Collegiate Baseball Newspaper http://baseballnews.com Fri, 03 Jul 2020 19:30:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.15 50 Amazing College World Series Memories http://baseballnews.com/50-amazing-college-world-series-memories/ http://baseballnews.com/50-amazing-college-world-series-memories/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2020 20:44:59 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14723 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball OMAHA, Neb. — Since there is no College World Series this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Collegiate Baseball thought it would be a good idea to remind people what a remarkable event this tournament is. So we present the 50 greatest memories in CWS history. 1. Most Dramatic […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

OMAHA, Neb. — Since there is no College World Series this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Collegiate Baseball thought it would be a good idea to remind people what a remarkable event this tournament is.

So we present the 50 greatest memories in CWS history.

1. Most Dramatic Moment To End Game: With two outs in the bottom of the ninth in the 1996 College World Series championship game, Miami (Fla.) was on the cusp of winning the national title over Louisiana St. with 1-run lead.

With one runner on, LSU’s Warren Morris stepped to the plate.

He did not play for 39 games due to a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist and only came back to the starting lineup in the South II Regional.

He had not hit a home run all season long.

With one runner on, he hit the only walk-off homer to win a College World Series in history as it barely cleared the right field wall as LSU pulled off a 9-8 win in the national title game.

2. Greatest Championship Game: Southern California and Florida State played the greatest College World Series championship game in history.

The Trojans beat the Seminoles, 2-1 in 15 innings.

To reach the title game, USC had to beat Texas in 14 innings, 8-7 two days prior.

In USC’s final two games of that Series, the Trojans navigated 29 innings of pressure packed baseball over three days to win its sixth national title.

What made the achievement even more amazing is that USC pitcher Jim Barr worked 16 innings over those three days for the Trojans.

3. Greatest Program In CWS History: Southern California has won the most national baseball titles of any NCAA Division I program with 12.

No other program has won more than six national titles, and only two have done it in LSU and Texas.

At one point, the Trojans won five consecutive championships from 1970-74.

Legendary Coach Rod Dedeaux was at the helm of USC for 11 of those championships while Mike Gillespie led the Trojans to their final title in 1998.

It is highly unlikely any other program will ever win 12 national titles.

4. Amazing Comeback: The greatest ninth inning comeback in College World Series history took place in 1973.

Minnesota held a 7-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth against Southern California. The Trojans scored eight runs to beat Minnesota.

Dave Winfield was pitching for the Golden Gophers on this day and held the Trojans to only a weak infield single heading into the final frame.

It should be noted Winfield struck out 15 USC batters heading into the ninth.

According to USC’s Dedeaux, the turning point actually came with Minnesota batting in the top of the ninth.

To read the rest of the top 50 College World Series memories, purchase the June 12, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

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Volcano Eruption Couldn’t Stop Gonzaga http://baseballnews.com/volcano-eruption-couldnt-stop-gonzaga/ http://baseballnews.com/volcano-eruption-couldnt-stop-gonzaga/#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2020 15:36:49 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14703 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball SPOKANE, Wash. — It is doubtful if any team in the history of college baseball ended a baseball season with more drama than Gonzaga University in 1980. Four days before the Bulldogs were scheduled to fly to the West NCAA Regional in Tucson, Ariz. 40 years ago, 9,677-foot Mount […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

SPOKANE, Wash. — It is doubtful if any team in the history of college baseball ended a baseball season with more drama than Gonzaga University in 1980.

Four days before the Bulldogs were scheduled to fly to the West NCAA Regional in Tucson, Ariz. 40 years ago, 9,677-foot Mount St. Helens erupted 230 miles from Spokane, home of Gonzaga University.

That volcanic explosion was as powerful as the largest hydrogen bomb ever tested. Mount St. Helens previously erupted 123 years prior to that. The 1980 blast marked the first of its kind in the contiguous United States in more than 60 years.

The ash from the eruption blew 10 miles straight up, and winds blew it as far east as Montana. In the state of Washington, more than 6,000 miles of roads and highways were buried with a deluge of ash. Spokane was virtually shut down.

No one could drive on the local streets without ash clogging the engines, causing vehicles to chug to a halt. Busses stopped operating. State vehicles were locked up. If one ventured outside, that person had to wear a surgical mask, gas mask or coffee filter to keep ash from entering their lungs.

It was just an entirely unlikely situation for a playoff-bound team and a sudden nightmare.

Gonzaga that year had a superb ball club that posted a 23-4 record in the Northern Pacific Conference. It still is the best conference record by a Bulldog baseball team in history.

What was Head Coach Jim Lawler to do? The second-year head coach made several frantic calls to NCAA headquarters in an effort to move the tournament back because travel conditions were almost impossible.

Unfortunately, the NCAA couldn’t do anything for Gonzaga to help with their unique travel problem. The College World Series was a week later, and there was no provision in the association baseball rules about natural disasters affecting travel. So the former Iowa farm boy went to work.

Two days before Gonzaga was scheduled to arrive in Tucson, Lawler phoned a Washington state senator for emergency permission to drive on the highway in an effort to reach Seattle which had the nearest open airport.

Seattle is about 300 miles from Spokane. When the state senator gave her approval, Lawler quickly arranged for two vans and a station wagon to make the trip. All three vehicles were packed with equipment and human beings.

“All the highways were closed,” said Lawler.

“Even the state vehicles were not allowed on the streets because they would stop operating because of ash-clogged engines. After I made arrangements to drive to Seattle, we decided to embark on the risky drive. We took off at about 2 p.m. on a Tuesday in Spokane. In each vehicle, we had three spare air and oil filters just in case the ones in use clogged with ash.

“Normally the trip to Seattle takes about five hours. But with the blizzard of falling ash, which made driving treacherous, the journey became a 9-hour marathon. All around us, ash kept falling. It looked similar to a dust storm.

“As the ash came through the air ducts of the vans and station wagon, all of the players and coaches could feel the ash particles going into their eyes and causing them to burn. The ash also got into everyone’s lungs and caused a similar burning sensation.

“After hours of exposure to the ash, you could even smell it. Thank goodness we only had to stop once. That was to check all vehicles and change the air filters. If one of the vans or station wagon had stalled, I don’t know what we would have done. We might have had to walk miles and miles for help. But we just had to take the chance. Our kids worked too hard to get where they were.”

When the 9-hour trip from hell finally ended at Seattle’s airport, a thoroughly relieved bunch of players and coaches emerged from the vehicles.

Their flight out of Seattle was the next day. So the entire team relaxed for the first time in five days.Now that the business of travel had been taken care of, the Gonzaga players had one pressing problem.

They had not practiced outside for five days. Incredibly, the Bulldogs beat defending NCAA champion Cal. St. Fullerton not once but twice

Pitching ace Tom Gorman was crucial in those two victories. In the opening game of the West Regional against Fullerton, he limited the hard-hitting Titans to just two runs as Gonzaga won, 3-2.

The game was tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Mac Gebbers stepped to the plate and delivered a walk-off home run to left centerfield. He was mobbed by teammates as he crossed home plate.

After days without practice and a 9-hour trip to Seattle, it was clear Gonzaga was ready to play.

In three innings of relief against Fullerton in the second meeting, Gorman tossed goose-eggs as Gonzaga beat the Titans in the semi-final game, 10-8 in 11 innings.

Then against the Arizona in the West Regional title game, Gorman gave up two earned runs in six innings before he tired and was taken out against the Wildcats, the eventual national champs that year. Arizona held on to beat Gonzaga, 8-5. In all, Gorman pitched 18 innings in 2 1/2 days while allowing 4 earned runs.

Gonzaga finished with a 39-15 overall record and was ranked 10th in the final Collegiate Baseball final poll of 1980.

Lawler went on to be the head coach of Texas-El Paso. Then he was the Associate Head Coach at Texas A&M, the head coach at Arkansas-Little Rock and recently served as the pitching coach at Pepperdine.

To read more stories such as this, subscribe to Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE. Our June 12, 2020 edition features 50 Amazing College World Series Memories, an in-depth story on our National Player of The Year Nick Gonzales of New Mexico St, our All-American and Freshmen All-American teams, the 31st annual All-Pavlovich Team, plus much more.

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Announcing 31st Annual All-Pavlovich Team http://baseballnews.com/announcing-31st-annual-all-pavlovich-team/ http://baseballnews.com/announcing-31st-annual-all-pavlovich-team/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2020 16:16:13 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14692 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball TUCSON, Ariz. — Introducing my 31st annual All-Pavlovich team, a remarkable collection of unique people and animals in the game. Co-Head Coach Of The Year Tom Walter, Wake Forest Tom Walter is simply one of the most amazing coaches the game has ever seen. In my book, he is […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

TUCSON, Ariz. — Introducing my 31st annual All-Pavlovich team, a remarkable collection of unique people and animals in the game.

Co-Head Coach Of The Year
Tom Walter, Wake Forest
Tom Walter is simply one of the most amazing coaches the game has ever seen.

In my book, he is better than Superman because of everything he has endured in his life and what he has meant to his players and fellow coaches.

This is a man who previously was the skipper at the University of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in late August of 2005.

The University of New Orleans was shut down for over two months and couldn’t start again until mid-October. Walter evacuated his 38 players as well as coaches and families prior to the storm hitting.

His entire team ultimately made it to New Mexico St in Las Cruces, N.M. to spend the semester before coming back to New Orleans.

This remarkable person is the same man who donated his kidney to a freshman baseball player on his team at Wake Forest.

Earlier in his career as the head baseball coach at George Washington University, he led his program to great success despite not having a home field. Imagine having all 56 games each spring on the road.

His amazing life was chronicled in the Jan. 3, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball, and I am proud to make him the co-head coach of my 2020 team.

Co-Head Coach Of The Year
Rob Klein, USC
Rob is one of the greatest coaches in college baseball history.

He was an assistant for 22 years with Coach Mike Gillespie (three years at College of The Canyons and 19 more at the University of Southern California).

He also served as a detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 32 years.

For 19 years, he drove 55 miles to USC from his home in Acton, Calif. and back again after practices or games — a round trip of 110 miles.

His skills at picking pitches were legendary as he coached first base.

Nobody in college or pro baseball has ever been as good at it.

Klein coached over 1,200 games in his career, and he estimated that he was able to pick 50-60 percent of opposing pitchers in his coaching career which gave his hitters thousands of pitches to hit that they knew were coming.

He did it all legally with his eyes as he broke down every movement of pitchers. He also watched to see if catchers were showing signs or if infielders were shading batters on certain pitches or giving signs to outfielders on what pitches were coming.

Klein gave an in-depth look at everything he did to pick signs in a special story in the Feb. 7, 2020 edition.

National Player Of Year
SS Nick Gonzales, New Mexico St.
Nick Gonzales of New Mexico St. is Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of The Year.

He hit.448 with 12 HR, 3 2B, 36 RBI and 21 walks (10 intentional).

Defensively, he is undoubtedly the top shortstop in the nation.

In 16 games, Gonzales only committed two errors in 71 chances and made every play you can imagine.

Plus, I guarantee you that you won’t find a better human being than Nick on any level of baseball.

Nick finished the season ranked in the top five in the nation in 10 categories: home runs (1st), home runs per game (3rd), runs (1st), runs batted in (1st), runs batted in per game (1st), total bases (1st), slugging percentage (2nd), on-base percentage (3rd), walks (4th) and walks per game (5th).

At one point, he hit 12 home runs in only 48 at-bats over 13 games and was on pace to hit 50 homers.

Team Mascot
Bulldog
I will never forget John Scolinos, Hall of Fame coach at Cal Poly Pomona, telling me years ago that the world is filled with different types of players.

“There are a lot of puppy dogs and hot dogs with a few bulldogs scattered among the group,” said Scolinos

“We want the bulldogs.”

 I have another important reason to pick bulldogs as my team mascot. John Madden was without a doubt the best NFL color man in the history of television years ago when he worked on CBS.

I have always been a big fan of his and purchased his book One Size Doesn’t Fit All back in 1988.

There is a chapter that talks about how fond he was of English bulldogs that he owned.

There was one that stood out above the rest called Boss, a 60-pound giant.

At times he was hell on wheels as Boss would chew up whatever was in the backyard — hoses, a chunk of the diving board, a slab of fence.

The book pointed out that one time he even chewed through the fence and went into the neighbor’s backyard and chewed up a few items. The neighbors had Boss thrown in the dog pound as John Madden received a police citation.

“That wasn’t the only citation,” said Madden.

“Some people put pictures of their kids on the refrigerator. We put Boss’ citations up there.”

One time Boss attacked a power edger that trimmed the edge of the grass next to the sidewalk. He chewed the edger to a stop.

“His mouth was all blood, but he didn’t care. He had stopped that edger,” said Madden.

Another time when Madden’s wife Virginia took Boss for a walk in Central Park near their New York apartment, Boss noticed a street person on one of the benches and pulled Virginia that way.

She thought Boss wanted to be petted. Unfortunately the dog walked over to him and lifted his leg.

OF Clay Engel
Drury University
In the summer of 2017, Engel nearly died.

He suffered a skull fracture, fractured vertebra and leg injuries which required skin grafts after he had a serious hiking accident as he fell off a bluff on a mountain near Estes Park, Colo.

Completely alone, he was unconscious for about six hours. Once he woke up, he had to walk down the mountain about a mile which was astonishing since he could barely walk.

Incredibly, Engel recovered over time after surgical procedures and played during the 2019 season at Drury as he hit .337 with 21 doubles, 12 homers, 5 triples, 61 RBI and stole 12 of 13 bases in 54 games.

He played in 20 games during the 2020 season before the season was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There is no question Clayton is one of my All-Pavlovich outfielders because of everything he went through. He is tough as nails.

OF Josh Elvir
Angelo State
Elvir is one of those amazing stories you never forget.

The rightfielder for Angelo State was cut at the University of Houston as the Cougars were about to begin the 2018 season.

Given a second chance at Angelo State in 2019, he was the NCAA Div. II National Player of The Year as he hit .458 in 55 games with 20 homers, 17 doubles, 81 RBI and stole 11 of 12 bases as he was walked 50 times and had an on-base percentage of .584.

He started out on fire in 2020. Over 22 games, he hit .438 with 11 homers, 10 doubles, 30 RBI and swiped 15 of 17 bases with 27 walks.

Ultimate Clutch Hitters
U.S. Naval Academy
Every team needs to manufacture runs when it seems impossible to do it against great pitching.

I’m going with Navy to help me out with this problem.

Three Penn State pitchers combined to no-hit Navy.

But the Midshipmen made the most of their base runners and managed to defeat Penn State, 2-1 in the bottom of the 11th.

RHP Bailey Dees, LHP Tyler Shingledecker and RHP Mason Mellot combined on the 10th no-hitter in Penn State history.

However, Navy drew five walks, moved base runners and took advantage of late errors to scratch across two runs while scattering eight Penn State hits.

In the 11th inning, Navy had its leadoff batter reach on an error.

He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on another throwing error for the unusual walk-off victory.

To read more of the June 12, 2020 edition or subscribe, CLICK HERE. This edition of Collegiate Baseball includes the 50 greatest moments in College World Series history, a special feature on our National Player of The Year Nick Gonzales of New Mexico St., our All-American teams and Freshmen All-Americans. Plus, we take a look at the most dangerous trip to an NCAA Regional in history as Gonzaga navigated a wild drive through volcanic ash in 1980 after Mount St. Helens erupted. In addition, we take a look at the latest on College Summer Leagues, our National Coach of The Year Mike Bianco of Ole Miss, a special instructional clinic by Gary Ward and much more.

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Mike Bianco National Coach Of The Year http://baseballnews.com/mike-bianco-national-coach-of-the-year/ http://baseballnews.com/mike-bianco-national-coach-of-the-year/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2020 11:00:06 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14596 TUCSON, Ariz. — University of Mississippi Head Coach Mike Bianco has been named Collegiate Baseball’s National Coach of The Year. He led the Rebels to a 16-1 record before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mississippi started the season against pre-season No. 1 ranked Louisville. After losing the first game, the Rebels […]

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TUCSON, Ariz. — University of Mississippi Head Coach Mike Bianco has been named Collegiate Baseball’s National Coach of The Year.

He led the Rebels to a 16-1 record before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mississippi started the season against pre-season No. 1 ranked Louisville. After losing the first game, the Rebels won the next two and never stopped winning as they rolled off 16 straight victories before the season stopped. It was the longest winning streak at the time of the stoppage.

The Rebels were one win shy of tying the program record for wins in a row and finished third in the final Collegiate Baseball national poll presented by Big League Chew.

It marks the first time Collegiate Baseball has named Bianco National Coach of The Year. It is the 14th time that a Southeastern Conference coach has been named National Coach of The Year by Collegiate Baseball dating back to the 1980 season.

Ole Miss led the nation with 37 home runs in 17 games and was third in scoring (9.5 runs per game) as well as third in slugging percentage (.549). The pitching staff was exceptional with a 2.92 ERA that fanned 179 batters and walked 51.

Another reason Bianco was chosen National Coach of The Year is that fellow coaches in the Southeastern Conference picked Ole Miss to finish sixth in the Western Division of the SEC (second to last) in the pre-season poll. They were much better than that.

In 20 years with Ole Miss, he has guided the Rebels to a 767-440 record and is the winningest coach in program history and one of the top coaches in the SEC while establishing Ole Miss as one of the premier programs in college baseball.

Prior to this coronavirus shortened season, Bianco has delivered 16 post-season appearances in 19 years, including six Super Regional berths and a trip to the College World Series in 2014. He is the longest active coach in the SEC among the three major men’s sports of baseball, basketball and football.

The Rebels have reached the 30-win plateau in Bianco’s first 19 seasons, including eight 40-win campaigns, and were well on their way to a 20th straight 30-win season in 2020 before games were halted.

Under Bianco, the Rebels have won four SEC Western Division titles, two SEC Tournament titles and one SEC regular-season championship.

Prior to this season, Ole miss has seen 114 Major League Baseball draft picks over the span of 19 years, including a combined 15 in 2018-19.

Bianco has also tutored 18 catchers who have gone on to sign professional contracts.

In 2018 and 2019, three Rebels were drafted as catchers in the top six rounds.

To obtain the June 12, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball which features the 2020 Freshmen All-American team and the regular NCAA Div. I All-American squad, plus the 50 greatest moments of the College World Series, an in-depth story of our National Player of The Year (Nick Gonzales of New Mexico St.), our 2020 National Coach of The Year, plus much more, purchase this issue or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

Previous Collegiate Baseball National Coaches of The Year include:

2019: Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt
2018: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
2017: Kevin O’Sullivan, Florida
2016: Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina
2015: Brian O’Connor, Virginia
2014: Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt
2013: John Savage, UCLA
2012: Andy Lopez, Arizona
2011: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
2010: Ray Tanner, South Carolina
2009: Paul Mainieri, Louisiana St.
2008: Mike Batesole, Fresno St.
2007: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
2006: Pat Casey, Oregon St.
2005: Augie Garrido, Texas
2004: George Horton, Cal. St. Fullerton
2003: Wayne Graham, Rice
2002: Augie Garrido, Texas
2001: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
2000: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
1999: Jim Morris, Miami (Fla.)
1998: Mike Gillespie, Southern Calif.
MMMMMike Batesole, Cal. St. Northridge
1997: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
1996: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.,
MMMMAndy Lopez, Florida
1995: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
1994: Larry Cochell, Oklahoma
1993: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
1992: Andy Lopez, Pepperdine
1991: Skip Bertman, Louisiana St.
1990: Steve Webber, Georgia
1989: Dave Snow, Long Beach St.
1988: Larry Cochell, Cal. St. Fullerton
1987: Mark Marquess, Stanford
1986: Jerry Kindall, Arizona
1985: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
1984: Augie Garrido, Cal. St. Fullerton
1983: Cliff Gustafson, Texas
1982: Ron Fraser, Miami (Fla.)
1981: Jim Brock, Arizona St.
1980: Jerry Kindall, Arizona

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Nick Gonzales: From Walk-On To Player Of Year http://baseballnews.com/nick-gonzalesfrom-walk-on-to-player-of-year/ http://baseballnews.com/nick-gonzalesfrom-walk-on-to-player-of-year/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2020 22:24:47 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14727 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Collegiate Baseball’s 2020 National Player of The Year is SS Nick Gonzales of New Mexico St. He hit .448 with 12 homers, 3 doubles, 36 RBI and walked 21 times (10 intentional) in 16 games before the coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted the season. Gonzales finished […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Collegiate Baseball’s 2020 National Player of The Year is SS Nick Gonzales of New Mexico St.

He hit .448 with 12 homers, 3 doubles, 36 RBI and walked 21 times (10 intentional) in 16 games before the coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted the season.

Gonzales finished in the top five nationally in 10 categories: home runs (1st), home runs per game (3rd), runs (1st), runs batted in (1st), runs batted in per game (1st), total bases (1st), slugging percentage (2nd), on-base percentage (3rd), walks (4th) and walks per game (5th).

Gonzales hit five home runs in a single day against Purdue Fort Wayne on Feb. 29 as he hit two in game one of a doubleheader before belting three more in the nightcap, including an inside-the-park grand slam. He compiled 10 RBI over the two games.

When the season was suspended, he had a national best on-base streak of 82 consecutive games which dated back to the 2018 season.

One year ago, he hit .432 with 16 homers, 19 doubles and 80 RBI.

But this season, he has been off-the-charts great.

While it took him 220 at-bats to hit 16 homers during the 2019 season, he belted 12 homers in only 48 at-bats this season over 13 games.

He was on pace to hit 50 home runs this season in 56 games which would have broken the NCAA Division I record of 48 set by Oklahoma State’s Pete Incaviglia during the 1985 season over 75 games.

Over 13 games, he also drove in 36 runs. He was on a pace to collect 155 RBI which would also set a new NCAA Division I record.

The current record was set by Oklahoma State’s Pete Incaviglia during the 1985 season with 143 RBI over 75 games.

To read more of this story, purchase the June 12, 2020 edition or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Gonzales came to New Mexico State as a 5-foot-10, 160-pound freshman walk-on with little fanfare from Tucson, Ariz. and ultimately became Collegiate Baseball’s National Player of The Year three years later. It is a remarkable story you will never forget.

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Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-Americans http://baseballnews.com/collegiate-baseball-freshmen-all-americans-2/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 10:25:13 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14574 TUCSON, Ariz. — The 2020 Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American team, powered by Diamond Sports, features a wealth of baseball talent. The squad is headed by Collegiate Baseball’s National Co-Freshmen Players of The Year LHP Connor Prielipp (Alabama), RHP Christian MacLeod (Mississippi St.), OF Chris Newell (Virginia) and OF John Rhodes (Kentucky). Starting Pitchers LHP Connor […]

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TUCSON, Ariz. — The 2020 Collegiate Baseball Freshmen All-American team, powered by Diamond Sports, features a wealth of baseball talent.

The squad is headed by Collegiate Baseball’s National Co-Freshmen Players of The Year LHP Connor Prielipp (Alabama), RHP Christian MacLeod (Mississippi St.), OF Chris Newell (Virginia) and OF John Rhodes (Kentucky).

Starting Pitchers

LHP Connor Prielipp (Alabama): One of four Collegiate Baseball Freshmen Players of The Year, he put up amazing numbers as he was 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA and struck out 35 with only 6 walks. In 21 innings, the ace of the Crimson Tide staff only allowed 5 hits. He tied for third in the SEC in strikeouts. He was the only freshman to make the Collegiate Baseball All-American first team which is rare.

RHP Christian MacLeod (Mississippi St.): Another Collegiate Baseball Freshman Player of The Year, MacLeod was 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA and struck out 35 batters with only 6 walks. He struck out the most batters in a collegiate debut at Mississippi St. since at least 1985 with 11 against Wright St. He also tied for the most strikeouts among Power 5 Conference freshmen on the season (35). MacLeod was a Collegiate Baseball third team All-American.

RHP Sean Burke (Maryland): Burke was 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA and struck out 35 batters with 11 walks. His 35 strikeouts were the fourth highest in the Big Ten.

RHP Carter Rustad (San Diego): Rustad was 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA and struck out 24 batters with 8 walks. He ranked second in NCAA Division I with 4 victories and second in hits allowed per nine innings (2.11).

RHP Nick Durgin (Stetson): Durgin was 2-0 with a 1.63 ERA and fanned 27 batters with only one walk.

LHP Jake Bennett (Oklahoma): Bennett was 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and struck out 19 batters with only 3 walks. He surrendered only 6 hits in 12 innings.

LHP Antoine Jean (Alabama): Jean posted a 3-0 record, 3.18 ERA and struck out 17 batters with 3 walks over 17 innings.

RHP Johnathan Harmon (Northwestern St.): Harmon was 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA and struck out 14 batters in 25 innings.

RHP Luis Ramirez (Long Beach St.): Ramirez was 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA and fanned 27 batters with 8 walks over 26 1/3 innings.

RHP Jack Leiter (Vanderbilt): Leiter was 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA as he struck out 22 batters with 8 walks over 15 2/3 innings. He held opponents to a .098 batting average and did not allow a run in his first three appearances.

RHP Ben Ethridge (Southern Miss.): Ethridge was 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA and struck out 26 batters with 5 walks over 19 2/3 innings. His 26 strikeouts were a team high.

RHP Connor McCullough (Kansas St.): McCullough led Kansas St. in strikeouts with 29 over 24 innings as he posted a 2-1 record and 2.25 ERA. He allowed 0 or 1 run in each of his first 3 collegiate starts while throwing at least 6 innings with a minimum of 6 strikeouts.

RHP Drew Thorpe (Cal Poly): Thorpe posted a 1-1 record, 3.21 ERA and struck out 31 batters with only 7 walks over 28 innings.

LHP Hunter Barco (Florida): Barco was 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and fanned 26 batters with 6 walks over 19 1/3 innings.

RHP Chandler Murphy (Arizona): Murphy had a 2-0 record, 2.70 ERA and struck out 19 batters with 7 walks over 16 2/3 innings. He limited opponents to a .203 batting average.

LHP Parker Messick (Florida St.): Messick posted 1 save with a 1-1 record and 0.77 ERA. He fanned 19 batters and walked only 2 over 11 2/3 innings.

LHP Jake Carr (West Virginia): Carr was 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA and struck out 12 batters with 3 walks in 23 2/3 innings.

LHP Cole Kirschsieper (Illinois): Kirschsieper was 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA and struck out 12 batters with 5 walks over 20 innings.

Relief Pitchers/Closers

Jonathan Cannon (Georgia): Cannon was 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 5 appearances. He fanned 12 batters and only walked 2 in 11 1/3 innings. Opponents only had a .111 batting average against him.

Bennett Flynn (Davidson): Flynn posted 4 saves with a 0.90 ERA. In 10 innings, he struck out 13 batters and only allowed 3 walks and 4 hits.

Luke Jannetta (Tulane): Jannetta was 3-0 with 1 save and a 1.37 ERA. He fanned 16 batters with only 1 walk.

Conner Thurman (San Diego): Thurman posted a 4-0 record with 2 saves and a 2.70 ERA as he struck out 17 batters and walked 8 over 13 1/3 innings. He appeared in 8 games.

Mason Ornelas (Texas A&M): Ornelas made 7 appearances and posted a 1-0 record and 1.08 ERA with 13 strikeouts and only 1 walk. He surrendered only 3 hits in 8 1/3 innings.

Wesley Harper (Boise St.): Harper posted 2 saves, a 1.76 ERA and struck out 14 batters over 15 1/3 innings.

Tyler Nesbitt (Florida): Nesbitt didn’t allow a run in 11 2/3 innings with 17 strikeouts and only 3 walks as he made 5 appearances.

Will Bednar (Mississippi St.): Bednar appeared in 4 games and posted 1 save with a 1.76 ERA. He struck out 23 batters with 6 walks over 15 1/3 innings.

Will Childers (Georgia): Childers was 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA and struck out 13 batters with 6 walks over 11 1/3 innings.

Sonny Fauci (St. John’s): Fauci didn’t allow a run in 12 2/3 innings as he posted a 1-0 record and struck out 9 batters with 3 walks.

O’Kelly McWilliams (Wofford): McWilliams was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA. He struck out 18 batters with 4 walks in 10 innings of work. He led Wofford in strikeouts and was second in innings pitched.

Noah Hall (Appalachian St.): Hall was 2-0 with 1 save and a 1.80 ERA. He struck out 21 batters with 10 walks over 20 innings.

Jacob Ciccone (Lafayette): Ciccone posted 2 saves with a 2.25 ERA and struck out 18 batters with 6 walks over 12 innings. He recorded a career-high 9 strikeouts at Towson in 4 innings of relief.

Pete Hansen (Texas): Hansen didn’t allow a run in 17 innings of work as he struck out 18 batters with only 2 walks. He was 2-0 with 1 save.

Joseph King (California): King was 2-0 with 1 save and a 1.59 ERA. He fanned 17 batters with 4 walks over 11 1/3 innings.

Jesse Barron (San Francisco): Barron posted 2 saves with a 0.96 ERA and struck out 14 batters with 2 walks over 9 1/3 innings.

Chad Treadway (Georgia St.): Treadway struck out 23 batters with 4 walks over 16 1/3 innings as he posted a 2.20 ERA in 5 appearances.

C.J. Mayhue (East Carolina): Mayhue was 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA and struck out 19 batters with 6 walks over 16 innings in 8 appearances.

Dalton Smith (Georgia Tech.): Smith was 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA. He fanned 14 batters and walked 6 over 12 1/3 innings.

Geoffrey Gilbert (Clemson): Gilbert was 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA and 14 strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings over 8 appearances.

Bryce Greenly (Delaware): Greenly posted a 1-0 record, 0.96 ERA and struck out 15 batters with 7 walks over 9 1/3 innings.

Cameron Bush (Texas St.): Bush was 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA and struck out 12 with 3 walks over 11 2/3 innings.

Ethan Hoopingarner (Southern California): Hoopingarner was 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA and struck out 16 batters with 4 walks over 11 1/3 innings. He only allowed 3 hits in 9 appearances.

Jack Lynch (Xavier): Lynch posted a 1-0 record and 1.69 ERA in 5 appearances over 10 2/3 innings. He struck out 11 and walked only 2.

Catchers

Hayden Dunhurst (Mississippi): Dunhurst belted 5 home runs and 15 RBI in 52 at-bats. He only allowed 4 stolen bases all season and threw out 5 base runners as he appeared in all 17 games.

Nathan Hickey (Florida): Hickey hit .311 with 4 homers, 2 doubles and 7 RBI. He hit home runs in 4 consecutive games (4 of the last 5 of the season).

Nick Hassan (Kennesaw St.): Hassan hit .431 with 4 doubles, 1 triple and 10 RBI over 51 at-bats.

Alex Smith (Navy): Smith hit .368 with 4 doubles and 9 RBI in 38 at-bats.

First Basemen

Reggie Crawford (Connecticut): Crawford hit .365 with 7 doubles, 1 homer and 16 RBI for the Huskies.

Matt McCormick (West Virginia): McCormick hit .364 with 3 homers, 4 doubles and 11 RBI.

William Sullivan (Troy): Sullivan hit .396 with 6 doubles, 1 triple and 12 RBI.

Peyton Williams (Iowa): Williams hit .298 with 2 homers, 4 doubles, 1 triple and 16 RBI.

Dylan Simmons (Florida St.): Simmons hit .378 with 4 doubles and 7 RBI as he started 11 games.

Drew Compton (Georgia Tech.): Compton hit .321 with 3 homers, 4 doubles and 12 RBI. He also had a .991 fielding percentage at first base.

Brandon Hylton (Stetson): Hylton hit .357 with 5 doubles and 8 RBI over 42 at-bats.

Wil LaFollette (Tennessee-Martin): LaFollette hit .283 with 3 homers, 2 doubles, 1 triple and 13 RBI over 60 at-bats.

Second Basemen

Max Cotier (Virginia): Cotier hit .338 with 4 triples, 3 doubles, 1 home run and 15 RBI. His 4 triples were tied for the most in NCAA Division I and were the most in the ACC. He tied a school record by scoring 5 times against UMass Lowell. Cotier completed the 2020 season by reaching base in 13 straight games and was on a 10-game hitting streak.

Peyton Chatagnier (Mississippi): Chatagnier hit .311 with 4 homers, 4 doubles and 13 RBI. He was ninth in the nation (4th in the SEC) in runs scored with 23.

Ben Dellacono (Holy Cross): Dellacono hit .305 with 8 doubles, 1 homer and 10 RBI. He led the Patriot League and ranked 15th in Division I with 8 doubles.

Robert Moore (Arkansas): Moore hit .317 with 2 doubles, 2 homers and 17 RBI and started all 16 games for the Razorbacks.

Jeffrey David (Dallas Baptist): David hit .351 with 4 doubles, 2 homers and 15 RBI. He had 20 hits in 57 at-bats and swiped 2 bases.

Michael Curialle (UCLA): Curialle hit .325 with 2 homers, 2 doubles and 9 RBI in 40 at-bats. He also swiped 2 bases.

Tim Borden II (Louisville): Borden hit .444 with 1 homer, 2 doubles and 9 RBI. He collected one hit in 7 of 8 starts.

Landon Hahn (S.E. Missouri): Hahn hit .361 with 2 doubles, 1 triple and 8 RBI.

Third Basemen

Cooper Weiss (Coastal Carolina): Weiss hit .372 with 5 doubles, 2 homers and 14 RBI. He also swiped 5 bases. He ranked in the top 10 in the Sun Belt in slugging percentage (8), batting average (10) and RBI (10).

Jace Jung (Texas Tech.): Jung belted 4 homers, 4 doubles and collected 23 RBI in 19 games for the Red Raiders. He was in the top 10 nationally and second in the Big 12 in walks with 18. He also was 11th in the USA and third in the Big 12 with 23 RBI.

Peyton Graham (Oklahoma): Graham hit .358 with 3 homers, 8 doubles and collected 10 RBI. He also swiped 8 bases over 18 games.

Tyler Martin (Florida St.): Martin hit .310 with 5 doubles and 13 RBI in 58 at-bats. He also drew 16 walks and reached base at a .481 clip.

Chris Dengler (Old Dominion): Dengler hit .340 with 3 doubles, 1 triple and 8 RBI as he started all 15 games. He recorded 5 multi-hit games and committed just two errors. He tied for the most stolen bases on the squad with 3.

Shortstops

Cal Conley (Texas Tech.): Conley hit .371 with 3 homers, 8 doubles and 24 RBI for the Red Raiders. He also swiped 5 bases and started 18 of 19 games. He was eighth nationally in RBI and second in the Big 12. Conley was a third team Collegiate Baseball All-American.

Jake Lazzaro (St. John’s): Lazzaro hit .327 with 4 doubles and swiped 3 bases in 3 attempts as he played in all 14 games and made 13 starts for the Red Storm.

Jose Torres (N.C. State): Torres hit .333 with 3 homers, 3 doubles and collected 13 RBI with 2 stolen bases. He started all 17 games at shortstop for the Wolfpack.

Will Mize (Georgia St.): Mize hit .373 with 5 doubles, 1 homer and 17 RBI. He led all freshmen in the league in RBI and ranked second in batting average.

Brett Roberts (Tennessee Tech.): Roberts hit .290 with 4 homers, 2 doubles and 13 RBI. He also swiped 3 bases.

David McCabe (Charlotte): McCabe hit 5 doubles and recorded 9 RBI in 63 at-bats. He also drew 16 walks.

Outfielders

Chris Newell (Virginia): Newell hit .407 with 4 homers, 2 doubles and 20 RBI. He also swiped 8 bases as he started all 18 games in centerfield. He ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in RBI (T-2), on-base percentage (2), slugging percentage (3), runs (T-3), total bases (T-4), stolen bases (T-5) and batting average (9). Newell was one of four Collegiate Baseball Freshmen Players of The Year and a second team Collegiate Baseball All-American.

John Rhodes (Kentucky): Rhodes, one of four Collegiate Baseball Freshmen Players of The Year, hit .426 with 10 doubles, 1 homer, 3 triples and 19 RBI. He led the SEC and ranked second nationally in doubles (10). Rhodes had twice as many doubles than any other freshman in the SEC. Rhodes was a third team Collegiate Baseball All-American as well.

Caeden Trenkle (Oklahoma St.): Trenkle hit .333 with 3 homers, 4 triples, 3 doubles and 16 RBI. He was tied for the lead in NCAA Division I with 4 triples and ranked third with 5 sacrifice bunts.

Chase DeLauter (James Madison): DeLauter hit .382 with 7 doubles, 1 homer, 1 triple, 14 RBI and also swiped 7 bases in 16 games in the leadoff spot.

David Glancy (St. John’s): Glancy hit .423 with 3 homers, 3 doubles and 12 RBI. He played in nine games and reached base at a .448 clip and posted a slugging percentage of .885. He led St. John’s in RBIs and home runs.

Jake Holcroft (Portland): Holcroft hit .484 with 7 doubles, 2 homers, 2 triples and 11 RBI. He also swiped 4 bases.

Pres Cavenaugh (N.C. Greensboro): Cavenaugh hit .452 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 7 RBI and swiped 7 of 7 bases. His batting average was the 13th highest in Division I and started his Spartan career with a 7-game hitting streak.

Colby Thomas (Mercer): Thomas hit .333 with 5 homers, 9 doubles and 18 RBI. He also swiped 6 bases. He led the Bears in doubles, home runs, RBI and stolen bases.

Owen Diodati (Alabama): Diodati hit .309 with 5 homers, 3 doubles, 1 triple and 22 RBI in 17 games. He was the team leader in RBI and posted 7 multi-RBI games to pace the Crimson Tide. He led SEC freshmen in RBI and slugging percentage while tying for the lead in home runs and walks (13).

Roderick Coffee (Texas Southern): Coffee hit .383 with 7 homers and 15 RBI. He also scored 13 runs and swiped 2 bases.

Dominic Pilolli (Charlotte): Pilolli hit .403 with 2 homers, 3 doubles, 1 triple and 14 RBI. He also swiped 2 bases. His 27 hits tied for first in Conference USA and was second nationwide among all freshmen.

Couper Cornblum (Wichita St.): Cornblum hit .354 with 4 doubles, 3 triples, 1 homer and 12 RBI as he swiped 7 bases.

Evan Martin (Southern Illinois): Martin hit .429 with 1 homer, 1 double and 4 RBI. He also stole 4 bases. His last 4 games of the season, he was 8-for-13 and reached in 12 of 17 plate appearances.

Gavin Cross (Virginia Tech.): Cross hit .369 with 1 double, 8 RBI and was 7-for-7 in stolen bases. He was one of four players who started all 16 games.

Aidan Riley (Delaware): Riley hit .389 with 3 doubles and 12 RBI in 13 games. He also stole 2 bases.

Jared McKenzie (Baylor): McKenzie hit .406 with 3 doubles, 5 RBI and 4 stolen bases. His .406 batting average was third best in the Big 12. He tied for the Big 12 lead with 28 hits.

Johnny Piacentino (Penn State): Piacentino hit .400 as he collected 2 homers, 4 doubles and 11 RBI with 4 stolen bases as the leadoff hitter.

Mac Bingham (Arizona): Bingham played in all 15 Wildcat games as he hit .361 with 2 doubles, 1 homer and 7 RBI. He posted a .478 on-base percentage and registered 4 multi-hit games.

Designated Hitters

Nate Rombach (Texas Tech.): Rombach hit .308 with 6 homers, 4 doubles and 27 RBI over 19 games. He led the Big 12 and ranked sixth nationally in RBI. Rombach belted 3 home runs in a game against Houston Baptist — the only freshman to hit 3 homers in a game this season.

Brayden Jobert (Nicholls St.): Jobert hit .365 with 3 homers, 3 doubles and 33 RBI as he appeared in all 18 games.

Lucas Latrenta (Villanova): Latrenta hit .333 with 3 homers, 1 triple and 10 RBI.

Leighton Banjoff (Nebraska): Banjoff hit .341 with 3 homers, 4 doubles and 13 RBI.

Christian Hall (Tennessee-Martin): Hall hit .368 with 2 homers, 2 doubles and 9 RBI as he started all 15 games. He led all Ohio Valley Conference freshmen with a .368 batting average.

Stephen Reid (Georgia Tech.): Reid hit .273 with 5 homers, 1 double and 10 RBI in just 44 at-bats. He had a slugging percentage of .636.

Multiple Position Athletes

Jacob Pennington (Murray St.): Pennington hit .667 with 1 double and 4 runs scored at the plate. As a pitcher, he was 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and struck out 12 batters with 6 walks over 13 innings.

Jack Brannigan (Notre Dame): Brannigan hit .255 with 3 doubles, 1 homer, 1 triple and 11 RBI with 3 stolen bases. As a pitcher, he was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA.

Justin Campbell (Oklahoma St.): Campbell hit .414 with 1 homer, 2 doubles and 7 RBI at the plate. As a pitcher, he was 1-2 with 22 strikeouts and 6 walks over 20 1/3 innings. In his last start of the season, he pitched 8 shutout innings and allowed only 3 hits while striking out 9 to get a win against BYU.

To obtain the June 12, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball which features the 2020 Freshmen All-American team and the regular NCAA Div. I All-American squad, plus the 50 greatest moments of the College World Series, an in-depth story of our National Player of The Year (Nick Gonzales of New Mexico St.), our 2020 National Coach of The Year, plus much more, purchase this issue or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

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Elbow Surgery Epidemic Doesn’t Slow Down http://baseballnews.com/elbow-surgery-epidemic-doesnt-slow-down/ http://baseballnews.com/elbow-surgery-epidemic-doesnt-slow-down/#respond Mon, 25 May 2020 15:42:57 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14560 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball LOS ANGELES — The study of Tommy John surgeries over the past 47 years in baseball is fascinating. The first experimental surgery was performed by Dr. Frank Jobe on Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Tommy John in September of 1974. During a 24-year-period from 1974-1998, there were never more than […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

LOS ANGELES — The study of Tommy John surgeries over the past 47 years in baseball is fascinating.

The first experimental surgery was performed by Dr. Frank Jobe on Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Tommy John in September of 1974.

During a 24-year-period from 1974-1998, there were never more than 10 Tommy John surgeries performed in pro baseball on a yearly basis.

Then a dramatic increase took place over the next eight years as Tommy John surgeries jumped to 58 in 2006.

From 2006-2015, another incredible spike took place as the numbers in pro baseball jumped to an all-time record 121 in 2015, according to data tracked by writer and analyst Jon Roegele.

Since 2014, pro baseball has had over 100 Tommy John surgeries five of the last six years.

The question begs to be answered.

What has changed that has caused such a massive increase in Tommy John surgeries across all of baseball in the past 30 years?

Strikeouts At All-Time High
The highest amount of strikeouts over the past 50 years of NCAA Division I baseball took place during the 2019 season.

The 2019 NCAA Division I Strikeouts Per 9 Innings for each team was a record 8.08.

It marks the first time in history the average has eclipsed 8.00

Each of the last five years have featured strikeout numbers that have gone over 7.00.

For the previous 45 years prior to 2015 (1970-2014), only twice did strikeout totals rise over 7.00, and that was in 1998 (7.07) and 1999 (7.12).

The strikeouts per 9 innings per game for each team the last five years include:

2015: 7.02
2016: 7.17
2017: 7.54
2018: 7.88
2019: 8.08

Butch Thompson, head coach at Auburn University, feels velocity is playing a big part in baseball today.

“If you look at Major League Baseball pitchers, the velocity has gone up the past 10 years. The average Major League fastball is now 93.1 mph. The velocity of pitchers has gone up almost a half mile per hour each of these years for the last decade, and that is truly amazing.

“I’m not talking about the top fastballs in the league. This is just the average.

“College baseball seems to be mirroring this velocity increase with pitchers throwing harder and harder over the past 10 years.

“Look at pitchers in the Pac-12, ACC or SEC. Half of pitching staffs in these leagues are throwing fastballs 90 mph or above. That was unheard of a decade ago.”

More Elbow Surgeries
Thompson feels higher velocity fastballs than ever before in pro and college baseball are causing more Tommy John surgeries to elbows than ever before.

“I am blessed. The team doctor here at Auburn is Dr. James Andrews, the world’s top orthopedic surgeon when it comes to Tommy John surgery.

“He has told me that it isn’t rocket science. Kids are bigger, faster and stronger. There are different people helping pitchers throw harder than they ever have thanks to Ron Wolforth and the Texas Baseball Ranch, Driveline and Alan Jaeger, just to name a few.

“It is interesting to note that many pitchers’ bodies, forearms and shoulders are in better shape than ever. A big part of arm health is creating great scaps and shoulder health. You can train all of this stuff. But you can’t train the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow.

“It is untrainable. So despite everything around it being stronger and more stable than ever with our throwers, you can’t throw, work or train with a weighted ball — anything — to strengthen or improve that ligament.

“Dr. Andrews has told me that we can do all of this stuff for training. But understand that any time a ball is thrown over 90 mph with an already unnatural throwing motion, the ligament in the elbow (UCL) is not built to withstand over 90 mph.

“Every time you get above that threshold of 90 mph, the ligament is in more jeopardy time and time again. The other issue is that young pitchers 11-14 are playing travel ball more than ever. Their growth plates aren’t closed up yet. These kids are throwing harder earlier in life than ever before.

“We are seeing 15 year olds throwing 90 mph now. If it is dangerous for an older pitcher with their growth plates closed who throw 90 mph, imagine how dangerous it is throwing 90 mph pitches for a 15 year old because his body hasn’t come to full maturity yet.

“Some of this damage is happening to pitchers before they get to us in college.

“It’s Russian roulette when you get above 90 mph with pitches as far as that ulnar collateral ligament or you throw too much. We know more now about arm care than we ever have and we still are having numerous arm injuries.”

Collegiate Baseball has written many stories over the years from great pitching coaches who explained not only training programs but how to keep pitches healthy.

Several stories are in this issue which explain the programs and philosophies of master pitching instructors who rarely had injuries to their hurlers, including Don Rowe of the Milwaukee Brewers, Tom Dunton of Stanford along with Johnny Sain and Leo Mazzone of the Atlanta Braves.

All four were from the same era and shared a lot of the same philosophies.

What are pitchers doing today that pitchers in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s did not?

To read more of this in-depth article, purchase the May 15, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. The pitching systems of Don Rowe, Tom Dunton as well as Johnny Sain and Leo Mazzone are explained in this edition which have kept thousands of pitchers healthy for many years.

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Genius Of McQuaid Was Innovation, Work http://baseballnews.com/genius-of-mcquaid-was-innovation-work/ http://baseballnews.com/genius-of-mcquaid-was-innovation-work/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 18:16:12 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14529 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball DAVIE, Fla. — Pat McQuaid, one of the greatest high school baseball coaches in history, has retired as the skipper at Nova High School (Davie, Fla.) He spent 45 years as the head coach of the Titans and was the coach of Nova since 1976. His teams won 947 […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

DAVIE, Fla. — Pat McQuaid, one of the greatest high school baseball coaches in history, has retired as the skipper at Nova High School (Davie, Fla.)

He spent 45 years as the head coach of the Titans and was the coach of Nova since 1976.

His teams won 947 games, 18 district titles, two state championships and a national title.

Few high school baseball programs in the USA have experienced more success than Nova High School.

His greatest period of success was when the Titans went 50-1 over the 2005 and 2006 seasons and No. 1 national ranking in the final Collegiate Baseball National High School poll in 2006 with a 19-0 record.

Year after year, he and his staff churned out remarkable teams that played the game the right way.

The veteran skipper was asked to share his time honored secrets of coaching with Collegiate Baseball.

“The most important thing we do is have every kid in our program practice together,” said McQuaid.

“We don’t have a freshman team. But we do have a JV team as well as a varsity squad. We have 22-23 kids on each team, and overall we have 45 kids between both teams. But we treat both teams as one in our program.

“Our JV kids practice with the varsity every day. I found out a long time ago that this was by far the best system to evaluate kids and watch them grow. When the varsity guys are taking ground balls, right next to them might be a freshman kid who is 13 or 14 years old. The varsity kid may be a high profile player who can pass along some valuable information to the young man.

“I’m not saying the young player won’t listen to the coaches. But it has a different meaning coming from one of his peers who has gone through high school baseball and knows what to expect. We have found that our young kids really pay attention to what the varsity players tell them.

“Plus, our older guys have found certain techniques which have worked for them, and they take the young guys under their wings and help them. It is a great experience for them as well.”

When McQuaid says that his JV players are treated as equals with the varsity squad, he isn’t blowing smoke.

When the varsity squad wins a state championship, every player in the program receives a ring, which includes the JV players.

When the varsity travels to a tournament in another state, the JV players come with them as games are arranged for them as well.

And get this.

The goal of the coaching staff at Nova is to make sure each and every JV player participates in at least one varsity game during the season.

“That can be a tough one, but that is our goal,” said McQuaid.

“Usually our JV team plays 18 games, which includes doubleheaders. Since we really don’t have JV coaches, our varsity staff coaches them. I am always at the game watching as I walk around here and there.”

McQuaid said his team may practice 60 minutes on defense, which includes his JV players. Prior to varsity games, his team takes 20 minutes to complete pre-game defensive situations — almost double the time of most high school teams.

“The reason we take so much time is because we have our JV guys taking infield as well. In the long run, this all pays off because kids get a lot of experience. We try to get the kids ready to play. If we find that a kid as a freshman has the aptitude to play at the varsity level, we don’t hesitate using him. All of our JV guys are welcome in the varsity locker room.

“In essence, we want our youngest players to be embraced by the older players to uphold the tradition of our program. When the young kids become older, they turn around and help the younger ones. It turns out to be a great family atmosphere.

“When we have qualified for the final four, we get a lot of our baseball alumni coming to games. After home games, one of the greatest thrills I have is seeing little kids running on the infield of our diamond and playing. I enjoy having a family atmosphere like this with our program.”

Amazing defense has been one of the hallmarks with the Nova Titans for years.

“People may find this hard to believe, but we only had three throwing errors over 32 games during a recent season,” said McQuaid.

“This isn’t unusual. We devote 60 minutes during each practice to defense. We work and work on the fundamentals of fielding and throwing with repetition. The two key areas we work on daily in practice is the double infield drill with two fungo hitters going at the same time.

“The next area we work on each practice is the five different scenarios catchers must master with their throws which gives extra throwing practice for all of our infielders to the different locations where they must throw balls during games.”

McQuaid gave a rundown on each of the five sequences:

To read more of this article, purchase the May 1, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. McQuaid explains his five defensive sequences along with much more in this in-depth story about his system.

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High-Tech Scouting Hits College Baseball http://baseballnews.com/high-tech-scouting-hits-college-baseball/ http://baseballnews.com/high-tech-scouting-hits-college-baseball/#respond Mon, 11 May 2020 17:50:15 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14524 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn Head Coach Butch Thompson has adjusted his scouting philosophy over the years as new technology has arrived. For many years, different coaches would scout opponents either in person or through connections with other coaches on teams, in addition to utilizing every statistic they could get […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn Head Coach Butch Thompson has adjusted his scouting philosophy over the years as new technology has arrived.

For many years, different coaches would scout opponents either in person or through connections with other coaches on teams, in addition to utilizing every statistic they could get their hands on.

Some coaches had players personally scout opponents and had members of their coaching staff scour every newspaper they could which had information about future opponents. Any and all information was valuable.

With more games being televised over the years, recording those games that opponents played and watching every hitter and pitcher became an important advancement.

Now virtually every game has a video feed of some sort that is broadcast over the internet on all levels of college baseball.

Several years ago, Synergy Sports Technology for baseball was introduced which brought an entirely new level of scouting sophistication to the game.

Video of games at schools dissect and analyze every pitch, player, plate appearance, game situation and outcome. Then this company sorts those details and pairs it with supporting video.

This technology was one of the big reasons you now see extreme defensive shifting in college baseball just like in Major League games.

During the 2019 College World Series, one of the biggest tactical changes in college baseball was on full display as extreme shifting took place for the first time ever at this event.

Collegiate Baseball tracked each of the 28 instances of extreme defensive shifting used by teams at the event, and some interesting trends surfaced.

Not once during those 28 trips to the plate by batters did they try to hit a ball the opposite way or bunt the opposite way which would have been easy singles.

In 28 trips to the plate, only one batter got on base, and that was via a walk.

With the other 27 trips to the plate, the batter was out by striking out, grounding out or flying out.

Not one ball was hit to the opposite field by these pull hitters. Every ball was hit to the pull side.

The overwhelming data from Synergy Sports backed these extreme shifts.

“Synergy data has been huge for us,” said Thompson.

“But I don’t think it is the most important thing. Statistics capture the entire body of work by an opposing hitter. But we also want to know what opposing hitters have done with their last 20 at-bats and what tendencies they show.

“Those last 20 at-bats are probably the rhythm they are in currently. With that said, we try not to alter what our pitchers do best. Pitchers like Casey Mize and Tanner Burns bring unique skill sets to pitching. Our starters try to flip the lineup from an opponent three times. We consider that a quality start.

“The identity of the pitcher is absolutely crucial. They have to throw their game. Just because we are playing somebody else doesn’t mean they attack opposing hitters differently. We identify who the power guys are, bunters and runners will be. Pitchers need to know this important information before one of these types of players gets on first base.

“We have this overabundance of information now which pinpoints a power hitter, who will bunt and who will run. I want our pitchers to know this information as they walk into a game.

“Maybe the most important category is who is hot on the other team. Sometimes you can face a great hitter. But if he is not swinging it well those last 20 at-bats, maybe he isn’t as dangerous. When somebody is hot, they are hot.

“When somebody is on autopilot and seems to stick his bat out there and get hits, it is important to know. Knowing the hot hitter is vital to know as you go through a season.”

To read more of this in-depth story, purchase the May 1, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Thompson delves much more into the subject of scouting opponents. 

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Rardin Utilizes New NCAA Rule For An Edge http://baseballnews.com/rardin-utilizes-new-ncaa-rule-for-an-edge/ http://baseballnews.com/rardin-utilizes-new-ncaa-rule-for-an-edge/#comments Fri, 08 May 2020 16:55:51 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14513 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Iowa Western Head Coach Marc Rardin has always been one of the most progressive coaches in the business. During the abbreviated 2020 college baseball season, he did something that few colleges took advantage of. On January 9, the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee for the first […]

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By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Iowa Western Head Coach Marc Rardin has always been one of the most progressive coaches in the business.

During the abbreviated 2020 college baseball season, he did something that few colleges took advantage of.

On January 9, the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee for the first time allowed the pitcher’s use of a quarterback wristband for translating pitch calling digits from a coach in the dugout.

The interpretation stated, “In order to facilitate receiving signals in an accurate and timely manner, a pitcher may wear a wristband with a signal card insert on his non-pitching wrist/forearm.

“It must be black or a solid, dark color. If the insert is not covered with a flap, it should be on the inside of the wrist to reduce any distraction to the batter. There shall not be any attachment to the pitcher’s glove.”

Prior to this ruling, the catcher has been allowed to have a quarterback wristband signal card which translated numbers from the coach for the pitch and location. The catcher then put down the finger or fingers and location for the pitch for the pitcher on the mound.

Rardin jumped at the chance to have his pitchers receive the non-pickable digits from a coach in the dugout.

Because the pitcher and catcher now received the digits from the coach in the dugout at the same time, there was no need for the catcher to give any pitching signs to the pitcher!

Therefore, coaches didn’t have to worry about catcher signs being picked with opponent runners on second or any time for that matter.

An extra benefit is that it speeds up games as well.

Rardin, who has led the Reivers to three NJCAA Division I national titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014, saw an opportunity for his pitchers and catchers to be more efficient with the rule change since NJCAA schools utilize NCAA baseball rules.

“Here is how my thought process went on utilizing the quarterback wrist band for pitchers,” said Rardin.

“There is a company called Synergy which many NCAA Division I baseball programs use. It is an on-line technology that allows you to view pitchers, hitters, spray charts, pitcher and hitter tendencies and much more from your opponents.

“You ask for it, and it does it. We have that technology in our program, and a lot of junior college programs are utilizing it as well.

“If I subscribe, and another program utilizes it as well, the opposing team can get online and watch our stuff. We can also get on-line and watch their stuff as we are getting ready to play them.

“One of the places your camera is set is from the centerfield view toward home plate. With that specific view, what do you see? It is the catcher’s signs. You are trying to make your catcher’s signs more difficult to figure out with runners at second base. With the camera in centerfield, that changes everything since an opponent can view the catcher’s signs on every pitch when the game becomes available online with this company.

“If our opponent looks at a week’s worth of our games prior to playing us, they could easily figure out what our signs are. Then when one of their runners is at second base, they can let the hitter know what pitch is coming with a high level of certainty.

“That is what we were worried about. To prevent this from ever happening with the new rule in place, it made all the sense in the world to have our pitchers now wear the quarterback wristband which could translate numbers being given by a coach in the dugout. Instead of the numbers only being flashed to the catcher, it now went out at the same time to the pitcher and catcher.

“Therefore, the catcher never has to give any signs at all to pitchers! The chance for picking pitches is reduced substantially.

“This centerfield view video from Synergy is recorded and goes online in their system a day or so later.

“With that being said, we found that pitchers became much more efficient and were ready to throw pitches quickly between pitches. What we do now is non-pickable since the catcher doesn’t give any pitching signs.”

To read more of this article, purchase the May 1, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Rardin explains how quick and efficient this system is after testing it with a stopwatch with his pitchers. He also explains why pitching tempo is improved and that the defense is ready to go with the rhythm of the game being quicker, plus much more.

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