Jan. 22, 2012

Lineup Card


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


Jan. 16-22, 2012


Junior catcher Mike Zunino was named a recipient of the 2011 Ben Hill Griffin Award, to recognize the top male student-athlete at Florida. It is based on athletic and academic achievement as well as extra-curricular involvement. Zunino was SEC Player of the Year and led the Gators to the championship series of the College World Series. He batted .371 with 23 doubles, 19 homers, 75 runs and 67 RBI.


Hawaii season tickets go on sale on Jan. 23. The Rainbows will have 38 home games at Les Murakami Stadium, including series with Oregon, Wichita State and Fresno State. Hawaii ranked 17th in attendance a year ago with an average of 3,320 fans per game, the highest in five seasons.


The Citadel will hold its annual Meet the Bulldogs autograph session and Blue-White scrimmage on Feb. 12 at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Gates will open at noon with the autograph session and final preseason scrimmage following at 1:15 p.m. Admission is free and the Charleston RiverDogs will again provide free hot dogs for the event.


Former South Alabama standout David Freese received the Babe Ruth Award by the Baseball Writers Association of America for being the most valuable player of the Major League Baseball postseason. Freese led the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series title, batting .397 in 18 playoff games with five home runs and 21 RBI.


Former Houston catcher Chris Snyder has signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros. Snyder hit .348 in three seasons with the Cougars with 175 hits and 29 home runs.


Former Illinois State pitcher Jeremy Accardo has signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians and received a non-roster invitation to spring training. He was with Baltimore a season ago. Accardo went 5-4 with 12 saves in 33 appearances over three seasons with the Redbirds from 2001-03.


TCU will hold its third annual “Frogs for the Cure” Women’s Baseball Clinic on Feb. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Sam Baugh Indoor Facility. The event is open to all women ages 21 and above and will benefit Komen for the Cure. Attendees will have a chance to take a round of batting practice, measure their velocity on their fastball and enjoy a fashion show along with dinner and desserts.


UCLA has completed the installation of 580 chairback seats at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium, raising capacity to 1,820. There were also 36 new lockers installed in the Bruins’ clubhouse.


Cincinnati will hold its second annual First Pitch Reception on Feb. 10 at the Riverfront Club in Great American Ball Park. The event will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and admission is free, but attendees must register by Feb. 6 with a maximum attendance of 200.


Hall of Famer Dave Winfield will be the keynote speaker for the Georgetown’s eighth annual First Pitch Dinner on Feb. 4 at the Leo J. O’Donovan Dining Hall. A reception and silent auction begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 7 p.m. Winfield played college baseball at Minnesota before a 22-year career in the major leagues with the Padres, Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Twins and Indians.


William and Mary will hold its annual First Pitch Banquet on Feb. 4 at the Williamsburg Hospitality House. Rick Dempsey, for major league catcher and current color commentator for the Baltimore Orioles, will serve as guest speaker. Check-in will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 8 p.m.


Florida Atlantic has season tickets now on sale for its 33-game home slate. The Owls open on Feb. 24 with a four-game series against Manhattan and will host Miami on March 21. Sun Belt Conference home series include Louisiana-Lafayette, South Alabama, Arkansas State, Western Kentucky and FIU.


Senior pitcher Jonathan Montoya of CSU Bakersfield will miss the 2012 season, but plans to take a medical redshirt and return for the 2013 campaign. The left-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm. Montoya tied a school record with eight wins in 2011 and set a program mark with seven complete games. He fanned 86 in 115.1 innings.


Senior right-hander Brennan Stewart of Texas Tech had successful lower back surgery on Dec. 23. The Red Raiders hope he will be able to pitch this season. Stewart made 22 appearances in 2011, with all but three from the bullpen. He was 2-1 with a 3.40 ERA. Stewart walked 14 and struck out 38 in 55.2 innings.


Joe Litterio has been hired as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Rutgers. Litterio was head coach at Wagner for the past 12 years. He played for current Rutgers head coach Fred Hill as an infielder from 1990-93, helping the Scarlet Knights win four Atlantic 10 regular-season titles and earn three NCAA Tournament berths.


Eastern Michigan head coach Jay Alexander will be a guest speaker in a lecture series entitles Playing with Fire: Race and Sport in American Culture presented by the MSPS Martin Luther King, Jr. Series for the Study of Race on the campus of Notre Dame on Feb. 1. Alexander is one of three African-Americans coaching baseball at non-historically black schools. Other speakers in the series include former Major League pitcher Dwight Gooden, Vanderbilt Athletic Director David Williams II and reporter Pam Oliver.


Valparaiso head coach Tracy Woodson will be inducted into the NC State Baseball Hall of Fame as part of 2012 First Pitch Banquet on Feb. 16. He will join Terry Harvey and Jake Weber in the Class of 2012. Woodson played for the Wolfpack from 1982-84 and was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2003. He was named ACC Player of the Year in 1984, batting .373 with 25 homers and 77 RBI while being named Second Team All-America.


Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, the Voice of the Cincinnati Reds for 39 years, will speak at the 15th annual Upstate Diamond Classic, a Furman baseball fundraiser, on Feb. 8 at the TD Convention Center. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Brennaman received the Ford C. Frick Award in 2000 from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Brennaman is also a member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame, National Radio Hall of Fame and Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.


William and Mary has named three captains for 2012: seniors Chris Forsten and Sean Aiken, along with junior Ryan Brown. Forsten is a returning captain and the catcher threw out 27 of 53 base stealers in 2011. Aiken batted .263 in 21 games a season ago for the Tribe. Brown started all 55 games in the outfield in 2011, hitting .292 with 37 walks and an on-base percentage of .445.


Former Temple catcher Ryan Ferguson has signed with the Joliet Slammers of the independent Frontier League. Ferguson batted .316 this past year with 10 homers, 48 RBI and 32 runs. He hit safely in the first 24 games of the 2011 season and his 26-game hit streak (going back to 2010) was the longest in program history.


Texas Tech will hold its First Bank First-Pitch Luncheon on Feb. 13 at the Lubbock Civic Center Banquet Hall. Doors will open at 11:15 a.m. with the program starting at noon.


Season ticket sales at Mississippi State have reached 5,000 for the 11th consecutive year. The Bulldogs had 5,472 season tickets a year ago after setting a school record with 5,632 in 2010. Mississippi State will have a school-record 37 home games on 35 dates in 2012.


Appalachian State has season tickets on sale for its 29-game home slate at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. The Mountaineers return eight position starters and four starting pitchers from last year’s 33-27 squad.


Baylor will offer discounted season tickets this week based on last Friday’s weather. The high temperature in Waco was 57, so adult season tickets will be $57, a savings of $42. The low was 25, so youth tickets are $25, a savings of $40.


Former Notre Dame standout Craig Counsell has retired after a 16-year major league career with Colorado, Florida, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona and Milwaukee. He has been hired by the Brewers as a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin. The 41-year-old Counsell batted .255 in 1,624 games with 218 doubles, 40 triples, 42 homers, 647 runs and 390 RBI. He hit .306 during his four-year career with the Fighting Irish (1989-92) with 204 runs, 166 RBI, 50 doubles and more than twice as many walks (program-record 166) as strikeouts (82).


Former Notre Dame player Brent Weiss was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list for the field of finance. He joined Brotman Financial Group in 2005 as an associate and became a principal of the first a year ago, assisting with financial planning and wealth management for his clients. Weiss graduated cum laude from Notre Dame in 2005 and was a member of the 2002 College World Series team.