Monthly Archives: September 2013

Florida Lands No. 1 Recruiting Class

Florida Lands No. 1 Recruiting Class

Kevin O'SullivanThe University of Florida landed the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s annual evaluation of NCAA Division I baseball classes.

It marks the Gators’ second national recruiting title in the 31-year history of the rankings by Collegiate Baseball.

Florida captured its first recruiting championship in 2009 with seven drafted players.

Of the 17 new recruits which were brought in this fall, eight were drafted by professional baseball last June — the highest number of drafted players ever landed in a Florida recruiting class. Six of those are highly regarded pitchers.

The star-studded group includes 15 freshmen and two junior college transfers.

A complete rundown on Florida’s recruiting class, as well as each of the top 20 classes, is in the Oct. 4 issue of Collegiate Baseball.

To purchase that issue, CLICK HERE.

“We feel that we have brought in an outstanding class of players who will compete for playing time right away,” said Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan.

“This group of 17 players is being counted on, and we feel as though we have found the right mix of players who can help us immediately.”

Florida also continued a trend where a school from the Southeastern Conference has won the recruiting title in 10 of the last 11 years.

Another interesting situation developed where three of the top four teams in the Collegiate Baseball recruiting rankings are from the state of Florida in No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Florida St. and No. 4 Miami (Fla.) which has never happened before.

The rankings are based on players who enroll at school each fall. Athletes who initially signed letters of intent with a school but then signed a pro contract after being drafted do not count in the overall evaluation.


2013 NCAA Div. I
Recruiting Results
1. Florida
2. Mississippi St.
3. Florida St.
4. Miami (Fla.)
5. Oklahoma St.
6. Texas
7. Cal. St. Fullerton
8. Stanford
9. Oregon
10. Louisiana St.             

11. South Carolina
12. Mississippi
13. N.C. State
14. Tennessee
15. Texas A&M
16. UCLA
17. North Carolina
18. Arizona
19. Oklahoma
20. Michigan                    

21. Rice
22. Virginia
23. Vanderbilt
24. Oregon St.
25. Arizona St.
26. Nebraska
27. Texas Tech.
28. Texas Christian
29. South Alabama
30. California                   

31. U.C. Santa Barbara
32. Clemson
33. Arkansas
34. San Diego
Loyola Marymount
35. Georgia Tech.
36. Georgia
37. Louisville
38. East Carolina
39. Central Florida
40. Kent St.                     

Other Top Recruiting Classes: Southern California, U.C. Irvine, Kansas St., Kentucky, Fresno St., Indiana, Air Force, Alabama, Cal. Poly, Nevada, Austin Peay St., Hawaii, Florida Atlantic, Notre Dame, West Virginia, U.C. Riverside, Baylor, Western Michigan, Long Beach St., Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, N.C. Charlotte, Central Michigan, Nevada-Las Vegas, St. John’s, Auburn, Stetson, Samford, North Florida, Wichita St., Missouri St., Connecticut, Georgia St., Minnesota, Texas St., San Diego St., Wake Forest, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana-Lafayette, Tulane, James Madison, Memphis, South Florida, Liberty, Eastern Michigan, Maryland, Jacksonville, Kennesaw St., San Francisco, Appalachian St., Stony Brook, Ohio St., Purdue, Washington, Washington St., Florida International, Pepperdine, Missouri, New Mexico, Seton Hall, Georgia Southern, Monmouth.

Source: Collegiate Baseball

Previous NCAA Div. I
Recruiting Champions
2012: Vanderbilt
2011: South Carolina
2010: Louisiana St.
2009: Florida
2008: Arizona St.
2007: Louisiana St.
2006: South Carolina
2005: South Carolina
2004: Louisiana St.
2003: North Carolina
South Carolina
2002: Georgia Tech.
2001: Southern California
2000: Cal. St. Fullerton
1999: Southern California
1998: Georgia Tech.
1997: UCLA
1996: Texas A&M
1995: Arizona St.
1994: Mississippi St.
1993: Miami (Fla.)
1992: Florida St.
1991: Miami (Fla.)
1990: Arizona
1989: Florida St.
1988: Miami (Fla.)
1987: Stanford
1986: Stanford
1985: Hawaii
1984: Florida St.
1983: Arizona St.

Source: Collegiate Baseball

USA 18 & Under Team Wins World Cup

USA 18 & Under Team Wins World Cup

USA BaseballThe 2013 USA Baseball 18U National Team beat Japan, 3-2 to win the 2013 IBAF ‘AAA’/18U World Cup in Taichung, Taiwan.

The U.S. won its first world title since 1999 last year, and now has won back-to-back championships.

“I’m not sure I can totally describe this feeling,” 18U National Team manager, Rob Cooper, said.

“What I do want to say is how proud I am to associated with these 20 young men: what they’ve gone through, how they came together and how they stayed together. In this tournament you saw 20 guys come together for something far more important than themselves and play for the letter on their chest.”

Cooper handed the ball to Brady Aiken (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) with the World Cup championship on the line, and the left-hander delivered. He fired seven innings, spreading out five hits and one run while walking two and striking out 10 to earn the victory.

“To have the coaches any my teammates have the faith in me to go out and start this game means everything,” explained Aiken. “It was such an honor. Winning this championship means everything.”

Aiken found himself locked in a pitcher’s duel with Japanese southpaw Yuki Matsui. Matsui worked into the seventh inning, allowing just five hits and two runs while striking out nine and walking a pair. He threw 106 pitches in the losing effort.

Down by a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, Cole Tucker (Phoenix, Ariz.) got the offense started with a single – the first hit for the U.S. on the night. Two batters later, Michael Rivera (Venice, Fla.) singled to put runners on the corners for Adam Haseley (Windermere, Fla.). Haseley hit a ground ball, but hustled down the line to beat the double play attempt and score Tucker from third to tie the game.

An inning later, the offense went back to work. With two outs, Jakson Reetz (Hickman, Neb.) doubled down the left field line, and was driven in by a single from Bryson Brigman (San Jose, Calif.) to give the U.S. the lead.

With Aiken working in the seventh inning, he got an assist from his back stop Rivera. After a strike out on a missed two-strike bunt attempt, Rivera fired to first to pick off Ryuma Mori. Aiken punched out the next hitter to end the frame and hold the 2-1 U.S. lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Red, White and Blue grinded out a run in a third consecutive frame. Trace Loehr (Milwaukie, Ore.) hit the inning’s first pitch for a single, forcing a Japan pitching change. Reliever Taisuke Yamaoka’s first pitch was wild, allowing Loehr to advance to second. After Rivera sacrificed him over, Keaton McKinney (Ankeny, Iowa) singled through the right side to push the lead to 3-2.

Cooper wasted no time with the two-run lead, electing to go to closer Luis Ortiz (Sanger, Calif.) to start the eighth inning. With a runner on first, catcher Tomoya Mori skied a ball into foul territory just into the seats, but Haseley leaped, making an incredible catch.

Japan would strike for one in the inning on a two out single to cut the lead to 3-2, but Ortiz would silence the Japanese bats in the ninth inning to seal the victory and initiate a wild dog pile celebration on the field.

“To be a part of this is something I never even dreamed of,” 18U National Team assistant coach, Kevin Wilson, remarked. “When I got this opportunity, this was my goal. When the game ended I had to ask (Mike) Maack how we got the last out, I was just so overwhelmed.”

During the closing ceremony, Ortiz was named the tournament’s MVP after going 1-0 with three saves in five appearances. Ortiz allowed just two earned runs in eight and one-third innings pitched while striking out 12.

Adam Haseley was honored as one of three “Best Outfielders” and for leading the tournament in batting average (.452). Michael Rivera was named “Best Third Baseman.”

Baseball Denied Olympic Bid Once Again

Baseball Denied Olympic Bid Once Again

Olympic LogoBaseball and softball finished a distant second in voting by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members Sunday, Sept. 8 to be reinstated as an official Olympic Sport.

Wrestling, which was dropped from the Olympics last February by the 15-person IOC Executive Board amid a huge uproar, was voted back in after receiving 49 of the 95 votes cast.

The joint bid of baseball/softball was second with 24 votes while squash received 22.

Because of the winning vote, wrestling is now assured of appearing at both the 2020 and the 2024 Summer Olympics.

For baseball/softball, which had among others Antonio Castro, the son of the long-time Cuban leader Fidel in their presentation team, it represents another blow after being voted out of the Olympics beginning with the 2012 London summer games.

USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO, Paul Seiler, issued the following statement regarding the vote:

“While we are obviously disappointed with the decision of the International Olympic Committee to not move forward with baseball and softball for inclusion on the Olympic program in 2020, we continue to believe the combined efforts of baseball and softball provide a great platform for international competition and we look forward to continuing our joint efforts of growing baseball and softball worldwide.

“USA Baseball will continue to promote baseball and softball both internationally and domestically through our various initiatives, and we look forward to the opportunity to return to the Olympic program in the future.

“In the meantime, we want to thank our partners and fans for their support of our joint efforts.”