July 10, 2011

Lineup Card


Lineup Card is a feature highlighting notes from around college baseball.


July 1-10, 2011


Temple Nearing Choice

Temple appears to be closing in on its choice to replace Rob Valli as baseball coach.

According to several sources, the Owls have interviewed three candidates and could make a decision by the end of this week. Among the candidates are Manhattan coach Kevin Leighton, Richmond assistant Ryan Wheeler and La Salle assistant Bob File. Leighton also is in the mix at Fordham, which is looking for a replacement for Nick Restaino.

In six years with the Jaspers, Leighton has registered six 30-win seasons. Manhattan went 34-19 and reached the NCAA Tournament in 2011, dropping two games at the Gainesville Regional. Wheeler has been with the Spiders for five seasons and previously assisted at William and Mary (9) and Penn (1). File just completed his first year of college coaching at La Salle after a big-league pitching career in which he was third in voting for the American League Rookie of the Year in 2001.



The six-team field has been announced for the 2012 Houston College Classic. Local squads from Houston and Rice will join Texas, Texas Tech, Arkansas and Tennessee in the three-day event at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros.


LSU shortstop Austin Nola announced that he will return to the Tigers for his senior season. A three-year starter at shortstop, Nola was taken in the 31st round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Nola will get to play behind his brother, Aaron, in 2012. Aaron Nola will be a freshman pitcher for LSU next season. He was picked in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft by Toronto, but chose not to sign.


Gabe Ribas has been named pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Santa Clara. He was an assistant at Northern Colorado this past season after spending the 2010 campaign at Holy Cross. Ribas was an assistant for three seasons at his alma mater, Northwestern. He was a pitcher for the Wildcats from 1999-2002 and earned a dual degree in communications and English. He was taken in the 14th round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres.


Former UNC Wilmington catcher Chris Hatcher has returned to the major leagues, this time as a pitcher. A fifth-round pick of the Florida Marlins in 2006, Hatcher earned a call-up in 2010 as a catcher. This past offseason, he was converted to a pitcher and rejoins the Marlins. Hatcher was 2-1 with a save and a 2.31 ERA. He struck out 39 in 35 innings with 26 hits and 15 walks. Opponents were hitting .206 against him.


Anthony D’Albora, director of player relations at San Francisco, has been hired as an assistant coach at Los Medanos Community College. D’Albora volunteered for three seasons at USF after four years as a student assistant at Chico State. He earned his Master’s degree through the USF Sports Management program this past December.


Fairfield head coach Bill Currier has added Trevor Brown as the top assistant coach and Nick Rhodes as the volunteer assistant coach. For the past two seasons, Brown was the pitching coach at Fordham. He also coached for seven years at Pace and two at Georgetown after beginning his coaching career at his alma mater, Eastern Connecticut State. For the past six years. Rhodes was the general manager and coach of the Connecticut Tides AAU baseball program after starting it in 2005. Rhodes was the starting catcher and captain for the 1998 NJCAA National Championship team at Norwalk Community College. He was drafted by Tampa Bay and spent three seasons in its farm system.


Right-hander JD Learnard will receive the Raymond W. Fairchild Endowed Scholarship at Illinois State, named for the former ISU president (1933-54). Learnard was 8-2 this past season, including 5-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference. He earned honorable mention all-MVC. A rising junior, Learnard has a 3.02 GPA in biological sciences.


The Mid-American Conference will hold its conference tournament at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio, from 2012-14. The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will help with the marketing and promotion of the event. The championship was held for the past four years at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio.


Now that we are in a new academic year, four schools officially have new conference homes: Nebraska in the Big Ten, BYU in the West Coast Conference, Utah in the Pac-12 and Campbell returning to the Big South.


Raphael Cerrato and Chris Smith have been added to Jim Foster’s staff at Rhode Island. Cerrato has been the head coach at New Haven for the past five years (131-97, .575). A former volunteer assistant and player for the Rams, Cerrato also coached at Massachusetts and Brown. Smith will be a volunteer assistant after serving as an assistant this past season at New Haven. Smith was a two-time captain at New Haven and led the staff in ERA in 2009 (2.00) and 2010 (2.96).


Appalachian State assistant coach Chris Moore will be inducted into the Western Carolina University Athletics Hall of Fame in early November. Moore played for the Catamounts from 1996-99 and was a four-time All-Southern Conference selection. Moore was a freshman All-American as well as an All-American and SoCon Player of the Year as a senior. He was taken in the 11th round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies and played four years in their system. Moore coached at Davidson, Lander (including four years as head coach) and West Georgia before arriving at ASU.


Nine San Francisco Dons earned All-Academic honors from the West Coast Conference for the spring semester. First-team members included redshirt sophomore Jason Mahood (3.79, Media Studies), senior Connor Bernatz (3.40, Business Administration), senior Matt Hiserman (3.35, Sports Management), junior Cameron Love (3.71, Business Administration), senior Matt Lujan (3.50, Marketing) and sophomore Kyle Zimmer (3.69, Business Administration). Sophomores Jared Denham (3.61, Accounting), Haden Hinkle (3.53, Undeclared) and Elliott Waterman (3.30, Business Administration) made the honorable mention list.

Team USA had Game 4 of its series with Japan rained out Wednesday in Kannapolis, N.C. Team USA (11-1), which won the first three contests against Japan, is scheduled to play the final game of its series with Japan on Friday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., at 7 p.m. CT.


Former Ball State right-hander Bryan Bullington will represent the Central League in the Nippon Professional Baseball League’s All-Star Series July 22-24. Bullington is 8-3 with a 2.18 ERA in 13 starts for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. He is second in the league in victories and fifth in ERA. Bullington has 64 strikeouts and 22 walks in 90.2 innings. He pitched for the Cardinals from 2000-02 and set career records at BSU with 29 wins and 357 strikeouts. He was the first pick in the 2002 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Greg Bergeron was named associate head coach at Tennessee. He has been an assistant with UT head coach Dave Serrano for seven years, including three at UC Irvine and four at Cal State Fullerton. Bergeron will coach third as well as work with the hitters and infielders. Bergeron, 41, played for Serrano at Cerritos College and spent two seasons at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He finished his collegiate career at Loyola Marymount in 1994.


Bill Mosiello will be hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Tennessee. He helped the Volunteers earn consecutive SEC titles in 1993 and 1994. Mosiello was manager of the Arkansas Travelers, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, this season. He was hitting coach at USC (2007) and Auburn (2008) before joining the Angels organization.


Greg Wallis was picked as the volunteer assistant at Tennessee. He will coach first, work with the outfielders and assist Greg Bergeron with the offense. Wallis spent the past three seasons at Cal State Fullerton, serving as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator this past year. Wallis played for Dave Serrano and Bergeron at UC Irvine in 2005 before becoming an undergraduate assistant in 2006 and director of baseball operations in 2007.