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lefty James Paxton (left) will return for his senior season
after being a supplemental first-round pick (37th overall) of
the Toronto Blue Jays. A native of Ladner, British Columbia,
Paxton was the highest drafted college player to return to
school this year. He was 5-3 with a 5.86 ERA this past spring.
Paxton was third in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings
(13.2). He walked 20 and fanned 115 in 78.1 innings.
Longtime Baylor assistant coach Mitch Thompson
has been promoted to assistant head coach. He is in his 16th
season on the staff of head coach Steve Smith. Thompson is a
1989 graduate of Fort Hays State. He was named ABCA National
Assistant Coach of the Year in 2006.
Matt Myers has been promoted to associate head
coach at Western Kentucky. He has been the pitching coach for
the Hilltoppers for the past two seasons, helping WKU to
consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Myers and head coach
Chris Finwood worked together at Auburn in 2005 before reuniting
in Bowling Green.
San Jose State head coach Sam Piraro announced
that the Spartans will play three-game road series against
nationally-renown programs over the next three seasons. SJSU
will visit Wichita State on April 23-25, 2010. The Spartans will
play at UCLA on Feb. 25-27, 2011. SJSU will travel to Arizona on
Feb. 24-26, 2012.
Western Carolina will have its alumni golf
tournament on Friday, Oct. 23, in conjunction with Family
Weekend. Head coach Bobby Moranda also announced the formation
of the “1002 Club”, a baseball-oriented booster club. The “1002”
rally cry started during the Keith LeClair era and represents
the mileage from Cullowhee, N.C., to Omaha, Neb., the site of
the College World Series.
Paul Mainieri of LSU was named 2009 National
Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association,
to be awarded on January 8 in Dallas at the annual national
convention. Mainieri led the Tigers to the national title. LSU
posted a 56-17 record, the second-highest win total in school
Kent State junior pitcher Robert Sabo, drafted in
the 38th round by the Cleveland Indians, chose to return to the
Golden Flashes in 2010. Catcher Jason Bagoly (Colorado Rockies,
40th round) and pitcher Addison Dunn (Chicago Cubs, 45th round)
did not sign after being picked out of high school and will be
incoming freshmen at Kent State.
Georgia State will welcome David Buchanan to
campus after the hurler did not sign with the New York Mets
after being selected in the sixth round of the MLB Draft. The
junior was 4-2 this past season at Chipola Junior College in
Outfielder Adam Bailey and pitcher Mike Nesseth
will return to Nebraska after not signing professional
contracts. Nesseth was taken in the 15th round by the Los
Angeles Angels, while Bailey was chosen in the 38th round by the
New York Yankees. Three high school players were drafted but
chose to join the Cornhuskers: RHP Thomas Lemke (Texas Rangers,
10th round), RHP Kurt Giller (Toronto Blue Jays, 21st round) and
RHP Ryan Hander (Los Angeles Dodgers, 38th round).
Mike Clement is the new volunteer assistant at
Texas A&M. He will work with the catchers, coach first base,
assist with the hitters and help with on-campus recruiting.
Clement was an assistant the past four seasons at UTSA.
Three signees for Southern Miss were drafted but
did not sign and will play for the Golden Eagles: freshmen
Geoffrey Thomas (RHP, Houston Astros, 12th round) and Chase
Fowler (C, Cincinnati Reds, 16th round) and junior college
transfer Marc Bourgeois (OF, Minnesota Twins, 42nd round).
Southern Miss did lose signee Patrtick Corbin in June. He was
taken in the second round by the Los Angeles Angels and signed.
Pitcher Bryan Morgado will return to Tennessee
for his junior season. He was a third-round selection of the
Chicago White Sox, but did not sign. Morgado struck out 75 in
52.1 innings in 2009 while posting a 4-2 record with two saves
and a 6.36 ERA.
Several South Carolina baseball players did not
sign professional contracts to return to Columbia. Juniors Sam
Dyson (Oakland Athletics, 10th round) and Parker Bangs
(Pittsburgh Pirates, 46th round) and senior Nick Ebert (New York
Yankees, 32nd round) will return to the Gamecocks for the 2010
campaign. Dyson was 9-4 with a 5.21 ERA in 2009. He walked 37
and fanned 94 in 102 innings. Ebert was second team All-SEC at
first base. He had 23 home runs and 72 RBI while hitting .321.
Bangs hit .328 with five homers and 36 RBI. He was also 3-2 in
15 appearances on the mound with 39 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.
South Carolina signees Adrian Morales (INF, Houston Astros, 45th
round), Colby Holmes (RHP, Atlanta Braves, 47th round) and
Christian Walker (1B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers, 49th round) have
chosen the Gamecocks over professional baseball.
Former Baylor right-hander Kendal Volz signed
with the Boston Red Sox. Volz, a ninth-round selection, was
12-15 in three seasons with the Bears with 228 strikeouts and 55
walks in 224.2 innings.
(photo courtesy of UK Media Relations Office)