will all have a chance to win starting jobs as well.
The Bears also have a pair of the best freshman arms in the country in righthanders Kendal Volz and Shawn Tolleson. Volz, a 6-foot-4 horse with a 92-94 mph fastball, a plus slider and a solid changeup, is likely ticketed for Baylor’s weekend rotation right away. Tolleson, who was generating first- or second-round buzz as a junior in high school, doesn’t figure to start pitching for the Bears until April or May, because he’s recovering from early-March Tommy John surgery. When healthy, Tolleson showed a sinking fastball that touches 94 mph and a devastating slider, ingredients that should cement his place alongside Volz in the first two slots in Baylor’s rotation in the coming years. Righthanders Willie Kempf, Craig Fritsch and Ryan Jenkins all have quality stuff and should be impact pitchers for Baylor as well.
Tolleson’s surgery turned out to be one in a series of factors that led to Baylor’s banner class arriving in Waco almost entirely intact. Major league clubs passed on Tolleson in the draft because of his injured elbow and bonus demands. Volz, a high school middle linebacker, was dinged up just enough on the football field that no team was willing to give him the potential seven-figure bonus it would have taken to buy him out of his commitment. Dickerson, a local kid out of Waco’s Midway High, loves being at home near friends and family and wasn’t yet ready to give that up. And Miller was the No. 5 student in his Channelview (Texas) High class of about 700, making an education at a private university particularly appealing.
Baylor’s status as the lone private school in the Big 12 Conference puts it in a unique position to attract academic-minded players. The only other private baseball power in Texas is Rice, which draws largely from the Houston area, leaving Baylor as the major private school option in central Texas. Of course, competing for players against less expensive public schools has its challenges.
“I think it’s a tough deal when your cost of attendance is twice what anybody else’s is,” Smith said. “But if you’re going to be a private school, you might as well be the only one. That is a niche, no doubt, and we don’t have to share it with anyone.”
And in its 10th year in the Big 12, Baylor has brought in a watershed recruiting class that proves a private school can sustain success against all the conference’s public heavyweights. Now the Bears’ big challenge will be bringing in another strong class behind this one.
“What’s interesting, we are so young, and everybody’s using that against us,” Smith said. “People are asking (recruits) the question, ‘Where are you going to play (at Baylor)?’ We’re trying to make sure we sign four or five quality players to mix with these guys we’ve got. There’s enough players out there, in this state in particular, we’ll eventually land a really good group.”
It’s hard to doubt that.
Beavers, Tar Heels Reload
The decisive game of the 2006 College World Series was more than a dramatic conclusion to the season for North Carolina and Oregon State. It was a moment three years in the making. The critical building blocks that led UNC and OSU to that moment were all on display that one day in Omaha: Daniel Bard and Andrew Miller both pitched for the Tar Heels, and Jonah Nickerson, Dallas Buck and Kevin Gunderson all took the mound for the Beavers. And when Gunderson recorded the final out, those five pitchers, the collective foundations for a pair of championship teams, were gone.
It’s a testament to what those players helped build that UNC and Oregon State will survive and prosper without them.
Like Baylor, the Beavers were able to build off the momentum of their 2005 CWS trip when they recruited the class that is now charged with helping replace the departed Nickerson, Buck, Gunderson, and five starting position players. Oregon State recruiting coordinator Dan Spencer said the Omaha run was particularly effective in helping the Beavers secure junior college commitments like first baseman Jordan Lennerton, center fielder Chris Hopkins and third baseman Drew George, all of whom figure to step into vacancies and earn starting jobs.
Throw in freshmen like second baseman Joey Wong (who should take over a starting job as well), catcher Ryan Ortiz, righthanders Jorge Reyes and Chad Nading and lefthander Blake Keitzman, and the Beavers have a top-20 national class that should make an impact in 2007 and, perhaps more importantly, 2008.
Oregon State probably won’t need to call on its newcomers to fill gaps in the weekend rotation right away, because returnees Mike Stutz, Daniel Turpen and Joe Patterson should have that covered. But the defending national champions’ top five arms are four draftable juniors who could all sign and a senior, so this freshman class will be called upon as a bridge in 2008. And the Beavers are now finding their title gives them even more currency on the recruiting trail, which should allow them to keep their success going.
“You know how that is, it’s a double-edged sword, because it gets you in the home of some of those high-end high school kids that will be second- or third-round kids,” Spencer said. “You’re trying to get commitments out of some of those but at same time trying to get the base of Northwest kids who will be very good and who we’ll keep.”
North Carolina’s situation is different for a number of reasons. For one thing, the Tar Heels return eight starters from a potent offense, making them serious contenders again this year no matter how their pitching shakes out. They don’t need their incoming recruiting class to fill as many immediate voids as Oregon State.
And though UNC did not have a CWS appearance to build upon when recruiting this class a year ago, it still secured a haul that ranks among the 10 best in the nation. Righthander Alex White, who also could play some infield, headlines a deep class. White is a premium arm who figures to slide into UNC’s weekend rotation along with senior Robert Woodard and sophomore Luke Putkonen. Polished lefties Rob Catapano and Matt Petiton are ready to pitch right away and could compete with White for a weekend spot, start in midweek or pitch in relief. Dustin Ackley, Drew Poulk and Tim Fedroff will push for playing time in UNC’s crowded outfield and should be significant impact players down the road. And second baseman Kyle Seager has a chance to wrest away a starting job.
It’s a class that cushions the loss of Miller and Bard and provides the Tar Heels with some long-term security in the wake of their CWS run.
“I think we’re deeper both on the mound and in position players,” North Carolina recruiting coordinator Chad Holbrook said. “We don’t have the headline guys in Miller and Bard, but we don’t have to hold our breath every time somebody has a tender arm or a tight hamstring. I think this class will enable our program not to miss a beat.”
AROUND THE NATION
• For the first time in four years, Cal State Fullerton will be without Justin Turner, Blake Davis, Brett Pill and Danny Dorn, its top four hitters from 2006. That group went to Omaha three times in four years and helped the Titans to the 2004 national title. Their graduations combined with the departures of pitching stalwarts Lauren Gagnier, Ryan Paul and Vinnie Pestano leave the Titans in the unfamiliar position of having to rely on freshmen next spring. Fortunately for Fullerton, its recruiting class is one of the best on the West Coast, featuring star-caliber position players in outfielder Khris Davis and shortstop Nathan Bridges. Those two, along with second baseman Corey Jones, will be thrust into immediate service. Righthander Michael Morrison has power stuff and should vie for a rotation job, and stocky righty Travis Kelly’s bulldog mentality could make him an important piece at the back of Fullerton’s bullpen.
“The hard thing to replace is the experience—Dorn and Turner started for four years here,” Titans recruiting coordinator Jason Gill said. “Talent-wise, this class is fine. This is my third class since I took over recruiting, and it’s by far the best class I’ve brought in.”
• Baseball America’s recruiting class rankings do not take into consideration transfers from four-year colleges, who are not supposed to be recruited like freshmen and junior college transfers are. But if we had considered four-year transfers, two Louisiana schools would have gotten a significant boost.
Tulane brought in a small class of high-impact players, led by righthander Preston Claiborne, lefty Aaron Loup and outfielder Ryan Scott. But the Green Wave’s most significant newcomer might be righthander Shooter Hunt, a transfer from Virginia who ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the Cape Cod League this summer thanks to an explosive low-90s fastball and plus curveball.
Rival LSU added the No. 10 prospect in the Cape League, lefthander Charlie Forbush, a transfer from Division III St. Joseph’s in Maine. Forbush showed a good fastball that touched 93-94 mph in the Cape, in addition to a curveball that can be above average. Forbush and lefthander Blake Martin, a transfer from Birmingham-Southern, bolster a solid group of newcomers that includes outfielder Jared Mitchell, a receiver on LSU’s football team, and righthander Jared Bradford.
Interestingly, neither Hunt nor Forbush rates as the top transfer from the Cape League prospects list. That honor goes to fifth-ranked third baseman Matt Mangini, who jumped from North Carolina State to Oklahoma State.
• San Diego State also got a major boost from four-year transfers--five of them, in fact. Outfielder Brandon Glover joins the Aztecs from Texas A&M, lefthander Donnie Hume and infielder Brandon Decker arrive from Long Beach State, infielder Joe Spiers jumps from Hawaii and catcher Frank LoNigro moves south from Fresno State. Those players augment an Aztecs class that was already built around quality juco transfers Aaron Brady, Steven Hirschfeld and Cameron Johnson, among others. The large class will be asked to plug gaps all over the field, as San Diego State lost eight starting position players, as well as ace righthander Justin Masterson.
• The highest-drafted player to bypass the professional ranks for college ball is Seton Hall righthander Sean Black, a second-round pick of the Nationals out of Lenape (N.J.) High. Black, a converted shortstop who rocketed up draft boards this spring with a fastball that touches 95 and a power curveball, is part of a Seton Hall class that rates as the best in the Northeast.
December 24, 2006
By Will Kimmey and John Manuel
New coaches usually have to wait to make a recruiting impact.
Thanks to college baseball's liberal transfer rules, new Louisiana State coach Paul Mainieri and his staff already have been able to upgrade the Tigers' pitching staff this summer with a pair of impact additions.
The Tigers added lefthander Blake Martin after Birmingham-Southern dropped its athletic department from Division I to Division III. Several other BSC players have found new Division I homes (see chart). LSU then added another arm for its rotation when lefthander Charlie Furbush announced he would leave Division III St. Joseph's (Maine) and join the Tigers.
Furbush went 10-1, 2.89 last spring, but the 6-foot-6, 215-pounder made his name in the Cape Cod League this summer, going 3-2, 1.83 for Hyannis with 50 strikeouts and 13 walks in 54 innings. He also started the league's all-star game and threw a no-hitter against Bourne.
"Charlie's situation is similar to mine in that he is coming to LSU to challenge himself against the best competition in the nation," Mainieri said. "The way he has performed in the Cape Cod League against some of the best college players in the country gives us hope that he will make a major impact upon our program."
The fact that Division I coaches have long visited the Cape, ostensibly to check up on their own players but with recruiting for transfers as an unspoken part of the agenda, has been an unseemly side of summer baseball for years. This year was considered an active one in terms of significant transfers.
The league's strikeouts leader, Virginia righthander Shooter Hunt, was heading to Tulane after playing with four Green Wave players in Falmouth. While Hunt walked 30 in 40 innings this summer for the Commodores, he gave up just 19 hits (and only one home run) while striking out 54. Hunt told NorthJersey.com that Virginia had given him a release to transfer with the stipulation that he could not go to any other school in Virginia, the Atlantic Coast Conference or in the Southeastern Conference.
The other significant transfer of the summer took place in the Alaska League, as Fresno State's Beau Mills decided to attend NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State. Mills, who has hit 36 home runs in two seasons for the Bulldogs, was academically ineligible at the end of the '06 season and missed Fresno State's regional. He played for the Alaska Goldpanners in Fairbanks this summer under LCSC coach Ed Cheff, batting .270-7-33 in 152 at-bats.
The following is the list of Division I players who have filed to transfer during the summer. Birmingham-Southern has suspended baseball for 2006-2007 and all of its players were given releases to transfer. Several followed former BSC coach Brian Shoop to Alabama-Birmingham.
Click here to view the complete transfer list
December 23, 2006
By Alan Matthews and Aaron Fitt
As the NCAA early signing period wound down, it was clear that many of the nation's most powerful college baseball programs took advantage of their clout.
Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Clemson, Georgia Tech and UCLA, as well as last year's College World Series finalists, North Carolina and Oregon State, were among the schools that secured commitments from multiple high-profile prospects from the deep and talented high school Class of 2007.
Whether or not the best of those players ever see campus is an obvious caveat when it comes to analyzing recruiting classes at this early stage in the process. Often, most of the nation's best high school players sign with the professional team that drafts them, but some do wind up at college, and it's too early to know which players will fall into which category.
If everyone came to school, though, Arizona State would be in business. The Sun Devils' class is loaded with several of the top pro prospects in the prep Class of 2007. Signees such as outfielder Michael Burgess (Hillsborough High, Tampa) and infielders Josh Vitters (Cypress, Calif., High) and Justin Jackson (Roberson High, Asheville, N.C.) all rank in the most recent top 10 of Baseball America's Prospects Plus top 300 national rankings.
Burgess has outstanding power from the left side of the plate, Vitters is an advanced hitter coming off an outstanding summer, and Jackson is a smooth-fielding shortstop who played for USA Baseball's junior national team, and was a high school teammate of Tigers prospect Cameron Maybin. All three could be drafted in the first round in June, provided they remain healthy between now and then.
Catcher Danny Rams (Gulliver Prep, Miami), first baseman Andrew Lambo (Newbury Park, Calif., High) and righthander Seth Blair (Rock Falls, Ill., High) also signed letters of intent with Arizona State, which has a new recruiting coordinator in former Miami and Louisiana State assistant Turtle Thomas. All three are similarly considered potential high-round draft picks out of high school. Outfielder Matt Newman (Brophy Prep, Phoenix) and righthander Kyle Brule (Marcos De Niza High, Chandler, Ariz.) are less likely to be enticed with six-figure signing bonuses and could be the meat of Arizona State's class when fall practice begins in 2007.
The Tar Heels have locked up commitments from a bevy of the class' top pitchers, including the top two overall prospects--righthanders Matt Harvey (Fitch High, Groton, Conn.) and Rick Porcello (Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, N.J.). Lefty Madison Bumgarner (South Caldwell High, Hudson, N.C.) was ranked No. 20 in the nation and could join Harvey and Porcello in the first two rounds of the draft. Righthanders Patrick Johnson (Saint Stephens HS, Conover, N.C.) and Greg Holt (West Forsyth HS, Clemmons, N.C.) don't presently offer the professional upside of that trio and are more likely to find their way to Chapel Hill, where they could serve impact roles for UNC, Holt as a potential two-way standout.
North Carolina recruiting coordinator Chad Holbrook said the Tar Heels were able to take an aggressive approach after landing a deep and talented freshman class in 2006.
"Obviously we had some momentum from Omaha, and the way (2006 UNC pitchers) Andrew Miller, Daniel Bard and Robert Woodard have developed and grown and gotten better here was obviously intriguing to those young pitchers," Holbrook said. "We were very aggressive, because they have expressed a desire to attend college. Even though they have that first-round potential, they do have that chance of coming to college, or we wouldn't have signed them.
"Some years we would not have recruited all of those guys because of the draft, but they were committed to being part of our program and wanting to go to college. We wanted to seize the momentum from Omaha, and I think we did."
Oregon State has done likewise, locking up a pair of Top 25 pitchers in righthander Greg Peavey (Vancouver, Wash.) and lefty Tanner Robles (Salt Lake City), as well as Peavey's Team USA junior national teammate Tim Alderson (Phoenix), a 6-foot-7 righthander.
UCLA coach John Savage has generated plenty of momentum at UCLA as well, and has put together the Bruins' third consecutive strong recruiting class. Outfielders Jason Heyward (McDonough High, Henry County, Ga.) and Brett Krill (Aliso Niguel High, Aliso Viejo, Calif.), middle infielder Ryan Dent (Wilson High, Los Angeles) and righthander Erik Goeddel (Bellarmine Prep, San Jose) are all top-40 prospects. Bruins recruiting coordinator Brian Green secured their commitments, but Savage knows the trick is getting them to school.
"You've got to do your homework, got to have a little bit of a crystal ball, have a little luck," Savage said. "You win some, you lose some, just want to make sure you're in that 90 percent range, keeping nine out of 10 guys, or eight out of 10 at the worst. You don’t want half the class to disappear in June."
One advantage schools will have next year is the comfort of knowing which players are going to come to school and which are going to pursue their pro careers by Aug. 15. Major League Baseball's recent Collective Bargaining Agreement included Aug. 15 as a uniform signing date for all drafted players.
Until then, schools like Arizona State and North Carolina are cautiously optimistic.
The signing period, which began Nov. 8, ends Nov. 15.
December 22, 2006
With the Lehigh Valley Catz losing the likes of Brendan Murphy (Pre-Season All American at Marshall University) and Karl Krailo (ACBL CO-MVP in 2006, Sam Houston St.)- Two of the best hitters the Catz have ever had, but cannot return due to no remaining NCAA summer league eligibility- off of last year’s team it left a huge hole in the 2007 lineup: Enter Murray Watts.
Murray Watts, a 6’ 7” 250 lb. freshman first baseman from the Arkansas Razorbacks is the latest addition to the 2007 Lehigh Valley Catz summer collegiate baseball team. Watts, who was named to the prestigious 2006 Louisville Slugger High School All-American team last year, is described by scouts and coaches as a “big time power hitter” who could potentially start as a true freshman for one of the best collegiate baseball programs in the entire country this spring. Murray, who bats and throws lefty, is from Jonesboro, Arkansas.
2007 marks the 3rd straight summer the Razorbacks have placed players with the Catz. Previous players included pitcher Josh Smith (2006 Catz –ACBL Top Ten Prospect) and infielder Matt Willard (2005 Catz -currently starting shortstop at Arkansas).
Catz Head Coach Adrian Yaguez on the signing of Murray Watts: "First, you'll never be able to replace Murphy and Krailo," expressed Yaguez. "Both are class human beings - and, I can't express how much I enjoyed being around them. True pro prospects - both Karl and Brendan - but, more importantly - great people. But, enter Murray Watts. How can you not get excited about Murray? Pro body - big stick from the left side. Could see considerable time as a freshman at U. of Arkansas. That says it all. I've had the opportunity to speak both with Murray and his father - and, I’m really excited about bringing Murray aboard. He's going to fit in well with us - and, of course, be a big part of our 2007 team - and, hopefully beyond. We have a good one coming in with Murray. He'll have a great opportunity to showcase himself this summer in the ACBL."
December 16, 2006
Compiled by John Manuel
1. Steve Gilman, rhp, Metro NY (Yale) - The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Gilman pitched just 22 innings in 2006 due to control problems at Yale before assuming a closer role in the ACBL. He took to relief, throwing more consistent strikes with a fastball that touches 92-93 mph.
2. Josh Smith, rhp, Lehigh Valley (Arkansas) - Smith, soon to be 23, has played at Arizona State, Central Arizona Junior College and Arkansas, missing a year with Tommy John surgery along the way. He had the league's top fastball, reaching 94 mph, and has been drafted twice.
3. Michael Whitney, rhp Lehigh Valley (Navarro, Ariz., Junior College) - A knack for throwing strikes with his average fastball and slider and occasional curve distinguishes Whitney, an 18th-round pick in 2005 by the Orioles.
4. Peter Kennelly, rhp, Stamford (Fordham) - A walk-on at Fordham, Kennelly showed a live arm with a 90-91 mph fastball and improved changeup.
5. Will Romanowicz, rhp, Kutztown (Elon) - Statistically the league's most dominant pitcher, Romanowicz used an upper-80s fastball and mid-80s cutter to limit opponents to a .154 average while posting a 1.29 ERA.
6. Phil Rummel, rhp, Kutztown (Kutztown, Pa.) - A big-bodied pitcher who commands an upper-80s fastball, Rummel led the league in wins and ERA.
7. Jimmy Principe, of, Lehigh Valley (Brookdale, N.J., CC) - Managers considered him the league's top hitting prospect due to his rangy (6-foot-3) frame, 6.6-second speed over 60 yards and line-drive approach.
8. Brendon Murphy, of-1b, Lehigh Valley (Marshall) - A rising senior, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Murphy doubled his home run output from last summer's ACBL total, hitting four to tie for the league lead.
9. Perry Schatzow, ss, Jersey (Kean, N.J.) - Though he has little pop (six extra-base hits), Schatzow hit .346 and was the league's top defensive middle infielder.
10. Matt Gianini, lhp, Stamford (Central Connecticut State) - The league's innings leader is a command-and-control lefty with below-average stuff for a pro. He walked just 44 in a combined 143 innings between being the No. 1 starter for both Central Connecticut State and Stamford in the ACBL.
December 15, 2006
By Aaron Fitt
JUPITER, Fla.--Chipola (Fla.) Junior College coach Jeff Johnson admitted he had reservations when he first heard the details about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement announced during the World Series.
The agreement spelled the end for draft-and-follows, as major league clubs will now only control the rights to a player they draft in June until Aug. 15, rather than control a junior college player until the following draft.
But when Johnson sat back and thought about it, he came to the same conclusion that most four-year college recruiting coordinators and major league scouts reached: Not much is really going to change. The elimination of the draft-and-follow process is not going to doom juco baseball, just as it is not going to revolutionize the way scouts deploy their time. The CBA will have some repercussions for jucos, four-year schools and scouts alike--but the general mood around those in attendance at the World Wood Bat Association Fall Championship is that the repercussions will be mostly positive.
"I really don't see it having much of an impact on junior college baseball, just because kids go to junior college baseball to be draft eligible, and it will still be that way," Johnson said. "You probably won't have as many pro scouts trying to encourage and send kids to JCs after not signing them, so there won't be as much pressure to go to the junior college level."
Many organizations have long guided players with upside who needed a year of seasoning to the juco ranks and signed them in the spring, rather than have to wait three years to get another crack at them. Though there is no longer as much incentive for scouts to guide players to the juco ranks, plenty of players will still likely attend JCs so they can re-enter the draft the next year, and they figure to get more exposure in their junior college career now than they used to.
In the past, many scouts would neglect a junior college if they didn't have any players under control there, assuming that any player worth seeing would be signed by the team that controlled him. Now, with no players under control, scouts will have to cast a wider net in the juco ranks. And a player like Adam Loewen or Nick Markakis could attract flocks of scouts, giving teammates exposure in the process.
"If you get a few guys that are the right type of player, it will really create a frenzy for scouts," Johnson said.
While some will lament the loss of draft-and-follows--some scouting directors see it as a way to reward diligent area scouts, who could be rewarded with a late-blooming player--others are just glad not to have to keep tabs on them. And if a player opts for a four-year school over a junior college, that's just fine.
"Sometimes the draft-and-follows can be a headache," Nationals scouting director Dana Brown said. "We'll get them in three years."
Win For Four-Year Schools?
Most college coaches don't foresee too many players choosing four-year schools over jucos just because of the elimination of the draft-and-follow process, though the elimination of the DFE security blanket makes that a possibility, particularly for players who are on the fence academically. Academic-minded players were probably headed to four-year schools anyway. Johnson tells players that if they're only interested in playing professional ball, junior college is a very good option, but if they want to get a degree and then play pro ball they should go to four-year schools.
And more teams could fill out their drafts with four-year players, now that there's no point in selecting a juco-bound player you have no intention to sign right away.
The biggest win for the four-year colleges is the implementation of an Aug. 15 uniform signing date. It might not sound like much, since most schools start classes in August anyway and will not have time to replace any recruits they lose in mid-August, but now that the signing date exists, coaches are optimistic they can move the date earlier in the calendar in future years.
"We always wanted a drop-dead date," North Carolina recruiting coordinator Chad Holbrook said. "We wish it was earlier, but beggars can't be choosers.
"Now once a kid gets on campus, you don't have to worry about him going to his first class, or going to his dorm and checking on him every hour. You don't have to go through that stuff. Just the fact that we're going to know August 15 regardless is a comforting thing. It's too late to aid us anyway--if we lose a kid we can't go replace him, it's too late. But just that they're working to do something like that, it shows progress, and it certainly helps us from a comfort standpoint a little bit."
It is harder to predict what kind of impact another aspect of the new CBA will have. Teams that fail to sign a first- or second-round draft pick will now get an almost identical pick the following year as compensation, and failing to sign a third-round pick will yield a compensation pick after the third round the following year.
Holbrook thinks teams might now be more apt to hold the line on negotiations, knowing they'll get an identical compensation pick. That could result in more high-profile players landing on college campuses.
But it could also mean that more big league teams are willing to take chances on players with questionable signability, knowing they will get compensated if they can't work out a deal.
"I just like the fact that, we didn't sign (second-round pick) Sean Black this year, and in the future we'll get another pick for that," Brown said. "Teams will be more apt to take chances. You never want to lose a player, but I'd feel good if we got a pick for him. Right now we get nothing."
AROUND THE NATION
One of the gems of Tennessee's 15th-ranked recruiting class, freshman lefthander Bryan Morgado, had Tommy John surgery and will take a medical redshirt this spring. The Miami native suffered the injury in the summer before arriving in Knoxville. When healthy, Morgado owns an electric 88-92 mph fastball, a plus curveball and some feel for a changeup.
December 14, 2006
The Tulane Green Wave is one of the few nationally recognized programs the Lehigh Valley Catz have not recruited players from in the past, until now that is..........
Hunter Johnson, a freshman LHP, is the latest addition to the 2007 Lehigh Valley Catz summer collegiate baseball team. Hunter is from Bellaire High School in Texas, one of the most respected and notable baseball high school programs in the state.
Johnson is described by the Tulane coaches as “A proven winner with command of three good pitches, and throws nothing but strikes. He pitches in the mid 80s, reaching 87, and shows a great ability to keep hitters off balance. Rarely does a hitter get a good swing off him. He is a polished lefty that should contribute to the Tulane program immediately."
Coach Yaguez on the Hunter Johnson signing: "Hunter is going to be a nice pick-up for us - a true competitor that has come highly recommended from the Tulane University staff," expressed Yaguez. "Hunter is a crafty lefty - has command of his pitches - and can change speeds. That's key. We expect him to be a big contributor for us this summer - and, hopefully open the door to a relationship with Coach Sutter and Tulane baseball. We expect that Hunter will see time out of the bullpen this spring - and, could very well be a rotation guy for us this summer. Bottom line - he can pitch - and we look forward to seeing him take advantage of this opportunity for himself."
December 13, 2006
As the offseason continues in college baseball, so does the annual coaching carousel. Baseball America will keep you abreast of all the moves. For some schools, the story announcing the hiring or dismissal is linked in the school's name.
For the second time this offseason, a college coach chose the insurance business over baseball. Marshall had to replace Dave Piepenbrink in August when he left for a job with an insurance company, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee was in a similar position this fall when head coach Jerry Augustine stepped down. Augustine, who won a school-record 347 games in his 12-year tenure, resigned when he realized he could no longer dedicate enough time to coaching while also running his own full-time insurance business. The Panthers replaced him with assistant coach Scott Doffek, who had been Augustine's assistant for the past 12 seasons.
Marshall found a young, up-and-coming coach to replace Piepenbrink. The Thundering Herd hired Jeff Waggoner, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at North Carolina State. Before that, Waggoner served as Kent State's recruiting coordinator for two seasons, and he spent the two years before that as an assistant at George Washington. Waggoner spent two seasons as a catcher at Cleveland State before graduating in 1998.
Grambling State thought it had found its coach when Savannah State coach Carlton Hardy accepted the Tigers' offer on July 21, but Hardy had a change of heart and returned to Savannah, so Grambling turned to Southern pitching coach Barret Rey to fill its opening. Rey replaced James "Sapp" Randall, whose contract was not renewed after the Tigers went 6-35 in his third season at the helm.
Maryland-Eastern Shore found a replacement for Bobby Rodriguez, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. The Fighting Hawks hired Will Gardner, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Delaware State.
Click here to read the full story
December 12, 2006
Brandon Nall (Kutztown Rockies) is rising rapidly in the New York Mets organization according to a recent article in Baseball America . Nall (LSU) started the 2005 ACBL season with the Rockies under field manager Rich DeLucia whose ten years of MLB experience and two years as a minor league pitching coach were instrumental in Nall's development.
The 6-4 RHP posted a 3-1 log with an 0.84 ERA in 32 innings for the Rockies and was signed by the Mets in early July after pitching seven hitless innings against the league champion Quakertown Blazers. His pro career began at Hagerstown (Low A), and in late 2005 he was promoted to St. Lucie (High A).
This year Nall struck out 88 in 86.2 innings for Hagerstown with 35 base on balls. His ERA was 2.91 and opponents batted .220. The sidearm-throwing middle reliever was a late season promotion to Binghamton (AA) where he did not allow a run in two appearances. In four innings he allowed only one hit with four strike outs and batters hit .083 against him. Most recently he had two scoreless innings for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.
December 7, 2006
Dobbs Ferry High School, with Coach Barry Schectman of the Robins, won the Class C State Championship in New York on Saturday with a dominating 24-0 win over Falconer at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
With this victory the Eagles capped a story book season with a 12-0 record, scoring a whopping 346 points for, while giving up only 57 points against on the year.
For Schectman, this is the second consecutive season, his teams have finished undefeated as last season, he guided the Westhill High School Freshman, to an 11-0 record.
November 23, 2006
The Lehigh Valley Catz, looking to build on a very successful 2006 summer collegiate baseball season, are pleased to announce the signing of Evan Gerald, a 6’ 3” Sophomore RHP from Texas A & M University. Evan, from Amarillo, Texas, was an impressive 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA out of the bullpen last spring for the Aggies. Gerald earned his win with three shutout innings vs. Northwestern State. This past summer, Evan was a member of the Duncanville Deputies of the Texas Collegiate League. There he showed his durability by pitching in 24 of the team’s 48 games, putting him 3rd overall for appearances in the TCL. In comparison, Chuck Roller (Clarion), who was named the top reliever in the ACBL in 2006, led the Catz with 16 appearances last summer.
Gerald becomes the second product of the Texas A & M baseball program to compete for the Catz. Former Aggie Ben Himes, who competed for the Catz back in 2002, and is currently with the Tampa Yankees in the Bronx Bombers minor league system. Himes was one of two prospects the Cincinnati Reds sent to the Yankees as part of the Tony Womack trade prior to the start of last season.
Catz Head Coach Adrian Yaguez on the addition of Evan Gerald: "Extremely excited to begin the signing process by adding Evan Gerald to our staff for the 2007 season," explained Yaguez. "From what his numbers indicate and from speaking with Coach Bolt at Texas A&M - Evan is a competitor - wants the ball all the time - and, can bounce back between outings pretty quickly - all great signs. We know it starts with pitching and defense and that's where we will focus. Evan is huge part of our plans and will see a lot of work and get a lot of good exposure for himself this summer. We feel it's a good start and we're excited to welcome him to the Valley."
November 22, 2006
By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer
Veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer signed a $10.5 million, two-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
A left-hander who turns 44 next month, Moyer bolstered Philadelphia's starting rotation after coming over in a trade with Seattle on Aug. 20. He was 5-2 with a 4.03 ERA in eight starts, including a 4-1 record during the Phillies' failed playoff push in September.
"Jamie was one of our more effective pitchers down the stretch," general manager Pat Gillick said. "He was an asset to our ballclub not just for his performance on the field, but also for his presence in the clubhouse."
Moyer, who made $5.5 million this season, was 11-14 with a 4.30 ERA in 33 starts with the Mariners and Phillies. He surpassed 200 innings pitched for the sixth straight year and eighth time in nine seasons.
Moyer is a two-time 20-game winner (2001-03) and went to one All-Star game (2003). He has a career record of 216-166 with a 4.17 ERA for the Cubs (1986-88), Rangers (1989-90), Cardinals (1991), Orioles (1993-95), Red Sox (1995-96), Mariners (1996-2006) and Phillies (2006).
Among active pitchers, Moyer ranks seventh in wins, fifth in starts (518) and innings (3,351), and 10th in strikeouts (1,992).
The Phillies overcame a poor start and midseason roster purge to challenge for the NL wild-card spot until the final weekend. They were eliminated on the next-to-last day of
November 22, 2006
BY JAMIE TALAN. STAFF WRITER (Newsday)
Frank Torre's step didn't skip a beat yesterday as he met with family and the medical staff at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of his heart transplant.
The 74-year-old has a 38-year-old heart. "I wish the rest of my body was as good as my heart," Torre joked. His brother, Yankee manager Joe Torre, added: "These are 10 borrowed years, and I don't know where I'd be without him."
A decade ago, Frank Torre, himself a former major league baseball player, could barely walk the short trip down the driveway to fetch his morning paper. He had no energy and had great difficulty breathing. He had lost all taste for food. In 1984, he had survived a serious heart attack, yet Florida doctors failed to diagnose heart failure in 1996. It was brother Joe who brought him to Columbia, where doctors found he was in heart failure and put him on the transplant list.
That was July. He would wait another four months before a heart became available.
It was on Oct. 25, and Yankee fans were celebrating Game 5 of the World Series. Among those watching was Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Columbia heart surgeon who got the call only an hour after the game ended. A 28-year-old man from the Bronx had died from a brain tumor and donated his organs.
And that changed Torre's life forever.
"At first, it was scary," said Torre, who knew that without a new heart he would die. While he was waiting, Columbia doctors would occasionally parade heart transplant patients in. The longest-living visitor Torre met had his donor heart for six years, Torre recalled. "When I looked at these people, I began thinking that I could live a normal life, too. And now I have."
Torre knows well the gift he's been given. Only months before Columbia doctors diagnosed heart failure, the Torres lost their brother Rocco to a massive heart attack. Sister Marguerite, another sibling who attended yesterday with Joe and their other sister, Rae, had bypass heart surgery.
"They should make organ donations mandatory," said Torre, who told the story of the struggle of his own donor family. The young man's wife knew what he wanted, but the man's parents were against it. In the end, she prevailed.
Last year, 2,200 patients received donor hearts nationwide. About 7,000 patients are still waiting, said Oz.
"We would have enough hearts if people would donate," added Oz, who stressed that it's not just about signing the back of a driver's license. "Family must know how you feel about organ donation," he added.
"We all benefit," he added. Today, 57 percent of transplant recipients live at least 10 years.
The first heart transplant was done in 1969. By 1971, the first 12 recipients had all died, and surgeons stopped doing transplants for another decade. Better immunosuppressive drugs available by the early 1980s brought heart transplantation back to the surgical suite - and the results keep getting better.
"In the 1970s, Frank Torre would have been dead in a few months," Oz said. "In 1986, he may have had a few years." Today, the chances of surviving more than a decade are high although life span depends on many factors.
Yesterday, Torre reflected on how close he came to accepting the Florida doctor's advice to go home and put his papers in order. "Always get a second opinion," he said.
For more information on organ donation, check the United Network for Organ Sharing at www.unos.org.
November 21, 2006
Brendan Murphy of the Lehigh Valley Catz was selected for preseason All America honors by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The 1B-DH was named to the NCBWA Second-Team All America position.
Murphy, a three year starter for the Catz, led the Conference USA with 70 RBIs and tied for the ACBL home run title with four home runs this summer.
The Marshall senior was also selected to the 2007 Wallace Watch by the College Baseball Foundation. The Brooks Wallace Award is presented annually to the national college player of the year.
November 8, 2006
Every year at the New York City Marathon, hundreds of the city’s firefighters and policemen run the race and square off. The average time of the top ten finishers from each race wins. The FDNY had the first 10 finishers across the line and won.
Shane McKeon who lives in Middle Village crossed the line with a time of 3:09.65, just 9 minutes behind Lance Armstrong. This was Shane McKeon’s sixth marathon.
September 14, 2006
Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006
DURHAM, N.C.--Reigning national champion Oregon State topped college baseball again by placing six players on Baseball America's top prospect lists for 18 summer college leagues.
BA ranked the top 30 prospects in the always talent-laden Cape Cod League and the top 10 prospects in all of the other leagues (except the fledgling four-team Mountain Collegiate League, for which BA ranked the top five prospects).
The Beavers had three players make the West Coast Collegiate League list, two make the Cape Cod League list and one make the Alaska League list. Arkansas placed the second-most prospects on BA's lists with five, followed by Tulane and Pepperdine with four apiece. Tulane placed the most players on the Cape Cod list with three, while two Pepperdine players ranked as the No. 1 prospects in their respective leagues (although Central Illinois Collegiate League top prospect Bryce Stowall was set to transfer from Pepperdine).
For scouting reports on all 195 players ranked, visit www.baseballamerica.com
Cape Cod League
1. Justin Smoak, 1b, Cotuit (South Carolina)
2. Andrew Brackman, rhp, Orleans (North Carolina State)
3. Matt Wieters, c, Orleans (Georgia Tech)
4. Joshua Fields, rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis (Georgia)
5. Matt Mangini, 3b, Hyannis (North Carolina State/transferring to Oklahoma State)
6. Brett Cecil, lhp, Orleans (Maryland)
7. Eddie Kunz, rhp, Falmouth (Oregon State)
8. James Simmons, rhp, Cotuit (UC Riverside)
9. Shooter Hunt, rhp, Falmouth (Virginia/transferring to Tulane)
10. Charlie Furbush, lhp, Hyannis (St. Joseph's, Maine/transferring to Louisiana State)
11. Josh Donaldson, 3b/c, Harwich (Auburn)
12. Josh Horton, ss, Harwich (North Carolina)
13. Mitch Canham, c, Falmouth (Oregon State)
14. Tony Watson, lhp, Harwich (Nebraska)
15. Matt LaPorta, 1b, Brewster (Florida)
16. Reese Havens, ss, Cotuit (South Carolina)
17. Dan Merklinger, lhp, Harwich (Seton Hall)
18. Terry Doyle, rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis (Boston College)
19. Jeremy Bleich, lhp, Wareham (Stanford)
20. Nolan Gallagher, rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis (Stanford)
21. Conor Graham, rhp, Wareham (Miami, Ohio)
22. Brad Suttle, 3b, Wareham (Texas)
23. Buster Posey, ss/rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis (Florida State)
24. Tyler Henley, of, Yarmouth-Dennis (Rice)
25. Warren McFadden, of, Falmouth (Tulane)
26. Brad Emaus, inf, Yarmouth-Dennis (Tulane)
27. Vance Worley, rhp, Chatham (Long Beach State)
28. Paul Koss, rhp, Chatham (Southern California)
29. Cory Gearrin, rhp, Cotuit (Young Harris, Ga., JC/transferring to Mercer)
30. Ryan Flaherty, ss, Hyannis (Vanderbilt)
1. Beau Mills, 3b/1b, Alaska Goldpanners (Lewis-Clark, Idaho, State)
2. Duke Welker, rhp, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Arkansas)
3. Mark Willinsky, rhp, Mat-Su (Santa Clara)
4. Casey Weathers, rhp, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Vanderbilt)
5. Chris Wietlispach, rhp, Mat-Su (Yale)
6. Xavier Scruggs, 1b/3b, Athletes In Action (UNLV)
7. Daniel Turpen, rhp, Mat-Su (Oregon State)
8. Chase d'Arnaud, 3b, Anchorage Glacier Pilots (Pepperdine)
9. Blake Stauffer, util, Athletes In Action (Texas A&M)
10. Ike Davis, of, Anchorage Bucs (Arizona State)
Atlantic Collegiate League
1. Steve Gilman, rhp, Metro NY (Yale)
2. Josh Smith, rhp, Lehigh Valley (Arkansas)
3. Michael Whitney, rhp Lehigh Valley (Navarro, Ariz., JC)
4. Peter Kennelly, rhp, Stamford (Fordham)
5. Will Romanowicz, rhp, Kutztown (Elon)
6. Phil Rummel, rhp, Kutztown (Kutztown, Pa.)
7. Jimmy Principe, of, Lehigh Valley (Brookdale, N.J., CC)
8. Brendon Murphy, of-1b, Lehigh Valley (Marshall)
9. Perry Schatzow, ss, Jersey (Kean, N.J.)
10. Matt Gianini, lhp, Stamford (Central Connecticut State)
Cal Ripken League
1. Neil Ramirez, rhp, Youse's Orioles (Kempsville High, Virginia Beach, Va.)
2. Mitch Harris, rhp, Youse's Orioles (Navy)
3. Evan Frederickson, lhp, Bethesda (Virginia Tech)
4. Hunter Harris, rhp, Youse's Orioles (Texas)
5. Vinny DeFazio, c, Youse's Orioles (Alabama)
6. Eddie Bach, lhp, Youse's Orioles (Maryland-Baltimore County)
7. Neal Davis, lhp, Youse's Orioles (Virginia)
8. Preston Pehrson, c, Bethesda (Towson)
9. Ivor Hodgson, of, Rockville (Mount St. Mary's)
10. Jim Britton, rhp, College Park (St. Bonaventure)
Central Illinois Collegiate League
1. Bryce Stowall, rhp, Danville (Pepperdine)
2. Kevin Dubler, c, Dupage (Illinois State)
3. Bobby Stevens, ss, Twin City (Northern Illinois)
4. Aaron Weatherford, rhp, Danville (Mississippi State)
5. Louis Coleman, rhp, Danville (Louisiana State)
6. Pat Venditte, rhp/lhp, Quincy (Creighton)
7. Dan Brewer, ss, Dupage (Bradley)
8. Adam Buschini, if, Dupage (Cal Poly)
9. Ricardo Pecina, lhp, Danville (San Diego)
10. D.J. Mauldin, rhp, Dupage (Cal Poly)
Clark Griffith League
1. Adam Olbrychowski, rhp, Vienna (Pepperdine)
2. Jordan Flasher, rhp, Herndon (Geoge Mason)
3. Xavier Qualls, of, Vienna (Southeastern Louisiana)
4. Franco Valdes, c, Vienna (Broward, Fla., CC)
5. Anthony Scelfo, ss, Vienna (Tulane)
6. Dave Kellerberg, rhp, Vienna (Florida Southern)
7. Ryan Woolley, rhp, Herndon (Georgia)
8. John Zorich, lhp, Herndon (CC of Baltimore County-Dundalk)
9. J.B. Blixt, rhp, Fairfax (Radford)
10. Carlos Del Rosario, of, Fairfax (Indian River, Fla., CC)
Coastal Plain League
1. Keon Graves, 3b, Spartanburg (Spartanburg, S.C., Methodist)
2. Jimmy Gallagher, of, Peninsula (Duke)
3. Luke Prihoda, rhp, Fayetteville (Sam Houston State)
4. Nate Parks, of, Outer Banks (Virginia Tech)
5. C.J. Ziegler, 1b, Asheboro (Arizona)
6. Zach Brown, 1b, Thomasville (The Citadel)
7. Scott Diamond, lhp, Martinsville (Binghamton)
8. Steve Condotta, ss, Martinsville (Florida Tech)
9. Jeff Fischer, rhp, Edenton (Eastern Michigan)
10. Mike Flye, rhp, Wilson (East Carolina)
Florida Collegiate Summer League
1. Jon Lucroy, c, Winter Park (Louisiana-Lafayette)
2. Ty Pryor, rhp, Winter Pines, (North Florida)
3. Alan Farina, rhp, Orlando, (Clemson)
4. William Jackel, rhp, Winter Park, (Tallahassee CC)
5. Gene Howard, util, Winter Park, (Rollins College)
6. Andrew Laughter, rhp, Winter Park (Louisiana-Lafayette)
7. Kent Matthes, of, Winter Pines, (Alabama)
8. Avery Barnes, 2b, Altamonte Springs (Florida)
9. Mark Gildea, of, Altamonte Springs, (Florida State)
10. Mike Marseco, ss, Sanford (Samford)
Great Lakes League
1. J.B Shuck, lhp/of, Columbus (Ohio State)
2. Damon Brewer, lhp, Lima (Bethune-Cookman)
3. John Baird, rhp, Delaware (Cincinnati)
4. Chris Kupillas, rhp, Grand Lake (Central Michigan)
5. Kyle Maunus, 3b, Cincinnati (Western Michigan)
6. Josh Harrison, if, Southern Ohio (Cincinnati)
7. Mike Wilson, rhp, Great Lakes (Michigan)
8. Travis Jones, 2b, Lima (South Carolina)
9. Matt Stiffler, of, Southern Ohio (Ohio)
10. Mark Sorensen, rhp, Columbus (Michigan State)
1. Sam Elam, lhp, Hays (Notre Dame)
2. Matt Brown, of, El Dorado (Wichita State)
3. Brian Rike, of, Liberal (Louisiana Tech)
4. Cliff Springston, lhp, Hays (Baylor)
5. Kyle Day, c, Hays (Michigan State)
6. Dusty Renfrow, rhp, Nevada (Southeast Missouri State)
7. Dylan Moseley, rhp, Liberal (Louisiana Tech)
8. Noah Krol, rhp, El Dorado (Wichita State)
9. Drew Bowman, lhp, Liberal (Nebraska)
10. Derek Schermerhorn, 3b, El Dorado (Wichita State)
Mountain Collegiate League
1. Jareck West, of, Laramie (Delta State, Miss.)
2. Travis Mortimore, lhp, Laramie (Wayne, Neb., State College)
3. Stephen Vogt, c/1b, Fort Collins (Azusa, Calif., Pacific)
4. Chuck Huggins, lhp, Fort Collins (Trinity, Texas)
5. Ross Bennett, 1b, Greeley (Wisconsin-Platteville)
New England Collegiate League
1. Chris Friedrich, lhp, Vermont (Eastern Kentucky)
2. Andres Perez, 3b/of, Torrington (Stony Brook)
3. Curt Smith, 3b, Vermont (Maine)
4. Chris Dominguez, 3b, Newport (Louisville)
5. Pat McAnaney, lhp, Newport (Virginia)
6. Jay Monti, rhp, Holyoke (Sacred Heart)
7. Jim Murphy, 1B, Newport (Washington State)
8. Mark Murray, rhp, Vermont (Evansville)
9. Brendan McKearney, rhp, Newport (Washington)
10. Willy Fox, util, Pittsfield (Wake Forest)
New York Collegiate League
1. Jonathan White, of, Glens Falls (Vanderbilt)
2. Nick Stewart, of, Geneva (Francis Marion, S.C.)
3. Austin Hyatt, rhp, Amsterdam (Alabama)
4. David Flores, 3b, Little Falls (Sacramento State)
5. Jordon Herr, of, Rochester (Delaware)
6. Gerry Spessard, of/1b, Watertown (Maryland)
7. Ezequiel Ruvalcaba, rhp, Saratoga (Loyola Marymount)
8. Brandon Malkowsi, rhp, Amsterdam (St. Rose, N.Y.)
9. Cody Eppley, rhp, Elmira (Virginia Commonwealth)
10. Chris Dove, of, Saratoga (Elon)
1. Jordan Zimmerman, rhp, Eau Claire (Wisconsin-Stevens Point)
2. Charlie Shirek, rhp, Duluth (Nebraska)
3. Brett Hunter, rhp, Alexandria (Pepperdine)
4. Steven Hensley, rhp, Duluth (Elon)
5. Chad Dawson, rhp, St. Cloud (Indiana State)
6. Tim Smith, of, Mankato (Arizona State)
7. Tim Murphy, of/lhp, Duluth (UCLA)
8. Jeff Richard, rhp, Waterloo (Central Michigan)
9. Chris Jones, of, Rochester (Cal State Fullerton)
10. Byron Wiley, of, Duluth (Kansas State)
Southern Collegiate League
1. Calvin Lester, of, Davidson (Prairie View A&M)
2. Creighton McCallum, rhp, Davidson (Coastal Carolina)
3. Ben Swaggerty, lhp, Tennessee (Tusculum, Tenn.)
4. Terry Gallo, of, Monroe (Towson)
5. Ricky Pruitt, of, Morganton (Montevallo, Ala.)
6. Ben Wilshire, rhp, Monroe (Austin Peay)
7. J.J. Potrikus, rhp, Morganton (Siena)
8. Jordan Hotchkiss, rhp, Asheville (Brevard, N.C.)
9. Kevin Mattison, of, Asheville (UNC Asheville)
10. Jeremy Triche, c, Morganton (Southern Arkansas)
Texas Collegiate League
1. Randy Boone, rhp, Coppell (Texas)
2. Aaron Luna, 2b/of, Euless (Rice)
3. Brian Friday, ss, Duncanville (Rice)
4. Seth Garrison, rhp, Duncanville (Texas Christian)
5. Jess Todd, rhp, Coppell (Arkansas)
6. Jeff Nutt, c, Coppell (Arkansas)
7. Kirkland Rivers, lhp/cf, Mineral Wells (Texas A&M)
8. Matt Willard, ss, Euless (Arkansas)
9. Justin Garcia, rhp, Graham (New Orleans)
10. Wade Mackey, rhp, Mineral Wells (Baylor)
1. Yonder Alonso, 1b, Luray (Miami)
2. Blake Tekotte, of, Woodstock (Miami)
3. Paul Burnside, rhp, Winchester (Auburn)
4. Tyler Kuhn, ss, Luray (West Virginia)
5. Brandon Dickson, rhp, New Market (Tusculum, Tenn., College)
6. Jamie McOwen, of, Luray (Florida International)
7. Josh Dew, rhp/3b, Harrisonburg (Troy)
8. Adam White, of, Waynesboro (West Virginia)
9. Jordan Karnofsky, 1b/of, Front Royal (California)
10. Clint Robinson, 1b, Harrisonburg (Troy)
West Coast Collegiate League
1. Jared Prince, of/lhp, Aloha (Washington State)
2. Darin Holcomb, 3b, Spokane (Gonzaga)
3. Joey Wong, 2b, Bend (Oregon State)
4. Marc Rzepczynski, lhp, Aloha (UC Riverside)
5. Eric Sogard, 3b, Bend (Arizona State)
6. D.J. Lidyard, rhp, Wenatchee (Oregon State)
7. Jorge Reyes, rhp, Moses Lake (Oregon State)
8. Danny Cox, ss, Bend (Washington)
9. James Wallace, rhp, Aloha (College of Southern Idaho)
10. Kyle Paul, c, Kelowna (Missouri State)
September 13, 2006
By Yohei Nakagawa
, Atlantic City Surf - Jamie has a 1-3 record and 5.83 ERA this season. He is currently on the DL.
, Bridgeport Bluefish - Echevarria played in the majors from 1996 through 2002 and batted .280 with 152 hits, 32 doubles, 21 homeruns, and 90 RBI. He is currently with independent Bridgeport, batting .275 with 47 hits, 7 doubles, 4 homeruns, and 24 RBI as of September 9.
, Bridgeport Bluefish - Nathans is batting .232 with 33 hits, 5 doubles, 1 homerun, and 11 RBI as of September 9.
, Camden Riversharks - Costello has a 6-9 record and 3.74 ERA in 23 appearances as of September 10.
, Camden Riversharks - Difelice has a 11-8 record and 2.92 ERA in 23 appearances as of September 10.
, Camden Riversharks - Ion has a 4-1 record and 2.31 ERA in 30 appearances as of September 10.
Steve Van Note
, Lancaster Barnstormers - Van Note is batting .231 with 54 hits, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 4 homeruns, and 26 RBI as of September 10.
, Long Island Ducks - Connors is batting .259 with 59 hits, 13 doubles, 4 homeruns, and 33 RBI as of September 10.
, Long Island Ducks - Haverbusch is batting .260 with 74 hits, 23 doubles, 3 triples, 7 homeruns, and 48 RBI as of September 10.
, Long Island Ducks - Hartmann has a 9-5 record and 4.15 ERA in 38 appearances as of September 10.
, Road Warriors - Eickhorst has a 1-13 record and 5.24 ERA as of September 10.
, Fort Worth Cats - Foster is batting .313 with 114 hits, 24 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homeruns, and 51 RBI as of August 25.
, Sioux City Explorers - Daubert is batting .294 with 52 hits, 11 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homeruns, and 24 RBI as of August 25.
, St. Joe Blacksnakes - Edwards has a 2-5 record and 4.94 ERA in 14 appearances as of August 25.
, St. Joe Blacksnakes - Mitsumori has a 4-5 record and 5.83 ERA in 30 appearances as of August 25.
, St. Joe Blacksnakes - Kitch is batting .243 with 74 hits, 12 doubles, 6 triples, 1 homerun, and 21 RBI as of August 25.
, Brockton Rox - Rosenblat is batting .237 with 65 hits, 13 doubles, 3 triples, 8 homeruns, and 31 RBI as of September 4.
, New Jersey Jackals - Kuklick is batting .306 with 52 hits, 9 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 23 RBI as of September 4.
, New Jersey Jackals - Smithlin is batting .223 with 63 hits, 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 21 RBI as of September 4.
, North Shore Spirit - Fitzgerald has a 0-1 record and 2.14 ERA in 42 appearances as of September 4.
, North Shore Spirit - Trout has a 3-5 record and 4.18 ERA in 23 appearances as of September 4.
, North Shore Spirit - Weed is batting .262 with 78 hits, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 6 homeruns, and 34 RBI as of September 4
, Quebec Capitales - Bergeron is batting .253 with 55 hits, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 7 homeruns, and 36 RBI as of September 4.
, Chillicothe Paints - Cantu is batting .259 with 67 hits, 16 doubles, 6 homeruns, and 37 RBI as of September 4.
, Chillicothe Paints - Garcia is batting .289 with 101 hits, 26 doubles, 1 triple, 11 homeruns, and 66 RBI as of September 4.
, Chillicothe Paints - Barganier is batting .241 with 49 hits, 6 doubles, 4 triples, 2 homeruns, and 16 RBI as of September 4.
, Evansville Otters - Langdon has a 3-3 record and 2.74 ERA in 30 appearances as of September 4.
, Evansville Otters - Restivo has a 5-5 record and 3.16 ERA in 15 appearances as of September 4.
, Rockford Riverhawks - Massey is batting .179 with 7 hits, 2 homeruns, and 7 RBI as of September 4.
, Washington Wild Things - Cochran has a 8-5 record and 3.25 ERA in 22 appearances as of September 4.
, Washington Wild Things - Carter is batting .314 with 97 hits, 9 doubles, 6 triples, 8 homeruns, and 53 RBI as of September 4.
, Windy City Thunderbolts - Simms has a 5-9 record and 3.80 ERA in 15 appearances as of September 4.
, Windy City Thunderbolts - Seratelli is batting .286 with 71 hits, 7 doubles, 7 triples, 6 homeruns, and 39 RBI as of September 4.
, Chico Outlaws - Booker is batting .276 withh 35 hits, 4 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 15 RBI as of September 12. He is currently on the DL.
, San Diego Surf Dawgs - Ottman has a 3-5 record and 5.77 ERA in 14 appearances as of September 12.
, Yuma Scorpions - Bunyan has a 5-6 record and 5.38 ERA in 15 appearances as of September 12.
, Joliet Jackhammers - Boss has a 2-1 record and 3.31 ERA in 24 appearances as of September 12.
, Schaumburg Flyers - Walker is batting .228 with 50 hits, 5 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 25 RBI as of September 12.
Chuck Bechtel is no longer on Camden roster.
Bryan Goelz is no longer on Road Warriors roster.
Jeff Infante is no longer on St. Joe roster.
Chris Zallie is no longer on Sussex roster.
Todd Martin is no longer on Gary roster.
Joe Nichols is no longer on Atlantic City roster.
Josh Brey is no longer on New Jersey roster.
James Mondesir is no longer on New Jersey roster.
Chris Perez is no longer on Kalmazoo roster.
Shaun Parker is no longer on Traverse City roster.
Adrian Balkan is no longer on Windy City roster.
Adam Varteressian is no longer on Traverse City roster.
Will Henderson is no longer on Joliet roster.
Ted Ledbetter is no longer on Joliet roster.
Please refer to the below websites for additional information:
August 30, 2006
Compiled by Aaron Fitt and John Manuel
Back in the 1990s, Baseball America's summer college prospect lists were limited to the Cape Cod League and the Alaska League, the two oldest and most established summer leagues. Our lists went to 10 and had a line of skinny with each player. The Alaska list was still tough to do because the league used metal bats, while the Cape used wood.
There were a couple of new leagues--the Northwoods popped up in the upper Midwest in the early '90s, and the Coastal Plain and New England Collegiate leagues followed later in the decade--but the roster of leagues and teams remained mostly unchanged.
Now, the summer leagues are on steroids, in a manner of speaking. New leagues seem to pop up every year, so that every nook and cranny of the country has a well-organized, wood-bat summer college league. And BA's coverage has expanded to keep up with the times, as we've started doing more and more prospect lists for summer leagues.
So this year, with the help of league officials, league coaches and various scouts, we ranked the top 10 prospects in 17 leagues other than the Cape Cod League, which got its usual Top 30. We present these lists in lieu of the summer All-America team, which we believe was redundant and not as useful to our readers as these prospect lists.
Beau Mills, Goldpanners, 3b/1b
Pitching was down in the Alaska League this summer--one coach said he could count the number of pitchers throwing 90 mph or better on his hands--and against that backdrop, Mills' power bat stood out. Mills hit .270 with power this summer, leading the league with seven homers and 33 RBIs. Formerly a third baseman, Mills seems destined for first base, but the son of Red Sox coach Brad Mills should have the lefthanded power bat to profile there. He attended Fresno State the last two years and was an All-Freshman first-teamer in 2005, but ran into academic woes in 2006 and will transfer to Lewis-Clark (Idaho) State for 2007.
Atlantic Collegiate League
Steve Gilman, Metro NY, rhp
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Gilman pitched 22 innings in 2006 due to control problems at Yale and assumed a closer role in the ACBL. He took to relief, throwing more consistent strikes with a fastball that touches 92-93 mph.
Cal Ripken Sr. League
Neil Ramirez, Youse's Orioles, rhp
A rising high school senior from Virginia Beach, Ramirez has garnered plenty of interest from major league scouts already and is committed to Georgia Tech for the 2007-2008 school year. Ramirez has a free, easy delivery that generates an explosive 90-93 mph fastball that touches 94-95 with late movement. His 73-76 mph curveball is slightly below-average right now and needs to be tightened, but pitching against players two to four years older than him, he posted a 3.38 ERA in eight innings.
Central Illinois Collegiate League
Bryce Stowall, Danville, rhp
The league's most dominant player, Stowall combined above-average athleticism, above-average stuff and a competitive streak that overwhelmed the CICL. He ranked second in the league in strikeouts (and first with 11.64 K's per nine innings) thanks to a low-90s fastball, a power slider that was slurvy but effective and a developing changeup. A high school water polo player, Stowall has a strong 6-foot-2, 195-pound body and projects to have more velocity if he can smooth out his mechanics; he tends to over-stride. He was transferring from Pepperdine but was not granted his release, and his new school was uncertain at press time.
Clark Griffith League
Adam Olbrychowski, Vienna, rhp
After striking out just 20 in 41 innings for Pepperdine this spring, Olbrychowski dominated Clark Griffith hitters, going 4-2, 1.10 with a 56-17 strikeout-walk ratio in 49 innings. His physical 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame allows him to maintain his 89-92 mph velocity late into games, and his fastball has good movement. Olbrychowski didn't really need his secondary stuff to get hitters out this summer, but his mid-70s curveball seemed to get better as the summer progressed, and he flashed a few low-80s changeups as well.
Coastal Plain League
Keon Graves, Spartanburg, 3b
An outstanding athlete with a loose, wiry frame, Graves showed flashes of brilliance at the plate and in the field. He uses his strong, quick wrists to generate good bat speed, and he figures to develop plus power as he fills out his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame. Graves, who is transferring from Coastal Carolina to Spartanburg Methodist (S.C.) Junior College, is a plus runner who stole 16 bases in 17 attempts, and he has shown an ability to make dazzling plays at the hot corner thanks to his smooth actions and strong arm. Graves remains rough around the edges, but he has more upside than any other player in the league.
Florida Collegiate Instructional League
Jon Lucroy, Winter Park, c
Lucroy is a solid defensive catcher with arm strength who threw out 25 percent of runners this spring for Louisiana-Lafayette. He led the Ragin' Cajuns in homers, and he hit six with wood this summer while leading the league in RBIs.
Great Lakes League
J.B. Shuck, Columbus, lhp/of
Shuck was named a second-team All-Freshman selection after a big first season at Ohio State. Playing both ways, Shuck continued to excel in both areas during the summer, as he posted a 0.95 ERA and hit .364 with Columbus. Scouts are still undecided on where Shuck's future will take him. At the plate Shuck has a short, quick stroke that makes consistent contact, yet provides little power. A quick runner, Shuck is very good in the outfield, where his arm strength plays well. On the mound, Shuck draws praise for his makeup, where the southpaw displays maturity in setting up hitters. His high-80s fastball doesn't blaze radar guns but he has good control of the pitch. Shuck's secondary pitches, including a developing curve, lack consistency.
Sam Elam, Hays, lhp
Elam struck out 19 batters in 12 innings of relief as a freshman at Notre Dame and should find a starting role as a sophomore following the departures of Jeff Samardzija and Tom Thornton. He was erratic in relief, but he seemed to iron out those kinks this summer, winning the Jayhawk League pitching triple crown with a 5-0, 0.95 record and 42-7 strikeout-walk ratio in 28 innings. Elam pitched with poise and also showed big stuff: a 90-92 mph fastball that reached 95 with excellent command and clean mechanics. His curveball and changeup are workable pitches that can get better, and he already knows how to mix and vary his repertoire to attack hitters.
Mountain Collegiate League
Jareck West, Laramie, of
An excellent athlete built like Kirby Puckett, West hit .409/.476/.591 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs in 176 at-bats for the MCBL champion Laramie Colts. His best tool is his plus speed that allows him to cover plenty of ground in center field, and he has a slightly above average arm. A rising senior at Delta State (Miss.), West generates good bat speed thanks to his quick hands, but he remains raw with a long swing.
New England Collegiate League
Chris Friedrich, Vermont, lhp
Friedrich just knows how to pitch, coaches say, adding that his low-90s fastball has good life. He also has good command of two secondary pitches--a curveball and a changeup. Friedrich went 2-0, 1.41 this summer with a sparkling 36-5 strikeout-walk ratio in 32 innings. His feel for pitching allowed him to limit hitters to a .152 average after a Ohio Valley Conference freshman-of-the-year performance at Eastern Kentucky. He was 10-2, 1.98 this spring.
New York Collegiate League
Jonathan White, Glens Falls, of
White's arm is his weakest tool, but he is an athletic, above-average runner (6.5 seconds over 60 yards) with offensive potential. The Vanderbilt product's season ended prematurely with a broken hand, but he was leading the league with a .365 average and was perfect on 11 stolen-base attempts.
Jordan Zimmerman, Eau Claire, rhp
Zimmerman posted a 5-5, 2.08 record as a sophomore at Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point before dominating the Northwoods League to emerge as a top-five rounds talent for 2007. The 6-foot-1 Zimmerman led the NWL with 92 strikeouts and a 1.01 ERA while allowing 42 hits and 28 walks in 80 innings of work. Zimmerman works at 89-92 mph with his fastball, and still was able to peak at 95 in the late innings while painting the corners at the knees. He has a feel for a slider and changeup, and his 70 mph looping curveball keeps hitters honest. He's a good enough athlete that he hit seven home runs as an outfielder last spring.
Southern Collegiate League
Calvin Lester, Davidson, of
Lester was a driving force behind Prairie View A&M's high-octane offense that won the Southwestern Athletic Conference this spring, and his above-average (6.4 seconds in 60 yards) speed is his best tool. He also has range in center fielder with an average arm. Lester will never hit for much power but has a contact-oriented game with good plate discipline.
Texas Collegiate League
Randy Boone, Coppell, rhp
An elbow injury limited Boone's junior season to just 41 innings, mostly in relief. Boone assuaged any long-term concerns with his TCL performance, going 6-0, 1.09. Boone wowed opposing coaches and scouts with a mid-80s slider that is already considered major league quality. Boone's fastball sat in the 92-94 mph range all summer, and in one complete game he hit 94 mph in the ninth inning, showing endurance he never had in three years with Texas. Boone will have to make further strides with his changeup in the fall.
Yonder Alonso, Luray, 1b
Back spasms slowed him toward the end of the summer, but Alonso still managed to hit eight home runs and slug .556 in 99 at-bats for the Wranglers after leading Miami with 10 homers as a freshman this spring. A disciplined hitter who can wait on an offspeed pitch or turn on a fastball, Alonso's best tool is his above-average power. He's also a solid defensive first baseman, with soft hands and surprisingly good mobility.
West Coast Collegiate League
Jared Prince, Aloha, of/lhp
Prince was a first-team All-Freshman choice after hitting .401/.492/.618 for Washington State in the spring, and he kept up his strong year by hitting .308 in the WCCBL, good for eighth in the league. Prince wore down a bit as the season went along due to his combined hitting and pitching duties, but he still maintained a line-drive approach and above-average arm. He throws in the upper 80s off the mound, but his speed and bat help profile him as a potential center or right fielder down the line.
August 25, 2006
The ACBL has announced Co-MVPs on the offensive side of the ball. Ryan Wyland of the Kutztown Rockies, who batted .366 and topped the league in triples and RBIs. Jon said he played almost any position when needed including OF,IF pitching and catching. Karl Krailo of the Lehigh Valley Catz, was the co-MVP, topped league in slugging average and on base percentage, tied for home run title with four and batted .350.
Phil Rummel of the Kutztown Rockies, won the pitching award. He had league low 1.12 ERA in 48 innings with 7-0 record for the Rockies.
August 24, 2006
By Yohei Nakagawa
Mike Aviles, Omaha Royals (Kansas City Royals) - Aviles was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 7th round of the 2003 draft. He played the 2005 season with AA Wichita and hit .278 with 145 hits, 33 doubles, 14 homeruns, and 79 RBI in 133 games. This season, he was promoted to AAA Omaha, and has hit .258 with 110 hits, 8 homeruns, and 44 RBI as of August 24.
Kevin Barry, Richmond Braves (Atlanta Braves) - Barry was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 15th round of the 2000 draft. He pitched for AA Greeneville in 2003, and for AA Greeneville and AAA Richmond in 2004. With AAA Richmond in 2005, Barry had a 5-3 record and 2.85 ERA in 79 innings pitched. This season, he has a 4-5 record and 3.30 ERA with 73 strike outs as of August 24.
Tim Bausher, Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) - Bausher was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 27th round of the 2001 draft. He pitched for AA Huntsville and AA Tulsa in 2004, and was promoted to AAA Pawtucket in 2005 where he had a 3-2 record and 3.41 ERA in 44 games. This season with Pawtucket, Bausher has appeared in 37 games and has a 4-3 record and 4.91 ERA as of August 24.
Jason Bergmann, New Orleans Zephyrs (Washington Nationals) - Bergmann was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 11th round of the 2002 draft. He pitched in 15 games for the Nationals during his second season and had a 2-0 record with a 2.75 ERA. This season he pitched 17 games in the majors with a 0-0 record and 8.14 ERA. He is currently with AAA New Orleans and has a 8-2 record and 3.28 ERA as of August 24.
Jim Buckley, Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) - Buckley was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 25th round of the 2002 draft. In 2005, he was promoted to AA Portland and mid-season, was once again promoted to AAA Pawtucket where he batted .194 in 15 games. This season with Pawtucket, Buckley has hit .222 with 6 hits and 1 homerun as of August 24.
Nate Bump, Albuquerque Isotopes (Florida Marlins) - Bum was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round of the 1998 draft. Bump made his major league debut in 2003 and his record through the 2005 season is 6-7 and 4.68 ERA. He underwent shoulder surgery in mid July 2005, and is currently playing for AAA Albuquerque. Bump has a 0-2 record and 6.35 ERA as of August 24.
Kevin Cash, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Devil Rays) - Cash was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1999. Between 2002 and 2004 with the Jays, he had 50 hits and 5 homeruns with 29 RBI. In 2005, he was traded to the Devil Rays where he played in 13 games with a .161 average. Cash is currently with AAA Durham, hitting .190 with 44 hits, 2 homeruns, and 21 RBI as of August 24.
Brad Eldred, Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) - Eldred was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 6th round of the 2002 draft. Eldred appeared in 55 games during his rookie year with the Pirates and finished with 42 hits 12 homeruns 27 RBIs and .221 batting average. In April 2006, he fractured the joint and collateral ligament of his left thumb while playing first base in a Triple-A game. He returned mid-season and is batting .226 with 14 hits, 7 doubles, 3 homeruns, and 10 RBI as of August 24.
Tom Gregorio, Oklahoma RedHawks (Texas Rangers) - Gregorio was selected by the Anaheim Angels in the 27th round of the 1999 draft. In 2003, he played in 12 games in the majors ending with a .158 batting average. He started the 2006 season with AA San Antonio, and was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma RedHawks on May 3rd. As of August 24, Gregorio has played in 37 games and has a .218 average with 24 hits, 2 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 15 RBI.
Corey Hamman, Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) - Hamman was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 12th round of the 2002 draft. He played for High-A Lakeland from 2002 to mid-season 2004, when he was promoted to AA Erie. He started the 2006 season with AAA Toledo and has a 2-7 record and 3.87 ERA as of August 24.
Mike Koplove, Tucson Sidewinders (Arizona Diamondbacks) - Koplove was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 29th round of the 1998 draft. He has a major league career total of 15 wins (7 losses) and 3.77 ERA in 215 games over 5 years from 2001. He is currently with AAA Tucson and has a 3-0 record and 3.39 ERA as of August 24.
Randy Leek, Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals) - Leek was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 18th round of the 1999 draft. He reached the AAA level for the first time in 2000 with Toledo where he also played partially in 2001. After three years of going back and fourth class A and AA, Leek was promoted to AAA Memphis in 2005. Still with Memphis this season, Leek has a 3-7 record and 4.60 ERA as of August 24.
Bill McCarthy, Richmond Braves (Atlanta Braves) - McCarthy played with AA Greeneville in the 2003 season and was promoted to AAA Richmond in mid-season 2004. In 2005, he played in 65 games and batted .227 with 54 hits and 5 homeruns. This year, he is batting .242 with 79 hits, 17 doubles, 6 homeruns, and 31 RBI as of August 24.
Buddy Hernandez, Richmond Braves (Atlanta Braves) - Hernandez was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Atlanta Braves in 2000. He played with AA Greeneville in 2002, and with AAA Richmond from 2003 to 2005. He started 2006 with AA Mississippi and is currently with AAA Richmond on the DL.
Reid Gorecki, Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals) - Gorecki was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 13th round of the 2002 draft. He played in class A Palm Beach in 2004 and 2005 until he was promoted to AA Springfield mid-season. Last season, he played in 46 games and batted .182 with 29 hits. This season, he started with AA Springfield and batted .251 with 82 hits, 16 homeruns, and 51 RBI. He is currently with AAA Memphis, batting .107 with 3 hits and 1 RBI as of August 24.
Frank Brooks, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox) - Brooks was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 13th round of the 1999 draft. He pitched 11 games in the majors with Pittsburgh in 2004 and had a 0-1 record and 4.67 ERA. He pitched in AAA Richmond and AAA Las Vegas in 2005, and AA Portland in 2006 before being promoted mid-season to AAA Omaha. As of August 24, Brooks is with AA Portland and has a 2-4 record and 4.02 ERA.
Nick Mattioni, Reading Phillies (Philadelphia Phillies) - Mattioni was selected by the New York Mets in the 9th round of the 2000 draft. He played with AA Binghamton in 2003, Independent Fargo-Moorhead and AA Midland in 2004, and AAA Sacramento in 2005. He started the 2006 season with AA Reading, was called up to AAA Scranton-Wilkes in late May, and is currently back with Reading. He has a 3-4 record and 3.55 ERA as of August 24.
Adam Keim, Wichita Wranglers (Kansas City Royals) - Keim was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 12th round of the 2002 draft. He played in low-A Burlingotn and high-A Wilmington in 2004. He started 2005 with high-A High Desert and was promoted mid-season to AA Wichita. This season, still with Wichita, Keim is batting .243 with 50 hits, 8 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 28 RBI as of August 24.
Jeff Muessig, Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics) - Muessig was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 20th round of the 2001 draft. He played in High-A Stockton and AAA Sacramento in 2005. He started 2006 with Stockton and was promoted to AA Midland in early May. His record is 0-1 and 1.96 ERA in 11 games as of August 24.
Kevin Ool, Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals) - As of August 24, Ool has a 2-3 record and 4.00 ERA in 42 games and 72 innings.
Bobby Brownlie, West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (Chicago Cubs) - Brownlie was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 1st round of the 2002 draft. He played with High-A Daytona in 2003, Double-A West Tennessee in 2004, and AAA Iowa in 2005. He started 2006 with Iowa but is currently with AA West Tennessee, with a 3-10 record and 5.85 ERA as of August 24.
Mike Gaffney, High Desert Mavericks (Kansas City Royals) - As of August 24, Gaffney is batting .256 with 62 hits, 7 doubles, 1 homerun, and 31 RBI.
Carl Loadenthal, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Atlanta Braves) - Loadenthal was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Atlanta Braves in 2003. This season he played briefly with AA Mississippi but is currently with High-A Myrtle Beach. He is batting .320 with 108 hits, 13 doubles, 5 homeruns, and 41 RBI as of August 24.
Greg Martin, Lynchburg Hillcats (Pittsburgh Pirates) - As of August 24, Martin has a 0-1 record and 4.47 ERA in 26 games and 44.1 innings.
Mark Minicozzi, San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants) - Minicozzi was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 17th round of the 2005 draft. He played in Low-A Salem-Keizer in 2005 and batted .321 with 78 hits, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 2 homeruns, and 36 RBI. This season with San Jose, Minicozzi is batting .281 with 126 hits, 21 doubles, 2 triples, 4 homeruns, and 72 RBI as of August 24.
John Mangieri, Jupiter Hammerheads (Florida Marlins) - As of August 24, Mangieri has a 2-1 record and 2.61 ERA in 28 appearances.
Drew Sutton, Salem Avalanche (Houston Astros) - Sutton was selected by the Houston Astros in the 15th round of the 2004 draft. He played his rookie year in Short Season Tri City. In 2005, Sutton played in Low-A Lexington and was promoted mid-season to High-A Salem. This season, Sutton is batting .268 with 114 hits, 27 doubles, 14 homeruns, and 46 RBI as of August 24.
Caleb Moore, Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota Twins) - Moore was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 4th round of the 2005 draft. He started his 2006 season with Low-A Beloit, and was promoted to High-A Fort Myers on July 11th. He is batting .250 with 16 hits, 5 double, and 7 RBI as of August 24.
Joe Burke, Tampa Yankees (New York Yankees) - As of August 24, Burke is batting .303 with 20 hits, 4 double, and 9 RBI.
Ben Himes, Tampa Yankees (New York Yankees) - Himes was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 9th round of the 2003 draft. After playing with rookie level Billings in 2003, he went on to Low-A Dayton and was promoted to High-A Sarasota in mid-season 2005. This season, Himes is with High-A Tampa and is batting .224 with 65 hits, 8 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homeruns, and 26 RBI as of August 24.
Forrest Martin, Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee Brewers) - Martin was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003. He played with Low-A Beloit in 2003, and High-A High Desert in 2004. He spent 2005 with Low-A Wes Virginia and High-A Brevard County. With Brevard County, he had a 3-3 record and 6.15 ERA.
Ryan Costello, Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee Brewers) - Costello was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 2001 draft. He played in High-A Dunedin in 2002, Low-A Charleston in 2003, High-A High Desert and AA Huntsville in 2004, and High-A Brevard County in 2005. With Brevard County, Costello had a 6-6 record and 3.21 ERA.
Drew Bigda, Southwest Michigan Devil Rays (Tampa Bay Devil Rays) - Bigda was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 39th round of the 2004 draft. He played 2004 and 2005 in Short Season Hudson Valley and had a total record of 1-5 and 4.33 ERA. This season, Bigda is playing with Low-A Southwest Michigan and has a 1-3 record and 5.54 ERA in 37 appearances as of August 24.
Mike DeJesus, Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) - As of August 24, DeJesus is batting .261 with 90 hits, 11 doubles, 3 homeruns, and 38 RBI.
David Henninger, Burlington Bees (Kansas City Royals) - Henninger was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 21st round of the 2005 draft. He played 2005 with Rookie Idaho Halls and had a 5-1 record and 3.60 ERA. This season, with Low-A Burlington, Henninger has a 2-6 record and 5.42 ERA as of August 24.
John Lannan, Savannah Sand Gnats (Washington Nationals) - Kannan was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 11th round of the 2005 draft. He played 2005 with Short Season A Vermont and had a 3-5 record and 5.28 ERA. This season, he is with Low-A Savannah and has a 5-7 record and 4.92 ERA in 25 appearances as of August 24.
Brandon Nall, Hagerstown Suns (New York Mets) - Nall was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 31st round of the 2002 draft. Last season, he played with Hagerstown and also with High-A St. Lucie. This season with Hagerstown, Nall has a 3-5 record and 3.10 ERA in 36 appearances as of August 24.
Rob Semerano, Kane County Cougars (Oakland Athletics) - As of August 24, Semerano has a 1-3 record and 4.85 ERA in 23 appearances.
Greg Thomson, South Bend Silver Hawks (Arizona Diamondbacks) - As of August 24, Thomson is batting .281 with 93 hits, 25 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homeruns, and 38 RBI.
Chris Turner, Greenville Drive (Boston Red Sox) - As of August 24, Turner is batting .243 with 98 hits, 18 doubles, 7 triples, 18 homeruns, and 63 RBI.
David Welch, West Virginia Power (Milwaukee Brewers) - As of August 24, Welch has a 6-6 record and 2.53 ERA in 23 appearances.
Adam Rodgers, Swing of the Quad Cities (St. Louis Cardinals) - As of August 24, Rodgers is bating .244 with 43 hits, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homeruns, and 20 RBI.
Denver Kitch, Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) - Kitch was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 13th round of the 2004 draft. He started playing in Rookie level Bluefield in 2004, and was promoted to Low-A Delmarva mid-season in 2005. With Delmarva, Kitch batted .189 and had 25 hits and 17 RBI.
Jeff Miller, Augusta GreenJackets (San Francisco Giants) - Miller pitched in AA Altoona in 2004, and AAA Indianapolis in 2005. With Indianapolis, he had a 5-7 record and 3.53 ERA in 58 games and 81.7 innings. He started 2006 with AAA Fresno where he had a 1-2 record and 3.27 ERA in 15 games. He is currently with Class A Augusta.
Brett Nyquist, Savannah Sand Gnats (Washington Nationals) - Nyquist was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 13th round of the 2002 draft. He played in Short Season Vermont in 2003 and Low-A Savannah in 2004. Nyquist started his 2006 season with Savannah, briefly played for AA Harrsburg and High-A Potomac, and is currently back with Savannah. His record is 5-2 and 2.63 ERA as of August 24.
Short Season A
Joe Holden, Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets) - Holden started the 2006 season with Low-A Hagerstown. Currently, he is with Short Season A Brooklyn and is batting .241 with 53 hits, 11 doubles, 6 homeruns, and 22 RBI as of August 24.
Bryan Sabatella, Everett AquaSox (Seattle Mariners) - Sabatella was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 9th round of the 2004 draft. Last season with Everett, he batted .249 with 42 hits, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 4 homeruns, and 24 RBI. Sabatela started 2006 with Low-A Wisconsin but is currently with Everett, batting .248 with 41 hits, 7 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 21 RBI as of August 24.
Kyle Sadlowski, State College Spikes (St. Louis Cardinals) - Sadlowski started 2006 with Low-A Swing of the Squad Cities, where he had a 4-3 record and 4.86 ERA. He is currently with State College Spikes and has a 1-2 record and 2.82 ERA as of August 24.
P.J. Antoniato, Batavia Muckdogs (Philadelphia Phillies) - Antoniato was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 15th round of the 2005 draft. In 2005, he played 34 games with Low-A Batavia and batted .198 with 24 hits and 13 RBI. This season, Antoniato started with High-A Clearwater and is currently with Short Season A Batavia. He is batting .330 with 29 hits, 4 doubles, and 9 RBI as of August 24.
Matt Righter, GCL Tigers (Detroit Tigers) - Righter was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 21st round of the 2004 draft. He played with Low-A West Michigan in 2005 and had a 4-1 record and 3.14 ERA. As of August 24, Righter has a 4-1 record and 2.47 ERA with the GCL Tigers.
Brian Parish, Johnson City Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals) - Parish was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 35th round of the 2004 draft. He played 2004 and 2005 in rookie level Johnson City and had a combined record of 1-3 and 8.96 ERA. He appeared in 24 games.
Anthony Varvaro, AZL Mariners (Seattle Mariners) - As of August 24, Varvaro has a 0-1 record and 2.25 ERA. He has appeared in 4 games and struck out 11.
Ross Boudreaux, Idaho Falls Chukars (Kansas City Royals) - Boudreaux played with AZL Royals in 2005 and batted .259 with 21 hits, 7 doubles, 2 homeruns, and 13 RBI. This season with Rookie level Idaho Falls, he is batting .185 with 12 hits and 7 RBI as of August 24.
Graig Badger, Pulaski Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays) - Badger was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2004. In 2005, he played with Rookie level Pulaski and batted .292 with 42 hits, 8 doubles, 3 triples, 24 stolen bases, and 19 RBI.
Mark Suchowiecki, Princeton Devil Rays (Tampa Bay Devil Rays) - As of August 24, Suchowiecki has a 2-3 record and 3.81 ERA. He has appeared in 11 games and has struck out 20.
The break down of ACBL grads in the various levels is as follows:
Short Season-A: 4
Rookie Level: 6
Independent: Refer to “Indy League Status Report”
(as of August 24, 2006)
Unable to locate the following players: Matt Lemanczyc, Elvys Quesada, Wes Swackhammer, Mathieu Bergeron, Bernie Dennis
The following players, who were on the list provided, are currently in the majors:
Vinnie Chulk, Toronto Blue Jays, 1-0 and 5.40 ERA in 18 appearances.
Kevin Gryboski, Washington Nationals, 0-0 and 6.75 ERA in 2 appearances.
Craig Hansen, Boston Red Sox, 1-0 and 4.50 ERA in 13 appearances.
August 3, 2006
After trailing 5-1 going into the bottom of the 6th inning, The Stamford Robins defeated the N.Y. Generals 6-5 in 11 innings in the single elimination round of the Kaiser Division Playoffs as they now advance to the Division Championship Round, with a best 2 out of three series with the First Place Metro Cadets. In last night's game the Robins scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 6th as the result of clutch hitting from Jovan Rodriquez and Brendan Monaghan to bring the score to 5-3. With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Matt Memoli singled to start the rally, Carlos Cruz followed with a long double as Memoli advanced to third. Rodriquez singled in one run to bring the score to 5-4 and Monaghan was intentially walked to load the bases. Michael Moras then singled to tie the score at 5 each but a double play ended the rally, sending the game into extra innings. In the top of the 11th, Rodriquez got his third hit of the game blasting a long triple to right center and Monaghan also got his third hit by stroking a single to center, scoring the winnng run. Relief pitching was key for the Robins in this contest. Steve DeJesus replaced starter Rick Muir in the 3rd inning with the locals down 4-1 and threw 4.2 innings giving up 1 run. Shawn Walsh replaced DeJesus in the top of the 8th and pitched 4 scoreless innings giving up only 2 hits to earn his second win of the season.
August 1, 2006
By Yohei Nakagawa
Updated July 31, 2006
Joe Nichols, Atlantic City Surf
Nichols has a .000 average in 7 games and 12 at bats as of July 30.
Jamie Steward, Atlantic City Surf
Jamie has a 1-3 record and 5.83 ERA this season. He is currently on the DL.
Angel Echevarria, Bridgeport Bluefish
Echevarria played in the majors from 1996 through 2002 and batted .280 with 152 hits, 32 doubles, 21 homeruns, and 90 RBI. He is currently with independent Bridgeport, batting .275 with 47 hits, 7 doubles, 4 homeruns, and 24 RBI as of July 30.
John Nathans, Bridgeport Bluefish
Nathans is batting .250 with 24 hits, 4 doubles, 1 homerun, and 4 RBI as of July 30.
Ryan Costello, Camden Riversharks
Costello has a 2-7 record and 4.11 ERA in 16 appearances as of July 30.
Mark Difelice, Camden Riversharks
Difelice has a 7-7 record and 2.71 ERA in 15 appearances as of July 30.
Mark Ion, Camden Riversharks
Ion has a 0-0-1 record and 3.25 ERA in 16 appearances as of July 30.
Steve Van Note, Lancaster Barnstormers
Van Note is batting .231 with 42 hits, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homeruns, and 17 RBI as of July 30.
Greg Connors, Long Island Ducks
Connors is batting .229 with 32 hits, 7 doubles, 3 homeruns, and 19 RbI as of July 30.
Kevin Haverbusch, Long Island Ducks
Haverbusch is batting .246 with 48 hits, 9 double 1 triple, 3 homeruns, and 28 RBI as of July 30.
Pete Hartmann, Long Island Ducks
Hartmann has a 5-3 record and 4.08 ERA in 30 appearances as of July 30.
Chris Eickhorst, Road Warriors
Eickhorst has a 1-11 record and 4.84 ERA as of July 30.
July 31, 2006
The top three teams in each division will qualify for playoffs. Third place plays one game at second place in division. The winner plays best of three against first place team in division beginning at home site of division winner. Division winners play one game at home of team with best season record.
Unfortunately it rained on Friday, otherwise the Wolff Division would end today on time. Kaiser Division has some make up games into Friday. We are trying to expedite things, but need to see what happens in games today and tomorrow.
July 30, 2006
The NCAA announced the 2006 All-America team. Click here to view the entire story
The Freshman of the year Award was also announced. Click here to view the entire story
July 29, 2006
By Will Kimmey, courtesy of Baseball America
Just a few years ago, Pat Casey thought about leaving Oregon State.
Maybe he could find more success in pro ball, working as an instructor. He was sick of identifying talented players, selling them on a school in which he believed and then losing out on the players because another program offered a better history or better weather.
Casey sure is glad he kept believing. His 12th Oregon State team beat North Carolina twice after losing the first game of the College World Series championship series to won the school a second national title to go along with a 1961 cross country championship. Oregon State (50-16), which won consecutive Pacific-10 Conference titles for the first time in school history this season, was the only team to reach the College World Series in 2005 and 2006. Not bad for a program whose only previous CWS trip had come in 1952. For those successes, Casey earns Baseball America's 2006 College Coach of the Year award.
"In my mind it's one of the most miraculous college baseball stories ever," said Arizona State coach Pat Murphy, who has become close with Casey as they've coached against each other in the Pac-10.
"I sat with him in a restaurant in 2000 in Corvallis, he was down and out and thinking 'Can I do it here?' I quite frankly didn't think he could do it there with Oregon kids. But he did. And he didn't do it with any funny business. He did it straight up, the right way."
Casey might have done it the right way, but his 2006 team also did it the hard way in Omaha. It won a CWS-record six elimination games after dropping its first game in bracket play and again losing its opener in the championship series.
"If you're going to coach, you better be able to lead," Casey said. "After we lost that first game to North Carolina, I told them to walk off the bus proud. Then they bowed their necks and played like champions."
The Beavers believed, and they persevered. Just as their coach had a few years before in coming off a 19-35 season in 1999, the first year the Northern and Southern teams in the Pac-10 compete as a full league.
"In '99, I'm on a plane flying back from getting our tails whipped and I questioned it for a moment," Casey said. "But it's about leading young men. If you don't believe you can do it, players can see it in your eyes. If you don't believe, they won't either."
Casey stuck it out. He measured the program's success incrementally. Winning a game against Stanford or Arizona State. A series win against Arizona. Getting to 10 wins in conference play. Then it happened in 2005. A collection of 2003 recruits formed the axis of a strong pitching rotation: Dallas Buck, Jonah Nickerson and closer Kevin Gunderson. He remembers Gunderson saying he'd always wanted to play at Stanford.
"I said, 'OK, we play there, you'll just be wearing our uniform,' " Casey said, and it's worth noting Oregon State went 8-3 against Stanford over the last three years.
The first series win against the Cardinal came last season, when the Beavers went 46-12, 19-5 in the Pac-10 and showed up in Omaha as the story of the year. Then came a 5-0 mark against Stanford during this season's repeat.
"I knew we had talent when I came to Oregon State, but I didn't think in my second year we'd go 46-12 and get to Omaha," Gunderson said. "That was kind of a dream season. We were a surprise, but we showed we could compete with any team in the country from Arizona, California or whatever.
"This year, we came in with a lot of hype and were experienced, and it's been harder. Last year everyone was happy for us and it was a fun story, and this year there are more critics saying we can't do it or players aren't as good as they were. It comes with success. When you have that bullseye on your back, it makes a difference every game. Teams are gunning for us, every game they're giving us their best."
Oregon State responded with its best. Casey stressed the values of toughness and hard work, and the championship roster exemplified that. Cole Gillespie hit one home run in his first two years as a role player before batting .379-13-57 as a junior, earning All-America and Pac-10 player of the year honors. Senior Chris Kunda started just 14 games last season and hit .242. A year later, he earned Pac-10 defensive player of the year honors and made several highlight-reel plays at second base during the CWS.
Or take sophomore righthander Daniel Turpen, who made one start all season before Casey called on him to take the mound in an elimination game against Rice. He allowed five hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 5-0 win.
"I've told Turp before, it's not where you start the season, it's where you are when it ends," Casey said. "It happens when you least expect it."
Sort of like the Beavers turning into national champions.
July 28, 2006
A busy day at the ballpark for the Catz tomorrow. In addition to being "ESPN Radio 1230 and 1320 Night" and "Catz Host Family Appreciation Night", the Lehigh Valley Catz will also present the 1st Annual Robert Roseberry Award prior to tomorrow night's ACBL game vs. the Kutztown Rockies at 1pm @ Lafayette's Metzgar Fields in Forks Township. Robert's family is expected to also be on hand to help present the award.
The award honors Robert Roseberry, former Catz statistician and dedicated supporter of Easton Area High School & Lehigh University athletics who passed away last year. The inscription on the award reads:
Robert Roseberry was an outstanding person and cherished friend. He always exuded unwavering support for the team and was greatly respected by Catz staff, coaches, players, umpires, ACBL officials and fans. Our friend "Rose" passed away on August 23rd 2005. This award will be presented annually to a Catz player or volunteer who best exemplifies Robert's unselfish attitude, hard work and dedication to support the Lehigh Valley Catz. With this award, the spirit of Robert will never be forgotten as he continues to always be a part of Catz baseball serving as an inspiration to all of us.
July 25, 2006
Scouts Day on Monday July 24 at Northampton Community College was a success with more than a dozen scouts in attendance including Brad Fidler and Don Kohler of the Major League Scouting Bureau. Also in attendance were Bill Buck (Tigers), Ed Edwards (Astros), Chuck Fox (White Sox), David Kheel (White Sox), Brad Kohler (MLSB), Pete Leahy (Tigers), Bobby Malkmus (Indians), Todd Radcliffe (Astros), Wilmer Reid (Nationals), Lee Seras (Devil Rays) and Tom Taylor (Reds).
July 18, 2006
The ACBL would like to acknowledge the following scouts for there continued support in 2006.
Jeff Bittiger, Oakland
John Ceprini, Tampa Bay
Ed Daub, Cincinnati
Scott DeGeorge, Chicago Cubs
Brad Fidler, MLB Scouting Bureau
Chuck Fox, Chicago White Sox
Mike Garlatti, Colorado
David Kheel, Chicago White Sox
Don Kohler, MLB Scouting Bureau
Peter Leahy, Detroit
Jesse Levis, Milwaukee
Bobby Malkmus, Cleveland
Steve Markovich, New York Yankees
Del Mintz, Philadelphia
Jerry Murphy, Cincinnati
Koby Perez, St. Louis
Wilmer Reid, Washington
Frank Rendini, New York Yankees
Gary Riniker, Philadelphia
Joe Romano, Philadelphia
Lee Seras, Tampa Bay
Dennis Sheehan, Detroit
Pat Shortt, MLB Scouting Bureau
Ken Silber, Chicago Cubs
Tom Taylor, Cincinnati
Brent Urcheck, Cleveland
John Wilson, Minnesota
Cesar Presbott, NY Yankees
Ed Mathes, Cincinnati Reds
Gil Bassetti, Baltimore Orioles
July 17, 2006
By Yohei Nakagawa
Mike Aviles, Omaha Royals (Kansas City Royals)
Aviles was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 7th round of the 2003 draft. He played the 2005 season with AA Wichita and hit .278 with 145 hits, 33 doubles, 14 homeruns, and 79 RBI in 133 games. This season, he was promoted to AAA Omaha, and has hit .248 with 76 hits, 6 homeruns, and 30 RBI as of July 15.
Kevin Barry, Richmond Braves (Atlanta Braves)
Barry was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 15th round of the 2000 draft. He pitched for AA Greeneville in 2003, and for AA Greeneville and AAA Richmond in 2004. With AAA Richmond in 2005, Barry had a 5-3 record and 2.85 ERA in 79 innings pitched. This season, he has a 3-4 record and 3.26 ERA with 63 strike outs as of July 2.
Tim Bausher, Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox)
Bausher was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 27th round of the 2001 draft. He pitched for AA Huntsville and AA Tulsa in 2004, and was promoted to AAA Pawtucket in 2005 where he had a 3-2 record and 3.41 ERA in 44 games. This season, still with Pawtucket, Bausher has appeared in 27 games and has a 2-1 record and 5.04 ERA.
Jason Bergmann, New Orleans Zephyrs (Washington Nationals)
Bergmann was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 11th round of the 2002 draft. He pitched in 15 games for the Nationals during his second season and had a 2-0 record with a 2.75 ERA. This season he pitched 17 games in the majors with a 0-0 record and 8.14 ERA. He is currently with AAA New Orleans and has a 4-1 record and 2.57 ERA as of July 15.
Jim Buckley, Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox)
Buckley was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 25th round of the 2002 draft. In 2005, he was promoted to AA Portland and mid-season, was once again promoted to AAA Pawtucket where he batted .194 in 15 games. This season with Pawtucket, Buckley has hit .222 with 6 hits and 1 homerun as of July 15.
Nate Bump, Albuquerque Isotopes (Florida Marlins)
Bum was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round of the 1998 draft. Bump made his major league debut in 2003 and his record through the 2005 season is 6-7 and 4.68 ERA. He underwent shoulder surgery in mid July 2005, and is currently playing for AAA Albuquerque. Bump has a 0-2 record and 6.35 ERA as of July 15.
Kevin Cash, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
Cash was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1999. Between 2002 and 2004 with the Jays, he had 50 hits and 5 homeruns with 29 RBI. In 2005, he was traded to the Devil Rays where he played in 13 games with a .161 average. Cash is currently with AAA Durham, hitting .196 with 39 hits and 1 homerun as of July 15.
Brad Eldred, Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Eldred was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 6th round of the 2002 draft. Eldred appeared in 55 games during his rookie year with the Pirates and finished with 42 hits 12 homeruns 27 RBIs and .221 batting average. In April 2006, he fractured the joint and collateral ligament of his left thumb while playing first base in a Triple-A game.
Tom Gregorio, Oklahoma RedHawks (Texas Rangers)
Gregorio was selected by the Anaheim Angels in the 27th round of the 1999 draft. In 2003, he played in 12 games in the majors ending with a .158 batting average. He started the 2006 season with AA San Antonio, and was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma RedHawks on May 3rd. As of July 15, Gregorio has played in 26 games and has a .234 average with 18 hits and 1 homerun.
Corey Hamman, Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers)
Hamman was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 12th round of the 2002 draft. He played for High-A Lakeland from 2002 to mid-season 2004, when he was promoted to AA Erie. He started the 2006 season with AAA Toledo and has a 1-2 record and 3.80 ERA as of July 15.
Mike Koplove, Tucson Sidewinders (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Koplove was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 29th round of the 1998 draft. He has a major league career total of 15 wins (7 losses) and 3.77 ERA in 215 games over 5 years from 2001. He is currently with AAA Tucson and has a 2-0 record and 4.10 ERA as of July 15.
Randy Leek, Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals)
Leek was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 18th round of the 1999 draft. He reached the AAA level for the first time in 2000 with Toledo where he also played partially in 2001. After three years of going back and fourth class A and AA, Leek was promoted to AAA Memphis in 2005. Still with Memphis this season, Leek is batting .158 as of July 15.
Bill McCarthy, Richmond Braves (Atlanta Braves)
McCarthy played with AA Greeneville in the 2003 season and was promoted to AAA Richmond in mid-season 2004. In 2005, he played in 65 games and batted .227 with 54 hits and 5 homeruns. This year, he is batting .243 with 61 hits, 11 doubles, 5 homeruns, and 26 RBI as of July 15.
Jeff Miller, Fresno Grizzlies (San Francisco Giants)
Miller pitched in AA Altoona in 2004, and AAA Indianapolis in 2005. With Indianapolis, he had a 5-7 record and 3.53 ERA in 58 games and 81.7 innings. This season, he is with AAA Fresno. His record as of July 15 is 1-2 and 3.27 ERA in 15 games.
July 16, 2006
By MELISSA CHODAN, Staff Writer
Joe Calfapietra still can remember catching the ball at first base for the force and final out of the 1990 Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League championship against the Quakertown Blazers.
He tossed the ball to Pilots manager Larry Babich and celebrated with his teammates.
"It was a magical year," Calfapietra said. "We didn't lose very much. We had a team that didn't lose very much. We had a swagger."
Calfapietra joined the Pilots again in 1991 with dreams of playing professionally.
The Pilots were the pinnacle of his playing career, but at age 22, he got his first coaching job in independent baseball.
Calfapietra is one of many athletes who played in the ACBL and ended up with a nonplaying baseball career. Many have gone on to coach, scout or take front-office jobs.
Dana Brown, who played for the Pilots in 1986, is now the director of scouting for the Washington Nationals, and Marteese Robinson, a Pilot in 1985, is the director of professional scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals.
"There was no higher level (of baseball) that I played at," Calfapietra said. "That team I was able to play on in 1990 was a great team and a great experience. It's something I'll never forget."
For the past four seasons, Calfapietra has been managing the New Jersey Jackals, an independent team in the Can-Am League. In 2004, the Jackals won a championship as a member of the Northeast League.
"That's what I've always wanted to do," Calfapietra said. "I wanted the opportunity to go to the ballpark every day."
Memories and lessons from the ACBL still carry over to Calfapietra's coaching philosophy.
"We had Larry Babich; he was an outstanding baseball man, a very fair baseball man," Calfapietra said. "I take my experience with him and blend it in with a lot of managers I played with or coached under."
Organization and time were among the lessons he took from Babich and carried over to his own managerial career.
"If you were late, there were repercussions," Calfapietra said. "I don't accept guys coming to the ballpark late. If your best player walks in five minutes late, you have to treat them the same as the 22nd man on the roster."
Rich Bellini was a Pilot from 1971-74, and after a 25-year hiatus from baseball, he returned as an instructor with Dynamic Baseball and coaches teams composed of top high school prospects.
Bellini was a three-year ACBL all-star, a two-year captain and had his No. 33 jersey retired by the Pilots in 1994. He still fondly remembers his experience in the league and keeps in touch with the friends he made in it 35 years ago.
"You had to play almost every single day, and there was travel involved," Bellini said. "The best part was that I had some of my best friends playing on those teams."
After playing four seasons with the Cleveland Indians organization and coaching at Wagner College on Staten Island, Bellini left baseball and spent 25 years on Wall Street.
"I was 28 years old at the time, and I was going to have to do something that was going to make ends meat a little better," Bellini said.
Bellini was on the 55th floor of the second World Trade Center tower on September 11 before retiring from Wall Street a little less than two years ago and returning to competitive baseball.
"Ever since that day, things certainly changed," Bellini said.
With his recent involvement in baseball, Bellini sees how the sport has developed and is making an emphasis toward size and speed instead of just results.
"I think the biggest negative about today is the radar gun," Bellini said. "Everybody wants to know how hard someone is throwing. ... I was always an undersized guy. The only way I was going to get noticed was if someone saw me all the time."
Staff writer Melissa Chodan can be reached at (908) 707-3161 or at email@example.com
July 15, 2006
By MELISSA CHODAN, Staff Writer
Former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee catcher John Flaherty will be one of five people inducted into the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Hall of Fame this November, along with Craig Biggio, Jamie Moyer, former Yankee pitcher and ACBL manager John Kucks and child baseball enthusiast Jim McElroy.
Flaherty played for the New York Generals in 1986 and went on to play 14 years in Major League Baseball.
He was signed by the Red Sox in the 25th round of the 1988 amateur draft after playing for George Washington University, the ACBL and Virginia Valley and Cape Cod leagues.
Now retired from baseball, Flaherty still stays connected to baseball, working with the Yankees' YES Network. Here is what he had to say on his lifetime of baseball experiences:
Question: The ACBL has launched the professional baseball careers of more than 2,000 players, including more than 80 into the major leagues. What would you tell kids who are trying to make it right now?
Answer: "I would say first of all to enjoy the level that you're at right now, whether it's the ACBL or the major leagues or high school or college or whatever it is. Enjoy yourself at that level. Work hard and don't set your sights too far away.
"Concentrate on having a good summer season with the ACBL and concentrate on your fall season in school. I was always fortunate that I never looked too far ahead, and I kind of graduated from level to level -- and like I said, have confidence.
"Next thing you know, you end up where you want to be, in the major leagues. You put in the time, do the work and keep your focus small, that's how you're going to get there."
Question: What advice would you gave to kids on switching to wooden bats?
Answer: "Don't get frustrated. It takes time. I remember it took me a good full year in the minor leagues using a wooden bat to really get the hang of it. There's a lot of frustration along the way. Balls you hit well, and they don't travel or whatever the case may be.
"If you continue to use the wooden bat, you're going to find out it's going to make you a better hitter -- and just try not to get too frustrated right at the beginning when it doesn't go well."
Question: What's the most important lesson you've learned from the game?
Answer: "It's definitely a lesson that my parents taught me: If you work hard for something, anything is obtainable. For kids from Rockland County (in New York), which is where I grew up, making it to the majors was probably a fantasy, something we never thought would happen.
"Guys like Walt Weiss made it up there with Oakland; he's a Rockland guy. It kind of lets you know that if you work hard for something and put your mind to it, whatever goal it is that you have, no matter how many people told you you can't do it, because there were plenty along my ride.
"You can do whatever you put your mind to. It's not bad for a little guy from Rockland County to be able to play all these years."
Question: What was the highlight of your career?
Answer: "I can't remember one highlight. I remember constantly getting called up to the major leagues in 1992 with the Red Sox was a highlight because my call-up actually happened at Yankee Stadium. Being from New York and being called up in your hometown, it was exciting.
"Then playing the three years for the Yankees, which I did, was great for my family and friends. That was definitely a highlight. I hit in 27 straight games with San Diego in '96. That was a highlight. But it was really just a lot of memories from along the way, and now that I'm retired, you kind of look back on your career and I guess it's more impressive when you step away from it.
"When you're playing, competing, you always feel like you have to fight for your job. You really don't get a chance to enjoy it. Now that I'm able to step away from it a little bit, it was a pretty good run."
Question: You're one of the most productive players to come out of the ACBL and set to be inducted to the ACBL Hall of Fame later in the year. How does that all sink in?
Answer: "It's humbling. It's one of those things that when you go through a summer like that with the ACBL, you're more thankful to be able to play in a league like that and be able to play against the top level of competition. I'm thankful that they gave me the opportunity to play, and now all of a sudden they give me the great honor to go into their hall of fame.
"It's humbling, and I just hope that maybe there are some kids in this league that maybe can look to me and say you know what, if he can do it coming from Rockland, maybe I have a chance to make it as well. I don't want to say a role model, but maybe an inspiration that it can be done.
"I didn't go to a big time college program; I didn't have all the notoriety, but hard work paid off. Hopefully, it will be an inspiration to some of these kids."
Staff writer Melissa Chodan can be reached at (908) 707-3161 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
July 13, 2006
The ACBL forms as a four-team league in New Jersey & New York.
The ACBL expands to five teams with the addition of the Staten Island Pilots.
Aug. 26, 1970
Fred Cambria becomes the first ACBL player to reach the major leagues, pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Scranton Red Soxx enter the league, bringing the ACBL to Pennsylvania for the first time.
The Mercer Titans join the league, bringing the team's total to six, and the Pilots move from Staten Island to New Jersey.
June 3, 1975
Former Pilot Rick Cerone is chosen seventh overall by the Cleveland Indians in the major-league draft.
The Nassau Collegians and the Brooklyn Clippers join the ACBL, bringing the league's total to eight teams.
Craig Biggio, the 24th member of the ACBL to make the majors, receives his first of five Silver Slugger awards, an honor given to the best hitter at each position in Major League Baseball.
The ACBL celebrates its 25th anniversary.
July 13, 1993
Terry Mulholland, the 20th person in ACBL history to make the majors, starts the All-Star Game for the National League.
Oct. 6, 1995
Eric Young, who played with the Pilots from 1987-88, hits a two-run home run off Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz in the National League Division Series. Colorado won the game 7-5.
Sept. 6, 1999
Infielder Frank Menechino, the 67th player to make the major leagues after playing in the ACBL, makes his major-league debut with the Oakland Athletics.
The ACBL celebrates 40 years of New York metropolitan-area baseball.
June 28, 2006
Kevin Barry, who played with the Pilots in 1999 and 2000, makes his major-league debut with the Atlanta Braves, pitching three shutout innings against the New York Yankees and striking out Jason Giambi.
Melissa Chodan, from the Courier News website www.c-n.com
July 13, 2006
Stamford, CT, July 13 -- Baseball fans always enjoy the opportunity to catch doubleheaders, and young fans of the Stamford Robins will have added incentive to visit Cubeta Stadium for Saturday's 1 p.m. twinbill with the Jersey Pilots.
In addition to having the opportunity to watch some of the area's best collegiate players, all youngsters under the age of 14 will receive a free package of the popular Big League Chew bubblegum when they attend the doubleheader.
The widely-popular Big League Chew was developed in the late 1970's by former major league pitcher Jim Bouton and Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League alumnus Rob Nelson, who were looking for a safe, viable alternative to chewing tobacco for baseball players.
"We're delighted and grateful for Rob Nelson's involvement in 'Big League Chew Day' at Cubeta on Saturday," said Rick Wolff, assistant general manager for the Robins. "He was a former player in the ACBL, and truly one of the most unique, and likable, personalities that has been associated with the game of baseball for many years."
The idea of Big League Chew was ingenious. Bouton and Nelson decided to shred the bubblegum and package it to look very similar to that of chewing tobacco, and it has been extremely popular with ballplayers -- both young and old.
It's estimated that Big League Chew has sold more than 450 million pouches since first being introduced roughly a quarter-century ago.
July 12, 2006
By MELISSA CHODAN , Staff Writer
With talent, dreams and a wooden bat, about 200 aspiring prospects flock to the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League every summer.
By the time next season comes, many of them and the players who came before them will be in professional baseball.
The ACBL is in its 40th year and is celebrating the launching of more than 2,000 professional baseball careers an average of more than 50 players a year.
"We've been around a long time," league president Tom Bonekemper said. "A lot of leagues come and go, and we've managed to survive 40 years."
Founded in 1967 to showcase college baseball talent, the ACBL still is partially supported by Major League Baseball, which provides the players with bats and balls.
"We're very fortunate to be under their umbrella," league commissioner Fred Cambria said. "They've been more than gracious."
After launching the careers of prominent major-leaguers such as Rick Cerone, John Halama, Matt Morris, Jamie Moyer and Nate Bump, aspiring athletes still turn to the ACBL for the opportunity to turn their passion into a career.
Left-handed pitcher Nick Cesare, a South Plainfield native, is in his first season with the Jersey Pilots, a team that plays its home games on North Plainfield High School's Krausche Field.
Cesare says he is looking to develop his breaking pitches and further his career opportunities.
"Everybody in the league's goal one day is to play after college," Cesare said. "This should help the few that actually get there. You could play at the next level if you get better. That's what we use the ACBL for."
The 19-year-old Cesare pitched for Kean University, a Division III school, during the college season. The ACBL gave him an opportunity that was rare at Kean: the attention of scouts a lot of scouts.
"That's huge, our games being D-III, there aren't many scouts," Cesare said. " ... now there's a good number of scouts basically at every game. You get seen more. We're all trying to play at the next level. It can only help if there's a lot of people looking at you at the same time."
With radar guns timing every pitch and scouts walking the fences with clipboards, the ACBL provides players such as Cesare with pressure situations he otherwise would not experience until joining a franchise.
It also separates the good players from the elite as wooden bats are introduced.
"The wooden bat is a wake-up call for some people," said Jason Bergmann, a right-hander for the Washington Nationals and a former Jersey Pilot.
Bergmann pitched for the Pilots in 1999, when he learned to alter his approach and pitch inside.
"It was very good," Bergmann said of his experience with the Pilots. "It was the first time it showed what type of pitcher I was."
He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2002 draft by the Montreal Expos at age 20. Bergmann went 7-4 in his first professional season, pitching for the Vermont Expos of the New York-Penn League.
"It's almost a different type of pitching completely from metal bats to wooden bats," said Mike Battista, who was signed as a free agent by the Mets last season. "It's almost a sin to throw inside to a metal bat, and you throw inside to a wooden bat 50 to 60 percent of the time."
Battista, a North Plainfield native, set the ACBL record for strikeouts in a game with 18 in 2002 and came back to pitch for the Pilots in 2004. While with the team, he made the transition from college to the minor leagues.
"I pitch totally different now," said Battista, who is playing with the Kingsport Mets. "The biggest difference in college I was pitching to miss the bat; now I'm pitching to hit the bat."
Hitters make their mark, too
Just as the ACBL has been helping pitchers develop for 40 years, hitters also have found a niche in the league, with Craig Biggio, Frank Menechino and Eric Young among the players to gain valuable experience.
"I was used to pitchers pitching away for me," Middlesex native Kevin Kotch said. "When you go to wood bats, that all changes. They challenge you. ... That was an interesting thing. I was always looking middle away, and when it comes middle in, it freezes you."
The 21-year-old catcher played in the ACBL in 2003, when he developed as a hitter and a defender. Kotch was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 24th round of the 2004 draft. He currently is playing with the Aberdeen IronBirds of the New York-Penn League.
After getting his first taste of summer-league baseball with the New York Generals in 1986, John Flaherty played in more than 1,000 major-league games.
Flaherty says he was sidelined with a knee injury for most of that season but finished strong.
After starting out in the ACBL and moving up each season, Flaherty will be inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame along with Biggio, Moyer, youth baseball promoter John McElroy and former Yankee and ACBL manager Johnny Kucks on Nov. 25.
"I was able to start out in the summer in the ACBL, gain some confidence and exposure and go back to school, have another good year in school, then be able to go to the Virginia Valley League and the Cape (Cod) League," Flaherty said. "Everything was kind of a step up. For me it was small steps, and I was able to gain confidence along the way.
"It was no difference once you get to minor-league baseball, moving up from A-ball to Double-A to Triple-A. You gain confidence at every level, and the next thing you know, you've played 14 years in the major leagues."
A long way for baseball
With the growing appeal of the ACBL and competitive edge needed to make it into professional baseball, the ACBL has been attracting aspiring athletes nationally for decades.
With the assistance of host families, players come from the Northeast, the Midwest and everywhere in between to get noticed.
Out of the 25 players on the Lehigh Valley Catz's roster, 20 are from out of state, including Arkansas and Texas.
"I heard it was some really good competition and a heavily scouted league," Quakertown pitcher and Texas native Nathan Jennings said. "If you want to play professional baseball, this is what you have to do to support the dream."
Jennings comes from the University of Texas at Tyler, a Division III school, where his coach a New Jersey native and former ACBL player James Vilade recommended him for the league.
After playing in summer leagues in Colorado and Texas, Jennings says he is impressed with the quality of play.
"It's good competition," Jennings said. "Every team is good. All the batters are good. All the pitching's been really, really good. I've been really impressed so far."
Cambria past, present and future
The league has transformed quite a bit since its inception.
Cambria, the league's commissioner, played in the ACBL in its inaugural year with the Long Island Flying A's and the next season with the Brooklyn-Queens Dodgers.
Then, the ACBL was made up of four teams located in New York and New Jersey.
"It was kind of redundant playing the same teams over and over again, but it was good players," Cambria said.
Cambria attended St. Leo's University in San Antonio, Fla., located outside of Tampa. He went to the Division II institution primarily to play basketball but excelled in baseball with the instruction he received at the college level and in the ACBL.
"That's what got me drafted," Cambria said. "Scouts (saw me in the ACBL and) followed me back to Florida. I give all the credit to the summer league."
In 1970, Cambria became the first ACBL player to reach the major leagues after being drafted in the third round of the 1969 draft.
He went 1-2 with a 3.51 earned-run average in six games for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"It was terrific first one drafted, first one to make the majors," Cambria said. "I was very fortunate. Unfortunately, I broke down as a pitcher. ... It was a dream come true."
Cambria returned to the ACBL this season.
While still based on fundamental baseball, the look of the league has changed. It is now comprised of eight teams located in four states.
Players come from as far as Texas, Indiana and Florida to play baseball and attempt to impress the scouts.
"I think the kids are more talented than we were," Cambria said. "But I don't think there's much of a difference."
With the success and growth of the league, Cambria is looking to recruit more players nationally, expand the league and bring in more specialized coaches as early as next season.
"We'd like to expand the league down the road, get 10 to 12 teams and develop the young men," Cambria said.
Currently, the league is made up of two four-team divisions. For the 2007 season, Cambria would like to add one or two teams to each division to accommodate the growing popularity and cut down on travel.
The teams' locations have not yet been determined.
Bringing in more college coaches and specialists is another main focus for Cambria.
"We really want to develop players," Cambria said, "stress the fundamentals and teach them to enjoy the game."
Staff writer Melissa Chodan can be reached at (908) 707-3161 or at email@example.com
July 11, 2006
By Jeff Schuler Of The Morning Call
Given the way Kutztown dominated the first half of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League season, it should have come as no surprise that the Rockies would also dominate Saturday's all-star game.
Led by game MVP Ryan Wyland, the five Kutztown players in the lineup, representing the league's top offensive unit, combined for eight hits and seven RBIs in the Wolff Division's 9-0 blanking of the Kaiser Division at Lafayette's Hilton Rahn Field.
Oh, and the two Rockies pitchers representing the league's stingiest pitching staff also helped the Wolff staff limit the Kaiser squad to just three hits and allow just one baserunner to advance past first.
''It's all about confidence, and teamwork'' said Wyland, who had three hits, scored the first run and knocked in three runs. ''We look next to each other in the dugout at a guy who's going to pick you up on an off-day, and that's why we are where we are right now.''
And that's atop the Wolff Division with a sparkling 17-2 record, 41/2 games ahead of the Lehigh Valley Catz (12-6) and 81/2 ahead of third-place Quakertown (9-11).
Kutztown, which is playing all its games in that Berks County borough after playing half its schedule last year at Allentown's Bicentennial Park, has nine players batting .300 or better, five of them above .330 — including one, Pen Argyl's Jake DeBoer (.342), that didn't make the all-star squad.
The Rockies lead the league in batting (.319, 41 points higher than No. 2 Lehigh Valley), runs scored (112), slugging percentage, on-base percentage, doubles, and steals.
Kutztown's pitching staff also leads the ACBL in ERA (2.35) by almost a run, and has also held opposing hitters to a league-low .217 average.
''We're just doing everything right,'' said general manager and assistant coach Jon Yeakel, who played 28 years with Upper Perk in the Tri-County League. ''We have good pitching and consistent hitting, and we're strong down to the nine-hole.''
''When you it takes a lot of pressure off everyone,'' Wyland, heading into his senior season at Mansfield, added.
Kutztown players were pretty much responsible for the Wolff's first three runs. In the second, Wyland, a .368 hitter, opened with a double, then scored the game's first run on teammate Abe Yeakel's single. Yeakel was erased on a fielder's choice groundout, but singles by Kutztown's Nick Bet and Josas Fester knocked in Lehigh Valley's Ryan Bellamy with the second run.
Three innings later, Fester reached on an error and eventually scored on Wyland's single to right. Kutztown's Justin Smucker and Wyland later added two-run singles in a six-run eighth that broke the game open.
''It means a lot to me,'' Wyland said of the MVP award. ''I just want to keep playing and hopefully reach the next level.''
Meanwhile, the Rockies' Paul Schleiter started and pitched a perfect first, and Will Romanowicz allowed a single run in his inning of work, the sixth.
Now it's back to pursuing a championship in the franchise's second year of operation. Plus, the Rockies can also chase the best record in the league's 40-year history, a 31-9 mark rung up by the 1983 Allentown Wings, who featured future big-leaguers Jamie Moyer, Terry Mulholland, Matt Kinzer and the Rockies' current manager, Rich DeLucia.
''I'm not looking at it that way, and I know Rich isn't looking at it that way,'' Jon Yeakel said.
''All we want to do,'' Wyland said, ''is go out and have fun.''
Kaiser Division 000 000 000 — 0-3-2
Wolff Division 020 010 060 — 9 10 0
Catanose, Lyons (2), Barry (3), Gianini (4), Burch (5), Riddle (6), Myers (7), Welsh (8), Gillman (8) and Gilardo, Moras (6); Schliefer, Matteo (2), Kasyk (3), Reese (4), Van Es (5), Romanowicz (6), Jennings (7), Augustine (8), Roller (9) and Yeakel, Pugh (6).
July 10, 2006
The Rockies went off to an impressive start in the 2006 season by winning their first 6 games but this was only the start. Following their 7-6 victory over the Catz on June 21, the Rockies won 10 straight games leading up to the All-Star Game. Their three starters, John, Schleifer, and Rummel have proven strong and consistent with a 2-0, 3-0, and 3-0 recprd respectively with a combined ERA less than 2.00. Wyland and Fester are their top hitters of the first half of the season. Ryan hit .368 with 21 hits and 15 RBI while Fester hit an equally impressive .367 with 22 hits and 15 RBI. The Rockies lead the Wolff division with a 17-2 record as of June 8.
Lehigh Valley Catz
The Catz finished their first half of the season with a 12-6 record, trailing 4.5 games behind the Rockies. They won their first 7 games coming into the season and have been steadily stacking up their wins. Pitcher Kevin Reese has put on an amazing performance, appearing in 5 games with a 4-0 record and 1.76 ERA. Starter Josh Smith has pitched 18 innings in 6 games and has struck out 20 batters, first on his team. The leading hitters are Jimmy Principe and Karl Krailo. Principe has a .395 average with 17 hits. Krailo has a .386 average with 22 hits, 3 homeruns, and 13 RBI. Brendan Murphy leads the team in RBI with 16.
The Blazers won their first 2 games coming into the season and ended with a 10-10 record at the mid-season break. Starters Chris Brower and Joe Matteo have had successful seasons thus far with a 1.12 and 1.20 ERA, respectively. Justin Gutsie leads the pitching staff in strike outs with 16 in 18.1 innings. Josh Butler leads the team in batting with a .339 average with 20 hits and 9 RBI. Joseph Rosati follows with a .302 average with 16 hits. Matt Godusky leads the team both in homeruns (3)and RBI (12).
The Pilots hit the mid-season point with a 7-10 record. They had a 3 game wining streak between June 10 and June 11. Starter Scott Van Es has pitched 19 innigs in 6 games with a 1-1 record and 1.42 ERA. Joseph Augustine pitched 25.2 innings in 4 games with a 3-0 record and 2.10 ERA. Augustine leads the Wolff division in strike outs with 27 as of June 8. The leading batter is Perry Schatzow, hitting .362 with 21 hits. Frank Quintana leads the team in RBI (9).
Metro NY Cadets
The Cadets leads the Kaiser Division with a 10-7 record at the mid-season break. They have had two 3 game winning streaks between June 18-22 and June 29-July 3. Their three starters Joe Catanese, Richard Barry, and David Noble have a 1-1, 1-0, and 2-1 record with 1.35, 1.42, and 3.72 ERA respectively. Catanese leads the team in strikeouts with 23 as of June 8. Robert Leonard leads the team in batting with a .368 average and 21 hits. Henry Fuentes leads the team in RBI with 10 in 17 games.
Long Island Stars
The Stars finished the first half of the 2006 ACBL season with a 5-9 record. Pitcher Michael Myers has pitched strong with a 2.00 ERA in 18 innnigs and 4 games but the Stars batters have failed to award him with runs. Nate Lape is the leading hitter in the team with a .356 average and 10 RBI. Mike Tansey leads the team in RBI with 12 as of June 8.
New York Generals
The Generals completed their first half of the season with a 5-10 record, trailing half a game behind the Stars. Starter David Burch is pitching strong with a 2-0 record and 0.75 ERA in 24 innings pitched. He leads the team in strike outs with 18 as of June 8. Jess Maloney leads the Kaiser division in batting with a .429 average with 21 hits and 6 RBI. Dominic Lombardi leads the team in RBI with 9 as of June 8.
The Robins ended the first half of the 2006 season with a 5-15 record, trailing 2.5 games behind the Generals. Starter Matt Gianini has appeared in 7 games and has a 3-2 record and 1.50 ERA. He leads the Kaiser division in strike outs with 28 as of June 8. Peter Kennely has a 1-1 record and 3.72 ERA and 26 strike outs in 19.1 innings. Adam Hussey leads the team in batting with a .291 average, 16 hits, and 8 RBI. Jovan Rodriguez leads the team in hits with 17 as of June 8.
July 6, 2006
Click here to view the 2006 ACBL All-Star Promotional Ad
ESPN Radio,1230 on your AM radio dial, will be awarding "ACBL All-Star game prize packs" during their live call-in show and will interview a Catz player who made the all-star team each night this week to help promote the game.
ESPN Radio will also be doing a live remote from 12:30 to 3:30 on Saturday, with 2 "drops" per hour promoting the 2006 ACBL All-Star game and festivities.
July 5, 2006
Stars vs. Cadets double header for Wednesday July 5th has been rained out. Also the Lehigh Valley Catz at Quakertown Blazers game for this evening has been postponed because of wet grounds and rain
July 2, 2006
By MELISSA CHODAN, Staff Writer
NORTH PLAINFIELD -- The little things added up to a loss for the Jersey Pilots on Sunday in an Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League game at Krausche Field.
The Quakertown Blazers got on the board in the first inning and continued to tack on runs as they downed the Pilots 5-2 in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader. Rain and lightning suspended the second game. It will be resumed in the bottom of the third inning 5 p.m. July 26 with the Pilots leading 3-2.
Men left on base and defensive miscues hindered the Pilots' effort in the opener as their record fell to 7-8.
"I thought our pitchers pitched well and our hitters are starting to get it going," right fielder Derek Gianakas said. "We've had a tough time in the last few games, but I think it's starting to come around."
Quakertown right fielder Josh Butler hit an RBI triple and scored on a wild pitch as control became an issue for the Pilots' pitchers, putting the Blazers up 5-2 in the top of the seventh inning.
"There were a couple miscommunications," Gianakas said. "A ball hit in the gap, just a miscommunication on hitting the cutoff man. That could have allowed another run to score."
Quakertown manufactured runs in the first, second and third inning to take the early momentum.
Down 3-1 in the fourth inning, the Pilots pulled within a run as infielder Mike Morano grounded out to score catcher Billy Merkler, who had reached on an error.
But the Pilots could not capitalize any further as they stranded two runners in the fourth and one in the fifth, finishing the game with seven left on base.
"Hitters with runners in scoring position had to be the one thing that wasn't working," Gianakas said.
Chris Affinito drove in center fielder Marcus Wynn with a single in the first inning to give the Pilots their first run.
Left-hander Andrew Koncen took the loss, going five innings and giving up six hits, three runs (two earned) and a walk while striking out three.
Shortstop Perry Schatzow hit a two-run double in the second inning of the night game to give the Pilots their first lead of the day 3-2.
"We're an emerging team," Gianakas said, "and we're climbing out of our hole."
Staff writer Melissa Chodan can be reached at (908) 707-3161 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
from the Courier News website www.c-n.com
June 28, 2006
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Bill Rowe scored the go-ahead run on second baseman Bryan Steed's throwing error in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Oregon State held on to beat North Carolina 3-2 for its first College World Series title Monday night.
The Beavers (50-16) became the first team in CWS history to lose twice in Omaha and win the national title. Oregon State also is the first truly Northern-based school to win the series since Ohio State in 1966.
With the game tied at 2 in the eighth, Rowe drew a two-out walk and Tyler Graham blooped a single into left. Tar Heels ace Andrew Miller, the No. 6 overall pick by Detroit, came on in relief of Daniel Bard and got pinch-hitter Ryan Gipson to one-hop a grounder to Steed.
The second baseman, who came in as a defensive replacement in the fifth, threw wide and past first baseman Tim Federowicz for the Tar Heels' fourth error of the game as Rowe slid into home with the go-ahead run. The Beavers stormed out of their dugout and mobbed Rowe as the Tar Heels (54-15) grew silent on the other side of the field.
North Carolina put two runners on against Dallas Buck (13-3) with one out in the ninth, but Kevin Gunderson got Josh Horton to hit into a fielder's choice, and _ with the tying run on third _ got slugger Chad Flack to fly out to center to end it.
Gunderson, who won Game 2 by pitching a season-high 5 1-3 relief innings, threw his glove and hat in the air, and waited as his teammates ran to the mound and piled on each other in celebration.
The Tar Heels had a chance in the eighth when they loaded the bases with one out, but Buck _ making his first relief appearance of the season _ struck out Seth Williams. Buck got ahead in the count on Benji Johnson, when Horton sprinted home from third, but Johnson swung through a pitch out of the strike zone to end the inning.
Oregon State scored twice against Bard (9-4) in the fourth, helped by two errors on one play by the pitcher.
After Graham hit a leadoff single and stole second, John Wallace bunted to the right side of the mound. Bard dashed over and barehanded the ball, but dropped it for an error. He picked it up and threw to first, but the throw sailed past Federowicz. Second baseman Garrett Gore backed up the errant toss and threw home, but Graham slid headfirst ahead of Johnson's tag, and the Beavers stormed out of the dugout to greet him.
After Chris Kunda sacrificed Wallace to second, Shea McFeely's single to center made it 2-0.
North Carolina came right back with two runs in the fifth against Jonah Nickerson, making his third start in eight days for the Beavers.
Jay Cox reached on shortstop Darwin Barney's throwing error and scored one out later on Seth Williams' double to right-center that rolled all the way to the wall. Johnson followed with a single to put runners on first and third, and Mike Cavasinni lined a single over third baseman McFeely one out later to tie it at 2.
North Carolina ran itself out of a scoring opportunity in the sixth. Horton led off with a single, and one out later, Cox hit a hard grounder that deflected off Nickerson's left leg and into right field, putting runners on first and third.
Federowicz followed with a grounder to third that McFeely fielded and threw home, and catcher Mitch Canham tagged a sliding Horton for the out. Canham, seeing Cox rounding second, threw to Kunda and caught Cox in a rundown, with shortstop Barney tagging him out to end the inning.
Bard, a first-round pick by Boston, allowed three runs _ one earned _ and six hits in 7 2-3 innings.
Nickerson, the crafty and gutsy right-hander, allowed two unearned runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He came out after his 100th pitch _ getting Steed to ground out _ and received a standing ovation from the 18,565 at Rosenblatt Stadium, even from the powder blue-clad North Carolina fans.
June 28, 2006
POSITION, PLAYER, TEAM
Catcher, Tim Federowicz, North Carolina
First Base, Bill Rowe, Oregon State
Second Base, Justin Turner, Cal State Fullerton
Third Base, Shea McFeely, Oregon State
Shortstop, Josh Horton, North Carolina
Outfield, Danny Dorn, Cal State Fullerton
Outfield, Cole Gillespie, Oregon State
Outfield, Jay Cox, North Carolina
Designated Hitter, David Cooper, Cal State Fullerton
Pitcher, Jonah Nickerson, Oregon State
Pitcher, Kevin Gunderson, Oregon State
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Jonah Nickerson, Oregon State
June 27, 2006
By PAUL SOKOLOSKI, The Express-Times
The urge to remain a part of coaching really began at the cemetery for Mark Schultz.
It is there, during overwhelming grief that nearly buckled his knees, that Shultz found the strength to stand tall through another sports season.
"Four of the girls mobbed me," Schultz said, "and said, 'Mr. Schultz, you've got to coach us.' "
At the time, he just didn't know.
Minutes before, he had laid to rest his 16-year-old daughter Amanda Leigh Schultz, a junior at Easton Area High School and a passenger who died along with fellow Easton junior Michael Cummings in a horrific car accident in early March.
How could he go back to the same Palmer Township softball field where he watched his daughter play? How could he look at the same faces his daughter grew up with, and share in the laughter that would surely seem empty without her?
"To me, it was too soon at this moment," Mark Schultz said. "Part of it was, I didn't know if my heart was going to be in it to be a head coach."
He decided to return as an assistant.
And it turned out to be the best decision Shultz, who was honored Saturday as The Express-Times/Lehigh Valley Catz Youth Coach of the Year, could have made.
"It's almost healing to me to get out and coach the girls," said Schultz, a 48-year-old Palmer Township resident who works in the AVP information systems department for New York Life Insurance Company in Lebanon. "This has been an extra special year for me."
The other finalists for the award were Ron Kjeldsen, who coaches basketball and baseball in Hope Township; Brad Cox, who coaches Belvidere girls soccer; Scott Helm, who coaches the Palmer Twp. Rockets softball team; Ron Karasek, who coaches the Slate Belt Orioles Little League team; and Jason Wambold, who coaches the Forks Orioles softball team.
But it was his exemplary courage in the face of heartbreaking adversity that made Schultz stand out.
"A lot of courage," said Ciara O'Connell, who joined Melanie Spain, Victoria Norelli and Shannon Carlsen in nominating Schultz. "It shows a lot for him. We weren't sure what he was going to do. We knew he probably wasn't going to be head coach. But we're glad he continued to coach."
"I thought he might come back," Spain said. "It's been such a constant for him and the girls have been so close to him. But I would understand if he didn't come back for personal reasons. He's been such a great person in my life.
"I love Mr. Schultz."
It seems the feeling is mutual.
"To me, it's kind of reciprocal," said Schultz, who took the 18-and-Under Palmer Township girls softball team to the championship round as a head coach last season, has been the president of the Palmer Township Athletic Association and also coached baseball, basketball and softball during a 15-year career in youth sports. "Each of them were close friends with Amanda."
He can find memories of his daughter all over the field, even after Palmer Township split its squad into two teams this season which has Schultz bouncing around in an attempt to assist with both.
They are there in the smiles of her old teammates, in the players who ask for his continued guidance, and even on the home bench -- dedicated at the start of his season in Amanda's honor -- at Fairview Field.
"He's generally, on the field, the same old guy that he's always been," said Spain, who plays for one Palmer Township team which is 6-2 on the current season. "He's always joking around. He's a very happy person. Mr. Schultz has always pushed us to have fun, making sure everyone enjoyed the experience. Through that, our teams were very successful."
"He'll sit on the bench," said O'Connell, who plays for the other Palmer Township team, "and talk to girls if they're having a bad game. When I get upset, I lose it sometimes. I can remember a game up in Nazareth, he pulled me aside and said, 'You're trying too hard, just have fun.' "
Not that this season has been all smiles for Schultz.
"I'm fine between the lines," Schultz said. "After the games, sometimes I get a little more emotional than I used to. Home games are especially hard, with the bench (in Amanda's memory) there. It helps being an assistant, because I can make a quick getaway."
But as he continues to find ways around a wide, painful void in his life that will always be there, Mark Schultz may just want to stick around sports fields.
"I could see, by next year," Schultz said, "being a head coach."
June 27, 2006
At this time the following games scheduled for tonight has been postponed, Jersey at Quakertown and Lehigh Valley at Kutztown. The LV @ Kutztown game has been rescheduled for Thursday, June 29th, 5pm at Kutztown University.
More information regarding other games will be posted as it becomes available.
June 27, 2006
Queens, N.Y. - Former St. John’s Red Storm and Nassau Collegians of the ACBL closer Craig Hansen picked up his first career major league win in Boston's 8-7, 12-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, after being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, June 20. Hansen recorded the final two outs of the top of the 12th inning against the Phillies, before slugger David Ortiz won the game for the Red Sox with his second walk-off base hit in as many days.
Hansen began his second stint of the season with Boston after starting the season at Double-A Portland and being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on April 27. Between the two minor league stops, Hansen was 2-2 with a 2.06 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. For Boston, Hansen has posted a 1-0 record and a 7.36 ERA in four appearances (3.2 innings) this season.
Last season, Hansen became the first player in Red Sox history to reach the majors the same season he was drafted. He was selected with the 26th overall pick of the 2005 amateur draft and left St. John's as the school's all-time saves leader with 26 and as the all-time BIG EAST leader with 14 career saves in conference games.
In his rookie season, Hansen did not allow an earned run in 13 appearances between the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Double-A Portland. This season, he ran his minor league scoreless streak to 22.2 innings, before allowing a run in an April 24 relief appearance for the Sea Dogs.
June 26, 2006
The rain continues to hamper ACBL play. Tonight's Long Island at Metro NY game has been postponed.
June 25, 2006
The NY Generals at Quakertown Blazers DH, LV @ Stamford DH and Kutztown @ Jersey DH for today, Sunday June 25th have all been postponed.
June 25, 2006
Nick Abel (Collegians), Brooklyn (Mets)
Mike Affronti (Collegians), Vancouver (A's)
Shane Byrne (Generals), Yakima (D-Backs)
Bryan Hallberg (Cadets), TriValley (Astros)
Tag Horner (Catz), Bluefield (Orioles)
Kevin Kotch (Pilots), Bluefield (Orioles)
Steve MacFarland (Robins), Williamsport (Pirates)
Stephen Puhl (Robins), Brooklyn (Mets)
David Qualben (Robins), TriValley (Astros)
Bryan Sabatella (Collegians), Everett (Mariners)
Donnie Smith (Catz), State College (Cardinals)
Michael Battista (Pilots), Kingsport (Mets)
Ross Boudreaux (Catz), Idaho Falls (Royals)
Kyle Collina (Blazers), Burlington (Indians)
Jefferson Infante (Robins), ARL (Royals)
Scott Knazek (Blazers), Orem (Angels)
James Lasala (Cadets), GCL (Yankees)
Matt Maradeo (Rockies), ARL (Cubs)
Andrew Mead (Robins), Bristol (White Sox)
Matt Righter (Blazers), GCL (Tigers)
Anthony Varvaro (Cadets), ARL (Mariners)
John Wolff (Robins), Bristol (White Sox)
June 25, 2006
ACBL alumnus Kevin Barry was promoted from Triple-A Richmond Braves to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, June 24.
Barry joined the Braves as a 14th round draft pick out of Rider in 2001.He made the first eight starts of his five year pro career last season with Richmond and turned in outstanding numbers. He had an ERA of 1.65 as a starter and won his last three decisions. Barry earned International League Pitcher of the Week award for August 8-15. He held opponents to a .209 average. Barry was part of the Richmond Braves 2004 South Division championship club. He earned IL Pitcher of the Week award for August 30-September 6 in 2004. He pitched in five games in the 2004 IL playoffs and did not allow a run. Barry was a Carolina League All Star in 2002, and named to Baseball America’s short-season All Star Team as a pro rookie in 2001. He went to camp with Atlanta this season as a non-roster invitee.
This season, Barry went 2-3 at Richmond with a 3.26 ERA, striking out 63 while walking only 27 in 77 1/3 innings over 15 games.
June 24, 2006
The Jersey @ Metro NY doubleheader has been postponed as well as the Quakertown @ Long Island double header. No makeup dates have been set yet.
June 22, 2006
Donnie Smith and Ross Boudreaux, two members of the 2003 Catz ACBL Championship team have recently been re-assigned to new Minor League teams.
Donnie Smith, a RHP from Portsmouth, Va., returns to Pennsylvania as a member of the State College Spikes, a new franchise in the New York Penn league. “DJ” joins the Spikes as part of a rehab assignment. After being taken in the 4th round of the 2004 MLB Draft, Donnie made his professional debut with the New Jersey Cardinals, going 3-3 with a 3.88 ERA in 11 starts. The righty showed impeccable control, striking out 41 and walking only five through his 46.1 innings of work. Smith advanced to the Quad Cities last season, where he went 1-2 in five starts before having his season cut short due to shoulder surgery. Smith led the CAA with a 2.29 earned run average. With the Catz, Smith was named the ACBL’s Outstanding Pitcher for the 2003 season.
Ross Boudreaux, a catcher from Church Point, La. is now with the Idaho Falls Chukars. Ross kicked off his 2006 pro season on Tuesday night with a clutch RBI single in the 10th inning to score the go-ahead run in a 10-8 Chukars win over the Casper Rockies. Ross, who returned to the Lehigh Valley this past winter by making an appearance with Washington Nationals catcher Brian Schneider at a Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club fundraiser event for charity, was promoted to the Chukars from the Rookie level affiliate of the Kansas Royals organization. Boudreaux was a member of the 2002, 2003 & 2004 Catz teams, he was a 3X All-Star and holds several all-time Catz records.
For a complete list of former Catz players currently playing professionally......please visit www.lvcatz.com
June 20, 2006
Click here to view Jamie's Profile
Click here to visit the Jamie Moyer Foundation
ACBL Alum and 2006 ACBL Hall of Fame Inductee Jamie Moyer (43 years old) still going strong on and off the field. Playing in his 19th season in the Big Leagues Jamie Moyer has surpassed the prestigious honor of over 200 wins. Besides winning baseball games, Moyer continues to impact hundreds of young children with his foundation.
June 18, 2006
NORTH PLAINFIELD -- Third baseman Mike Morano and shortstop Perry Schatzow combined for seven hits and four runs scored as the Jersey Pilots swept an Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader from the New York Generals 9-5 and 6-4 Sunday afternoon at Krausche Field.
In the first game, Morano -- a native of Basking Ridge -- went 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Schatzow went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Tim Cowan picked up the victory for the Pilots (7-5) with two scoreless innings of relief, and New Providence's Tony Wargo notched the save.
In the second game, the Pilots jumped on the Generals for four runs in the first inning, with Morano driving in Schatzow for the first run. Frank Quintana later hit a two-run single to cap the frame.
Joe Augustine improved to 3-0 by pitching five effective innings in the second game for the Pilots, who honored Indians scout Bobby Malkmus for his more than 50 years of baseball service.
The Pilots also honored 9-year-old Dunellen Cub Scout Cody Smith, who last year saved a girl from drowning.
Next up for the Pilots is a road game against Quakertown on Wednesday.
Staff report from the Courier News website www.c-n.com
June 18, 2006
June 17, 2006
OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. -- Frank Quintana's sacrifice fly scored Tom Edwards in the top of the 10th inning to lift the Jersey Pilots to a 4-3 victory over the Long Island Stars on Saturday in the first game of an Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader at SUNY College at Old Westbury.
Long Island came back to win the nightcap 3-2.
In the opener, the Pilots (5-5) took an early 2-0 lead when Charlie Kruer worked out a walk on a 12-pitch at-bat and scored on Rob Bowness' home run. The lead was 3-1 after Mike Morano's RBI single scored Derek Gianakas in the top of the seventh, but the Stars scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
Edwards singled in the 10th, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third when Marcus Wynn's fly ball dropped in for a single and scored on Quintana's sacrifice fly.
Tim Stringer pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out three for his first win. Starter Brad Mountain scattered seven hits over 6 2/3, striking out six and walking two. None of the three runs he allowed were earned.
In the second game, the Pilots scored single runs in the first and sixth for a 2-1 lead before Long Island (3-4) scored twice in the bottom of the sixth.
In the first, Morano walked, went to second on a passed ball, took third on a fly ball by Scott Tarnowski and scored on a wild pitch. In the sixth, Chris Affinito's two-out RBI single scored Bowness, who had singled.
Andrew Koncen was the hard-luck loser. He went the distance, allowing two earned runs, striking out six and inducing four double plays.
Pilots to honor scouts today
Today will be All Scouts Day at Krausche Field in North Plainfield, as the Jersey Pilots will honor a veteran scout with more than 50 years in baseball and a 9-year-old hero Cub Scout.
Before the 3 p.m. opener of an Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader against the New York Generals, the Pilots will honor Cub Scout Cody Smith of Dunellen. Smith, then 8, saved a 4-year-old girl from drowning in a swimming pool last summer.
Smith is a member of Cub Scout Pack 24, and a color guard from the pack will be on hand before the games for the nation anthem.
Between games, the Pilots also will honor Cleveland Indians scout Bobby Malkmus, who has been involved with professional baseball since signing his first contract with the Boston Braves in 1950.
Malkmus, 74, played for the Milwaukee Braves, Washington Senators and Philadelphia Phillies from 1957-62; has been a minor-league manager with the Phillies, Montreal Expos and Baltimore Orioles organizations; and has been a scout with the Indians and San Diego Padres. The Newark native and resident of Union Township, Union County, retired once before returning to the Indians as a part-time scout.
June 15, 2006
North Plainfield, NJ- The Quakertown Blazers used a strong pitching outing by Joe Matteo to shutout the Jersey Pilots 3-0, at Krausche Field.
Quakertown punched two runs in the second inning, with Matt Godusky scoring the first on an RBI single from Blair Dameron to shallow left field. Adam Spadafora would give the Blazers a 2-0 lead on an infield single that plated Mike Wilson.
The Blazers added an insurance run in the seventh inning on a Josh Butler single that scored Craig Mease from second. Mease was nearly tagged out at home, due to a strong throw from Right Fielder Derek Gianakas.
Joe Matteo (1-0) gets credit for the victory, pitching seven solid innings with four hits, six strikeouts, and zero walks. Doug Brown got the save, giving up no hits and one strikeout in two innings of work.
Nick Cesare (0-1) was the Pilots losing pitcher, surrendering two runs on seven hits in six innings of work.
Jersey Pilots are back in action Saturday, as they travel to Long Island to take on the Stars in a doubleheader starting at 3 P.M.
GAME NOTES: Play was suspended in the bottom of the second inning for nearly one hour due to a lightning storm. With two hits, Pilot’s Short Stop Perry Schatzow has hit safely in all eight of his team’s games.
June 13, 2006
Click here to view the entire bracket
OMAHA -- The game times and pairings for the first two days of the Men's College World Series have been announced. The 60th MCWS will be played at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha from June 16-25/26.
The double-elimination tournament features the winners of the eight super regionals, and includes seven teams that did not make it to Omaha last year. It is the second time since 1991 that as many as seven schools were not part of the field the previous year.
The first game on Friday is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CST and features No. 8 seed Georgia Tech (50-16) and Atlantic Coast Conference rival No. 1 seed Clemson (52-14). Friday's second game at 6 p.m. pits North Carolina (50-13) and No. 5 seed Cal St. Fullerton (48-13). The doubleheader on Saturday features No. 7 Georgia (47-21) squaring off against No. 2 Rice (55-11) at 1 p.m., and Miami (Fla.) (41-22) is taking on the lone 2005 MCWS participant Oregon St. (44-14) at 6 p.m.
The losers of Friday's two games will play one another at 1 p.m. on Sunday, while Friday's winners face off at 6 p.m. Sunday. The losers of Saturday's games will play each other at 1 p.m. on Monday, while Saturday's winners meet Monday at 6 p.m.
The winners of the two brackets will play a best-of-three championship series, with the first game set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 24. The second game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, while the third and deciding game (if necessary) is slated for 6 p.m. on Monday, June 26. Every Men's College World Series game will be televised live by ESPN or ESPN2, and all are available in high definition.
June 13, 2006
The Jersey Pilots are going to honor one of the good guys, Cleveland Indian scout Bobby Malkmus on Sunday, June 18th between the doubleheader with the NY Generals (first game starts at 3 pm).
Bob's baseball career spans over 50 years. From the minors, the majors, to managing and now scouting, join us with his family and friends as we walk through those years and celebrate his day in North Plainfield, New Jersey.
June 12, 2006
Mikio Aoki played for the Scranton Red Soxx in 1988.
Mikio Aoki, a Plymouth, Mass., native who served the past three seasons as an assistant coach for the Eagles, has been named head baseball coach, Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo announced today. Aoki replaces Peter Hughes, who resigned to accept the head coaching position at Virginia Tech.
"We are very pleased to name Mik Aoki head coach," DeFilippo says. "He is hard-working, energetic and an outstanding recruiter. Our players respect him as a coach and leader, and this will enable us to move ahead without missing a beat."
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to coach at BC," Aoki says. "I appreciate the confidence Gene DeFilippo and the entire administration have shown in me. I look forward to building upon the successful foundation Coach Hughes established for this program."
Prior to coming to BC in 2003, Aoki spent five years as head baseball coach at Columbia (N.Y.). In his five years as Columbia's head coach, Aoki led the Lions to an 87-140 mark. He led Columbia to 20 or more wins in each of his last three seasons. Prior to his arrival the Lions had not posted a 20-win season since 1987.
Before assuming his duties at Columbia, Aoki spent four years (1995-98) as assistant coach at Dartmouth (N.H.) College. In that position, he focused his efforts on the team's infielders and hitters, while also serving as the program's recruiting coordinator.
Aoki began his coaching career in 1992 as head coach at Manchester (Conn.) Community College. After one season, he became assistant coach at Ohio University. During his two years in Athens, Ohio, Aoki earned a master's degree in athletic administration.
Aoki and Hughes were four-year teammates and classmates at Davidson (N.C.) College. Both graduated in 1990. At Davidson, Aoki was a four-year letterman and three-year starter. He was a second baseman, third baseman and catcher. Aoki still ranks among the school's career leaders in slugging percentage (.547) and batting average (.335). In his senior season (1990), he finished with a team-leading .365 batting average. He stroked 20 doubles in his final season, tying the school's single-season record set that same year by Hughes (and subsequently tied by two other Davidson players).
Aoki played one year (summer 1990) of professional baseball in the Netherlands. He played for the HCAW Tigers of the Dutch Major League. He and his wife, Sue, have a one-year-old son, Kai. They reside in Framingham.
June 12, 2006
Drafted Players from the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft
David Qualben (Robins), Astros 7th round (Pace)
Steve MacFarland (Robins), Pirates 9th round (Lamar)
Bryan Hallberg (Cadets), Astros 12th round (Pace)
Scott Knazek (Blazers), Angels 15th round (Rider)
Steve Puhl (Robins), Mets 17th round (Edwards)
Mike Affronti (LI Collegians), A's 17th round (Lemoyne)
Shane Byrne (Generals), Dbacks 25th round (Tennessee St.)
Bryan Collins (Catz), Cubs 31th round (Alvin JC)
David Williams (Pilots), Marlins 36th round (Rutgers)
Andrew Mead (Robins), White Sox 40th round (Cortland St.)
Javier Martinez (Generals), Nationals 42nd round (Fordham)
James Lasala (Cadets), Yankees 44th round (Iona)
Vin DiFazio (Blazers), Orioles 46th round (Indian River JC)
Fifth Year Senior Free Agents before draft
Matt Maradeo (Rockies), Cubs (Kutztown)
Nick Abel (LI Collegians), Mets (Stony Brook)
Bob Malvagna (Collegians), Mets
Free Agent after Draft
Kyle Collina (Blazers), Indians (Lehigh)
Mark Suchowiecki (NY Generals), Devil Rays
June 11, 2006
By NICK KAYAL
FORKS TWP. | The Lehigh Valley Catz got their Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League season started Saturday with a solid opening day 3-1 win over the New Jersey Pilots.
One key was the contribution from Lafayette's right-hander Kevin Reese. The score remained tied at one through the middle innings thanks to Reese.
"It was just great to get out here and start the season off with a win," Reese said. "I haven't pitched in three weeks and this is a very competitive league, so I was happy with my performance today as well as my teammate's efforts."
In the second game, Perry Schatzow and Chris Affinto each went 2-for-3 as the Pilots gained a split with a 3-2 win. Karl Krailo and Brad Secrist each had two hits for the Catz.
Reese had a lot to be happy about in the opener, for he pitched three innings of no-hit ball, walking one and striking out one.
This season, the Catz welcome three local products to the roster. Lehigh will showcase two of its talents in right-handed pitcher Joel Hockman, a former Easton High standout, as well as infielder Liam O'Connor from Pleasant Valley.
Reese, a junior from East Stroudsburg South, contributes as a relief pitcher.
The Catz got things started in the bottom of the first inning when leadoff hitter Patrick Gaillard from Liberty University singled and then stole second base. First basemen Karl Krailo of Sam Houston State eventually knocked in Gaillard with a hard grounder to second base to give the Catz a 1-0 lead.
The Pilots of New Jersey didn't wait long to even the score. Catcher Bill Merkler roped a single to left field to score Frank Quintana in the top of the second inning to knot things up at 1-1.
The Catz took the lead in bottom of the sixth inning as Krailo belted a single up the middle, almost taking off Pilots pitcher Nick Cesare's head. Designated hitter Brendan Murphy hit an RBI double that rolled all the way to the fence in left-center scoring Krailo and giving the Catz a 2-1 lead.
The Catz scored once more when right fielder Jimmy Principe cranked out an RBI double, scoring O'Connor who pinch-ran for Murphy.
At the top of the seventh inning Metallica's "Enter Sandman" hit the speakers and it wasn't either New York's Mariano Rivera, or even Billy Wagner coming in for the save; it was Clarion University's all-time save leader Chuck Roller. Roller shut down the Pilots with a 1-2-3 inning, sealing the deal and giving the the Catz an opening-game victory.
New Jersey (1-2) 010 000 0--1 3 1
Lehigh Valley (1-0) 100 002 0--3 6 0
2B -- Principe (LV); Murphy (LV)RBI -- Krailo, Murphy, Principe (LV)
Mountain, Cesare (6) and Merkler. Kosyk, Reese (4) and Mullins; W -- Reese (1-0). L -- Mountain. S -- Roller (1). SO-BB -- Mountain 1-2, Cesare 2-1; Kosyk 2-1, Reese 1-1 .
Lehigh Valley (1-1) 000 000 2--2 6 1
New Jersey (2-2) 000 210 x--3 7 1
2B -- Krailo (LV); Kruer (NJ). RBI -- Secrist 2 (LV); Hewitt, Wynn, Kruer (NJ).
Whitney, Wallace (4), York (5) and Pugh; Koncen, Van Nes (4), Cowan (7), Cesare (7) and Affinto. W -- Van Nes. L -- Whitney. SO-BB -- Whitney 1-2, Wallace 0-3, York 4-1; Koncen 0-2, Van Nes 1-1, Cowan 1-2, Cesare 1-1.
June 8, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS -- The eight super-regional hosts were announced today by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee, which then announced the times of the eight best-of-three series.
A minimum of 45 hours of super-regional television will be provided by family of ESPN channels, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Consult local listings for specific games shown in each area of the country. As many as 15 national broadcast windows could appear on the three ESPN networks from June 9-12.
Six of the eight national seeds advanced to the super regionals and their national seed is indicated before the team name, while updated records through the regionals are in parenthesis. The following four super regionals will be played Friday, June 9, Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11 (if necessary). The four winners will play their first MCWS games Friday, June 16.
Click here to view the entire bracket
All times are Eastern
Oral Roberts (41-14) at No. 1 Clemson (50-14)
3 p.m. (ESPN), 4 p.m. (ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)
Col. of Charleston (46-15) at No. 8 Georgia Tech (48-16)
Noon (ESPN), 1 p.m. (ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU)
Missouri (35-26) at No. 5 Cal St. Fullerton (46-13)
10 p.m. (ESPN2), 10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)
North Carolina (48-13) at No. 4 Alabama (44-19)
7 p.m. (ESPN), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 4 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU)
The following four best-of-three super regionals will be played Saturday, June 10, Sunday, June 11, and Monday, June 12 (if necessary). The four winners will play their first MCWS games Saturday, June 17.
All times are Eastern
Oklahoma (44-20) at No. 2 Rice (53-10)
7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU)
South Carolina (40-23) at No. 7 Georgia (45-20)
11 a.m. (ESPN2), 4 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN/ESPNU)
Miami (Fla.) (39-21) at Mississippi (43-20)
7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)
Stanford (33-25) at Oregon St. (42-14)
10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 10 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU), 7 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)
Please note that some starting times on Monday could change and will be dependent upon the number of games that will be played on that day. Please consult www.NCAAsports.com for updates on starting times.
Only one of last year’s MCWS participants can return to Omaha, in Oregon St. Leading all schools in appearances is Miami (Fla.). The Hurricanes have made it eight straight, and their 10 super regional wins are tied with Stanford for the most since the NCAA changed its format to include the super regional round in 1999.
Cal St. Fullerton is in its sixth super regional and fourth in a row, joining four other institutions that are also making it sixth appearance, Clemson, Rice, South Carolina and Stanford. Georgia Tech is making its fifth trip, while this will be the third time playing in a super regional for Georgia. Mississippi and Oregon St. are making its second consecutive and overall appearance, while Alabama and North Carolina are in for the second time as well. Col. of Charleston, Missouri, Oklahoma and Oral Roberts are all in their first-ever super regional.
The determination of the order of first-round games both Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, will be announced Monday, June 12, depending on the if-necessary games for the four super regionals scheduled for June 9-12. The ESPN family of networks and www.NCAAsports.com will release the MCWS game times as soon as they are available.
MCWS games scheduled for Friday, June 16 include the winner of the Oral Roberts-Clemson super regional playing the winner of the Col. of Charleston-Georgia Tech super regional, and the winner of the Missouri-Cal St. Fullerton super regional facing the North Carolina-Alabama winner. MCWS games scheduled for Saturday, June 17 include the winner of the Oklahoma-Rice super regional squaring off against the South Carolina-Georgia super regional, and the Miami (Fla.)-Mississippi super regional winner facing the Stanford-Oregon St. winner.
Miami (Fla.) has earned a berth in the Men’s College World Series 21 times, while Stanford has reached the MCWS on 15 occasions. Others in double figures include Cal St. Fullerton playing in 13 and Clemson has made 10 appearances. Oklahoma has made nine and South Carolina has made eight trips to Omaha, while Missouri has made six appearances. Alabama has made five appearances while Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Rice have been in Omaha four times. Georgia Tech and Oregon St., seeking its second straight, have made the MCWS twice. Oral Roberts has advanced to the College World Series once and Col. of Charleston is after its first berth.
The 60th College World Series begins play Friday, June 16, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.
-- Courtesy NCAA
June 8, 2006
BY ROGER RUBIN, DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Craig Hansen, Boston's No. 1 pick last year out of St. John's, was recalled yesterday and arrived less than an hour before game time. The big righthander was a closer for the Red Storm and initially projected to be one for the Sox. They even called him up late in 2005 when he pitched as a set-up reliever. "That was a bit of a rush job and we probably gave him too much responsibility too soon, but he handled it very well," said Boston manager Terry Francona.
The Sox bullpen could use a boost. Mike Timlin (shoulder) is on the DL and Keith Foulke has back pain. David Riske pitched 2-1/3 innings Monday night and Julian Tavarez for two innings after Josh Beckett couldn't get out of the second inning.
Hansen, 22, is the only player in Red Sox history to pitch in the majors in the year he was drafted. Called up last Sept. 19, he had no record and a 6.00 ERA in four relief appearances. He was 0-2 with a 2.66 ERA in seven games for Triple-A Pawtucket this season. He started the year at Double-A Portland, where he was 1-0 with a 0.82ERA in five relief appearances. Hansen's last four appearances have been as a starting pitcher.
June 7, 2006
The weather continues to have an adverse affect on the start on the 2006 ACBL season. Tonights Lehigh Valley @ Jersey game has already been postponed.
June 6, 2006
By Keith Groller of The Morning Call
The ACBL turns 40 years old this summer, but the amateur league for collegiate baseball players is hardly going through a mid-life crisis.
The ACBL remains strong and vibrant, according to president Tom Bonekemper.
The season begins tonight at 7 with the defending champion Quakertown Blazers hosting the Kutztown Rockies.
''The main purpose of the league remains to develop student-athletes into professional baseball players,'' Bonekemper said. ''They can improve and develop during the summer by playing a high level of competition and the exposure to pro scouts remains significant. There are usually two or three scouts at each game.''
Last year, 27 ACBL players were drafted and another seven signed as free agents. The number of ACBL alumni to play in the major leagues is up to 83.
Of the eight ACBL franchises, three are in The Morning Call circulation area and are Wolff Division rivals.
The Easton-based Lehigh Valley Catz join the Blazers, Rockies and Jersey Pilots in the Wolff.
''We have a lot of parity in the league. … any team can beat any other on a given night and that's the way we like it,'' Bonekemper said. ''Kutztown, managed by former major leaguer Rich DeLucia, was a great addition to the league last season. They raised the entire league to a higher standard of play, primarily because of Rich's rapport with the kids and his knowledge of the game.''
The teams play a 40-game schedule with six of the eight advancing to the playoffs.
A special highlight will come on July 8 when the league's all-star game will be held at Lafayette College. It's the first time the mid-summer classic will be held locally since Quakertown hosted it in 1999.
Here's a look at the three local ACBL entries:
Kutztown: Abram Yeakel,the son of the team's GM and assistant coach Jon Yeakel, has begun a pipeline to Liberty University where he is junior. The Rockies feature three other Liberty players, including Phil and Tim John, the nephews of former major leaguer Tommy John.
The Rockies also have lots of Lehigh Valley flavor in Central Catholic and Lehigh University product Nick Bet, former Parkland star Garrison Rausch and ex-Pen Argyl flash Jake DeBoer, who was a first-team all-PSAC selection at ESU.
The Rockies, who play their games at Timothy M. Breidegam Field in Kutztown Borough Park and at Kutztown University, feature four current Golden Bears as well as two players from Lehigh (Alec Billy is the other) and Jason Bonder, a lefty pitcher from Muhlenberg.
Lehigh Valley Catz: The Catz begin their sixth season overall and fourth in the ACBL. They will play games at Lafayette in addition to Hackett's Park in Easton.
Skipper Adrian Yaguez has three returning ACBL all-stars, including two from the ACBL's Top 10 prospect list, as the Catz look to make a charge at its first title since 2003.
The list of returnees is headed by lefty pitcher Ryan Page of Liberty U., who was 6-1 with a 2.73 ERA. Bucky Kosyk, who had 10 saves at Mount St. Mary's, also returns as does first baseman/DH Brendan Murphy, who batted .321 with 15 HRs and 70 RBIs at Marshall this spring.
The Catz's local flavor includes Joel Hockman (Easton/Lehigh), Liam O'Connor (Phillipsburg/Lehigh) and Kevin Reese (Stroudsburg/Lafayette). Reese was 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA for the Leopards this season.
Two other players worth checking out are Arkansas product Josh Smith, whose fastball has been clocked in the mid-90s, and Navarro College's Michael Whitney, an 18th-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles, who also throws in the 90s.
Quakertown Blazers: Denny Robison, in his 23rd season in charge at venerable Memorial Field, will rely on five pitching returnees, a group featuring Liberty High graduate Sean Heimpel (Gloucester), Emmaus grad Brian Frazier (George Washington), and Lehigh's Joe Matteo.
Quakertown High's Craig Meese (Messiah) is one of the team's top middle infielders, while Pennridge grad Blair Dameron, a first-team all-PSAC selection who hit .372 for College World Series entrant West Chester, will bolster the lineup.
Mike Wilson, who was a junior college star at Cecil (Md.) Community College with 22 homers and 84 RBIs this spring, is one of the Blazers' catchers.
Emmaus grad Matt Godusky, who led Saint Joseph's with five home runs and 32 RBIs this spring, will be one of the bright spots in the outfield as will East Stroudsburg University's Josh Butler, who hit .399 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs this spring. Butler placed nationally in triples with nine and his .711 slugging percentage ranked 35th in the country among D-II players.
June 5, 2006
By Yohei Nakagawa
Order in accordance with ACBL Pros list.
Jason Bergmann, Washington Nationals
Bergmann pitched in 15 games during his rookie year with the Nationals and had a 2-0 record with a 2.75 ERA.
Craig Hansen, Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox)
Hansen, a first-round draft choice of the Boston Red Sox in 2005, made 4 appearances in the big leagues as a rookie. He began his second professional season with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and was quickly promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after five appearances. With Portland, Hansen allowed just four hits in 11.0 innings and recorded a 1-0 record and 0.82 ERA. As of May 2, Hansen had made 5 appearances with Triple-A Pawtucket, striking out 13 in 15.2 innings and 2.87 ERA.
Brad Eldred, Pittsburgh Pirates
Eldred appeared in 55 games during his rookie year with the Pirates and finished with 42 hits 12 homeruns 27 RBIs and .221 batting average. In April 2006, he fractured the joint and collateral ligament of his left thumb while playing first base in a Triple-A game. He is likely to miss the remainder of the 2006 season.
Frank Brooks,¡¢Atlanta Braves
Brooks pitched in 11 games for the Pirates in his 2004 rookie season and finished with a 0-1 record and 4.67 ERA. Brooks was traded to the Braves in 2005 and appeared in one game.
Vinnie Chulk, Toronto Blue Jays
Chulk is currently in his 4th season in the major leagues with the Blue Jays where he initially started out. He appeared in a career-high 62 games in the 2005 season and pitched 72 innings with a 3.88 ERA striking out 39. His career record is 1-4 4.56 ERA.
Nate Bump, Florida Marlins
Bump made his major league debut in 2003. His record through the 2005 season is 6-7 with a 4.68 ERA. He underwent shoulder surgery in mid July 2005, and is hoping to come back to the field in early 2006.
Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Cash joined the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2002. During his three years with the Jays, he had 50 hits and 5 homeruns with 29 RBIs. In 2005, he was traded to the Devil Rays where he played in 13 games with a .161 average.
Tom Gregorio, Oklahoma RedHawks (Texas Rangers)
Gregorio was drafted by the Angels in 2003 and played in 12 games that season ending with a .158 batting average. He started the 2006 season with the San Antonio Missions (Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners) and was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma RedHawks on May 3rd. As of May 21st, Gregorio has played in 7 games and has a .292 average.
After building on his skills for four years in the minor leagues, Zoccolillo debuted in the big leagues in 2003 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played in 20 games and hit .108. He played in Triple-A Oklahoma in 2004 and played in 124 games and batter .287 with 143 hits and 23 homeruns.
Kevin Gryboski, AAA New Orleans Zephyrs (Washington Nationals)
Gryboski compiled a 12-8 record from 2002-2005 with the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers. He is currently playing in Triple-A New Orleans and has a 2-4 record and 4.37 ERA as of May 21st.
Mike Koplove, AAA Tucson Sidewinders (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Koplove spent 3 years in the minor leagues before making his debut in the big leagues with the Diamondbacks. Between 2001 and 2005, Koplove had a 15-7 record and 3.77 ERA. He also struck out 170 batters. Currently, he is with Triple-A Tucson aiming for the big leagues again.
Ryan Vogelsong, Pittsburgh Pirates
Vogelsong started his major league career with the San Francisco Giants in 2000. He spent his 2001 season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and returned to the Giants in 2002. In 2003, he returned to the Pirates where he has stayed until today. In the last three years with the Pirates, Vogelsong has had a 10-17 record. Currently in the 2006 season, he has pitched in 11 games and struck out 15 in 21 innings.
Scott Forster, Retired
Forster pitched 42 games for the Montreal Expos in 2000 in which he finished with a 0-1 record and 7.88 ERA.
Frank Menechino, AAA Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds)
Menechino played with the Oakland Athletics from 1999 to the middle of 2004 at which point he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. His record through 2005 is 302 hits, 36 homeruns and .240 average. He is currently with Triple-A Louisville where he has hit .250 in 6 games as of May 21st.
Dellaero played in 11 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1999 and had 3 hits in 33 at bats ending with a .091 average.
Glauber pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 1998 and 2000. He had a total 0-0 record with a 3.00 ERA.
Stoops pitched in 3 games in the 1998 season with the Colorado Rockies and finished with a 1-0 2.25 ERA record.
John Halama, Baltimore Orioles
Halama is currently in his 9th year in the major leagues. His debut was in 1998 with the Houston Astros. Since then, he has been with Seattle, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Boston, Washington, and Baltimore where he currently plays. His career record as of May 22 is 55-48 with a 4.61 ERA and 487 strike outs.
Kirk Bullinger, Retired
Bullinger played in the big leagues from 1998-2000, 2003 and 2004. His career record is 2-0 and 6.53 ERA. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a free agent in 2005, and left the playing field the same year.
Matt Morris, San Francisco Giants
Morris entered the big leagues in 1997 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He played with the Cardinals for 9 years and joined the Giants in 2006. Currently in his 10th year in the big leagues, Morris has accumulated 104 career wins (66 losses) with a 3.67 ERA. He has 1011 strike outs to date and played in the All Star Game in 2001 and 2002. As of May 21st, Morris has started in 9 games and has a 3-4 record. He received the National League Players Choice Award (Comeback Player of the Year) in 2001.
Darrin Winston, Retired
Winston played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997 and 1998 after which he left the playing field. His career record is 4-2 with 5.84 ERA.
Steve Falteisek, Retired
Falteisek played in the major leagues with the Montreal Expos and Milwaukee Brewers in 1997 and 1999, respectively. His career record was 0-0 and 5.85 ERA.
Keith Osik, Retired
Osik spent 10 years in the major leagues with Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Washington. He accumulated 259 hits, 13 homeruns, and had a .231 career average.
Rob Lukachyk, Retired
Lukachyk played in 2 games during the 1996 season with the Montreal Expos. His record shows 2 at bats and no hits with 1 strike out.
Ray Montgomery, Retired
Montgomery played with the Houston Astros for three years between 1996 and 1998. He played in a total of 47 games and batted .241 with 21 hits and 1 homerun.
Garvin Alston, Retired
Alston played for the Colorado Rockies in 1996. He appeared in 6 games and left the league with a 1-0 record and 9.00 ERA.
Brian Lesher, Retired
Lesher played in the major leagues in 1996-1998 (Oakland), 2000 (Seattle), and 2002 (Toronto). He played a total of 108 games and batted .224 with 59 hits and 9 homeruns.
Angel Echevarria, Bridgeport Bluefish (Independent Atlantic League)
Echevarria played 7 years in the major leagues. He made his debut with Colorado and played for other teams including Milwaukee and Chicago Cubs. He played in 328 games and batted .280 with 152 hits and 21 homeruns. He is currently playing in the independent Atlantic League¡¯s Bridgeport Bluefish. As of May 30, he is batting .314 with 33 hits and 2 homeruns.
Mecir has played 11 years in the major leagues. He debuted in Seattle and played for the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Florida. Through 2005, he has a 29-35 record with a 3.77 ERA.
Pete Walker, Toronto Blue Jays
Walker was drafted by the New York Mets in the 7th round in 1990. He has since played with San Diego, Colorado, and Toronto and is currently in his 8th year in the big leagues. His career record as of May 22nd is 20-14 and a 4.37 ERA.
Frank Cimorelli, Retired
Cimorelli played with St. Louis in 1994. He appeared in 11 games and had a 0-0 record.
Allen Watson, Retired
Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round in 1990, Watson played in the big leagues for a total of 8 seasons. He started out in St. Louis and moved through San Francisco, Anaheim, New York (Mets), Seattle, and New York (Yankees). His career record is 51-55 and a 5.03 ERA.
Brian Looney, Retired
Looney was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 10th round of the 1991 draft. He played 3 years in the major leagues, two with Montreal and one with Boston. He appeared in a total of 7 games and left a 0-1 record with 11.37 ERA.
Eric Young, San Diego Padres
Young was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 43rd round of the 1989 draft. He made his debut in the big leagues in 1992 and is currently in his 15th season. He has played with Colorado, Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Texas. In 2005, he joined San Diego where he still plays today. His most successive season to date is 1996 with Colorado, in which he hit .324 with 184 hits in 568 at-bats. He also played in the All-Star Game this year and received the Silver Slugger award. Young has 1713 career hits and a .284 career average.
John Valentin, Retired
Valentin was picked in the 5th round of the 1988 draft by the Boston Red Sox. He played his first game in the major leagues in 1992 and continued to play for 11 seasons until he retired in 2002. Valentin spent 10 years with Boston and played his final year with New York (Mets). In total, he batted .279 with 1093 hits and 124 homeruns.
John Flaherty, Retired
Flaherty was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 25th round of the 1988 draft. He played 14 years in the big leagues after which he retired in 2005. He played with Boston, Detroit, San Diego, Tampa Bay, and with New York (Yankees) where he spent his final three years of his major league career. He played in 1047 games and batted .252 with 849 hits and 80 homeruns.
Rich Scheid, Retired
Scheid was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1986 amateur draft. He played three seasons ¨C 1992, 1994, 1995 ¨C in the major leagues and had a 1-4 record and 4.45 ERA.
Frank Seminara, Retired
Seminara was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 12th round of the 1988 draft. He played for three seasons in the big leagues from 1992 to 1994. He threw 163.7 innings in 47 games and had a 12-9 record and 4.12 ERA.
John Doherty, Retired
Doherty was the Detroit Tigers¡¯ 19th round pick in the 1989 draft. He played 4 years in Detroit and 1 year with Boston from 1992 to 1996. Doherty pitched in 148 games and 521.3 innings and left a 32-31 record. His career ERA was 4.87.
Pat Kelly, Retired
Kelly was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 9th round of the 1988 draft. He made his debut in the major leagues in 1991 with the Yankees where he played until 1997. He played for St. Louis in 1998 and for Toronto in 1999 where he ended his career. Kelly played in a total of 681 games and had a career average of .249. He batted 495 hits, 36 homeruns, and 217 RBIs.
Terry Bross, Retired
A graduate of St. John¡¯s University, Bross was drafted by the New York Mets in the 13th round of the 1987 draft. He played two seasons in the big leagues with the Mets and the Giants. He pitched in 10 games and had a 0-0 record and 3.00 ERA.
Ron Witmeyer, Retired
Witmeyer was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 7th round of the 1988 draft. He played for a brief period in the major leagues in 1991 with Oakland. In 11 games and 19 at-bats, Witmeyer batted .053 with 1 hit.
Joel Johnston, Retired
Johnston was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 3rd round of the 1988 draft. He made the major leagues in 1991. In his 5 years with Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Boston, he appeared in 59 games and left a 3-5 record. His ERA was 4.31.
Mo Sanford, Retired
Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 32nd round of the 1988 amateur draft, Sanford made his MLB debut in 1991. He played a total of three seasons in the big leagues: 1991, 1993, and 1995. He threw 82.3 innings in 27 games and left a 2-4 record.
Wayne Rosenthal, Retired
Rosenthal was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 24th round of the 1986 draft. He played in the major leagues in 1991 and 1992. He pitched in 42 games and had a 1-4 record and 5.40 ERA.
Ray Giannelli, Retired
Giannelli was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 38th round of the 1988 draft. He played in the major league in 1991 with Toronto and in 1995 with St. Louis. He played in a career total 18 games and hit .143 and 5 hits in 35 at-bats.
Rich DeLucia, Retired
DeLucia was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 6th round of the 1986 draft. He made it to the big leagues in 1990 with Seattle where he played until 1993. From 1994 to his retirement in 1999, DeLucia played in Cincinnati, St. Louis, San Francisco, Anaheim, and Cleveland. He pitched in a total of 624 innings in 320 games and had a 38-51 record and 4.62 career ERA.
Kevin Baez, Retired
Baez was drafted by the New York Mets in the 7th round of the 1988 draft, and made his debut in the major leagues in 1990. He played a total of 3 seasons with the New York Mets and batted .179 with 27 hits and 7 RBIs.
Kevin Bearse, Retired
Bearse was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 22nd round of the 1987 amateur draft. He played in 3 games in the major leagues in 1990 with Cleveland and had a 0-2 record.
Jeff Datz, Retired
Datz was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 19th round of the 1982 draft. He played 7 games with Detroit in 1989 and batted .200 and 46 hits in 231 at-bats.
Ed Whited, Retired
Whited was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 18th round of the 1986 draft. He played 1 season with Houston in which he batted .162 and 54 hits in 333 at-bats.
Matt Kinzer, Retired
Kinzer was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2nd round of the 1984 draft, and played in the major leagues in 1989 and 1990 with St. Louis and Detroit, respectively. He appeared in a total of 9 games and had a 0-2 record. His ERA was 13.20.
Jeff Schaefer, Retired
Schaefer was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th round of the 1981draft. He made his debut in the big leagues in 1989 with Chicago (White Sox). He spent the next three years in Seattle, and then spent 1994 in Oakland. He batted a career average .203 and 73 hits.
Pete Harnisch, Retired
Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1st round (27th pick) of the 1987 draft, Harnisch spent 14 long years in the major leagues. His major league debut was in late 1988 with Baltimore. After three seasons with Baltimore, he played in Houston for four seasons and went on to play for New York (Mets), Milwaukee, and Cincinnati. He threw a total of 1959 innings in 321 games and struck out 1368. He left a 111-103 record and 3.89 ERA.
Doug Davis, Retired
Davis played with the California Angels in 1988 and the Texas Rangers in 1992. He played a total of 7 games in which he batted .077 and 1 hit in 13 at-bats.
Scott Arnold, Retired
Arnold played 8 games with St. Louis in 1988 with a 0-0 record and 5.40 ERA.
Craig Biggio, Houston Astros
Biggio was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 1st round (22nd pick) of the 1987 amateur draft. He has played with the Astros his entire professional career and is currently in his 19th year in the major leagues. He is a 7 time All-Star (1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998), 5 time Silver Slugger award winner (1989, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998), and 4 time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997). As of May 23rd 2006, Biggio has accumulated 2846 hits, 264 homeruns, 1079 RBIs, and 408 stolen bases in 2607 games played.
Walt Weiss, Retired
Weiss was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 1st round (11th pick) of the 1985 draft. His major league debut was in 1987 and he played a total of 14 years, mostly with Oakland and later with Florida, Colorado, and Atlanta. He had a career total of 1207 hits in 4686 games. His career batting average was .258.
Gene Larkin, Retired
Larking was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 20th round of the 1984 draft. He played for the Twins for 7 years from 1987 to 1993. He batted .266 and had 618 hits in 758 games.
Mark Ciardi, Retired
Ciardi was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 15th round of the 1983 draft, and played 4 games with the Brewers in the 1987 season. He had a 1-1 record and 9.37 ERA.
Terry Mulholland, Arizona Diamondbacks
Mulholland was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round (24th pick) of the 1984 draft. His big league career started in 1986 with the Giants. Since then, he has played with Philadelphia, New York (Yankees), Seattle, Chicago (Cubs), Atlanta, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Minnesota. Mulholland is currently in his 20th season in the MLB with the Diamondbacks. His career record is 124-142 and 4.41 ERA in 2575.2 innings in 684 games.
Jamie Moyer, Seattle Mariners
Moyer was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 6th round of the 1984 draft, and is currently in his 20th season in the MLB. He played with Chicago, Texas, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Boston between 1986 and 1996. He has been with Seattle since mid-season 1996 until today. He has pitched 3203.2 innings in 548 games and has a 207-156 record and 4.15 ERA. Moyer played in the All-Star Game in 2003. The same year, he received the Hutch Award and Roberto Clemente Man of the Year award. In 2005, he passed Randy Johnson to become the winningest pitcher for the Mariners on May 30. On June 8, 2005, Moyer became the 25th southpaw to win 200 games in the majors.
Willie Fraser, Retired
Fraser was drafted by the California Angels in the 1st round (15th pick) of the 1985 draft. He played for the Angels from 1986 to 1990. Between 1991 and 1995, he played with St. Louis, Toronto, Florida, Montreal, and several minor league teams. His record is 38-40 and 4.47 ERA.
Mike Loynd, Retired
Loynd was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 7th round of the 1986 draft. He played 2 seasons with the Rangers in 1986 and 1987 in which he had a 3-7 record and 5.82 ERA.
Don Gordon, Retired
Gordon was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 31st round of the 1982 draft. He played 3 years in the majors from 1986 to 1988 in Toronto and Cleveland. He had a career 3-8 record and 4.72 ERA.
Frank Eufemia, Retired
Eufemia was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 18th round of the 1982 draft. He pitched in 39 games in 1985 and had a 4-2 record and 3.79 ERA.
Jeff Kunkel, Retired
Kunkel was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 1st round (3rd pick) of the 1983 draft. He played a total of 8 seasons in the MLB, 7 with Texas and his final year with Chicago (Cubs). He batted .221 and had 192 hits in 357 games played.
Benny DiStefano, Retired
DiStefano was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round of the 1982 draft. He played with Pittsburgh for 4 years and another with Houston. He played a total of 240 games and batted .228 with 82 hits.
Al Lachowicz, Retired
Lachowicz was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 1st round (24th pick) of the 1981 draft. He played 2 games in 1983 and left a 0-1 record and 2.25 ERA.
Dan Morogiello, Retired
Morogiello was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 3rd round of the 1976 draft. He threw in 22 games in 1983 and had a 0-1 record with 2.39 ERA.
Danny Garcia, Retired
Garcia played for the Kansas City Royals in 1981 and played in 12 games, batting .143.
Frank Viola, Retired
Viola was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 2nd round of the 1981 draft. He spent 15 years in the majors with Minnesota, New York (Mets), Boston, Cincinnati, and Toronto. His most impressive career achievement is his Cy Young Award in 1988, when he won a career high 24 games. In total, Viola pitched 2836.1 innings in 421 games and had a 176-150 record and 3.73 ERA.
Rick Lancellotti, Retired
Lancellotti was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 11th round of the 1977 draft. He played in the majors in 1982, 1986, and 1990 with San Diego, San Francisco, and Boston, respectively. He played a total of 36 games and batted .169.
Charlie Puleo, Retired
Puleo was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as an amateur free agent in 1978. He played with New York (Mets), Cincinnati, and Atlanta for a total of 8 years. He threw in 180 games and left a 29-39 record and 4.25 ERA.
Steve Ratzer, Retired
Ratzer was drafted by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in 1975. He played two seasons with Montreal in 1980 and 1981 in a total of 13 games. His record was 1-1 and a 7.17 ERA.
Bob Tufts, Retired
Tufts was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 12th round of the 1977 draft. He debuted in the majors with San Francisco in 1981 and played for Kansas City in 1982 and 1983. He pitched in 27 games and had a 2-0 record and 4.71 ERA.
Rick Cerone, Retired
Cerone was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st round (7th pick) of the 1975 draft, and spent 18 years in the majors. He played in Cleveland, Toronto, New York (Yankees), Atlanta, Milwaukee, Boston, New York (Mets), and Montreal. He batted .245 in 1329 games and had 998 hits and 59 homeruns.
Dennis Leonard, Retired
Leonard was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 2nd round of the 1972 draft. He spent his entire 12 year career in the majors with Kansas City from 1974 to 1986. He had a career 144-106 record and 3.70 ERA in 312 games and 2187 innings.
Skip Jutze, Retired
Jutze was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 4th round of the 1968 draft. He spent 6 years in the majors with St. Louis, Houston, and Seattle. He played a total of 254 games and batted .215 with 141 hits and 3 homeruns.
Fred Cambria, Retired
Cambria was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 3rd round of the 1969 draft. He played in 6 games for Pittsburgh in 1970 and had a 1-2 record and 3.51 ERA.
Bruce Dostal, Retired
Dostal was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1987 draft. He was named Minor League Player of the Month four times before being promoted to the majors. He played briefly for Philadelphia in 1992 after which he became a free agent and signed with Baltimore. Dostal made it to the majors again in 1994 but sustained injuries which cost him his career.
There are currently 20 former ACBL players in the pros.
The breakdown is as follows:
14 Major Leaguers
5 Minor Leaguers
The status of the below 7 players are unconfirmed at this time:
June 5, 2006
NORTH PLAINFIELD -- Joe Augustine of Kean University tossed a four-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking three, to lead the Jersey Pilots to a 3-0 win over the Metro New York Cadets and a split of their season-opening doubleheader Sunday at Krausche Field.
The Pilots played small ball in the fourth and fifth innings in the nightcap. Marcus Wynn of Plainfield walked, went to second on a sacrifice by Perry Schatzow and scored on Charlie Kruer's RBI single in the fourth.
The formula was repeated in the fifth, with Tom Edwards walking, taking second on Chris Affinito's sacrifice and scoring on Chris Hewitt's single. Hewitt, of South Plainfield, went to third on an outfield error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Wynn.
A bright spot in the opener was Keith Cantwell. The Seton Hall University pitcher tossed 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Derek Gianakas and Mike Morano each had hits in the game, and Morano, of Basking Ridge and Seton Hall University, was named team captain.
The Pilots will be back at Krausche Field at 6 p.m. Wednesday against the Lehigh Valley Catz. It will be gift certificate night, with fans eligible to win prizes throughout the evening.
June 4, 2006
Current player Sal Iacono homered for the Princeton Tigers and former player Dan Garcia homered for Sacred Heart Pioneers at the regionals. Sal and Dan have been on the Cadets for three years and have both been former all stars.
June 4, 2006
Poor field conditions has forced the season opening games between the Blazers and Generals to be postponed. No makeup date is available. At this time (11am) the Metro NY Cadets at the Jersey Pilots game is still scheduled to be played.
June 3, 2006
Incelement weather has again resulted in the season opening games between the Cadets and Catz to postponed. No makeup date is available.
June 2, 2006
The Kutztown Rockies at Quakertown Blazers was postponed last night because of severe thunderstorms from 6:30 to 7:30pm.
Make up date will be determined today.
June 2, 2006
NORTH PLAINFIELD -- The Jersey Pilots of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League will open their 40-game 2006 season Sunday by honoring Central Jersey's Cub Scouts in general and one in particular.
Cody Smith, 8, of Dunellen will be honored between games of the doubleheader against the Metro New York Cadets for his heroism in saving a 4-year-old girl from drowning in a swimming pool July 30.
"The little girl fell into the pool and went to the bottom, and he saw her face down and was able to pull her out," Pilots general manager Ben Smookler said. "He doesn't see what the big deal is. He was just doing what you're supposed to do."
The Pilots had planned to honor the Cub Scouts prior to arranging for the presentation to Smith, and any Cub Scout attending Sunday's doubleheader will be admitted free.
The Pilots return just four players -- pitcher Joe Augustine of Kean University, pitcher Tim Stringer of Annandale and Montclair State University, outfielder Marcus Wynn of Plainfield and Long Island University and infielder Mike Morano of Basking Ridge and Seton Hall University -- from last year's team. Stringer will start one of Sunday's games.
Three players from South Plainfield are on the roster: pitcher Nick Cesare, infielder Chris Hewitt and catcher Billy Merkler. Only one Rutgers University player -- infielder Tom Edwards of West Caldwell -- is on the team.
Game time Sunday is 3 p.m. Fans unable to get to Krausche Field to see the Pilots can hear games for free by calling 800-846-4700 and entering access code 1351.
June 1, 2006
The New York Generals will be without the head coach for the opening weekend because he will be at the Athens, Georgia Regional with his team at Sacred Heart University. The Pioneers are the number 4 seed and will be taking on the national #7 seed, University of Georgia. The Pioneers will then move on in the brackets to face either the winner or loser of the Florida State/ Jacksonville game that precedes their game.
The Generals will also be without Outfielder Mark Giordano and Infielder Dominick Lombardi who will be with Manhattan College at the Lincoln, Nebraska regional site.
May 31, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS -- The field of 64 teams competing for the 2006 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship was announced today by the NCAA.
The national top eight seeds are Clemson (47-14), Rice (50-10), Texas (40-19), Alabama (41-19), Cal St. Fullerton (43-13), Nebraska (42-15), Georgia (41-19) and Georgia Tech (45-16).
The Southeastern Conference leads all conferences in the number of teams in the championship field with eight, followed by the Atlantic Coast and Big 12 with seven each. The Pacific-10 and Conference USA have four teams each.
Twenty-nine of the 64 teams were not in the field last year, including Lehigh (AQ), UNC Asheville (AQ), Prairie View (AQ), San Francisco (At-Large) and Sacred Heart (AQ), making the championship for the first time. Manhattan was last in the field in 1957, while St. Louis is in the field for the first time since 1966 and Ball State’s last appearance was 1969.
Miami (Fla.) is in the field for the 34th consecutive year, extending its own record. Florida St. is making its 29th straight appearance, second all-time. Other long consecutive streaks: Clemson (20), Cal St. Fullerton (15), Stanford (13) and Rice (12).
Of the 285 championship eligible Division I institutions which sponsor baseball, Rice has the most Division I wins with 49. Twenty-five other teams won at least 40 Division I contests and 24 are in the field.
Each of the 16 regionals features four teams, playing a double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 2, to Monday, June 5. Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on www.ncaasports.com, Monday, June 5 at approximately Midnight (ET).
The 60th Men’s College World Series begins play Friday, June 16, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.
Click here to view the entire bracket
May 30, 2006
Fourth-Seeded Red Storm Eliminated From BIG EAST Championship With 5-3 Loss To No. 1 Seed Fighting Irish
May 26, 2006,
Clearwater, Fla. -
St. John's held a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning, but three straight unearned runs sparked a Notre Dame comeback, as the Irish went on to win a semifinal of the 2006 BIG EAST Championship, 5-3, on Friday night. The Fighting Irish advance to the championship final and play No. 3 seed Louisville at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
With the loss, St. John's is eliminated from the BIG EAST Championship and falls to 40-19 on the season, while Notre Dame advances to Saturday's championship game and improves to 44-15-1. The Red Storm next awaits word on a potential at-large NCAA Tournament berth, with regional match-ups to be announced on ESPN on Monday, May 29 at 12:30 p.m.
Designated hitter Anthony Smith accounted for much of the Red Storm scoring, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Brendan Monaghan extended his team-best win streak to 12 games with a 2-for-3 performance, and Ryan Mahoney hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth inning.
In just his third career start and first start against a BIG EAST opponent, freshman right-hander Justin Gutsie allowed just one unearned run and four hits over 5.2 solid innings. Colin Lynch was tagged with the loss out of the bullpen, falling to 2-2 on the season.
Smith got the Red Storm on the board in the second inning with his seventh home run of the season. The junior lined a 1-1 offering from Notre Dame starter Tom Thornton to the opposite field and over the left-center field wall, giving St. John's an early 1-0 lead.
It was Smith doing the damage again in the seventh, scoring Chris Joachim with a single through the right side of the Notre Dame infield. Joachim was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a balk by Thornton, before scoring from second on Smith's single to right.
The Fighting Irish knocked Gutsie out of the game and evened the score with two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Gutsie retired the first two batters of the inning, but walked designated hitter Jeremy Barnes and was removed from the game after 5.2 innings. Reliever Justin Muir entered the game with a runner on first and proceeded to load the bases with a walk and fielding error by Joachim.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Muir walked catcher Sean Gaston to plate the Irish's first run of the contest and then hit center fielder Alex Nettey with a pitch to tie the game at 2-2. Freshman Colin Lynch relieved Muir and left the bases loaded with an inning-ending groundout by shortstop Greg Lopez. After Thornton got out of a two-out jam in the top of the seventh, the Fighting Irish took its first lead of the day on a dropped fly ball by left fielder Bryan Dirr.
St. John's threatened again in the top of the eighth, but could not plate the tying run off Notre Dame closer Kyle Weiland. Vogl reached on a fielding error by Lopez and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dirr. The next batter, DeLuca, lined a single into right field, but right fielder Cody Rizzo gunned Vogl down at the plate for the second out of the inning. DeLuca then advanced to second base on a wild pitch, but was stranded with a strikeout by Weiland.
The Irish added two more in the bottom of the eighth to stretch the lead to 5-2, and St. John's chipped away on an RBI single in the ninth. The Red Storm would get no closer than two runs, as Weiland finished the game on a strikeout with runners on first and third base.
No. 4 Seed St. John's Takes Down No. 1 Notre Dame, 10-1, At BIG EAST Championship
May 26, 2006,
Clearwater, Fla. -
Sophomore left-hander George Brown out-dueled BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Jeff Manship, and the Red Storm bats again came alive, as the No. 4 seed St. John's (40-18) downed No. 1 Notre Dame (43-15-1), 10-1, in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Friday afternoon. The Red Storm victory was the team's 40th of the season and set up an elimination contest with the Irish tonight at 6:30 p.m.
The winner of tonight's Game Two moves on to play No. 3 Louisville, which defeated No. 6 Rutgers, 13-3, in Friday's first semifinal match-up, in Saturday's nationally televised championship game.
St. John's had 17 hits and scored 10 runs for the second straight game and the third time in the program's last 36 tournament games. The first four hitters in the Red Storm lineup combined to hit .579 (11-for-19) with seven of the team's 10 RBI, and leadoff hitter Will Vogl hit his tournament record-tying third home run of the week. Gil Zayas added his sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the second inning, and Jarod Hickle went a perfect 3-for-3 from the bottom of the order.
But the story of the game was Brown, who was making his first career start against a BIG EAST opponent. The sophomore had previously pitched 7.2 career innings against conference teams, and doubled that total with eight strong innings against the No. 18 team in the nation. Brown did not allow an earned run and tied a career-high with four strikeouts, as he improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season and 7-0 in his career. Freshman Rich Armento pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game and keep the Red Storm's championship hopes alive.
After Notre Dame struck first with an unearned run in the top of the first inning, Vogl quickly evened the score with his record-tying third home run of the tournament to lead off the Red Storm first.
Tied at 1-1, Brown retired the Fighting Irish in order in the top of the second, and Zayas put St. John's on top with a two-run homer to left field. Chris Anninos walked to lead off the inning, and Zayas followed with his sixth homer of the season to give the Red Storm a 3-1 advantage. Bryan Dirr singled in Jeff Grantham, who was hit by a pitch, and Chris Joachim hit an RBI single to plate Vogl from second base.Brown blanked the Irish over the next four innings to protect a four-run lead, and the Red Storm offense tacked on five runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull ahead 10-1. Vogl and Anthony Smith each delivered RBI singles, and Sam DeLuca a two-run single to cap the five-run effort.
May 26, 2006
Fourth-Seeded Red Storm Eliminated From BIG EAST Championship With 5-3 Loss To No. 1 Seed Fighting Irish
No. 4 Seed St. John's Takes Down No. 1 Notre Dame, 10-1, At BIG EAST Championship
May 25, 2006
Red Storm Powers Past Mountaineers, Moves On To BIG EAST Championship Semifinals
May 24, 2006
Red Storm Advances At BIG EAST Championship With 6-4 Win Over USF
Red Storm Powers Past Mountaineers, Moves On To BIG EAST Championship Semifinals
May 25, 2006,
Clearwater, Fla. -
The fourth-seeded St. John's baseball team used a season-high 21 hits and a strong effort from its bullpen to beat No. 5 West Virginia, 12-7, and move on to the semifinals of the 2006 BIG EAST Championship on Thursday. Red Storm relievers allowed six hits and one run in six innings, and eight of the team's nine starting position players had at least two hits in the win.
St. John's advances to take on top-seeded Notre Dame at 1 p.m. on Friday. A Red Storm win would mean a second Friday game, which would begin at approximately 7 p.m.
Anthony Smith went 4-for-5 with two RBI - both of which came in the fourth inning - within a hit of tying a tournament record (five, twice), and Jeff Grantham had three hits, two RBI and a game-high three runs scored. Will Vogl hit his second home run of the tournament and 13th of the season to move into sole possession of fourth place on the St. John's single-season list, and catcher Brendan Monaghan tied a career-high with three RBI.
Freshman Jared Yecker (7-1, 3.02 ERA) threw 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to win his seventh game of the season, and sophomore James Lally worked the final 2.2 innings to earn his third save of the year. Sophomore starter Matt Tosoni did not factor in the decision after leaving the game in the fourth inning having allowed eight hits and six runs in 3.0 innings of work.
A leadoff double by Tyler Kuhn (2-for-5) and a bunt single by Doug Nelms (2-for-4, RBI, two runs) set up a three-run bottom of the first for West Virginia. Justin Jenkins (3-for-5, two RBI, run) scored both of them on a two-run double. Jenkins later scored on an RBI groundout by Kyle Matuszek (2-for-5, three RBI, run) to make the score 3-0.
The Red Storm tacked on a run of its own in the top of the second. Chris Joachim (2-for-5, RBI, run) and Smith hit consecutive singles to open the frame. A sacrifice fly by Monaghan (2-for-4, three RBI, two runs) an out later plated Joachim to cut the deficit to 3-1.
WVU made the score 5-1 with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third on a Matuszek two-run homer (eight) that plated Stan Posluszny (2-for-5, run), who reached on a single.
Three consecutive hits, including two straight doubles by Chris Anninos (2-for-5, RBI, two runs) and Monaghan led to the first two of six St. John's runs in the top of the fourth. A Grantham single scored Monaghan for the third run of the inning to make the score 5-4. Joachim's single scored Grantham, and Smith's second hit of the inning plated two (Sam DeLuca and Vogl) to account for the final three runs, moving SJU ahead, 7-5.
Just when the offense seemed to slow to a crawl, the Mountaineers pounced back to within one, 7-6, on a solo shot by Michael Burger, his first career homer, in the bottom of the fourth.
St. John's padded its lead by two runs, 9-6, in the top of the eighth on a home run by Vogl (13). The two-run shot scored Grantham, who reached on a single.
The lead was extended to 10-6 in the top of the ninth for SJU with an RBI double by Monaghan that scored Anninos, who reached on a single. It became 11-6 on a bunt single by Grantham that scored Monaghan. After Grantham advanced to third, Bryan Dirr scored him on a run scoring base knock to double up the Red Storm, 12-6. WVU again showed it wouldn't go quietly as Nelms hit his third home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the ninth and pull within five, 12-7. That was as close as the Mountaineers would come, as the Red Storm held on for the 12-7 win.
May 23, 2006
Eighth-Inning Grand Slam Lifts No. 5 Seed West Virginia To 5-3 Win Over No. 4 St. John's In First Round Of BIG EAST Championship
May 1, 2006
By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball
PORTLAND, Ore. — Rob Nelson is one of the greatest characters the game of baseball has ever witnessed. Here is a man who invented Big League Chew shredded bubble gum during the summer of 1977 in the bullpen of the Portland Mavericks with teammate Jim Bouton. He also is a man who turned the game of baseball upside down during a storied career.
He cooked hot dogs on a hibachi in the bullpen for his pitchers during summer games.
He played the National Anthem with a kazoo when the tape was misplaced.
Nelson drove a mini school bus onto the baseball field at St. John’s University to drop off a relief pitcher with lights blinking on and off as umpires stood with mouths wide open.
And if that wasn’t enough, he nearly caused an international incident in Australia when the manager showed him up as Rob tossed every bit of baseball equipment from his team’s dugout onto the field which caused a five minute delay.
Probably the best place to start with the amazing story of Nelson is how Big League Chew was invented. The genesis of Big League Chew shredded bubble gum, a household name for the past 25 years with over 500 million pouches being sold in seven flavors, began when Mavericks’ southpaw Nelson and teammate Jim Bouton, a former New York Yankees’ All-Star, became concerned about the disgusting habit of fellow players spitting tobacco juice on the shoes of their teammates.
“Keep in mind the late 1970s were a time when professional baseball teams had bad uniforms and many teams wore white shoes,” laughed Nelson.
“Guys on our team would routinely spit tobacco juice on other player’s shoes, and there was a point system awarded depending on how much of the chew would splatter on the shoes. It was your typical wacky baseball stuff, but Jim felt this practice was absolutely disgusting and some alternative should be available to players instead of smokeless tobacco. “So one night in the bullpen, Jim and I kicked around a few ideas, and we came up with Big League Chew which essentially was shredded bubble gum in a pouch. Baseball players could then chomp and chew but with a much more healthy product in bubble gum. Jim saw the potential of Big League Chew as he put up $10,000 of his own money for prototypes, trademarks and pursued patents and packaging ideas.
“The early samples of our shredded gum were not very good to be perfectly honest. “At the time, it was a huge financial risk, and $10,000 was a lot of money in those days. Keep in mind most minor league players at the time didn’t make over $500 a month. The idea was ultimately pitched to the Wrigley Company, and by 1980, Big League Chew was being manufactured. The rest is history. You might say I had the inspiration and Jim put in the perspiration at this time. Without Jim’s guidance, help and money, Big League Chew would have never gotten off the ground.”
25 Years And Counting
Nelson said Big League Chew started with the original bubble gum flavor. But over the last quarter of a century, six other flavors have been developed, including sour cherry, watermelon, grape, strawberry, sour apple and cotton candy.
“At first, the Wrigley Company gave us a 3-year deal. They thought it was a fun idea and kind of a fad. But like Cracker Jacks, our product would not go away. It became a part of baseball as it got a toe hold. Here we are a quarter century later, and Big League Chew is still being made. We are like the reliable No. 7 hitter who moves runners over.
“I recently received an e-mail from Cal Ripken, Jr. congratulating us for celebrating our 25th anniversary. I would love to share it with you. He said, ‘Congratulations to Big League Chew on 25 years of giving ball players of all ages a chance to blow big league bubbles. Baseball and bubble gum have always gone together, and for a quarter of a century Big League Chew has made the connection better than anyone — from the youth leagues all the way up to the big leagues. Baseball is a game and should be fun. Big League Chew helps make the game more fun for players of all ages.’ ”
Nelson said there are few confectionary products that were introduced in the 1970s which are still around today.
“The public is very picky about what they will buy. But there is something about our product that has captured their attention. We have sold over 500 million pouches in 25 years which means there have been about 5 billion bubbles blown.”
Nelson was asked what flavor he would recommend if someone was entering a bubble gum blowing contest with Big League Chew.
“That would definitely be grape. There is something about that formula which allows someone to blow the biggest bubbles possible. “One time when Sports Illustrated was doing a story about me, I blew a gigantic bubble about the size of a soccer ball. Unfortunately, the bubble gave way and covered my face and hair. The photographer for Sports Illustrated loved it. The photo was surreal and looked like a plastic mold of my head. I blew another bubble for him, and he took a photo looking into the bubble. It was pretty interesting. I used at least a pouch and a half for each of those bubbles. To get the best bubbles, you really need to chomp on the gum a good 20 minutes.”
Wild Antics Of Rob Nelson
Nelson was a superb pitcher for Coach Ted Thoren at Cornell University and played summer ball for Al Goldis in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. There were many long, hot doubleheaders during the summer which allowed Nelson to perform some unique rituals that most baseball players would never dream of.
Like the times he brought in his hibachi stove to the bullpen and cooked hot dogs for the pitching staff.
“If I wasn’t scheduled to pitch, I brought the hibachi with me during doubleheaders to feed the pitchers. Without me, they would have starved,” laughed Nelson.
“Only once was I caught by Coach Goldis. He sent someone down to the bullpen to tell me to get loose. But there was a problem at the time. I was cooking hot dogs for the pitchers and had my barbecue mittens on. Al wondered what the commotion was all about in the bullpen as he looked over. When he saw that both of my hands had barbecue mittens on. He just shook his head in disbelief.”
During another summer game, Nelson thought it would be a great idea to bring in a relief pitcher to the mound in high style. So instead of watching the pitcher walk to the mound from the bullpen area or ride along the warning track to drop off the pitcher in a motorized cart, Nelson asked the pitcher to get in the 20-seat mini school bus which was outside of the baseball diamond at St. John’s University. He drove the pitcher through an opening in the fence with the bus lights flashing on and off as the vehicle made its way toward the mound.
“It was pretty funny to watch the reaction of the umpires and Coach Goldis,” laughed Nelson.
“The umpires were in total disbelief. It’s not too often that the accordion type doors of a bus open up, and the relief pitcher steps off the bus as he takes a short walk to the mound. But it was a lot of fun. Coach Goldis wasn’t too upset because it all was quick and fast. When I dropped the pitcher off, I simply drove the bus off the field.”
Special Kazoo Band
If Nelson did not orchestrate fun in baseball, fun seemed to seek a path to him. Like the time during a day camp, he worked with the kids on refining their kazoo playing ability to break up the monotony of camp. The work on kazoo playing actually helped Nelson out on the Fourth of July prior to an Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League (ACBL) game. “Weird things always seem to happen around me,” laughed Nelson.
“Back when I was with the Portland Mavericks, they couldn’t find the tape for the National Anthem prior to the game. When they finally found it, they decided to play the Anthem between the second and third inning. Undoubtedly, it was the only time in pro baseball history that the National Anthem had been played after the start of a game.
“But another time during an ACBL game on the Fourth of July, there was no tape for the National Anthem. Thinking quickly, I grabbed my kazoo and played the Anthem. The home plate umpire was great. After the final note was played, he took his mask off and said with as much bravado as he could, ‘PLAY BALL!’ ”
Searing Hot Pitcher
Another famous story took place in Sydney, Australia when Rob was playing for a team in that nation. “It was early in the game, and I was being hit like a piñata through three innings,” said Nelson.
“I went out to start the fourth inning, and the manager (who was also the third base coach) met me on the mound. He told me my day was over because he was going to bring in a righthander. I asked him why? How come he didn’t have the common courtesy to take me out after my prior inning. Here I was ready to pitch another inning, and he was showing me up like this. “So I asked him to let me throw one pitch to the first batter and fake an injury. The manager said, ‘No, you are done.’
“I then told him that I couldn’t believe what he was about to do. Here you make me walk out to the mound and now walk back to the dugout without even throwing a pitch! I was so hot that I was beside myself. I got to the dugout and threw every bat, ball and piece of equipment on the field. It caused a five minute delay as all the bats, balls and equipment had to be gathered up. I just didn’t like being shown up like that.”
Nelson, who looks similar to actor Harrison Ford who starred in the Indiana Jones thrillers, has led a life similar to the characters Ford has portrayed.
This dynamic ex-baseball player epitomizes what the grand old game of baseball should be all about.
April 30, 2006
By Will Kimmey of Baseball America
College baseball comes to the rescue for sports fans trying to avoid the 72 hours of Super Bowl pregame coverage this weekend, thanks to a schedule that offers four prime nonconference matchups.
No. 17 Southern California faces No. 22 Long Beach State in one of the most appealing series. There's also the annual Cal State Fullerton-Stanford first pitch series, taking place in Palo Alto this year. National champion and preseason No. 1 Texas opens up at San Diego. Over in the East, Miami plays host to Big South favorite Winthrop.
Enjoy these games. They might not get scheduled again.
College baseball's uniform start date takes effect for the 2008 season, and Feb. 22 will be the first day teams can play games. That sets the length of the season at 13 weeks, trimming three to five weeks from the schedules of warm-weather schools that used to take the field in late January or early February.
Fewer weekends mean fewer three-game series, and teams accustomed to starting early will have to schedule more midweek games if they wish to reach the NCAA limit of 56. Factor in that teams must devote between eight and 10 weeks to conference play, and there are fewer preconference opportunities for the intersectional matchups that make this part of the college baseball season so enjoyable.
"We're down to five nonconference weekends," Long Beach State coach Mike Weathers said. "Administration will say, 'Coach Weathers, you still need to go through tickets and turnstiles at Blair Field.'"
Teams like Long Beach State that play in conferences that don't sponsor football, as well as teams in non-BCS conferences, need home weekend series to help with their athletics budgets. So they might not be able to trade home-and-home series with other schools out of the need to play more home games on weekends and collect at the gate.
Now when Long Beach State plays a home-and-home series over two years with a team such as Baylor, the visitor pays its way and the home team makes the money off ticket sales. That fiscal situation might not be possible in the future, Weathers said, and Long Beach State might need to find financial guarantees to take road trips that require air travel. Those situations commonly arise when power teams play host to midlevel clubs with no return visit set up.
"Schedule-wise it will affect some relationships we've had over the last few years," Weathers said. "We won't play Baylor anymore, or it might jeopardize our Cal State Fullerton nonconference series, which is always a big moneymaker because the team that doesn't host the conference series hosts that one, and it draws well."
Long Beach State's eight nonleague weekends for 2006 include Southern California, at Cal, at Rice's Coca-Cola Classic, Illinois-Chicago, Baylor, at Texas, Wichita State and a nonconference series at Big West rival Cal State Fullerton. Three or four of those series will have to be trimmed in 2008.
Southern California coach Mike Gillespie also puts together strong, diverse schedules for his club. In addition to Long Beach State, the Trojans' preconference slate includes games against Florida International, three opponents in the Public Storage Classic at home, at Hawaii, home for Georgia and a nonconference series against Stanford. USC plays Wichita State during its Pac-10 bye week, a time when it visited Notre Dame last year.
"I'm a little concerned that they will be less willing to get into a home-and-home because they're going to be losing [home ticket sales by playing road games] because they can draw 7,000 people to some games," Gillespie said. "We're not losing as much, because we'll draw 1,500 or so, but that's the nature of things out here [in California].
"The deal we do with Long Beach State for a three-game weekend series started when Dave Snow [Weathers' predecessor] was there. It has developed into a pretty interesting matchup for people and is a big local attraction for college baseball fans."
Gillespie said he's talked with Stanford coach Mark Marquess off and on about ending their nonconference series -- mostly because of the Ratings Percentage Index concern of limiting their teams' pool of opponents, though the compacted schedule could give the coaches another reason as well.
"They've gotten the best of us in recent years, so I'm a little bit worried about calling it off now and looking like a coward with my tail between my legs," Gillespie said, no more than half seriously.
Miami coach Jim Morris said the start date could hamstring teams from the North that often start their seasons with a Southern swing to take advantage of the warm weather.
"It's going to eliminate us playing some of the Northern teams," he said. "I'm going to play Florida and a West Coast team every year. That's going to eliminate some other teams coming down here to play."
Morris' Hurricanes finished a home-and-home agreement with Long Beach State in 2004 and start a new one with UCLA this season. He likes facing that kind of competition to test his club early in the season and also enjoys the RPI boost. Playing out West also increases the program's national visibility for recruiting.
Gillespie sees the same advantages Morris points out, but noted that part of his rationale for scheduling such a diverse group of opponents was that they liked traveling to different parts of the country.
"There is a selfishness on my part, because I wanted to see some place where I had not been or we had traditionally not been," Gillespie said. "Now, I'd like to go play at that new park at Nebraska, at LSU when they open their new stadium, and Texas Tech is getting ready to open a new one, too."
Thanks largely to budgets supplemented by football powerhouses, USC and Miami likely can afford to trade a few home series for road ones against top opponents in the future. But teams in smaller conferences might not be able to, and teams that rank among the annual attendance leaders could also be reticent about walking away from a weekend of large crowds.
"It's definitely going to affect scheduling," Morris said, "because some people aren't going to want to leave home to play."
And that means college baseball fans -- and Gillespie counts himself as one -- will lose part of the normal smorgasbord of enticing early matchups.
"It's fun to watch even people we don't get to play when they play each other," he said. "UCLA plays Miami and Mississippi this year, and that'll be interesting."
At least while it lasts.
April 30, 2006
By Will Kimmey of Baseball America
College athletes, particularly those who play baseball and football, will face much more comprehensive drug restrictions under new NCAA rules that provide for more frequent tests--including testing during the summer, when school is not in session.
The NCAA will begin drug testing for Division I athletes this summer, and players who test positive immediately will lose their eligibility for one calendar year, as provided under existing rules.
All the details hadn't been finalized--NCAA institutions will receive full instructions in late April from the National Center for Drug Free Sport, which conducts tests for the NCAA--but two to five players per Division I team likely will be subjected to random tests. Drug Free Sport will work with coordinators at each school to select, notify and test players within a 48-hour period, whether the player is on campus or not.
The NCAA also will begin testing all players for drugs, not just those whose teams competing in postseason play. The additional testing should help close loopholes in the current system.
It also should curb drug use over the summer, specifically in college summer leagues where scouts and players alike have reported the use of steroids and well as recreational drugs. The summer schedule creates the perfect scenario for players to use drugs for several months and then clean up before returning to school and the potential of university-run tests.
"This has been coming for some time," said Mary Wilbert, NCAA associate director of education outreach and staff liaison to the competitive-safeguards committee. "We've previously been hesitant to test into the summer months, because of concerns about extending student-athletes' participation in a sport beyond a traditional season and also logistical considerations.
"But the reality is that student-athletes don't take the summer off."
The NCAA randomly tests 18 football players a year, while players from other sports are randomly tested if they reach the NCAA tournament, though every sport isn't tested each year.
"Baseball was being testing pretty much every year either at regionals, super-regionals or the College World Series, said Dave Keilitz, president of the American Baseball Coaches Association. "In testing at the College World Series, you might only have few members of eight teams tested; now every Division I school will be subject to testing by the NCAA year-round."
NCAA legislation permits testing at any time during the year, and athletes sign a form consenting to drug tests from the beginning of the academic year through Aug. 31 of the following year.
"We don't see it as a new program; it's just extending the one that we have," said Frank Uryasz, Drug Free Sport president.
Individual tests cost about $180 a player, and implementing this policy will cost about $250,000 for baseball alone. But NCAA president Miles Brand never hesitated in backing the proposal when Keilitz and a small delegation of coaches first proposed it to him last November.
Baseball is being singled out in the new policy, but that's by request. Keilitz said 80 percent of respondents to an ABCA coaches survey requested stricter testing procedures. Those in the minority weren't opposed to testing, Keilitz said, but in many cases said they were satisfied with the level of testing at their individual institutions and didn't see the need for NCAA involvement.
"We're pleased that it's happening and pleased and proud of the fact that we were proactive on it, that we were the ones that suggested it," Keilitz said.
"It's probably impossible to tell, but I like to think we don't have a problem with steroids in college baseball, but you get a trickle down with the exposure we've had the major league level. I think this will prove that it is not a problem in college baseball, and if it is, it will pressure to eliminate whatever problem is there."
March 6, 2006
This week in all parts of the world, the greatest baseball players have assembled to represent their countries in an Olympic style competition to foster baseball in a way never before seen. An Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League former Head Coach, Charles Papetti, has the unique distinction of having coached three such athletes. Pete Zoccolillo, Tony Giarratano and John Mangieri will be donning the Italian jersey in this inaugural World Baseball Classic. Each played for Coach Papetti during their formative years while in high school. These players represent three of the eighty-one players who have gone on to play professional baseball under the tutelage of Coach Papetti. Coach Papetti currently serves as the General Manager for the Metro NY Cadets.