College Baseball 360 Fall Notebook #11

November 22, 2010
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By Collegebaseball360.com Editor Sean Stires

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Gobble, Gobble…

To kick-off this week’s Notebook, we first want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! No matter where you are or what you are doing this week and throughout the holidays, do it safely! Also, with the end of the year fast approaching and football winding down, be sure to look for more pre-season college baseball information coming soon. The start of the 2011 college baseball season is now less than three months away!

TD Ameritrade Park will be the new home of the CWS in 2011.

New Stadium, Higher Prices…

With the hoopla of the last College World Series played at Rosenblatt Stadium, the emphasis is now on the CWS’ move to downtown Omaha and TD Ameritrade Park. While ticket prices won’t have the same kind of hike in price that Yankee Stadium had when the new palace in the Bronx went up last year, CWS season ticket holders will pay more to watch the first series in the new building. Multiple Omaha media outlets have reported that College World Series of Omaha, Inc. has informed season ticket holders that ticket prices will be higher next year.

The price of a 2011 season ticket package at TDA will reportedly go for $374-up from $293 this year. A general admission book of 10 tickets will also go from the $70 price over the last three years to $80. Individual reserved seats will see a slight bump in price as well from $22 to $28. The new stadium also will not have box seats like Rosenblatt did. Some 2,800 season ticket holders who have the rights to buy roughly 14,600 tickets will receive renewal notices the first week of December. They have until February 1 to return their orders.

Tar Heel Gone…

Brian Goodwin

North Carolina has suspended Brian Goodwin for the 2011 spring semester for a violation of university policy . Goodwin earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American honors last season by batting .291 with seven home runs and team-highs of eight triples and 63 RBIs. UNC has not disclosed what rule Goodwin broke, but does say that his suspension is not related to the NCAA investigation into the Tar Heel football program.

Gone Batty…

Most of the emphasis on the new bat regulations for the upcoming 2011 season has been on college baseball, but high school baseball players will face some changes as well. Composite bats will still be allowed in 2011 for high schoolers, but the list of allowable composites is short. CLICK HERE for the list of composite bats that meet the ball exit speed ratio (BESR) for high schools (excluding California) for the upcoming season. The National Federation of State High School Associations will follow college baseball’s lead and completely ban composite bats in 2012.

Speaking Of Bats…

Black Friday will be upon us soon, but if you are looking for baseball, softball or football gear for your athlete there’s no need to fight the crowds during the Holiday Season. Baseball Express is one of College Baseball 360′s top sponsors, and they have special Baseball Internet Specials for you right now. Just click the link and enter the coupon code AFSSPD2 to receive 15% off baseball orders of $99 or more from Nov. 23-28. The softball code is AFSSPD3 and the football code is AFSSPD3.

The Conference Shuffle…

The biggest announcements regarding conference realignments this came out of the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac 10, but the situation remains very fluid. Texas State, UT-San Antonio and Denver are set to join the WAC for the 2012-2013 academic year. Denver is the only one of the three that plays neither Division One baseball nor football, while TSU and UTSA will both move from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS or DI) next year. Meanwhile, Hawaii could be ready to follow Boise State and Fresno State to the Mountain West Conference, but that move may not include baseball. There’s a good chance Hawaii will be a football only member of the MWC, with the rest of its sports possibly joining the Big West. At least one recent report says 16 of Hawaii’s 18 teams would prefer the Big West, which would mean much shorter travel times and costs for the lower-revenue generating sports.

New Name, Same Stage…

One of college baseball’s premiere early season events has a new name. What used to be the Whataburger Classic in Corpus Christi, TX is now the Kleberg Bank College Classic. Kleberg recently signed a five-year naming rights contract for the event, which will still be played at Whataburger Field-the home of the minor league Corpus Christi Hooks. Last year’s event saw Oklahoma and UCLA both go to the College World Series. This year’s field includes Oregon State, Indiana, UConn, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Auf Deutsch Bitte…

Greg Frady (10) led Germany to a third place finish at the European Championships.

Georgia State baseball coach Greg Frady has been named the European Baseball Coach of the Year. Frady was honored for leading the German National Team to a third-place finish at this year’s European Baseball Championship. It’s the highest finish for the Germans and their first medal in the history of the event. Frady has led his Georgia State Panthers to 73 wins over the last two seasons, including a 2009 NCAA Regional bid.

Three For The SEC…

National letter of intent signings continue to be announced by college baseball teams across the country. It’s a big enough feather in the cap of any high school to send just one player to the Division One ranks, but Lake Wales High School in Lake Wales, FL has a full plume this Thanksgiving. The Highlanders had three players recently sign baseball NLIs with SEC schools. Colton Davis and Jarred Smith will continue to be teammates next year after signing with Auburn, while Justin Shafer signed to play at Florida. Davis and Shafer both turned down DI football offers to play baseball. Lake Wales has a population of roughly 12,000.

Players are timed in the 60-yard dash at Arizona's scout day.

And At The Next Level…

All 30 MLB teams were represented by more than 70 scouts at the University of Arizona’s scout day over the weekend. Scouts put draft eligible Wildcats through their paces in things like the 60-yard dash, a half dozen rounds of batting practice and positional throwing (including pitchers). Senior outfielder Bobby Rinard turned-in the top 60 time at 6.5 seconds. The workout was the last such event for the scouts before the holidays.

Wearing It Out…

We received a question in our mail bag this week about the record for home runs in consecutive at-bats by a DI baseball player. The email cited former Sam Houston State player Tommy Cliffe, who homered in five straight at-bats in 1999. The e-mailer wanted to know if that might be the NCAA record. Turns out, Florida State’s Marshall McDougall did Cliffe one better in that same season. After singling in his first at-bat, McDougall went on to go yard in his next six trips to the plate in his historic 16 RBI day in the Seminole’s 26-2 win over Maryland on May 9, 1999. Have a question for us? Make sure  to drop us a line by clicking here.

V Is For Verlander…

Old Dominion recently retired the jersey of  Justin Verlander. The current Detroit Tiger set the ODU and Colonial Athletic Association record with 427 strikeouts in 335 2/3 innings in his three-year career from 2002-2004. Verlander was the second overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft by Detroit after winning 21 games for his alma mater. He also helped Team USA to a silver medal finish at the 2003 Pan Am Games.

Keep Growing College Baseball…

Three more schools have made recent additions and/or renovations to their college baseball facilities. Lamar just finished the H.D. “Tex” and Emma Strait Baseball Training Facility. It’s a 9,600 square foot indoor practice center. Butler has made several tweaks to Bulldog Park, with a new turf halo around home plate, new laser-graded infield sod, new netting, and a still to be completed fan patio area down the left field line. Columbia also just dedicated its new Robertson Field at Satow Stadium. The digs include new chairback seating, a new home dugout and a state-of-the-art scoreboard.

Give a unique gift this Christmas from Dugouthats.com.  The Dugout in Omaha has officially licensed 2010 College World Series memorabilia that would make the perfect gift this holiday season (click on the image to left to enlarge).

From t-shirts and caps to limited edition prints commemorating the last CWS ever played at historic Rosenblatt Stadium. Dugouthats.com also always  hats of your favorite college teams like LSU, Texas, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UCLA, South Carolina, Miami and more.

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