Collegiate Baseball Newspaper http://baseballnews.com Tue, 16 Apr 2019 18:37:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.10 Value Of Proper Sleep For Athletes Explored http://baseballnews.com/value-proper-sleep-athletes-explored/ http://baseballnews.com/value-proper-sleep-athletes-explored/#respond Fri, 29 Mar 2019 21:30:12 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=2206 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball FORT WORTH, Tex. — Everyone endures sleepless nights. When a pattern of sleep deprivation takes place with athletes, serious consequences can occur as performances suffer on the field and in the classroom. Dramatic mood swings happen as well. Those in the game of baseball have broken down almost everything […]

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Dr. James MaasBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

FORT WORTH, Tex. — Everyone endures sleepless nights. When a pattern of sleep deprivation takes place with athletes, serious consequences can occur as performances suffer on the field and in the classroom. Dramatic mood swings happen as well.

Those in the game of baseball have broken down almost everything in the quest for high level athletic achievement. And that can take the form of better nutrition, weight training, mental training, video technology and progressive teaching concepts specific to the different skill sets required. But rarely do coaches talk about proper sleeping habits which may be among the most important aspects of athletic performance.

Sleep is not something to take lightly.

Sleep deprivation has been utilized as torture, a tactic favored by the KGB and the Japanese in prisoner of war camps in World War II. Going without sleep is intensely stressful with unpredictable short and long-term effects. People lose the ability to act and think coherently.

Hallucinations, paranoia and disorientation are just a few of the symptoms of prolonged sleeplessness.

Collegiate Baseball is offering this exclusive interview with Dr. James Maas who will discuss how to achieve proper rest.

Dr. Maas is a leading authority and international consultant on sleep and performance who has studied the subject more than four decades as a professor at Cornell University where he taught more than 65,000 college students.

He recently wrote a book with Haley Davis called Sleep To Win!: Secrets To Unlocking Your Athletic Excellence In Every Sport.

The staff of Sleep To Win have presented highly successful programs on sleep to scores of corporations, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Figure Skating Association, New York Jets, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators and Orlando Magic. But one sport they have not been involved with is baseball.

“About 70 percent of Americans aren’t meeting the 7 ½ to 8 ½ hour sleep requirements as adults,” said Dr. Maas.

“Sleep needs go up from puberty to about the age of 26 which involves everyone from middle school kids to Major League ball players. The amount of sleep this group of people needs to be fully alert and full of energy is 9 ¼ hours of sleep per night. If you ask this group of people how many hours of sleep they get a night, they will claim they are sleeping about seven hours. This includes regular students as well as athletes.

“But we have done actual brain wave studies in home monitoring, and they are really only getting about 6.1 hours of sleep a night. They are so sleepy that they don’t even know how little sleep they are getting. These people are in essence ‘walking zombies.’

“They think that because they eat well or appear to be in good athletic shape that this is enough. But they are missing 1/3 of the equation. We have been studying the effects of sleep deprivation both athletically and cognitively for years. And we also have studied lack of sleep with basic physiology.

“The findings aren’t of immediate concern. But they have long term repercussions to our younger athletes. Drowsiness at inappropriate times is a concern. During the mid-day dip in alertness that we all have in the middle of the afternoon, if you are sleep deprived as these youngsters are, the dip is even more serious.

“And this is often the time when baseball games on the high school and college levels are played. Obviously, when the brain and body is tanking because of lack of sleep, the athlete can’t perform at his highest level.

“So the athlete shows drowsiness, an increase in irritability, anxiety, depression and weight gain. For middle age people and older, there is a much higher risk of heart disease and Type II diabetes. Cancer has even been linked to sleep deprivation.

“Loss of sleep can impact a player’s teamwork, sense of humor and impact his motor skills.”

Dr. Maas said studies have shown reaction time deteriorates with athletes who suffer from sleep deprivation.

“This all happens during chains of events whether it is a pitcher who has to throw a quality pitch or a batter trying to hit a pitch. As an athlete, you must have your body synchronized in the athletic discipline you are trying to achieve in the proper firing sequence, so you don’t have to think.

“It all should be an automatic motor muscle memory. But when you have a lack of sleep, that chain of events can be seriously disrupted.

“When the athlete is sleep deprived, he has a lack of awareness and suffers from the ability to remember and think critically and creatively as one has to do to make a split second decision in baseball. You might make poor decision skills when balls fly off the bat or not looking at the third base coach who is waving you on…many different situations like this.

“There are a whole slew of events which happen, and sleep deprived athletes are blissfully unaware of how much they have lost over what they could be.”

To read more, purchase the March 22 and April 5, 2019 editions of Collegiate Baseball for the 2-part series or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. The series explains how athletes can play at a higher level with proper sleep, how motor muscle memory will be enhanced, how to choose the proper mattress and pillow, why blue spectrum light from electronic devices can impair sleep, what the ideal sleep routine should be and how to solve the problem of jet lag.

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College Baseball’s Greatest Turnaround Ever http://baseballnews.com/college-baseballs-greatest-turnaround-ever/ http://baseballnews.com/college-baseballs-greatest-turnaround-ever/#respond Fri, 29 Mar 2019 21:06:27 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13217 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball ROCKLIN, Calif. — The greatest turnaround in college baseball history took place last season at William Jessup University, according to school officials. This NAIA school had suffered through a dismal 10-34 season in 2017 and only posted a 5-24 record in the Golden State Athletic Conference for last place. […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

ROCKLIN, Calif. — The greatest turnaround in college baseball history took place last season at William Jessup University, according to school officials.

This NAIA school had suffered through a dismal 10-34 season in 2017 and only posted a 5-24 record in the Golden State Athletic Conference for last place.

One year later, a miracle happened.

The Warriors rolled to a 41-17 overall record — an increase of 31 wins over the previous year — and a 27-9 mark in conference which was capped by the GSAC regular-season title and the program’s first-ever NAIA post-season tournament bid.

Batters hit an anemic .232 with 22 homers in 2017 and committed 91 errors in 44 games with a 6.06 ERA.

A year later, the team had one of the most powerful offenses in college baseball as William Jessup hit .331, belted an NAIA high 94 homers and averaged 8.2 runs per game with 119 doubles.

The team ERA fell to 4.53 while only 77 errors were committed in 14 more games (58).

This special report by Collegiate Baseball explains how the program was turned around so quickly.

New Coaching Staff
After a difficult 2017 season, Head Coach Mike Hankins resigned.

Jake McKinley, who spent the previous four years as the head coach at Menlo College, took the position June 1.

He then brought on board Trevor Paine and Tai Mitchell from Menlo College as assistant coaches in July.

“I knew the program had potential,” said Paine who replaced McKinley last December when McKinley accepted a position with the Milwaukee Brewers.

“In 2017, William Jessup beat us twice that year and played us tough a couple of other times.

“We knew there were some good players at William Jessup. We just had to recruit more talented players and bring everything together.

“Once we came over in July of 2017, Tai, Jake and I used all of our connections to bring in as many good players as possible.”

The trio went to work and landed 15 talented players who were still available at that late date knowing school was set to start in late August.

“Jake had been in the NAIA at Menlo College for four years. He always talked about how he got his best recruits late in the process. He rarely wanted to rush into offering players scholarships.

“Honestly, we got lucky on some very good players who were still available. Some of the ball players we got didn’t receive offers from the schools they wanted to play at or they felt scholarship offers weren’t good enough.

“Then you always get a couple of guys who are leaving NCAA Div. I schools. That helped. We were able to quickly piece together a very talented recruiting class at the last minute.

“Looking back at the starting lineup we had in 2018, we only had two returners. Seven of the position players were guys we brought in over July and August of 2017.”

Quick Overview
Paine said the first order of business when the players came together for the first time in late August of 2017 was to bring everyone together.

“Our hope was to bring the veterans and new players together and not have any separation. You are always concerned when you have players from the previous coach and new players you recruited.

“We felt we had a chance to at least double the win total of 2017. But the guys came together much quicker than we anticipated. The culture was great and guys bought into what we were trying to do.

“We got hot and played confidently. The returners had gone through a lot of losses over several seasons. When that happens over a period of time, players develop bad habits. You go into every series and every game thinking your chances of winning aren’t very good.

“You need to teach them how to win and how not to lose.

“The culture and environment we put all of our players in every day was vital to improvements in the win column.”

Paine said the players relaxed and played to their full potential.

“We let players be themselves, not carefree, but play loose and have fun.”

To read more of this story, purchase the March 22, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Paine explains his incredible hitting system, vision training which utilizes pitch occlusion and the use of extreme shifting on defense if data shows certain batters hit balls consistently in locations, plus more.

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Art Of Hitting With California’s Andrew Vaughn http://baseballnews.com/art-of-hitting-with-californias-andrew-vaughn/ http://baseballnews.com/art-of-hitting-with-californias-andrew-vaughn/#respond Thu, 28 Mar 2019 18:25:07 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13200 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball BERKELEY, Calif. — Andrew Vaughn is one of the elite hitters in the history of college baseball. The first baseman for California was hitting .529 (18-for-34) and belted 7 home runs with 18 RBI and walked 15 times in his first 10 games this season. In two games against […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

BERKELEY, Calif. — Andrew Vaughn is one of the elite hitters in the history of college baseball.

The first baseman for California was hitting .529 (18-for-34) and belted 7 home runs with 18 RBI and walked 15 times in his first 10 games this season.

In two games against St. Mary’s, he hit 2 home runs in each contest and compiled 9 RBI as he was named Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of The Week.

One year ago during the 2018 season, he hit .402 with 23 doubles, 14 doubles and 63 RBI over 54 games.

His .402 mark ranked third in Cal single-season history while his 23 home runs equaled the Bears’ single-season record set by Xavier Nady in 1999.

The 6-foot, 214-pound Vaughn, who hits from the right side, won the Golden Spikes Award last season and is expected to be one of the first picks in the 2019 MLB Draft next June.

He was the Pac-12 Player of The Year last season and a Collegiate Baseball All-American.

Vaughn is also a premier defender at first base as he earned 2018 Pac-12 All-Defensive team honors with a .992 fielding percentage (only 4 errors in 497 chances).

Passion To Hit Started Young
Vaughn said he was 3-4 years old when he started learning how to hit from his father Toby.

“I remember my dad coming home from work with his orange shirt and his jeans since he worked for the city of Cotati (California).

“I couldn’t wait until he walked through the door at home (Santa Rosa, Calif.) so I could hit. He would flip balls to me as I hit with a small bat. Then I would hit balls off a tee. We would go at it for hours in the backyard.

“I was involved in organized baseball at a very young age with underhand pitch and hit from the right side. My dad told me that if I ever hit two home runs in a game, I could spin around and hit from the left side. The home run barrier was only 100 feet away defined by cones.

“So for a short period of time, I also hit lefthanded while I was growing up. And I hit two or three home runs from the left side.”

Vaughn said he never pursued being a switch hitter after that point because he did so well from the right side and felt comfortable.

His go to person for hitting help has always been his dad Toby.

“My dad knows my swing better than anybody, and he typically knows what I need to do get back on track. Whenever I am feeling in a funk or a little down, I call him up. He always knows what fine adjustments I should make.

“I might be wrapping my bat a little too much or doing something else, and I wouldn’t necessarily feel it. He knows almost immediately what I need to do to fix the problem. He might even make a video and send it to me to visually show me.

“Then I will typically get in the cage and work on that and be more productive the next day.”

Slowing Pitches Down
Vaughn says to see pitches well, you must have a plan.

“I simply try to slow pitches down by picking out a seam and see it coming toward the strike zone. By doing that, it makes the ball appear to travel slower. It is a technique that has worked well for me.

“Another thing I try to do is keep my eyes level and attempt to stay balanced. If I am balanced like this, it gives me more time to react instead of lunging at the ball which is not productive.

“When I lunge at pitches, the speed of the ball picks up. If a pitcher throws a slider when you lunge at it, you might try to hit this pitch in the dirt.

“Seeing the pitch as long as possible is absolutely crucial so I get the best recognition of the pitch coming. That helps with any pitch. If it is a 2-seam fastball, I can see those two seams or a pitch with one solid seam bearing down on the strike zone. Four-seam fastballs are more solid looking while sliders look like a little dot.

“The best pitchers have great deception in this area. Look at Kevin Abel of Oregon State. I felt he did the best job of doing this last year. He could throw a 4-seam fastball up in the zone and then throw a breaking ball off that. Both pitches had the same spin which is rare. One was just going down while the other was going up.”

The mental area of pitching is also important to Vaughn.

“I take one pitch at a time and try not to focus on results. That is counterproductive in my way of thinking because hitting is filled with great moments but also a lot of failure.

“When I focus on the concept of one pitch at a time, I can mess up on one pitch. But the next pitch I have an opportunity to do something with it to inflict damage. A lot of people take it one game at a time. But I believe that taking it one pitch at a time is even better.”

To read more of this article, purchase the March 22, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. The rest of the article explains how pitchers try to get him out, why being a student of Barry Bonds helped his hitting and his approach to consistency. In addition, he explains why he hates the term “slump” and what he learned from Major League Manager Dusty Baker, plus more.

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Labaut’s 40-Day, 10,000 Mile Trip From Hell http://baseballnews.com/labauts-40-day-10000-mile-trip-from-hell-ended-in-heaven/ http://baseballnews.com/labauts-40-day-10000-mile-trip-from-hell-ended-in-heaven/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2019 21:45:12 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13104 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball TUCSON, Ariz. — Randy Labaut, along with his mom and dad, escaped from Cuba which took them on a dangerous 40-day journey to the United States in 2010 when he was just 13 years old. It involved 10,000 miles of travel and multiple stops in strange towns with complete […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

TUCSON, Ariz. — Randy Labaut, along with his mom and dad, escaped from Cuba which took them on a dangerous 40-day journey to the United States in 2010 when he was just 13 years old.

It involved 10,000 miles of travel and multiple stops in strange towns with complete strangers as guides in the quest to be in the USA.

The plan to leave Cuba had its genesis many years prior as Raul and Ernestina Labaut, Randy’s parents, saved money for years with a goal putting aside $30,000 for this trip.

This was extremely difficult to accomplish since Raul and Ernestina only made $20 a month each in this Communist nation on their jobs. Raul was a truck driver while Ernestina worked at a bank. They also earned additional money to supplement this meager income.

Ultimately they saved $4,000 over many years.

Their biggest asset was their car which they sold for $16,000. The other $10,000 was chipped in by an aunt and cousin who live in the United States.

Living In Cuba
“I have great memories of Cuba as I grew up,” said Labaut, a lefthanded pitcher at the University of Arizona.

“I lived in a city called Alquizar which is about 40 minutes from Havana.

“We have a lot of family members in Cuba. Just prior to the trip, my parents’ property was changed over to a relative so the Cuban government wouldn’t take it from us once we left.

“If the property you own is in your name and you leave the country for the USA, then the property is automatically taken by the government. However, if you transfer the property to a family member, they will not take it.

“Cubans in general don’t make enough money. My father Raul and mom Ernestina would make $20 each a month, and they utilized all that for food. What your house looks like never mattered. What was important was having food on the table.

“There were many things they did to make more money. If you work on a job, the most amount of money you typically earn in Cuba is $20 a month due to Communist rule.

“What many people did for extra money was illegal. For example, if you work at a pharmacy, you have your normal job of filling prescriptions. But they also would sell medicine for extra income to people on the side.

“My brother Raul, Jr. served in the military which everyone is forced to do when they turn 18. He would tell us horrible things that officers would do to the soldiers.

“Soldiers were sleep deprived and worked long, long hours. Officers didn’t care about them. The food was horrible. People from Cuba hate their time in the military. That is another reason my parents wanted us to get out of Cuba. They did not want me to serve in the military and suffer like my brother did.”

Practicing 5 Hours A Day
At the age of 11, Randy entered a baseball academy in Cuba where he practiced five hours a day and went to school for two hours.

“You would wake up and have breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and then go to practice from 9-2 where it’s all baseball. Then from 2-4, you went to school.

“As far as those daily 5-hour practice sessions, we did everything you can imagine in baseball, such as batting practice, infield and outfield ground balls and flies, scrimmages, run 30 minutes each day, plus much more. You became great at the fundamentals because of all this work.

“I was fortunate my cousin in Cuba sent me a pair of cleats once a year and also a glove. I didn’t have a bat. I used whatever the coaches had. My entire family in Cuba was very supportive.”

Looking For Better Life
Labaut said that his mom and dad wanted to get out of Cuba so their family could have a better opportunity in life.

“They wanted me to get an education and be able to pursue what I wanted in life. They knew that if we stayed in Cuba, I wouldn’t be able to advance in life. It was the same with my brother.

“The crazy thing about Cuba is that if you go to a university in Cuba and study to be an engineer or other highly regarded job, there are times when you don’t even end up with that job when you graduate.

“You might be driving a taxi because there is no engineering job available. That’s the beauty of  being in the United States. You can literally study anything you want and can apply it to a real job of your choosing.

“Leaving Cuba was important to my parents because they had been working in Cuba for many years and not really been paid.”

The Trip
On the night of April 11, 2010, Randy’s parents told their 13-year-old son to pack up his stuff because they were leaving Cuba the next morning. This completely caught him off guard.

His only brother Raul, Jr. was serving in the Cuban military at the time and couldn’t leave.

Randy had no idea that his mom and dad had orchestrated an elaborate plan for years that would take him and his parents to the United States.

It would be the start of a harrowing 40-day journey over 10,000 miles to the United States.

To read more of this article, purchase the March 8, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. It delves into their remarkable journey that includes a 21-day stay in a Mexico jail because they were illegally in that country, plus much more.

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Maya Runs Successful Fishing Supply Company http://baseballnews.com/maya-runs-successful-online-fishing-supply-company/ http://baseballnews.com/maya-runs-successful-online-fishing-supply-company/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2019 21:42:13 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13116 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Ryan Maya is one of those rare college baseball players who runs a business while going to college. A righthanded pitcher for Nova Southeastern, he created his own online store called Fishing Kings Supply. After a slow start where he had to shut down his […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Ryan Maya is one of those rare college baseball players who runs a business while going to college.

A righthanded pitcher for Nova Southeastern, he created his own online store called Fishing Kings Supply.

After a slow start where he had to shut down his company after a few months, he restarted it and had robust six figure sales each of the last two years.

This redshirt junior now has his days full with running a company, going to school and playing baseball.

“My fishing supply business started in May of 2016,” said Maya, who posted a 2.25 ERA last season in 17 appearances with 32 strikeouts and 17 walks for the Sharks.

“I was playing summer ball in Orlando, and my cousin was doing a similar business model and making pretty good money.

“I have been an entrepreneur with little businesses here and there. So I asked him to explain how he sold products on the internet. He gave me the log-in information to read an on-line course on what he was doing which was extremely helpful with selling online.

“I had a little bit of success that summer. But sales really started to dwindle when I went back to school that fall. So I had to shut down the internet company.

“In the summer of 2017, I played summer ball but this time in mountains of New York. I didn’t have anything to do other than play baseball.

“So it gave me the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of marketing and selling on the internet. That is the point where Fishing Kings Supply really took off as I restarted the company with much more knowledge.”

Currently he carries 100 different products on his website at www.fishingkingsupply.com which can be used in all types of fishing scenarios that include lakes, streams and oceans.

“I don’t have a physical store where I ship everything out of. I utilize drop shipping where I contact different companies I work with when orders are made. Then they ship it out to clients. That way I don’t have any inventory of products that I have to purchase myself.”

Maya said the majority of his sales come from braided fishing line.

“I found a niche within fishing that is extremely popular with fishermen. Braided line is similar to monofilament line as it can have 5 pound test all the way up to 300 pound test.

“However, braided fishing line is stronger, comes in different colors and lasts longer than monofilament line. You also can cast further with it.

“By utilizing great marketing techniques, I have been able to produce a lot of sales through advertising and videos I create.

“I also sell apparel, fishing hats, fishing shirts, hooks, lures, fishing reels, fishing line,  decorative fishing wall art, among other things. The one item I don’t sell is fishing rods.”

Maya said he has quite a few customers from the state of Florida.

“There isn’t one specific product that does well in Florida. But I also sell to people all across the country.

“I’m not a millionaire yet, but I feel like I am on the way to achieving that goal. In 2017, I had a little over six figures in sales. Then last year, I was well above that number.

“Remember these are sales figures. There are expenses that come after that. However, you could say I did very well last year.”

To read more of this story, purchase the March 8, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. He explains how he runs his business with no employees and how his business works on the internet. This superb righthanded pitcher tells how he had a 13.50 ERA during his freshman season and nearly stopped playing baseball after that. But he found success during that summer and has pitched well ever since.

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Stanford Catcher Prepares To Be A Surgeon http://baseballnews.com/stanford-catcher-prepares-to-be-orthopedic-surgeon/ http://baseballnews.com/stanford-catcher-prepares-to-be-orthopedic-surgeon/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2019 20:49:50 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13111 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford’s Maverick Handley is one of the elite catchers in college baseball. He also is studying to be an orthopedic surgeon which requires a massive amount of academic study. Maverick helped the Cardinal achieve a 2.83 team ERA with a .218 opponent batting average last season. […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford’s Maverick Handley is one of the elite catchers in college baseball.

He also is studying to be an orthopedic surgeon which requires a massive amount of academic study.

Maverick helped the Cardinal achieve a 2.83 team ERA with a .218 opponent batting average last season.

He threw out 17 of 26 runners trying to steal against him last season.

This season, he hasn’t allowed a stolen base in two attempts with the Cardinal playing 15 games.

What piqued his interest in becoming an orthopedic surgeon?

“I broke my left ankle when I was playing basketball at Mullen High School (Lakewood, Colo.),” said Handley.

“It was the first major injury I ever had, and it was something I never experienced before with the pain involved and recovery time. I was introduced to surgeons at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver.”

Surgeons and medical personnel at this clinic work with the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies and the U.S. Ski team, among others.

“I became fascinated with the entire process they were explaining to me, and I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon at that point. It was a super scary time for me as anybody knows who goes through an injury like a this. The surgeons were reassuring and did everything in their power to make sure I recovered properly.

“It took five months after surgery was performed until I could play sports again. My ankle came back 100 percent. While I don’t play basketball anymore, I catch all the time with pressure being on both ankles as I receive pitches.

“As a doctor, you can make a huge difference in the lives of many people.”

Maverick is majoring in biomechanical engineering and pre-med in the quest to be an orthopedic surgeon.

“There are a lot of science and math classes involved. My typical week is a minimum two classes a day. I am in a bio-chemical class that meets four times a week. I also attend a math class that meets twice a week for two hours each time.

“Typically I have another class with a lab section. I miss one or two practices a week because of my academic load.

“I can be gone from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. straight with classes. Last year I built a fermenter in one class. In bio-engineering, we genetically engineered cells to make a metal enhancer.

“All of these classes are super cool as you work with a lot of smart people.

“The shortest lab is two hours, and the longest one can run five hours. For the 5-hour lab, they let us out to take mental breaks because it is so long.

“But you have to take that amount of time with the classes I am involved with.

“Last year, I took 19 units each quarter. I was loaded up with classes, and it was really tough. I felt my baseball suffered a bit as I wasn’t able to take as much time as I wanted to be the best player I could possibly be.

“My hitting stats weren’t great last season.”

He hit .229 with 9 doubles and 23 RBI.

This season, he is second on the team with a .302 batting average, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 10 RBI and 12 runs scored. He has stolen 4 of 5 bases.

Not Overwhelmed In Life
Maverick said he never gets too overwhelmed as he balances baseball and biomechanical engineering as he prepares to enter Stanford Medical School down the road.

“A lot of our players devote a great deal of time to baseball and struggle to find an identity outside of the game. Everybody knows that one day playing baseball will be over.

“Baseball is a game of failure. If you don’t have something to be involved with outside of the game, you can be sucked into a real dark place.

“As far as school, I am fortunate to say that academics have never really been that difficult for me. Probably not a lot of people say that. I have just enjoyed being part of the baseball program at Stanford and also being involved in biomechanical engineering as I gear up for Medical School to be an orthopedic surgeon.

“The key for me is staying organized with my time and staying on top of my homework. I have found a great balance between academics and baseball.”

Maverick was asked if he would like to specialize in Tommy John surgery and shoulder surgery for baseball players and possibly be the next Dr. Frank Jobe or Dr. Jim Andrews.

“Ideally, I make the Big Leagues as a catcher and have a 20-year career,” said Maverick.

“Then I could retire and decide what I want to do after that. If my career path takes me to orthopedic surgery when my baseball career stops, I don’t know if I would want to specialize in any type of orthopedic surgery for baseball players or work with the overall population or even emergency medicine.

“That will be determined in med school.”

To read more of this story, purchase the March 8, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Maverick explains what the cutting edge of medical research is with elbow and shoulder surgery for pitchers. He also delves into the art of catching and how he helps formulate plans to outwit opponent hitters and how he helps his pitchers be at their best during games. In addition, he explains how Rapsodo is used for the pitching staff and why tunneling is an important part of what Stanford pitchers utilize, plus more.

 

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Augustana: Not Your Typical National Champion http://baseballnews.com/augustana-not-your-typical-national-champion/ http://baseballnews.com/augustana-not-your-typical-national-champion/#respond Thu, 28 Feb 2019 17:10:22 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13036 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Augustana’s baseball team performed a miracle last season. The Vikings became the northernmost team ever to win the NCAA Div. II championship. Keep in mind 33 of the 50 national champions on this level have come from Florida or California. Almost every year, a team […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Augustana’s baseball team performed a miracle last season.

The Vikings became the northernmost team ever to win the NCAA Div. II championship.

Keep in mind 33 of the 50 national champions on this level have come from Florida or California.

Almost every year, a team from a warm climate with a full compliment of 9 athletic scholarships claims the title.

There is little doubt that Augustana’s championship was the greatest achievement by a northern team in NCAA Division II history considering the Vikings only had five scholarships for its 47-man roster.

Plus, Augustana annually battles bone-chilling weather which means training inside for months prior to the season.

The coldest temperatures in Sioux Falls historically annually take place from December to February.

From December of 2018 to early February of 2019, 69 of the 70 days saw lows below freezing.

Thirty days were 15 degrees or below and 14 days below zero with a frigid maximum low of -25 on Jan. 30. The wind chill factor that day was -47 in Sioux Falls.

During the month of April last year, Sioux Falls had a record 31.4 inches of snow.

The point is that Augustana doesn’t have Chamber of Commerce weather during the early part of the season as the Vikings typically play 13-20 games away from home to kick off the season. That means many long bus rides in difficult driving conditions.

Despite this tremendous handicap, the Vikings rolled to a 52-9 record in 2018, the most wins in school history.

Augustana’s offense stole 170 bases in 198 attempts which was the highest amount of stolen bases on any level of college baseball.

Just as remarkable was that Augustana held opponents to only 21 stolen bases in 42 attempts over 61 games.

The pitching staff had a 2.84 ERA with 559 strikeouts, 168 walks and a nation leading 14 shutouts.

The Vikings started off 2018 with a remarkable 34-2 record and were ranked No. 1 in the nation.

But many people don’t realize Augustana promptly lost 6 of 10 games entering the conference tournament.

The Vikings rebounded to win 12 of their final 13 games, including four straight at the NCAA Div. II College World Series, enroute to their first national baseball title.

The mastermind behind this superb program is Head Coach Tim Huber who enters his 11th season at Augustana.

“There are a lot of negatives which involve the weather,” said Huber.

“But there are also some positives that come with the weather as well. We are inside a lot, especially early on in the season.

To read more of this story, purchase the Feb. 22, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Augustana Head Coach Tim Huber explains in detail how his teams practice indoors for months to prepare for the season and how his teams are able to steal so many bases, plus more.

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Impossible Dream Becomes Reality For Opp http://baseballnews.com/impossible-dream-becomes-reality-for-cam-opp/ http://baseballnews.com/impossible-dream-becomes-reality-for-cam-opp/#respond Thu, 28 Feb 2019 16:59:15 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13041 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball WEST POINT, N.Y. — Every high school player has a dream of playing college baseball. For Cam Opp, Army’s superb 5-foot-9, 185-pound southpaw pitcher, the quest was extremely difficult. He was born in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and his family moved after six years to Hinsdale, Ill. for three years […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Every high school player has a dream of playing college baseball.

For Cam Opp, Army’s superb 5-foot-9, 185-pound southpaw pitcher, the quest was extremely difficult.

He was born in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and his family moved after six years to Hinsdale, Ill. for three years and then made a third move to London, England when he was almost 10.

While England is a hotbed for soccer, cricket and rugby, baseball is an afterthought on the sports scene.

The bond of many young boys and their fathers is the wonderful sport of baseball. In the case of Cam and his baseball loving dad Stuart, it was special.

Stuart helped his son learn every facet of the game by working with him every chance he got while Cam played Little League and beyond.

The only problem was that the competition level in London was terrible. As Cam started high school, the reality was that he would have to move back to the USA if he stood a chance of playing college baseball.

The family came to a decision to allow this young man to return to the United States and attend Christ School in Asheville, N.C. for his junior and senior years of high school. He would then see where his baseball skills would take him while going through a demanding academic load at this well known boarding school.

Cam would be on his own 4,040 miles and six time zones away from his family back in London.

The dream of playing college baseball was the fuel that drove him.

“I lived in England for about seven years from the ages of 10-16.

“I wanted to give college base-ball a shot in the USA, and the best way to do that was to go to a boarding school back in the U.S. The competition in England wasn’t where it needed to be to play in college.

“I was accepted at Christ School and began the next chapter of my life.

“For that two year period, I stayed on campus at dorms that house people from all over the country. My entire family was in England during this time.”

Opp said that he improved as a baseball player at Christ School.

“I have always been a pretty competitive kid and played with a chip on my shoulder because of my size (5-foot-9). I played a lot of outfield in high school and started pitching. I threw my fastball 80-83 mph at the time during my two years there.

“Most of the pitching instruction I had had prior to that was with my dad to be perfectly honest. There was not any scientific process to gaining velocity. By the time I graduated Christ School, I was throwing in the low to mid-80s with my fastball as a lefthander.

“I don’t think I topped out any higher than 85 mph. I had a few looks from a college teams but nothing really too significant.”

Opp said that he missed being with his dad a great deal during his time in North Carolina and had many long conversations with him on the phone about pitching.

“I always talked with him about all the things going on in my life whether it be pitching after a game or going out to golf as I went over every hole. He was always a role model for everything I did.

“Sundays, when many of the students would go back home to towns in the area or within a few hours, I would still be there with other international students. I would typically call my parents in the morning since London is six hours ahead in time.”

Life Turned Upside Down

Cam pitched well his junior season at Christ School and survived the rigors of a tough academic grind.

When he flew back home to London after his junior year, he was excited to share his experiences with family.

“When I got home, my parents sat me down on the couch and told me that dad had cancer,” said Opp.

“Everyone was crying. It was really hard because it seemed as though everything was coming together in our lives at that time.”

Cam had no idea his dad was fighting for his life for the previous three months.

To read more of this story, purchase the Feb. 22, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

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Oregon State’s Remarkable Adley Rutschman http://baseballnews.com/oregon-states-remarkable-adley-rutschman/ http://baseballnews.com/oregon-states-remarkable-adley-rutschman/#respond Tue, 26 Feb 2019 21:55:33 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=13031 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball CORVALLIS, Ore. — Imagine being the 1,197th pick in the MLB Draft out of high school and three years later the odds on favorite to be the No. 1 pick overall. Oregon State’s 6-foot-2, 216-pound catcher Adley Rutschman is that man. He was only 19 picks away from being […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Imagine being the 1,197th pick in the MLB Draft out of high school and three years later the odds on favorite to be the No. 1 pick overall.

Oregon State’s 6-foot-2, 216-pound catcher Adley Rutschman is that man.

He was only 19 picks away from being the last pick of the draft in the 40th round three years ago by the Seattle Mariners from Sherwood High School (Sherwood, Ore.)

Since that time, he has improved dramatically in every phase of his game at Oregon State. 

His greatest strides have been made as a switch hitter.

As a freshman two seasons ago, he hit an anemic .234 in 61 games with 7 doubles, 2 homers, 33 RBI and 27 walks over 209 at-bats.

Last year was remarkable as he hit 174 points higher with a.408 batting average.

He had 15 more doubles (22), 7 more homers (9) and collected 26 more walks (53) as he turned into a skilled hitter from both sides of the plate.

It was one of the greatest turnarounds by a hitter in college baseball history.

At the College World Series last year, he was on fire.

Over eight games against elite pitching staffs, he hit .567 as he collected a College World Series record 17 hits in 30 at-bats and recorded 13 RBI, 3 doubles, 2 homers and 7 walks.

He tallied three hits and two RBI in the national title game win over Arkansas as Rutschman was named Most Valuable Player of the 2018 CWS.

Last season he delivered clutch hits over and over again.

One he will never forget was a walkoff inside-the-park home run in the 10th inning against Nevada as he went 4-for-4 with two walks.

Oregon State Head Coach Pat Bailey, one of the top hitting minds in the game, said subtle changes were made with Rutschman after his freshman season.

“Adley was a disciplined hitter when he came in our program and worked hard. But I feel there were two keys to his success last season.

“First, he didn’t play football for Oregon State after his freshman season. So we had him the entire fall of 2017 which allowed us to clean some things up.”

Rutschman was the placekicker for the football team his freshman year as he served as a kickoff specialist, averaging 59.5 yards per kick with 20 touchbacks.

At Sherwood High School (Sherwood, Ore.), he booted a state-record 63-yard field goal as a senior in 2015.

“Second, he was consistently collapsing his back side which was causing him to come off the ball earlier on the front side. That was the No. 1 thing we cleaned up. We did different drills with him to refine that area.

“Being a hard worker allowed Adley to improve quickly. As a switch hitter, he had issues from both sides. But he collapsed more from the left side. We just tried to get him to stay tall on his back side and keep a proper distance between his feet.

“He needed to be more balanced. Posture determines a hitter’s swing path. All the things we did to help Adley had to do with timing, rhythm and balance. And balance is the key to Adley.”

Bailey said Rutschman’s leadership skills are off the chart.

“He is a selfless, great young man. I have known Adley since he was five years old going back to the days when I coached at George Fox University with Adley’s dad Randy.

“When you work with baseball players, some are more risk takers than others, and Adley certainly fits that mold. Part of that is personality and part is self confidence. Adley has always been willing to make changes so he can improve.” 

To read more of this article, purchase the Feb. 22, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. The rest of the article delves into Adley Rutschman’s remarkable receiving ability and how he has shut down opponent running games. Pitching Coach Nate Yeskie explains why he is so special with his unique way of working with pitching staffs and why he is an iron man who rarely misses a game.

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Here’s How To Balance Baseball And Academics http://baseballnews.com/heres-how-to-balance-baseball-and-academics/ http://baseballnews.com/heres-how-to-balance-baseball-and-academics/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 23:11:48 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=12979 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball WACO, Tex. — One of the amazing coaches in college baseball is Mitch Thompson of McLennan Community College. His coaching career spans three decades and includes 23 years at the NCAA Division I level, including 22 years in the Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences with stops at Baylor, Auburn […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

WACO, Tex. — One of the amazing coaches in college baseball is Mitch Thompson of McLennan Community College.

His coaching career spans three decades and includes 23 years at the NCAA Division I level, including 22 years in the Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences with stops at Baylor, Auburn and Mississippi St.

In five seasons under Thompson’s leadership, McLennan has amassed a 214-88 record and have made five consecutive post-season appearance for the first time since the 1990s.

No other junior college in the country is accomplishing the combination of winning games, developing players and excelling in the classroom better than his program.

Here is a rundown on the special achievements his program has had over the last few years:

  • Most drafted catchers of any college in the USA the last three years (4).
  • Highest drafted junior college player in the nation last year in Josh Breaux who was a second round pick by the Yankees.
  • Since 2014, nearly 15 players a year have signed with 4-year colleges.
  • Over the last five years, 13 players have been chosen in the MLB Draft.
  • Over the 2017-2018 academic year, McLennan had the third highest grade point average of any NJCAA school at 3.51.
  • Over the 2016-2017 academic year, McLennan again had the third highest GPA of any NJCAA school at 3.42.

The numbers above all others that jump out are the team academic figures.

Many junior college baseball teams are filled with athletes who were average to poor students in high school. That is why junior college baseball is the land of second chances for many baseball players. Players with poor academic skills routinely transfer out of 4-year colleges and into junior colleges.

“Having baseball players at the junior college level who are poor academically may be true at many places,” said Thompson.

“What we have done is stress in the recruiting process that I am looking for three things.

“First, I want a kid who wants to be a champion on the baseball field — a guy who really wants to develop. I want a guy who thinks he can play in the Big Leagues.

“Second, I want kids who understand the value of an education. He realizes that playing in the Big Leagues will be a difficult task. So he prepares for life.

“Third, I want a good kid from a good family. He must understand the importance of hard work.

“Not everybody is a good fit for us. We are honest about all three areas with potential players. We will tell a recruit that if he doesn’t have these the qualities, and this is not who you truly are, then this is probably not the place for you.”

To read more of this article which explains the system in place that McLennan players have thrived in, purchase the Feb. 8, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

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