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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2014 Jaeger Sports Tino Martinez Award Watch List Announced

tinoawardOMAHA, NE > One hundred twenty-five exceptional student-athletes comprise the watch list for the 2014 Jaeger Sports Tino Martinez Award for the most outstanding player in DII college baseball. The annual honor is named after the former University of Tampa Spartan, Olympian and MLB All-Star, Tino Martinez.

Nominations for the award were made by baseball sports information contacts and media members. Omission from the initial list does not exclude additional players from future consideration.

The list will be updated with a mid-season release mid April. Semi-finalists are scheduled to be announced on May 12th with the finalists to be named on May 26th.

After the finalists are named fans will be once again be invited to vote online at to help determine the winner. The winner will be announced after the conclusion of the DII Baseball Championship held in Cary, NC from May 24th to May 31st.

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NCBWA DI Rankings – Feb 17

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association continues its tradition of NCAA Division I polls for the 17th year with its 2014 weekly surveys. Polls will be circulated from Feb. 17-June 26 (weekly through June 10) following the 68th annual NCAA World Series in Omaha, Neb., at TD Ameritade Park.

Cal State Fullerton (preseason No. 1) and Oregon State (Feb. 17) have held down the No. 1 position in the initial two 2014 surveys. Last year Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conference schools were No. 1 every week until UCLA captured the 2013 NCAA title. The poll voters come from 44 college baseball writers and related media persons from throughout the nation.

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 2012 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.

Rk. School Conference Record Pvs.
1. Oregon State Pac-12 3-0 3
2. Cal State Fullerton Big West 2-1 1
3. Florida State ACC 3-0 5
4. Virginia ACC 2-1 2
5. LSU SEC 3-0 6 Continue reading

NCBWA Division II Regional Rankings – Feb 18

Atlantic Region

RK School -First-Place Votes- W-L Pts. Prev.
1 Shippensburg (Pa.) -9- 0-0 126 1
2 Seton Hill (Pa.) -4- 0-0 122 3
3 Millersville (Pa.) 2-1 119 2
4 Concord (W. Va.) -1- 1-1 93 4
5 East Stroudsburg (Pa.) 1-0 87 5
6 Kutztown (Pa.) 0-0 57 7
7 Slippery Rock (Pa.) 0-0 48 8
8 Winston-Salem State (N.C.) 2-5 40 6
9 California (Pa.) 0-0 34 9
10 Mercyhurst (Pa.) 0-0 26 10

Also receiving votes: Virginia State (4-0), 11 points; Shepherd, W. Va. (0-3) 3 points; West Chester, Pa. (0-0) 2 points.
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Despite Losses, Top Teams Remain Same in DII Rankings

(Last Week)
Team / Comment
Top ranked Tampa (7-1) split a twin-bill with George College on Sunday. The two will settle the series Monday in a winner take all cage match. A visit from Albany State awaits the Spartans next week.
The Mavs (3-1) outscored Northeastern State in a Sunday doubleheader which is no easy feat; that’s like out-cooling the Fonz because the RiverHawks got some sticks. Southwest Baptist for the Mavs midweek with no games as MSU prepares for their spring trip south.
USCA (7-2) swept visiting Belmont Abbey to put a stranglehold on their top three position. The Pacers’ first road games are this week against the always formidable Francis Marion Patriots.
The Bearcats (8-1) split a double header with Flagler. The two teams will play again Monday to decide the series victor. LU has road games against Clafin and Young Harris this week.
UMO (5-3) battled Concord to an extra-innings loss before squishing them 14-1 in a rematch. The Trojans and Mountain Lions will decide the series winner Monday and Mount Olive will go on to play Lenoir-Rhyne and California (Pa) this week. Continue reading

Senior Season!

Minnesota State's Jason Hoppe

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Greetings baseball fans, my name is Jason Hoppe and I am currently a senior pitcher for the Minnesota State University, Mankato baseball team. It’s unreal how time flies by, I still remember the nerves of going to practice the first day as a 150-pound freshman. Instead of giving you guys a background on myself, I have a buddy who is the editor-in-chief for our local newspaper here in Mankato who wrote a fantastic article in the beginning of the 2013 season on my journey thus far. If you get a chance check out the article here.

When I was asked to give my thoughts and personal experiences on baseball I was pretty ecstatic to say the least. Over the years here at Minnesota State University Mankato, through classes and baseball, I have learned the more you write things down the easier it is to recall and the desired outcome is much more attainable. Continue reading