Dec. 31, 2011

Lineup Card


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


Dec. 12-31, 2011


Jay Sullenger, associate head coach at James Madison, has resigned to pursue new opportunities. Sullenger will become Minister of Recreation Outreach at Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa with a future appointment as a pastor. Sullenger joined the Dukes in 2001 as a volunteer assistant for three years as he completed his master’s degree in kinesiology at JMU. He became a paid assistant in 2004 and rose to associate head coach in 2008.


World Series MVP David Freese will return to his alma mater for South Alabama’s First Pitch Banquet on Feb. 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Battleship Pavillion. Freese helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the 2011 World Series. He was also MVP of the National League Championship Series. Former Jaguar All-Americans P.J. Walters and Marlon Anderson are also scheduled to attend the banquet.


For the eighth consecutive year, BYU players will carry a team coin with them at all times. One side of the coin reads “Effort, Character, Execution.”  The flipside reads “competitive greatness” with three +1 symbols. Head coach Vance Law said that plus one means going beyond the expected, while competitive greatness is one of the elements from John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.


The Mississippi State baseball squad registered a cumulative grade point average of 3.32 for the fall term, a program record. Three Bulldogs were named President’s Scholars for a perfect 4.0 GPA: senior outfielder Brent Brownlee, junior pitcher Chris Stratton and junior pitcher Daryl Norris.


The Southeastern Louisiana baseball team posted a 3.16 cumulative GPA during the fall semester. Outfielder Cody Gougler, pitcher Jordan Hymel and catcher Torin Lucas each were named to the President’s List as were newcomers Buck Bernard (pitcher), Harry Slade (outfielder) and Taylor Veillon (pitcher) for posting perfect 4.0 GPAs.


Cincinnati had 20 players earn a GPA of at least 3.0 to help the team post a cumulative GPA of 3.078 for the fall quarter. Senior catcher Jake Saylor and junior infielder/catcher J.P. Jackson both registered a perfect 4.0 GPA.


Nicholls will hold its First Pitch Banquet on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Bollinger Student Union Ballroom. Former LSU head basketball coach Dale Brown will be the guest speaker.


Former Wright State and current Cleveland Indian pitcher Joe Smith will be the keynote speaker for the First Pitch Banquet on Jan. 26 on the main arena floor in the Ervin J. Nutter Center. Smith recorded 22 saves and fanned 145 in three seasons for the Raiders.


Michigan State baseball will honor Earl Morrall as its Alumnus of the Year during its seventh annual First Pitch Dinner on Jan. 28 at the Kellogg Center. Morrall was an infielder on MSU’s 1954 Big Ten Championship team that reached the College World Series. Morrall was also a quarterback on the 1954 and 1956 Rose Bowl champion football teams. Former Spartan and current Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson will also attend the event.


Louisville will have three captains for the 2012 season: senior pitchers Derek Self and Travis Tingle along with sophomore outfielder Adam Engel. They were voted on by the Cardinal players and coaches. Self has a 17-3 record at Louisville and was taken in the 27th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Oakland A’s. Tingle was 3-1 with a save and a 2.60 ERA a season ago after transferring from Cleveland State Community College. Engel batted .250 as a freshman with 27 runs and 15 steals in 53 games.


South Alabama has broken ground on the Jaguar Baseball Ring of Honor at Stanky Field. It will be a landscaped rotunda with plaques commemorating all Jaguar head coaches, Sun Belt championship teams, NCAA Regional teams, All-Americans and former Jags in the Major Leagues. It will be located behind the third base grandstand at Stanky Field.


Baseball players Josh Dowdy, Kurt Frisbee and Jason Wallace were among 25 student-athletes who recently graduated from Appalachian State at winter commencement ceremonies.


Season tickets are now on sale at Oklahoma and Texas State.


The Alabama baseball team hosted a Christmas party at the Sprayberry Education Center in Tuscaloosa for the third straight year. Sprayberry is the special education facility for the Tuscaloosa County School System.


Former major leaguer Andy Pettitte will headline the 2012 Republic Bank University of Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner on Feb. 3. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. Pettitte won five World Series titles and is the Major League leader in postseasons victories. Former Cardinal and current Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Trystan Magnuson will also attend the event.


The Utah baseball program will host ‘An Evening with Ozzie Smith’ on Feb. 7 at the Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel. The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Smith, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, won 13 Gold Gloves and was a 15-time All-Star. He set major league shortstop records for assists, double plays and chances in 19 seasons with the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals.


Justin Topping has been hired as the volunteer assistant coach at William and Mary. He will coach first base and serve as the Tribe’s catching coach. Topping enjoyed a four-year playing career at VMI. He batted .282 with 24 doubles and 64 RBI as a Keydet catcher. Topping earned a degree in economics and business from VMI in 2011 and is working on an MBA at W&M.


Arkansas has named junior pitcher DJ Baxendale, senior infielder Bo Bigham and junior infielder Matt Reynolds have been named team captains for Arkansas in 2012. Baxendale went 10-2 with a 1.58 ERA a season ago and was an All-SEC selection. Bigham batted .291 in 61 games in 2011 with two homers, 20 RBI and 17 steals. Reynolds hit .243 a season ago with three home runs and 22 RBI.


Andy Drexel, Simon Kudernatsch and Ryan Lukach will serve as captains at Hartford for the 2012 season. Lukach, a sophomore, batted .276 a year ago with seven doubles and 16 RBI. He made 10 appearances and six starts on the mound for the Hawks. Kudernatsch, a senior infielder, started every game in 2011 with 42 hits, 21 RBI and eight steals. Drexel, also a senior, played 13 games a year ago before suffering a season-ending injury. He homered 12 times as a sophomore with 37 runs and 36 RBI.


Former Rutgers standout Eric Young will be inducted into the New Jersey Sports Writers’ Hall of Fame on Jan. 22, 2012. Young played 15 years of professional baseball for seven different teams and appeared in the 1996 All-Star Game. Young earned three letters in baseball as a centerfielder and four in football as a wide receiver for the Scarlet Knights.


Oregon head coach George Horton will serve as an assistant coach under Dave Serrano for the 2012 Collegiate National Team. It will be the first time Horton is a full-time member of a Collegiate team staff. He served as an honorary auxiliary coach on July 21, 2012, in Omaha, Neb., where Team USA topped Japan 4-1 in an international friendship game.


Canisius head coach Mike McRae (left) has signed a contract extension through the 2014 season. McRae has led the Golden Griffins to 189 victories in seven seasons and is 142-88 (.617) over the past four seasons with a pair of MAAC regular-season titles. McRae has been named MAAC Coach of the Year three times.


Texas Tech head coach Dan Spencer will be a featured speaker at the ABCA National Convention in Anaheim, Calif. Spencer will speak on Jan. 6 about the pitcher-catcher relationship.


UCF will hold its Baseball Fan Fest on Jan. 18 inside The Venue. The event is presented by B2 Café with doors opening at 6:15 p.m. It will be held prior to the men’s basketball game against Memphis.


South Alabama baseball players and Diamond Girls joined to help the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree project. They helped unload trucks and stock inventory of toys and bicycles at the warehouse prior to its distribution in the Mobile area.


(photo courtesy of Canisius Media Relations Office)