Collegiate Baseball Newspaper http://baseballnews.com Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:48:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.13 NCAA Grants 1 More Season Of Eligibility http://baseballnews.com/ncaa-grants-1-more-season-of-eligibility/ http://baseballnews.com/ncaa-grants-1-more-season-of-eligibility/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2020 01:02:28 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14438 INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Division I Council voted to allow baseball players an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility. Members also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and student-athletes who had been in their last year of […]

The post NCAA Grants 1 More Season Of Eligibility appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Division I Council voted to allow baseball players an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.

Members also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and student-athletes who had been in their last year of eligibility who decide to stay.

In a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education, the Council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to give students the opportunity to return for 2020-21 without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20.

This flexibility applies only to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility in 2019-20.

Schools also will have the ability to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for students who take advantage of the additional eligibility flexibility in 2020-21.

Division I rules limit student-athletes to four seasons of competition in a five-year period. The Council’s decision allows schools to self-apply waivers to restore one of those seasons of competition for student-athletes who had competed while eligible in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 spring season

The Council also will allow schools to self-apply a one-year extension of eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes, effectively extending each student’s five-year “clock” by a year.

This decision was especially important for student-athletes who had reached the end of their five-year clock in 2020 and saw their seasons end abruptly.

The Council also increased the roster limit in baseball for student-athletes impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the only spring sport with such a limit.

As far as junior college transfers from NJCAA schools who arrive at NCAA Division I schools next fall, they will not see a year of eligibility burned. If they were a sophomore at their junior college during the past spring, then they will remain a sophomore next fall at the Division I school as long as the school submits a waiver request to the NJCAA.

Earlier the NJCAA stated that no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 would be charged a year of participation.

The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) is granting a year of eligibility to all Spring student/athletes. As for sophomores transferring to NCAA Div. 1 programs this fall, they will be transferring as juniors.

But the process is mirroring the NJCAA. A waiver will be submitted, and CCCAA will grant the year, according to Rudy Arguelles, head baseball coach at Riverside City College.

“It has not been clarified as to which party submits the waiver as of yet,” said Arguelles.

“Some are saying it’s the Div. 1 schools option to submit and some are saying it’s the junior college’s responsibility. Either way, the sophomores transferring to D1 programs will be sophomores again.”

For a complete look at the ramifications of the 2020 college baseball season being cancelled and what the future will hold for baseball players and programs, purchase the April 3, 2020 edition or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

The post NCAA Grants 1 More Season Of Eligibility appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/ncaa-grants-1-more-season-of-eligibility/feed/ 0
Transfer Trouble Could Hit Sport Of Baseball http://baseballnews.com/transfer-trouble-could-hit-sport-of-baseball/ http://baseballnews.com/transfer-trouble-could-hit-sport-of-baseball/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2020 22:29:31 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14429 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball INDIANAPOLIS — If the dominoes continue to fall, NCAA Division I baseball players will be able to transfer and compete immediately at other Division I schools beginning with the 2020-21 academic year. Serious consequences could result for the sport of baseball Not only are many more transfers likely to […]

The post Transfer Trouble Could Hit Sport Of Baseball appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

INDIANAPOLIS — If the dominoes continue to fall, NCAA Division I baseball players will be able to transfer and compete immediately at other Division I schools beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.

Serious consequences could result for the sport of baseball

Not only are many more transfers likely to take place as Division I baseball players jump from one school to another, but baseball’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) could tumble in the process which may ultimately cause administrators to look at cutting back the number of baseball games.

In addition, there is serious concern free agency for players will erupt by unscrupulous coaches who attempt to pilfer key players from other programs.

Over recruiting will undoubtedly take place as well.

These ugly scenarios actually unfolded in the past when baseball players were allowed to transfer from one Division I school to another and were immediately eligible.

Currently the new transfer rule is under consideration by the NCAA’s Transfer Waiver Working Group which is receiving membership feedback.

If the Transfer Waiver Working Group is comfortable making a formal recommendation to implement this change, it could be approved by the Division I Council during its April 23-24 meetings.

The criteria would change to allow approvals for first-time, 4-year transfers in all sports to complete immediately if they:

  • Receive a transfer release from their previous school.
  • Leave their previous school academically eligible.
  • Maintain their academic progress at the new school.
  • Leave under no disciplinary suspension.

Currently NCAA Division I baseball players can transfer at any time to another Division I school. However, that athlete may have to sit out from competition the first year at the new school unless he can meet an exception by the NCAA and receive a waiver.

Division I athletes who wish to transfer must inform their current school in writing.

The school then has two business days to enter the student’s name into the Transfer Portal which allows other schools to confirm that the student can be recruited.

“I would be surprised if it doesn’t pass,” said LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri who has coached for 37 seasons at LSU, Notre Dame, Air Force and St. Thomas as he has won 1,455 games entering the 2020 season.

“The current transfer rule that NCAA Division I baseball utilizes was adopted for the 2007-2008 academic year. Prior to that, players could transfer and play immediately at other Division I schools.

“I remember when this change was being adopted that 27 percent of Division I baseball players transferred the year before. That is a quarter of rosters transferring to other schools.

“I am a firm believer that we are in the education business and am not sure we are sending the right message to student-athletes that as soon as they face the first bit of adversity, they can leave their current school and go to where the grass is greener.

“The grass isn’t always greener somewhere else. There is a lot to be said for youngsters being taught that hanging in there is important when times are tough as they fight through adversity. When they work hard and ultimately get the experience they want at the school they are at, it is fulfilling.

“I’m afraid it will become the wild, wild west once again where certain people will pilfer players from other schools.”

To read more of this article, purchase the March 20, 2020 edition or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

The post Transfer Trouble Could Hit Sport Of Baseball appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/transfer-trouble-could-hit-sport-of-baseball/feed/ 0
Tornado Forces La. Tech. To Be Road Warriors http://baseballnews.com/louisiana-tech-road-warriors-thanks-to-tornado/ http://baseballnews.com/louisiana-tech-road-warriors-thanks-to-tornado/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2020 21:47:02 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14421 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball RUSTON, La. — On April 25, 2019 at 1:53 a.m., a tornado with peak wind gusts of 145 mph ripped through Ruston, La. that caused $15-20 million in damages to Louisiana Tech’s sports facilities which included the baseball stadium J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. A mother and […]

The post Tornado Forces La. Tech. To Be Road Warriors appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

RUSTON, La. — On April 25, 2019 at 1:53 a.m., a tornado with peak wind gusts of 145 mph ripped through Ruston, La. that caused $15-20 million in damages to Louisiana Tech’s sports facilities which included the baseball stadium J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

A mother and son were killed when a tree fell on their home in Ruston.

The EF3 tornado caused extensive damage in this city as trees crashed into houses and roofs were peeled off buildings.

The vehicles of 6-7 baseball players were totaled by the tornado, according to Louisiana Tech. Head Coach Lane Burroughs.

Because of the damage, a complete stadium rebuild has been taking place and caused the baseball team to be road warriors with no home games this season.

 “A year ago, we played Arkansas-Little Rock Tuesday on our home field,” said Burroughs.

“In the bottom of the ninth, Hunter Wells hit a walk-off homer.

“The next morning, we all got on a bus and headed to McNeese St. Then we stayed in Lake Charles, La. that night which is a short drive to Houston where we were scheduled to play a series against Rice.

“When I went to bed, I put my cell phone on silent mode and went to sleep. About 3 a.m., my cell phone kept lighting up which woke me up. I must have had 20 messages and missed calls. I immediately called my wife, and she told me that there had been a tornado that touched down in Ruston about an hour earlier, and fortunately she was fine.

“One of our managers stayed back, and he was one of the guys who tried to call me. So I called him back, and he was on the field at the time. He said there were probably 100 people standing on the field, and the tornado had destroyed the baseball facility.

To read more of this article, purchase the March 20, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

The post Tornado Forces La. Tech. To Be Road Warriors appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/louisiana-tech-road-warriors-thanks-to-tornado/feed/ 0
Nick Gonzales Hits 12 Homers In 13 Games http://baseballnews.com/nick-gonzales-hits-12-homers-in-13-games/ http://baseballnews.com/nick-gonzales-hits-12-homers-in-13-games/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2020 20:59:34 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14415 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The core of the sun can reach temperatures in excess of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. New Mexico State All-American shortstop Nick Gonzales is hotter than that. Consider that he hit .432 last season with 16 homers, 19 doubles and 80 RBI. But this season, he […]

The post Nick Gonzales Hits 12 Homers In 13 Games appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The core of the sun can reach temperatures in excess of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

New Mexico State All-American shortstop Nick Gonzales is hotter than that.

Consider that he hit .432 last season 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 last 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 break the NCAA Division I record of 48 set by Oklahoma State’s Pete Incaviglia during the 1985 season over 75 games.

Recently, he belted 5 home runs over a doubleheader sweep against Purdue Fort Wayne which included an inside-the-park grand slam. He compiled 10 RBI over the two games and was 5-for-10 with 5 runs scored.

During an 18-4 win over Iona, he hit for the cycle as he belted two home runs and went 5-for-6 in the game with 7 RBI and 5 runs scored.

He also has 36 RBI in 13 games. Projected over a 56-game season, he would 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.

The righthanded hitting Gonzales also is batting .500 and has walked 18 times (8 times intentionally) because pitchers typically pitch very carefully to him.

First year New Mexico State Head Coach Mike Kirby has been involved with college baseball for many years as a coach at Cal. St. Fullerton, Nebraska, Oregon and UNLV.

He has seen 104 players selected in the MLB Draft during his coaching career, including 27 who have played in the Major Leagues, and he has never seen any hitter perform at the level Gonzales has this season.

“Nick has been incredible,” said Kirby.

“He is really advanced for a college level player both on the field and off. He has an advanced approach at the plate. He has tons of discipline. If you aren’t scared to walk or strike out, that’s a tough combination.

“The one player I might compare Nick to is Phil Nevin who played at Cal. St. Fullerton and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 MLB Draft.

“Phil had the same quick bat speed that Nick has which is really special.

“Watching Nick hit this year is almost like watching someone play a baseball video game. His home run and RBI numbers are off the charts. The amazing thing about Nick is that it’s not as though he can only hit one pitch in one area of the strike zone. It is line to line with him.

“Four of his home runs this season have been hit to left field, four others to centerfield and the other four to rightfield. That’s why I said he is advanced.”

To read more of this in-depth story, purchase the March 20, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.  

The post Nick Gonzales Hits 12 Homers In 13 Games appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/nick-gonzales-hits-12-homers-in-13-games/feed/ 0
High School Baseball Suspended Across USA http://baseballnews.com/high-school-baseball-suspended-across-usa/ http://baseballnews.com/high-school-baseball-suspended-across-usa/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2020 16:47:02 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14399 High school baseball across the USA has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. “As far as we know, all of our states are suspending spring sports,” said Elliot Hopkins, director of sports, sanctioning and student services with the National Federation of State High School Associations. “Kansas just cancelled school for the rest of the […]

The post High School Baseball Suspended Across USA appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

High school baseball across the USA has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As far as we know, all of our states are suspending spring sports,” said Elliot Hopkins, director of sports, sanctioning and student services with the National Federation of State High School Associations.

“Kansas just cancelled school for the rest of the academic year. So their sports are done for the spring season. This is very fluid and changing every minute…literally.”

For the 2018-19 school year, there were a total of 16,170 high schools that played baseball which involved 482,740 participants.

 

 

The post High School Baseball Suspended Across USA appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/high-school-baseball-suspended-across-usa/feed/ 0
NCAA Cancels 2020 College World Series http://baseballnews.com/ncaa-cancels-college-world-series/ http://baseballnews.com/ncaa-cancels-college-world-series/#respond Thu, 12 Mar 2020 23:13:50 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14355 NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors cancelled spring NCAA championships which include the NCAA Div. I, II and III College World Series. “This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting […]

The post NCAA Cancels 2020 College World Series appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors cancelled spring NCAA championships which include the NCAA Div. I, II and III College World Series.

“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” said the statement.

It was not known why there was such a rush to cancel the 2020 NCAA Div. I College World Series which was scheduled to be played three months from now June 13-June/23/24 in Omaha, Neb.

The College World Series is the second highest revenue producer of any NCAA championship behind the NCAA Div. I basketball tournament which also was cancelled.

NCAA Div. I Baseball
The Division I Council Coordination Committee agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports. Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. 

In addition, the Division I Council Coordination Committee put in place an immediate ban on in-person recruiting for Division I coaches. Additionally, the group advised schools to suspend any official and unofficial visits to campus from prospective athletes. This recruiting dead period will be in place until at least April 15 at which time the situation will be evaluated again.

Southeastern Conference Update (March 17): The SEC announced that all regular season conference and non-conference competitions are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic year, including all remaining SEC championship events, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus.

Other athletics activities, including team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, whether required or voluntary, remain suspended through at least April 15.

SEC member institutions will continue to provide their student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.

Pac-12 Conference Update (March 14): The Pac-12 CEO Group and Athletic Directors made the decision to cancel all Pac-12 Conference and non-conference sport competitions and Pac-12 championships through the end of the academic year, including springs sports that compete beyond the academic year such as baseball.

In addition, the Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to prohibit all organized team athletically-related activities until at least March 29, at which time it will revisit this decision.

NCAA Div. II Baseball
The NCAA Div. II Administrative Committee granted an additional season of eligibility to athletes in spring sports and waived sports sponsorship requirements for schools canceling spring springs.

The committee also implemented a recruiting dead period in all sports at least until April 15. The committee provided flexibility for schools to assist athletes with travel, in addition to the already permitted housing and meals.

NCAA Div. III Baseball
The NCAA Division III Administrative Committee provided flexibility for schools to assist students with travel, lodging and meals as a result of campus displacements. It also granted an additional season/semester of eligibility for athletes participating in spring sports.

NAIA Baseball
The NAIA announced that it is cancelling the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately.

“All possible scenarios that would have supported a spring sports season were seriously considered by multiple NAIA governance groups,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “However, the growing state of emergency due to COVID-19, as well as the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation yesterday to limit gatherings to fewer than 50 people for eight weeks, meant we could not in good conscience move forward with the spring sports season and championships.”

In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.

The NAIA is continuing to address outstanding questions related to these unprecedented changes and will share new information as it becomes available.

NJCAA Baseball
Following the recent recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NJCAA has made the difficult decision to cancel all spring competition, effective immediately.

Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, post-season, and national championship play.

Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.

Along with the cancellation of competition, all on and off-campus recruiting for all sports will be halted until April 15 with further evaluation to be assessed at that point in time. 

The NJCAA will explore the opportunity to expand allowable Letters of Intent for spring sports for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years under the recommendation of the NJCAA Eligibility Committee.

The NJCAA will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

California Community College Baseball
The California Community College Athletic Association Board of Directors voted to immediately postpone practices outside and competition for baseball teams. Administrators are monitoring coronavirus developments as well to see if the state baseball playoffs will be held or not. No timetable for a decision has been set.

A full report on the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic will be in the next edition of Collegiate Baseball.

Updates will be made in this story as they develop.

The post NCAA Cancels 2020 College World Series appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/ncaa-cancels-college-world-series/feed/ 0
Baseball’s Greatest Story Simply Amazing http://baseballnews.com/baseballs-greatest-story-simply-amazing/ http://baseballnews.com/baseballs-greatest-story-simply-amazing/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2020 22:56:07 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14343   By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The greatest baseball story ever told took place at the 2020 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention. The remarkable John O’Leary talked about when he was a 9-year-old boy in 1987 and was playing with fire and gasoline at his parents’ home which caused a massive […]

The post Baseball’s Greatest Story Simply Amazing appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

 

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The greatest baseball story ever told took place at the 2020 American Baseball Coaches Association Convention.

The remarkable John O’Leary talked about when he was a 9-year-old boy in 1987 and was playing with fire and gasoline at his parents’ home which caused a massive explosion that burned 100 percent of his body.

He was given no chance of living.

This is when St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck entered his life.

He gave this young boy the strength to live and recover.

Buck was the Cardinals’ announcer for more than three decades as he called 11 World Series.

O’Leary spent five months in the hospital, underwent dozens of surgeries, lost all of his fingers to amputation and relearned to walk, write and feed himself.

“Thirty-three years ago, I was by myself in a burn center room in a wheelchair,” said O’Leary.

“It was a room I knew well because I had been in it for the previous five months.”

O’Leary said when he grew up in St. Louis, he saw boys playing with fire and gasoline in his neighborhood.

“What these boys would do is sprinkle gasoline on the sidewalk and strike a match. Then they would stand back two feet, throw the match on the sidewalk, and the liquid would dance to life. When you are nine years old and are a male, this is awesome.

“The 11-year-olds who did this were like adults to me.

“Ultimately I went into my parents’ garage and grabbed a can of gasoline. Then I attempted to pour a little bit before the liquid came out. What happens is that fumes come out before actual gasoline.

“In baseball, coaching, leadership, love, health, finance and life, its seldom what we see coming that burns. It’s not the liquid that burns you. It’s the fumes. Harnessing the fumes is what is vital in life. That day fumes came out of the can as I stuck a match and created a massive explosion.

“The explosion launched a 9-year-old little shortstop 20 feet to the other side of the garage. My life changed in an instant. One moment, I was a happy, healthy young boy. The next, I was a nine year old on my back in a burn center with burns on 100 percent of my body.

“I’m stretched out on a hospital bed dying. There was no reason for hope. I can’t move my arms or legs. My lungs were burned so bad that they had to put a hole in my neck which is called a tracheotomy. While I could breathe, I couldn’t eat, drink or talk.

“My eyes were also swollen shut. I was laying there tied down and couldn’t communicate, see, struggling as I was sad and mad. But I could dream, hope and pray and also listen. Have you ever noticed when your eyes are shut how much better you can hear?”

Enter Jack Buck
O’Leary said his second day at the burn unit, he heard his door open with footsteps. A chair was dragged across the room close to him.

“Then this voice cuts across the darkness. The voice (Jack Buck) says to me, ‘Kid, wake up. You are going to live. You are going to survive. And when you get out of here, we are going to celebrate. We’ll call it John O’Leary Day at Busch Stadium. I had never met Jack Buck before.

“Then he says, ‘Kid, are you listening?’ I nodded yes. Then Jack says, ‘Keep fighting.’

“The man stands and walks out of my room eight seconds after he arrived. He leaves a little 9-year-old shortstop with Major League dreams on his back tied down to a hospital bed. That man came into my room for eight seconds and changed my life forever. This is the power of relationships.

“I learned later on he made his way down the hallway. He leaned his head against a glass door and started weeping.”

To read more of this story, purchase the March 6 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.  

The post Baseball’s Greatest Story Simply Amazing appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/baseballs-greatest-story-simply-amazing/feed/ 0
Tactics To Stay Away From Flu, Coronavirus http://baseballnews.com/tactics-to-stay-away-from-flu-coronavirus/ http://baseballnews.com/tactics-to-stay-away-from-flu-coronavirus/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2020 19:43:13 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14334 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball ATLANTA, Ga. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there have been at least 34 million flu illnesses in the United States, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths from the flu this season from data collected through February. Yet what grabs the lion’s share of media attention […]

The post Tactics To Stay Away From Flu, Coronavirus appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

ATLANTA, Ga. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there have been at least 34 million flu illnesses in the United States, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths from the flu this season from data collected through February.

Yet what grabs the lion’s share of media attention at this moment is the coronavirus. As of March 11, 938 cases have been documented in the USA within 38 states and the District of Columbia and 29 total deaths as reported by the CDC.

The methods for staying away from the flu or coronavirus are identical.

The standard practice for coaches has always been to isolate those players from the rest of the team so germs aren’t spread, no matter what infectious disease they are dealing with. More often than not, those players are sent home.

All too often entire teams come down with the flu or some other ailment.

Here is what Collegiate Baseball has found that may be helpful in having a game plan to keep players and coaches healthy during the baseball season.

Influenza viruses are spread from person to person primarily when an infected person coughs or sneezes near a susceptible person.

According to the CDC, transmission via large-particle droplets requires close contact between the source and recipient.

Airborne transmission (via small particle residue of evaporated droplets) might remain suspended in the air for long periods of time and typically can travel up to 20 feet.

The typical incubation period for influenza is 1-4 days.

The CDC reports that most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick.

Because of the number of players who handle the same baseballs and bats during any given practice or game, these two products are prime spots for influenza germs.

Sterilizing Equipment
Weight training facilities are a breeding ground for bacteria. Athletes are encouraged to wipe down equipment with sanitizing wipes to prevent the spread of germs and especially MRSA.

This bacterium is tougher to treat than most strains or staph because it is resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.

If it is important to disinfect equipment such as this, why hasn’t baseball embraced sterilization treatments of bats and possibly balls that can be teeming with bacteria?

Dr. Herb McReynolds, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Ariz., has been a physician for 40 years.

He played baseball for 40 years, and said that certain procedures can be utilized in baseball to stem the tide of influenza and other germs.

“At a hospital, doctors are expected to use sanitizing gel on their hands before going into a room and then once again when they come out,” said McReynolds.

“Why not do the same on baseball fields or hitting facilities? You could have a Purell Hand Sanitizer Dispenser near the dugout or by the door of each batting cage in a hitting facility. As players come in, they are asked to sanitize their hands. Once practice is over, they can sanitize their hands as they leave.

“It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have players own their own bat which aren’t touched by other players. Common bats used by multiple players can be wiped down in the handle areas with Chlorox-based wipes prior to practice and after practice and even between hitters during an epidemic.

“Players who are obviously sick should be sent home so they don’t spread germs.

McReynolds said players who are at practice and coughing and sneezing could have the flu or some other influenza like virus, which has also been at epidemic proportions this winter.

“What you don’t want a player to do is cough or wipe his nose in his hand. Instead, coaches should ask players to cough or sneeze into their shirt sleeve and NOT into their hands. Many times people will turn away and cough into their hand. This causes a problem in baseball since the hand will touch baseballs that are utilized by many different players.

“If a hitter coughs or wipes his nose in his hand and grabs a bat, guess what happens? There are now germs all over the place on the bat grip. If someone else uses that bat, they will probably be infected.

“It would be an excellent idea for schools to have hand sanitizers in restrooms. Knobs of doors should be disinfected regularly since many people touch them along with faucets.

“Many viruses can live up to 24 hours on a door handle.

“One more piece of advice I would give is to get a flu shot in the fall prior to the flu season. It takes two weeks for the antibodies to work properly.”

McReynolds said sanitizing baseballs is a possibility but probably impractical.

“You obviously can’t use Clorox-based liquids or similar products on the leather because it would ruin baseballs. Hospitals have been using ultraviolet light to disinfect rooms and equipment for years. But these devices are extremely expensive.”

Power Of Ultraviolet Energy
Collegiate Baseball contacted Melinda Hart of Xenex Disinfection Services of San Antonio, Tex.

This company sells different machines that hospitals across the USA utilize to disinfect rooms.

“UV has been used for disinfection for decades,” said Hart.

“What makes our robots different is their use of pulsed xenon (not mercury bulbs) to create UV-C light.

“Pathogens (like the flu virus, MRSA and norovirus) are vulnerable to UV-C light damage at different wavelengths depending on the organism.

“Xenex’s pulsed xenon lamps produce a flash of full spectrum germicidal light across the entire disinfecting spectrum delivered in millisecond pulses.

“Our robots can easily kill the flu virus. I talked to our science team, and it would be possible to put baseballs in our LightStrike Disinfection Pod ($25,000) and disinfect them in just a couple of minutes. Our robot ($125,000) is inside the Pod that does the work.”

In hospitals, these collapsible, mobile units can be positioned anywhere without disrupting or impeding daily workflow to clean equipment such as ventilators, pressure monitors, wheelchairs, ventilators and mobile imagine machines.

Hart said that several of the hospitals that utilize their robots to clean hospital rooms include MD Anderson and the Mayo Clinic. 

Hart acknowledged the price is steep for the robot and Pod. But not having a disinfected room at a hospital can result in serious consequences for new patients being rolled into them. If they contract a dangerous bacteria that was caused by negligence, the treatment to correct the problem could be extremely expensive.

The easy solution is to kill off the germs so rooms are as close to being sterile as possible.  

There are other companies on the internet that have smaller UV-C lamps, but they don’t utilize xenon technology.

We are not aware of any baseball team that has ever utilized such machines to disinfect baseballs. The cost of these small lamps range from $800 on up.

Sanitation Issues
Sanitation safety is not high on the pecking order with baseball coaches.

Beyond the sanitation problems of bats and balls, a hitter should wear his own helmet instead of sharing it with others.

In addition, the use of shared water bottles by athletes should never be allowed.

Large Igloo coolers filled with water are simple enough to provide with paper cups being utilized for each player and a small trash can supplied to throw the cups in once used.

In October of 2005, Austin Phillips of Tyler Junior College (Tex.) died suddenly of bacterial meningitis.

Phillips pitched two innings for Tyler J.C. on a Thursday evening but didn’t feel well.

He felt he was coming down with the flu. Phillips went to his girlfriend’s home the day after he pitched and felt worse. Then a short time later, he went in and out of consciousness as an ambulance was called.

A few hours later, Phillips went into a coma at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Three days later, the once vibrant and athletic baseball player passed away due to this killer disease.

It was determined that 48 people came into contact with Phillips. The health department in Tyler, Tex. ordered each of these individuals to take antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

Can you imagine the potential for disaster if several kids drank from the same water bottle Phillips used?

He isn’t the only baseball player to die of meningitis.

RHP Addie Joss of the Cleveland Bronchos died of tubercular meningitis in April 1911 at the age of 28. He collapsed on the field during spring training and died a few days later.

He had won 160 Major League games which included four 20-win seasons.

Helmets are another area of concern.

When only a few helmets are shared through a team, it is unsanitary and unsafe.

When each player dons a helmet, he adds sweat, body fluids and skin flakes in the helmet and deposits some of the parts onto his own head.

Then coaches usually dump the helmets into a duffel bag and stow the gear away in a hot, closed trunk. It’s a veritable breeding ground for mold spores which at times can be dangerous.

Plus, head lice can travel from player to player quickly if such practices are allowed. Well informed coaches never allow this to happen as each player has his own helmet.

To top it off, players end up wearing helmets that may not fit properly or are so damaged that they provide little protection.

If schools can’t afford individual helmets, it makes sense for players to purchase their own which they can use in practice and games with the same school color and decals added.

Coronavirus Issues
The CDC said there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. So the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Steps to protect yourself from the coronavirus include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, cough or sneeze.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay at home if you are sick except to receive medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick and will be around other people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. The most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
  • Options include diluting household bleach (5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.

The post Tactics To Stay Away From Flu, Coronavirus appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/tactics-to-stay-away-from-flu-coronavirus/feed/ 0
Torkelson Could Go From No Draft To No. 1 http://baseballnews.com/torkelson-could-go-from-no-draft-to-no-1/ http://baseballnews.com/torkelson-could-go-from-no-draft-to-no-1/#respond Sun, 23 Feb 2020 19:29:09 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14241 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball TEMPE, Ariz. — When Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson finished his senior season at Casa Grande High School (Petaluma, Calif.) in 2017, there were 1,215 players chosen in the MLB Draft over 40 rounds. He wasn’t one of them. During his four years at Casa Grande H.S., he only hit […]

The post Torkelson Could Go From No Draft To No. 1 appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

TEMPE, Ariz. — When Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson finished his senior season at Casa Grande High School (Petaluma, Calif.) in 2017, there were 1,215 players chosen in the MLB Draft over 40 rounds.

He wasn’t one of them.

During his four years at Casa Grande H.S., he only hit 11 home runs in 110 varsity games.

Fast forward three years.

Torkelson could easily be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.

His freshman year with the Sun Devils, he belted a nation-leading 25 home runs in 59 games in 2018.

It was the most amount of home runs ever for an ASU freshman as he snapped Barry Bonds’ freshman mark in just his 25th game of the year. Bonds hit 11 home runs in 64 games as a freshman in 1983.

The talented first baseman was just one home run shy of the NCAA freshman record.

In 2019, Torkelson hit 23 more homers in 57 games despite pitchers trying to pitch around him.

That is 48 home runs in 116 games against much tougher pitching than he faced at Casa Grande H.S.

He is only the third player in Pac-12 history to have back-to-back 20-plus home run seasons.

The last time a college player was picked No. 1 overall in the draft and wasn’t drafted out of high school was in 2009 when San Diego State RHP Stephen Strasburg was chosen No. 1 overall by the Washington Nationals.

The obvious question is how did Torkelson become an elite power hitter when he really didn’t show it as a high school player?

“He is a generational type of player, and a combination of things came together for him,” said ASU Head Coach Tracy Smith.

To read more of this story, purchase the Feb. 21, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. ASU hitting coach Mike Earley explains why Torkelson has hit so many home runs with the Sun Devils.

The post Torkelson Could Go From No Draft To No. 1 appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/torkelson-could-go-from-no-draft-to-no-1/feed/ 0
Iowa Ace Builds Murals With 720 Cubes http://baseballnews.com/iowa-ace-builds-murals-with-720-cubes/ http://baseballnews.com/iowa-ace-builds-murals-with-720-cubes/#respond Sun, 23 Feb 2020 18:55:26 +0000 http://baseballnews.com/?p=14235 By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR. Editor/Collegiate Baseball IOWA CITY, Iowa. — Jack Dreyer is the ace of the University of Iowa pitching staff and does something rare for college athletes. For the past 15 months, this gifted southpaw has been designing and constructing six foot tall murals out of cubes that are nearly identical to Rubik’s […]

The post Iowa Ace Builds Murals With 720 Cubes appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

IOWA CITY, Iowa. — Jack Dreyer is the ace of the University of Iowa pitching staff and does something rare for college athletes.

For the past 15 months, this gifted southpaw has been designing and constructing six foot tall murals out of cubes that are nearly identical to Rubik’s Cubes.

It is a huge artistic challenge since there are only six colors (white, red, blue, orange, green and yellow), and each cube is 2 1/4 inches on each side.

When Dreyer is done, each mural features 720 cubes and takes up to 10 hours to complete.

Dreyer, who saw his season cut short last year when a shoulder injury sidelined him after two starts, posted a 1-0 record, 2.45 ERA and fanned 11 batters as he took a medical redshirt.

He is healthy now for the Hawkeyes as he enters the season as the Friday night starter.

Virtually everyone is familiar with the Rubik’s Cube, a 3-D square combination puzzle which has nine squares on each of the six sides.

Invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik, over 350 million cubes have been sold across the world. It is the top selling toy in the world and has caused hours and hours of frustration in the quest to solve it.

A beginner may take days and even weeks to get each side the same color unless he uses a cheat sheet.

The world record for solving this puzzle is 3.47 seconds by Yusheng Duo.

To read more of this article, purchase the Feb. 21, 2020 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. Jack Dreyer explains how he designs and constructs these 6-foot tall works of art which utilize 720 cubes.

The post Iowa Ace Builds Murals With 720 Cubes appeared first on Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

]]>
http://baseballnews.com/iowa-ace-builds-murals-with-720-cubes/feed/ 0