Dec. 31, 2009
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CollegeBaseballInsider.com, highlighting notes from around
Dec. 16-31, 2009
Former LSU third baseman Derek Helenihi has
signed a free-agent contract with the Chicago Cubs and will join
the team for spring training. Helenihi batted .255 with four
home runs and 23 RBI. He started at third in all six College
World Series games for the Tigers in 2009, helping LSU claim the
Former Volunteer standouts J.P. Arencibia, Chris
Burke, Chase Headley and Luke Hochevar are expected to attend
the 18th Annual Tennessee Baseball Leadoff Banquet on Friday,
Feb. 5, at the Knoxville Convention Center. A reception will
begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 6:30 p.m.
Nebraska will participate in the Grand Island
Meet and Greet on Saturday, Jan. 16, from 9-11 a.m. at the Home
Federal Savings and Loan. Sponsored by the Husker Home Run Club,
the event is free to all club members and kids 12 and under.
Participants will be able to hear the Husker coaching staff and
meet several players.
Pacific will honor military personnel with free
admission to its eight Sunday home games at Klein Family Field
during the 2010 season. The Tigers will wear camouflage jerseys
on these “Salute to the Troops” games.
The Maryland baseball team recently visited
Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The facility
provides health care for military service members. The Terps
passed out shirts, hats, jackets and other apparel. Maryland
also expects its indoor training facility to be completed by
Former Major League outfielder and Nicholls State
alum Darryl Hamilton will return to his alma mater on Jan. 30 to
serve as the keynote speaker at the Colonels’ 2010 First Pitch
Banquet at the Nicholls Student Union Ballroom. Hamilton played
four seasons at Nicholls State. He scored a school-record 67
runs in 1985 and owns the career record with 140 steals.
Hamilton was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 11th round of
the 1986 MLB Draft. He batted .291 in 13 major league seasons
with the Brewers, Rangers, Giants and Mets. Hamilton, a member
of the Nicholls Athletic and Louisiana Sports Halls of Fame,
currently works with MLB’s Department of On-Field Operations.
Seniors Dylan de Graaf and Daniel Ottone have
been voted 2010 captains for Western Carolina in voting by the
players. Outfielder de Graaf started 23 of his 45 games in 2009.
He hit just under .300 with two homers and 20 RBI. He was
perfect in eight stolen base attempts. Right-hander Ottone was
3-3 with eight saves and a 3.86 ERA as the Catamount closer this
past season. He fanned 38 in 35 innings.
The Illinois State baseball team posted a 3.0 GPA
in the fall semester, matching the highest single-semester mark
for the program. Freshman Chad Hinshaw led the Redbirds with a
4.0 GPA. Junior Ryan Court registered a 3.77 GPA.
Former Georgia State standout Derek Simmons has
signed to play with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier
League. He hit .344 in two seasons with the Panthers. Simmons
was a two-time first team all-CAA performer.
Former Texas A&M-Corpus Christi pitcher Justin
Grota has signed a spring training contract with the Las Cruces
Vaqueros of the Continental Baseball League. Grota had a 4-5
record with 12 starts in 35 appearances in two seasons with the
Long Beach State signee James Wernke was found
dead in Fullerton after going missing on Saturday, Dec. 12.
According to news reports, his body was found on the morning of
Dec. 15 in a rain-filled creek near where he was last seen
walking his girlfriend’s dog on Saturday afternoon. Wernke was a
pitcher at Santa Ana College.
Ozzie Smith will be the keynote speaker and
clinician for the 32nd annual GTI Systems, Inc. “Meet the Stars”
Banquet and annual Old Dominion Baseball Clinic on Jan. 29 and
30. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Smith played 19
seasons in the major leagues. Smith spent four seasons with the
San Diego Padres and 15 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He won 13
Gold Gloves at shortstop and made 15 All-Star Games. Smith
compiled 2,460 hits and stole 580 bases.
San Jose State will co-host the inaugural Jack
Gifford Memorial Tournament in 2010 with Santa Clara. The
tournament, to be held March 11-14, is named after the late Jack
Gifford, an avid baseball fan and long-time supporter of several
college programs around the Bay Area. Air Force, UC Davis and
Southern Illinois will also play in the tournament.
Former Florida State head coach Charlie Armstrong
passed away on Dec. 13 at the age of 87. Armstrong coached the
first four FSU baseball teams and was the first assistant
football coach in Seminole history. He posted a baseball record
of 46-29 from 1948-51. Armstrong was inducted into the Florida
State Hall of Fame in 1994.
Members of the South Alabama baseball team and
Diamond Girls helped the Salvation Army the past two weekends.
They helped with the Angel Tree program, sorting donated gifts
into appropriate age categories. The players and Diamond Girls
each adopted two angels and provided gifts as well.
Former Kentucky catcher Sean Coughlin has been
named the Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League Position Player of
the Year. He batted .287 in 77 games with 15 doubles, 11 home
runs and 40 RBI. His season was cut short when he broke a bone
in his hand during the Southern League All-Star Game in July.