Tino Award Watch Spotlight: Tampa’s Nick Tindall

tinoawardxxxThe initial watch list for the 2014 Jaeger Sports Tino Martinez Award presented by College Baseball Lineup and D2baseballnews.com includes 125 names. If that list had to be cut in half, or to a third, probably even down to just a top ten, one of the names that would be on the roster of top DII players to watch would be Tampa’s Nick Tindall. Tindall played for Quincy University last season where he was a semifinalist for the award as he earned Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year and Midwest Region Player of the Year honors. As a slugging sophomore catcher Tindall led his team in batting at .372 and hit a GLVC high nine homeruns. His average was fifth in the league and his .620 slugging percentage was third. He also struck out just 14 time in 189 appearances. Even more amazingly, last season was Tindall’s first year as a collegiate player as he didn’t play as a freshman. Continue reading

NCBWA DI Baseball Top 30 – Feb 24

VIRGINIA TOPS NCBWA DIVISION I POLL
Virginia (6-1) has moved into the top spot in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll. The Cavaliers were 4-0 last week and moved up three spots from number four, replacing Oregon State atop the rankings.

Cal State Fullerton (preseason No. 1) and Oregon State (Feb. 17) have also held down the No. 1 position in the initial three 2014 rankings. Last year Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conference schools were No. 1 every week until UCLA captured the 2013 NCAA title.

The current survey has representation by nine different conferences among the 302 baseball-playing schools in the 2014 NCAA Division I ranks. The rankings of 2013 had a NCBWA-poll record 22 different DI conferences and independents rated at least one week while 12 separate circuits had team rankings in ’13.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (FEB. 24)
Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 6-1 4-0 4
2. Florida State Atlantic Coast 6-0 3-0 3
3. LSU Southeastern 7-0 4-0 5
4. Vanderbilt Southeastern 7-0 4-0 6
5. Oregon Pacific-12 7-0 4-0 8 Continue reading

Inside the Flyers’ Cockpit

The Flyers bounced back today with a hard-fought win against a pesky Union team.  The hitters turned it around and squared some balls up nicely, ran the bases well and kept the pressure on the whole game.  Congratulations to Brad Elmore and James Holub on nice mound outings to begin their college careers and to the entire bullpen for getting us stops when we needed them and closing it out.  Things were more relaxed today and less adrenaline dependent as we got comfortable with the game day schedule and management.  Jake Murray led the offensive effort with three hits and a walk, and leadoff hitter Alex Slaby was more relaxed and made a nice recovery after a shaky effort last night.  Brandon Collins provided a nice spark in his Lewis debut at first base and Mark Kornacker flashed some slick leather at third base.  Our approach with two strikes is still troubling.  Multiple guys coming back to the dugout telling me they were guessing a certain pitch with two strikes.  It can’t happen.  Read, then react, then spoil it or barrel it up.  So simple,…… or is it.  Looking forward to eating some southern home cooking tonight at Courtney’s and then team laundry.  Next up a region game versus Ohio Dominican tomorrow at noon.

4-0 Week Thrusts Virginia to Top of NCBWA DI Poll

Virginia (6-1) has moved into the top spot in the latest poll. The Cavaliers were 4-0 last week and moved up three spots from number four, replacing Oregon State atop the rankings.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (FEB. 24)
Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 6-1 4-0 4
2. Florida State Atlantic Coast 6-0 3-0 3
3. LSU Southeastern 7-0 4-0 5
4. Vanderbilt Southeastern 7-0 4-0 6
5. Oregon Pacific-12 7-0 4-0 8 Continue reading

Supersized Top 30 DII Rankings As Top Teams Compile Wins

Rank(Last Week) Team / Comment
(1) Tampa Spartans
Top ranked Tampa (11-1) took the luster from the Golden Rams of Albany State, outscoring them 32-14 in a three game sweep. The Spartans should add another four wins this week with games against Saginaw Valley State and Walsh.
(2) Minnesota State Mavericks
The Mavs (5-1) earned a pair of wins over Southwest Baptist in their only action of the week. MSU doesn’t have any more games scheduled until March 6th when play nine games in eight days in Florida.
(3) USC Aiken Pacers
USC Aiken (10-2) swept three important conference games at Francis Marion. The Pacers will be on the road again this week with a trio of contests against Flagler.
(4) Lander Bearcats
After completing their series win against Flagler, the Bearcats (13-1) earned a crushing win over Clafin and swept Young Harris. With the way LU is playing they probably could have taken three from the veteran Old Harris as well.
(5) Mount Olive Trojans
UMO (10-4) won the decisive game of their series with Concord, won a pair over Lenoir-Rhyne and won two of three over California (PA) which included a 23-2 drubbing. A big series lays ahead for the Trojans this week as they lost Florida Southern. Continue reading

Inside the Flyers’ Cockpit

The Flyers bounced back today with a hard-fought win against a pesky Union team.  The hitters turned it around and squared some balls up nicely, ran the bases well and kept the pressure on the whole game.  Congratulations to Brad Elmore and James Holub on nice mound outings to begin their college careers and to the entire bullpen for getting us stops when we needed them and closing it out.  Things were more relaxed today and less adrenaline dependent as we got comfortable with the game day schedule and management.  Jake Murray led the offensive effort with three hits and a walk, and leadoff hitter Alex Slaby was more relaxed and made a nice recovery after a shaky effort last night.  Brandon Collins provided a nice spark in his Lewis debut at first base and Mark Kornacker flashed some slick leather at third base.  Our approach with two strikes is still troubling.  Multiple guys coming back to the dugout telling me they were guessing a certain pitch with two strikes.  It can’t happen.  Read, then react, then spoil it or barrel it up.  So simple,…… or is it.  Looking forward to eating some southern home cooking tonight at Courtney’s and then team laundry.  Next up a region game versus Ohio Dominican tomorrow at noon.

Flyers Wings Clipped in Game One

Took a loss in our season opener tonight against Trevecca Nazarene.  We never figured out their starter, righty Bryan Smith.  His slider was above average and the pitch calling kept us guessing.  The lack of quality two-strike approaches was troubling because it was a major area of focus in our pre-season practices.  Adrenaline and excitement led to the hitters lack of consistency early on, and by the time our emotions normalized, it was too late.  The lone Flyer hit was a solo home run by Jake Murray, who, along with Kyle Thomas and Ben Albano showed good mechanical and approach consistency.  We will flush this one and get back at it tomorrow at noon when we take on Union at TNU.  I’m looking forward to seeing Kyle Klosak and his nasty cutter make their Lewis debut on the bump tomorrow.

Meet Jon Drahos

My name is Jon Drahos and I am an assistant coach at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.  Lewis competes at the NCAA Division II level and is a member of the Great Lakes Valley

Conference.  The team is coming off a good year, having achieved all three of our team goals: 1) Win 30 Games, 2) Win the regular season GLVC Championship, and 3) Participate in the Midwest Regional.  The Flyers currently ranked between 18th and 30th national in the Division II pre-season polls and we are both excited for the chance to live up to those expectations and wary of the fact that we now play with a target on our backs due to the accolades.  On paper we have a solid team which features a good mix of returnees (7 of 10 positional starters from last season) and highly recruited newcomers from the junior college and high school ranks.  This will be my seventeenth year coaching baseball at the collegiate level.   At Lewis University I am the hitting coach and I am also responsible for the outfielders defensively.

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