Unique & Interesting


Vanderbilt No. 1 In Collegiate Baseball Pre-Season Poll

Big League Chew LogoArmed with one of the top pitching staffs in the nation and five returning position player starters, Vanderbilt is ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball’s Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I pre-season poll presented by Big League Chew bubble gum.

The defending national champions feature four Louisville Slugger pre-season All-Americans including RHP Carson Fulmer (7-1, 10 SV, 1.98 ERA, 98 K), RHP Walker Buehler (12-2, 2.64 ERA, 111 K), SS Dansby Swanson (.333, 27 2B, 34 RBI, 22 SB) and LF Bryan Reynolds (.338, 24 2B, 54 RBI, 14 SB).

The pre-season poll factors in voting by NCAA Division I coaches across the nation, how a team finished last season, returning position player starters and pitchers, potential draft picks along with the quality of its recruiting class last fall.

Vanderbilt Celebration 2014 CWSThere are a number of compelling reasons to pick Vanderbilt as the pre-season No. 1 team. At the top of the list is the Commodores’ pitching staff which features two pre-season All-Americans in Fulmer and Buehler.

Both are expected to be first round draft picks next June. Fulmer has a mid to upper 90s fastball in addition to a plus slider and developing change. Buehler fired pitches from 92-95 mph during the summer in the Cape Cod League.

Vanderbilt also has RHP Tyler Ferguson back (8-4, 2.69 ERA, 65 K, 30 BB), closer Hayden Stone (3 SV, 4-0, 1.71 ERA, 23 AP, 80 K, 14 BB) and LHP John Kilichowski (1.57 ERA, 13 AP, 22 K).

If that wasn’t enough, LHP Philip Pfeifer returns after a year away from the baseball team after failing to meet “team standards.”

He was superb last fall as his fastball was consistently at 89-92 mph. Pfeifer set the Tennessee prep record with a 46-4 career record, won four state titles at Farragut H.S. in Knoxville, Tenn. and set a state mark with 465 strikeouts during his career.

To read the entire top 40 poll, CLICK HERE.


2015 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-Americans

PrintThe 2015 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-Americans feature a remarkable mix of talented NCAA Division I baseball players across the USA.

The teams, chosen by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, feature six starting pitchers with a combined 1.97 ERA. RHP Kyle Funkhouser of Louisville led all first teamers with 122 strikeouts last season.

TCU vs Texas Tech - Game 3 of the 2014 College World SeriesCloser Riley Ferrell of Texas Christian is projected as the Player of The Year by Collegiate Baseball in 2015. He struck out 70 batters in 45 1/3 innings last season while saving 15 games with a microscopic 0.79 ERA. His fastball has topped out at 100 mph and is an early candidate to be one of the top picks in next June’s Free Agent Draft.

Another first team closer is David Berg of UCLA who has appeared in 132 games the last three seasons and set an NCAA record with 24 saves during the 2013 season.

On offense, SS Dansby Swanson of Vanderbilt leads the way. Last season, he collected 27 doubles and swiped 22 bases as he led the Commodores to the national title.

To read more about the 2015 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-Americans, CLICK HERE.


2015 College Preview Issue Now Available

Jan 2 2015 Page 1Collegiate Baseball’s Jan. 2, 2015 edition has just been published.

It includes an in-depth look at how the new flat seam ball will change college baseball. While it should add offense, it may also cause problems for pitchers in frigid weather.

Two special feature stories are offered. The amazing system of Virginia Pitching Coach Karl Kuhn is explored while a an in-depth look at how Head Coach Woody Hunt at Cumberland (TN) University has led his team to three NAIA titles and 1,452 wins in 33 years is also presented with his deep thoughts on coaching.

Plus, this special 2015 College Preview issue features 36 jam-packed pages full of information about the top teams and players throughout the USA from all levels of college baseball.

To read more about what is in the January 2 edition, CLICK HERE.


20 Unique Ways To Utilize Cell Phones In Coaching

Cell Phone With HandSince the mid-1980s, cell phones have been widely available to the public.

As they have become more sophisticated over the years, they have turned into miniature computers called smartphones that have numerous software functions, e-mail capability and internet browser functions that have become an indispensible tool for coaches.

For the first time, Collegiate Baseball is exploring many of the technological advantages coaches can gain with smartphones.

To read more, CLICK HERE.


Schreiber Discovers Breakthrough Technique

Cell Phone VideoOne of the most creative uses of cell phones is being utilized at Alvin Community College.

Jason Schreiber, assistant baseball coach at Alvin Community College (Alvin, Tex.), listened intently to a lecturer speak at a convention.

“That person said that we retain 10 percent of what we hear, 50 percent of what we do and 90 percent of what we teach someone else,” said Schreiber.

“A light went on in my head when I heard that. I was fascinated with the 90 percent figure. I wondered if my players might be able to teach me about certain baseball concepts they were having trouble with on the field which would allow them to learn concepts more efficiently. The big problem was that there was not enough time in practice to have my guys teach.

“Then it hit me that my guys could teach me concepts they were having trouble with via the video capability on their cell phones. Every kid has a cell phone with video capability.

“What I discovered was remarkable. Not only did I know for certain my players understood what we were teaching through these videos they made. I learned kids today take great pride in the videos they produce — so much so a player’s sense of urgency goes up dramatically when you have them teach a skill they do not perform well. Often the result is that player finally understands the concept and performs better on the field.”

To read more, CLICK HERE.


Iowa Western’s Incredible Coaching Wizard 

Marc Rardin Iowa WesternOne of the most incredible stories in college baseball history is unfolding at Iowa Western Community College.

Located in Council Bluffs, Iowa near Omaha, this school has accomplished what many thought was impossible — three NJCAA Division I national championships over the last five seasons all under an amazing coach named Marc Rardin.

In the 57-year-history of the NJCAA World Series, Iowa Western is the only Iowa junior college ever to win this prestigious event and the first Northern District representative to win it all.

In 12 seasons at Iowa Western, Rardin has led the Reivers to eight NJCAA World Series, won 10 consecutive regional titles and eight Northern District titles.

Consider the tremendous challenges his teams face every season. Many high profile NJCAA Division I baseball programs offer 24 full ride scholarships for baseball. His program has the equivalent of 10 full rides.

No player in the last 12 years has been given a full ride, and typically he gives out 1/2 scholarships to his athletes. All outdoor activity stops for 3-plus months from mid-November through February as practices take place indoors because of bone chilling weather.

To read more about Marc Rardin’s amazing system, CLICK HERE.


SPECIAL REPORT: Cardinals’ Potent Running Game

Louisville Baseball HeadshotsThe University of Louisville has put up staggering stolen base numbers over the past eight years under Head Coach Dan McDonnell.

During the past two seasons, the Cardinals have stolen 150 bases (second nationally) in 2013 and 133 in 2014 (second nationally). In his first year with Louisville in 2007, his ball club swiped 153 bases (second nationally).

In six of the eight years, his teams have pilfered at least 89 bases. His tough-minded teams also refuse to allow pitchers to throw inside as his batters have been hit 100 or more times in five of the eight years and ranked first nationally in 2013 with 129 hit by pitches, second in 2012 with 115 HBP and sixth last season with 109 HBP.

Having more men on base and stealing efficiently allows his teams to have more runners in scoring position which has allowed Louisville to score over 400 runs seven of the eight years he has been with the Cardinals.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE.


U.C. Irvine’s Gillespie Explains How To Stop Stealers

Mike Gillespie Mug UC IrvineWith the home run becoming increasingly rare in college baseball, the running game on offense is more important than ever.

In 2010, the year prior to BBCOR bats being mandated for use by college programs, NCAA Division I programs averaged 0.94 home runs per game, according to the annual statistics’ trends compiled by the Association. In 2011, that average dropped nearly in half to 0.52 with the new bats in use.

The last two years, Division I teams have averaged 0.42 home runs per game in 2013 and 0.39 in 2014 — the lowest home run numbers in over 40 years.

Programs which are adept at stopping the running game of opponents have a big advantage when it comes to winning in today’s game. Few coaches in college baseball have the track record that U.C. Irvine Head Coach Mike Gillespie has when it comes to shutting down base stealers.

To read more of this story, CLICK HERE.


Upcoming Instructional Clinics Scheduled Across USA

ABCA_LogoA number of outstanding instructional clinics for baseball coaches and players have been scheduled across the nation.

Heading the list is the American Baseball Coaches Association convention which is the largest in the world.

To read more about the locations, speakers and dates of these clinics, CLICK HERE.