Friday, August 31, 2007

New Captains In Ann Arbor

Leif Mahler, Derek Van Buskirk and Adam Abraham have all been named captains for the 2007-2008 edition of the Michigan baseball team.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Assistant Coaching Carousel

There have been a few new assistant coaches hired across the Big Ten. Ohio State promoted Eric Parker to a full-time coaching position. Parker had been the Buckeyes volunteer assistant the last three seasons.

Purdue hired Spencer Allen as an assistant. Allen, who was most recently a scout for the Detroit Tigers, will work with the Boilers' hitters and catchers.

Matt Middleton has joined Tracy Smith's staff at Indiana. Middleton, a former Ohio State player, comes to IU after a coaching high school baseball in Ohio.

Also joining IU's coaching ranks is Sheldon Watkins. Watkins comes to Bloomington after coaching high school ball in California. He will be the Hoosiers volunteer assistant.

O'Neil Returns To State College

The 2008 Penn State baseball team just got better. Closer Drew O'Neil didn't sign a professional baseball contract and will return to Nittany Lions. O'Neil, who was a first team All-Big Ten selection this past season, is PSU's all-time single season save leader and is closing in on the career mark. His emergence as the Nittany Lions' closer was a major reason for the team's success in 2007.

As the PSU's press release indicates, O'Neil should be given All-America consideration in '08. He should also be on the pre-season shortlist for both the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award as well as the Roger Clemens Award.

Note: I should also point out that Penn State, like Ohio State, has changed their URL since the '07 baseball season concluded. Here is the new link. I've adjusted the link in my sidebar accordingly.

Boilermakers Release 2008 Schedule

Purdue has released its 2008 baseball schedule. The Boilermakers open the year with a three game tilt at Baylor beginning February 22. On February 29th, it's off for another three-gamer against Western Kentucky. Staying the in Bluegrass State, Head Coach Doug Schreiber's side have a four game series with Kentucky. That's a pretty impressive and darn challenging way to begin a new year.

The Boilers will then take on Ohio (three games), Western Illinois (the first home stand which is three games) and Valparaiso (one game) before opening the conference portion of their slate.

Purdue starts the '08 Big Ten season at home versus Northwestern. Before traveling to Iowa City for their second week of Big Ten play, the Boilers will play one game against College World Series participant, Louisville. The remainder of the conference action contains home series versus Penn State, Minnesota and Michigan State. In addition to Iowa, the Boilermakers will visit Ohio State, Indiana and Illinois.

Purdue generally plays one of the toughest schedules in the Big Ten and the 2008 edition looks to uphold that tradition.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pickens Signs With Cleveland

Michigan's Doug Pickens has signed a professional contract with the Cleveland Indians. The university's announcement is here. As the press release indicates, Pickens started at a number of positions during his stay in Ann Arbor, but was the team's primary catcher last season.

One would assume that Chris Berset and possibly Nate Recknagel would be in the running to take over the catching duties in 2008.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Illini's Hastings To Return

University of Illinois 2B Ryan Hastings appears ready to play one final season of baseball. Hastings has a year of eligibility left after getting a redshirt season two years ago. Tom of The Baseball Zealot has this story covered.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Buckeyes In Aggie Baseball Classic

If this 2008 Arkansas schedule is correct, and I believe it is, Ohio State will be part of the Aggie Baseball Classic from February 29 - March 2. It appears as though OSU will get a first hand look at the Hogs, Louisiana Tech and the host, Texas A & M.

After last season's disappointing non-conference slate (at least disappointing to me), I'm glad to see OSU play in this very strong tournament.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cape Cod League All-Stars

Four Big Ten players were named to the Cape Cod League All-Star Game. Michigan State's Kyle Day, Indiana's Josh Phegley, Purdue's Josh Lindblom and Iowa's Kevin Hoef were all selected as All-Stars in the most famous summer league of all.

Michigan: "Rising Program"

Kendall Rogers of is ranking his "Rising Programs". The University of Michigan has come in at number eight on his off-season list.

I give Mr. Rogers credit for admitting he and the rest of the college baseball media (sans Eric Sorenson, of course) have overlooked the work Rich Maloney has done in Ann Arbor. He also comes clean on underestimating the Wolverines heading into the Nashville Regional.

Rogers goes onto suggest that the Wolverines are set for a College World Series run in 2008. First Aaron Fitt at Baseball America, now Rogers at Rivals are using Michigan and Omaha in the same sentence. I think it's safe to say that the Omaha hype has officially begun.

(Editor's Note: Yet another hat tip to Brian Foley at the College Baseball Blog.)