Dec. 23, 2012

Lineup Card


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


Dec. 17-23, 2012


Jim Brownlee (left) has been named pitching coach at Iowa. He posted a record of 854-817-5 in 30 seasons as a head coach, 23 at Evansville and seven at Illinois State. He is the father of former Iowa assistant and current Western Illinois head coach Ryan Brownlee. Brownlee was inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the 1969 team. He is also in the Evansville Athletics Hall of Fame, having amassed more wins than any other coach in Evansville history.


Evan Wells has joined the staff at Dartmouth. He coached at Washington in 2011-12 and most recently was at Creighton. Wells spent two years as an assistant at Whitworth University, serving as infield and hitting coach. He graduated from Gonzaga in 2009 with a degree in journalism after being the starting second baseman and leadoff hitter for the Bulldogs for three seasons.


Houston set a program record with a 3.17 GPA for the fall semester. It marked the fifth straight semester under head coach Todd Whitting that the Cougars registered a team GPA of 3.00 or better. UH had 27 players record a 3.00 or better and 10 reached Dean’s List with 3.50 or better. Sophomores Ryan Vruggink and Logan Piper posted perfect 4.00 GPAs.


Ryan Bomberger, Liberty Associate Athletics Communications Director, has been selected president of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America. He succeeds Tami Cutler of Wichita State.


The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees approved plans to renovate Abe Martin Field. Those plans include upgraded seating, press box and dugouts as well as the addition of lights and a synthetic grass playing surface with a new drainage system. The project will be funded by private donations and is expected to begin following the 2013 season.


Western Kentucky will partner with the Bowling Green Hot Rods to host in-state foes Kentucky and Louisville at Bowling Green Ballpark in 2013. On April 9, the Hot Rods will entertain Lansing at 10:35 a.m., with the Hilltoppers facing Louisville at 6 p.m. A doubleheader will also take place on April 23, as the Hot Rods meet Fort Wayne in the morning with WKU playing Kentucky at 6 p.m.


Former All-American Greg Polli is a member of the Hofstra Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013. He played at Hofstra from 1983-86 and was third in the nation in hitting in 1985 at .496. Polli was ECAC Player of the Year that season. His career batting average of .416 ranks seventh all-time in NCAA Division I. Polli is seventh on the program’s career list with 140 RBI.


ESPN reporter and Maryland graduate Tim Kurkjian will headline the Maryland Baseball Leadoff Banquet on Feb. 8 at Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore. The banquet will start at 7 p.m. and will feature a live and silent auction. Kurkjian graduated from Maryland in 1978 and has worked with the Washington Star, Baltimore News American, Dallas Morning News, Baltimore Sun, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.


Former Texas A&M-Corpus Christi pitcher Daniel Minor will be honored along with Cameron Dullnig of Texas A&M-Kingsville at the South Texas Winter Baseball Banquet on Jan. 23. Minor had 10 wins and was a First Team All-Southland selection in 2012. He hurled four complete games while fanning 110 with 23 walks in 110 innings.


The Mississippi State baseball team set a program record with a 3.36 grade point average in the fall semester. Out of 233 grades earned, only two were below a “C”. It is the third time in the past five years the Bulldogs have broken the program record. Five players had a perfect 4.0: senior Sam Frost, senior Trey Porter, sophomore Jonathan Holder, freshman Callahan Brown and freshman Zack Randolph.


Bowling Green replaced the backstop this week at Steller Field. The new backstop uses a four-pole system, reducing the obstructed view behind home plate. This is the second major renovation at Steller Field, as a new scoreboard was installed in October.


Head coaches Ed Servais of Creighton, Tim Esmay of Arizona State and Mike Bianco of Ole Miss will serve as assistant coaches for USA Baseball’s 2013 Collegiate National Team. TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle will be the manager of the squad. Each of the assistants will be making his debut with USA Baseball. Schlossnagle was an assistant in 2006. Servais will coach team defense and be the first base coach. Esmay will serve as hitting coach and will coach third base. Bianco will handle the chores of pitching coach. Danny Wheat of TCU will be the athletic trainer, while Brandie Davidson of TCU will be the team press officer.


Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. will speak at Wake Forest’s First Pitch Dinner on Feb. 28 in the Snead Room at Bridger Field House. Ripken was an MLB All-Star 19 times and broke Lou Gehrig’s big-league record for consecutive games played. A silent and live auction will also be featured at the event.


William and Mary will hold its annual First Pitch Banquet on Feb. 2 at the Williamsburg Hospitality House. A reception will start at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 8 p.m.


Texas Tech has 19 members of the baseball program earn academic honor roll for the fall semester. Three earned dean’s list honors with a 3.5 or higher grade point average (senior outfielder Brennan Moore, freshman infielder J.J. Bissel and freshman pitcher Reid Meyer).


Former Kentucky All-American Collin Cowgill has been traded from the Oakland Athletics to the New York Mets. The outfielder hit .269 in 38 games for Oakland in 2012 after missing part of the season with an ankle injury. Cowgill played for the Wildcats from 2005-08.


Former Hawkeye Brian Furlong has been named director of baseball operations at Iowa. Furlong is the managing partner and owner of Diamond Dreams Sports Academy in Iowa City. Furlong will be director of the Iowa Baseball Academy, team video coordinator, travel coordinator and on-campus recruiting assistant. Furlong played for the Hawkeyes in 2004 and 2005 and was an Academic All-Big Ten selection.


Louisville will have three captains for the 2013 campaign: senior first baseman Zak Wasserman, junior outfielder Adam Engel and junior outfielder Jeff Gardner. Wasserman batted .297 in 60 games a season ago with six homers, 22 runs and 27 RBI. Engel was Second Team All-Big East in 2012, when he hit .308 with 43 runs and 37 steals in 39 attempts. Gardner was also Second Team All-Big East this past season while batting .299 with two homers, 34 RBI and 35 runs.


Bryant has named seniors Kevin Brown, Peter Kelich and Dan Muscatello captains for the 2013 season. Brown was a captain a season ago and has been All-NEC each of his three years. He has a career batting average of .312 in 163 games with 55 doubles, 13 triples, 20 homers, 122 runs and 103 RBI. Kelich is 23-7 in three seasons, four wins away from the school record. He is the third hurler in program history with 300 innings and fourth with 200 strikeouts. Muscatello hit .290 as the starting shortstop a season ago with 56 hits, 37 runs and 23 walks.


The third Kleberg Bank College Classic will be held Feb. 22-24 at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas. The field includes Oklahoma, New Mexico, Iowa and host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Tickets will go on sale Feb. 1.

Feb. 22: Iowa vs. Oklahoma, 2 pm; New Mexico vs. TAMUCC, 6 pm

Feb. 23: Iowa vs. New Mexico, 2 pm; Oklahoma vs. TAMUCC, 6 pm

Feb. 24: New Mexico vs. Oklahoma, 9:30 am; Iowa vs. TAMUCC, 1 pm


Youngstown State will have Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and Major League umpire Wally Bell as the featured speakers for its First Pitch Breakfast on Jan. 26 at McMenamy’s Restaurant and Banquet Center in Niles, Ohio. This is the third year for the breakfast, but the first time featured speakers will be included. Along with a raffle, a live and silent auction will also be held.


Former Seahawk hurler Carl Willis, the pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners, will be the keynote speaker for UNC Wilmington’s 11th annual Spring Training Banquet on Jan. 26 at the Burney Center. Registration will begin at 4:45 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. A silent auction will also be held during the event.


Loyola Marymount will hold its inaugural Baseball Alumni Tex Mex Texas Hold’em Night on Feb. 1 at the Double Tree Los Angeles – Westside Hotel in Culver City. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the poker tournament will start a 8:30 p.m. A silent auction will be held during the event.


CSU Bakersfield will install 750 chair back seats behind home plate at Hardt Field prior to the start of the 2013 season. Private donations and multiple six-figure gifts made the project possible. The second phase will include a press box and two donor suites at the top of the main grandstand. Fundraising for the second phase continues. The total cost of the project will range between $700,000 to more than $1 million.


Season tickets are now on sale for Missouri State’s 27-game home schedule. Prices range from $20 to $100. Single-game tickets will go on sale on Feb. 1.


Former Michigan outfielder Will Drake has transferred to Cincinnati and will be eligible to play for the Bearcats in 2014. A native of Fairfield, Ohio, Drake batted .293 in 40 games for the Wolverines in 2012 with eight doubles, four triples, 27 runs and 22 RBI.


The Foley family has made a contribution for renovations at Georgia’s Foley Field. The long-range plans include improvements to the dugouts, home locker room and team lounge, athletic training room and batting cages. Additional renovations will include an upgraded sound system, redesigned main entrance, additional restrooms and concession areas as well as an expanded press box. For the upcoming season, additions include a new high-definition video scoreboard, new trees beyond the outfield fences and improvements to Kudzu Hill in the right field area.


Former Cincinnati baseball and basketball standout Will Ernst passed away on Dec. 11 at the age of 78 from complications related to Parkinson’s disease. He played for the Bearcats from 1953-56 and ranks second with a career ERA of 1.66. Ernst was a team captain as a senior in 1956, posting an ERA of 0.87. After spending one year in the minor leagues, he coached at Withrow and Taft High Schools in Cincinnati. Ernst spent four years teaching and coaching in Spain before returning to Ohio in 1973. He worked for 26 years in the Hilliard school district as a teacher, coach, administrator and athletic director.


(photo courtesy of SIU Media Relations Office)