Coastal Carolina Gary Gilmore Named National Coach of the Year
By Coastal Carolina, goccusports.com, sports
|OMAHA, Neb. --- After leading Coastal Carolina to its first-ever trip to the 2016 College World Series, Chanticleer head baseball coach Gary Gilmore has been named to National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Coach of the Year.
"Congratulations to Coach Gilmore on his first NCBWA National Coach of the Year award and getting his Chanticleers to Omaha," said NCBWA Executive Director Bo Carter. "He has given so much time and energy to that program and for him to lead his team to the pinnacle of the sport is a testament to his loyalty and dedication."
Gilmore's squad punched its first ticket to the CWS with a thrilling 4-3 walk-off victory over LSU in game two of the Baton Super Regional. The victory was the 49th of the season for the Chanticleers, who have made 15 NCAA Regional appearances and three NCAA Super Regional appearances under Gilmore's watch at his alma mater.
CCU opened the 2016 season ranked No. 24 in the NCBWA preseason poll and after dropping out for several weeks, returned to the rankings on April 18 and have since remained, thanks to winning 38 of their last 46 games. The Chants have won 841 games during Gilmore's tenure and arrived in Omaha winners of 15 of their last 16 games, including a 5-1 mark in NCAA Tournament play.
CCU won the Big South regular season by seven games, swept through the Big South Tournament, won the NCAA Raleigh Regional and became the first team to sweep LSU at Alex Box Stadium in an NCAA Super Regional.
The Big South regular season and tournament champions had six players earn all-league honors, while Gilmore was named Big South Coach of the Year for the ninth time. Outfielder Connor Owings was the Big South Player of the Year and right-hander Andrew Beckwith was the Big South Pitcher of the Year.
Shortstop Michael Paez was taken in the fourth round by the New York Mets during last week's MLB Draft. Owings and designated hitter G.K. Young were recently named first team NCBWA All-Americans, while third baseman Zach Remillard and right-hander Mike Morrison were named to the third team.
NCBWA membership includes writers, broadcasters and publicists. Designed to promote and publicize college baseball, it is the sport's only college media-related organization, founded in 1962.
Photograph by postandcourier.com
Andrew Beckwith, Coastal Carolina, Wins Gregg Olson Award
By Greg Olson Award.Com
|OMAHA, Neb. --- Coastal Carolina's Andrew Beckwith has been named the winner of the 2016 Gregg Olson Award for Breakout Player of the Year. The crowning of Beckwith as the winner was somewhat unexpected as the hurler had not been named on either the semifinalist or finalist lists. However, his incredible postseason performances has left little question that the Chanticleer ace was deserving of the award.
Beckwith saved his best and most impressive performances for the end of the season on the nation's biggest stage with a pair of phenomenal pitching performances in Omaha at the College World Series. In CCU's first ever game at the CWS, Beckwith led the Chanticleers to a 2-1 victory over top ranked Florida. In the game he needed only 98 pitches. He did not walk a batter and retired the last 10 hitters he faced to earn the victory.
Five days later in the World Series, with his team facing elimination against third ranked TCU, Beckwith again threw a complete game, allowing only a single run in the Chants' crucial win. Coastal Carolina would use the win as a springboard to defeat TCU again the next night to earn a spot on the CWS finals against Arizona.
With the wins in Omaha, Beckwith established a CCU record for wins in a season and he topped the NCAA in pitching victories with an impressive 14-1 record. By only allowing two runs in 18 innings against the two top teams, he lowered his season ERA to 1.94 which was 18th nationally and first in the Big South Conference. He appeared in 25 games this season, totaling 111 1/3 innings. During his time on the mound, he issued only 15 walks while striking out 73 hitters.
Earlier in the postseason, Beckwith came up big as well. He earned the decisive win in relief at the Raleigh Regional Championship Final against host North Carolina State and also earned a "W" as the starter in the regional opener against St. Mary's. In Super Regional action against LSU, he was roughed up a bit by the Tigers' bats, but he performed well enough to keep CCU in the game and allowed the Chants to get the win and earn their first trip to Omaha.
Beckwith's rise to Twitter trending status came as a surprise following a rather ho-hum sophomore season. While his 6-4 record and a 3.26 ERA were nothing to scoff at, there were little indication of his torrential breakout success in 2016. Beckwith's breakout numbers not only demonstrated his was one of the nation's elite pitcher, but cemented Coastal Carolina's place as a premier program in the country as well. For those reasons, Andrew Beckwith is the 2016 Gregg Olson Award winner for Breakout Player of the Year.
The award is named after former Auburn pitching great and two-time All American Gregg Olson. After a freshman season at Auburn filled with only mixed success, Olson became one of the top collegiate players in the nation during an outstanding, unprecedented sophomore season. Olson went on to lead the entire nation in ERA with a 1.26 mark and compiled an incredible 11-1 record with 10 saves for the Tigers.
Photograph by Baseball America
NCAA Rules Will Allow Instant Replay During Certain Plays
By Lou Pavlovich, Jr., Editor, Collegiate Baseball
|INDIANAPOLIS --- For the first time in NCAA history, video replays could be part of the regular season for schools that choose to implement this technology when umpires review certain plays.
During its July meeting in Indianapolis, the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee recommended making such a rule permanent starting with the 2017 season.
This proposal was among 26 NCAA rule change proposals for the 2017 and 2018 seasons that must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel.
The video replay rule has been in use on an experimental basis at the NCAA Division I College World Series since 2012. It also has been available for the last two years during the Super Regionals.
However, video replay by umpires in NCAA baseball had never been utilized until game four of the 2016 College World Series between Coastal Carolina and Florida.
In the third inning with Coastal Carolina runners on first and second and two outs, Zach Remillard hit a fly ball down the right field line. Initially an umpire rules the play foul. Chanticleer Head Coach Gary Gilmore asked for the umpiring crew to discuss the decision, and as pictured here, the play was reviewed on video for 4 minutes and 6 seconds.
The call was ultimately overturned as video showed the ball nick the chalk line.
Remillard was awarded a double with one run scoring on the play as Coastal went on to win, 2-1.
The following plays will be reviewable by video if approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel for regular season games:
> Deciding if a batted ball is fair or foul. The ball must first touch the ground or a fielder beyond the initial position of the first or third baseman.
> Deciding if a batted ball is either a ground rule double or a home run.
> Any catch or no catch in the outfield or foul territory.
> A call of "no catch" can be changed to "catch" within the infield only if it results in a third out with any runners on base, or any time with a batter runner only.
> Spectator interference.
> Deciding scoring plays at home plate inclusive of collisions (illegal and/or malicious slides) or time plays, as shown here in Game 3 of the College World Series that featured a controversial play at the plate.
The following criteria will be used by institutions and conferences using instant replay during the regular season, if approved:
> A ruling on the field will only be changed if there is indisputable video evidence to reverse the call. Absent that evidence, the original ruling on the field will stand.
> Any use of instant replay must occur before the next pitch or play. If the replay is called for after a game ending play, it must be called before all umpires leave the field of play.
> The crew chief will make the determination to use instant replay. There is no "coaches challenge." Under the provisions of Getting the Call Right, coaches have the ability to request a conference among the umpires.
> The video review area must be on the field level so that umpires must not walk through spectators to view the coverage. At least one umpire must remain on the field.
> During the video review, the defensive team shall maintain their position on the field and may warm-up if desired. Offensive base runners and the ondeck hitter shall maintain their position. Other personnel shall remain in the dugout. Any defensive or offensive conferences will be charged as during any other part of the game.
> All equipment should be tested by appropriate personnel before each game.
> The final decision may not be argued by either coach.
> If the reversing of a call results in the need for decisions on the placement of base runners, the crew chief shall use his best judgment to determine their locations as if the call had been made correctly (with exception to placement prescribed by rule on catch/no catch reversals).
> If a call has been changed, the crew chief, upon returning to the field, eill notify both head coaches and the official scorer of the ruling.
Rationale: Establish permissive rules to allow the use of video replay where capabilities are available as a supplement to Appendix E Getting the Call Right.
Photographs by Steven Branscombe, USA TODAY Sports Images; and USATSI
College Graduates in Baseball a Rare Breed
Balancing graduation and baseball is no easy task
By Jon Paul Morosi, FoxSports.com
|College commencement ceremonies and Major League Baseball games are staples of American life in May. Only a small number of men can say they have participated in both.
As of May 17, 2012, 917 players had appeared in at least one big-league game this season, according to STATS LLC. Of that group, only 39 --- or 4.3 percent --- were confirmed by their teams of MLB as having obtained four-year college degrees through a FOXSports.com survey of clubs.
The tiny fraction highlights the challenges of pursuing a higher education while chasing big-league dreams. Young men are eligible for the Major League Baseball amateur draft at multiple points in their development.
* After graduating from high school
* After any season of junior college
* After their junior or senior seasons at a four-year college
* After any season during which they are 21 years old.
With so many chances to focus solely on baseball --- and earn money --- it's not surprising that 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds turn pro. And once they do, baseball's year-round schedule makes it difficult for them to make up the missed credits. Think about it: If your team's general manager wants you to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic to improve your chances of reaching the majors, would you say no because you need to take a marketing class?
Maybe you should, given how difficult it is to score a set-for-life contract. But chances are you won't.
In that context, Curtis Granderson's degree in business management and business marketing is about as impressive as the MVP-caliber numbers he posted for the New York Yankees in 2011.
The Detroit Tigers selected Granderson in the third-round of the 2002 amateur draft, after his junior year at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As the son of teachers, Granderson, pictured above running the bases for the New York Mets, felt a familial obligation and personal desire to graduate. So, while playing for Class A Lakeland in 2003, he asked the Tigers if they would accommodate his desire to fulfill his degree requirements. The organization agreed, even though his obligation to baseball didn't cease.
One example: Gary Green, Granderson's manager at Lakeland that year, was asked to serve as a proctor for an exam. Green was so impressed with Granderson's commitment and integrity that he quickly agreed. So Granderson took his test in the manager's office at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Not that his teammates noticed. "I don't think a lot of our guys were really aware," Green recalled during a telephone interview in 2011. "At 18, 19, 20, 21, they're caught up in themselves. Our staff was aware, no doubt. But I don't believe the majority of our players were." Thanks to his in-season head start, Granderson graduated from UIC in December 2003 --- only one semester behind his original classmates.
Granderson's status as a college graduate is well-known in baseball circles, partly because many of his charitable efforts involve educational initiatives. (While speaking to school groups, Granderson routinely receives his loudest ovation when it is mentioned he obtained his degree.) He's heavily involved with the Major League Baseball Players Association, having volunteered for --- or been volunteered for --- various responsibilities because of his business education.
Teammates and opposing players approach him from time to time, curious about how he graduated. They want to know how many credits he had left when he was drafted. They want to know what degree he earned. Basically, they want to know if they can make it work, too.
"It's very difficult to do," Granderson told me. "A lot of stuff had to line up for me to get the opportunity to go back to school."
"First, the individual has to want to do it. School's not necessarily for everyone."
MLB clubs include a college tuition escrow in contracts for many drafted players --- generally speaking, those born in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The program, in effect, provides protection for high school seniors who turn down scholarship offers to turn pro. According to MLB figures, 60.2 percent of amateur contracts signed in 2011 by players born in those three countries included some kind of scholarship money.
But teenagers who encounter instant (if not enduring) wealth tend to think about other aspects of their new contracts. For them, to place great emphasis on the scholarship plan would sound something like failure. Who cares? I'm going to make it and get rich anyway. Well, not necessarily.
Another complication: Players receive the scholarship funds only if they enroll in college within a fixed time period after their careers are over. Even then, money from the escrow is taxable. "The college education program has been there for student athletes, but a lot of guys don't use it because they don't know the ins and outs of how to use it," said Granderson, pictured here when playing for the New York Yankees. "It's there. But you've got to keep in mind, too, that baseball becomes the priority once you sign the professional contract."
Still, Granderson found the time. So did Arizona Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz, who received his undergraduate kinesiology degree from the University of Michigan more than 11 years after the Seattle Mariners drafted him. Never too late.
Putz, in fact, played for the most educated team in baseball. The Diamondbacks lead the major leagues with seven college graduates: Putz, Willie Bloomquist (Arizona State), Craig Breslow (Yale), John McDonald (Providence), Takashi Saito (Tohoku Fukushi University in Japan), Mike Zagurski (Kansas) and Brad Ziegler (Southwest Missouri State). The Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays are tied for second with four graduates apiece on their 40-man rosters.
"I am thrilled to see we have the most educated players, but they are only as smart as their win/loss record," said Diamondbacks club president Derrick Hall, when told of his team's standing among baseball's mortarboard weavers.
"I happen to believe our guys are as smart as any, but fans want to see wins. Where I do see the difference is with an educated group that understands the business of the game, the importance of the fan and the significance of giving back to the community. That can be linked to education and a strong level of common sense."
Speaking of that: Wise people are well-aware of what they don't know. Such individuals perceive their own deficits and address them with further education.
So, it shouldn't surprise you that Granderson, one of the smartest players in baseball, mentioned a new interest during our conversation in New York.
Granderson said a representative from the University of Chicago --- one of the country's foremost private research universities --- conveyed to him that he has a standing offer to enroll in a program there.
"I was like, 'Oh!'" said Granderson, pictured above outside the entrance of the new stadium at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Asked what he might want to pursue, he added, "Initially, when I first graduated, it was finance. I'm not sure if I still want to go that route. Educational administration would be the other one, which has been the leader for me over the past few years. I'm not sure what the other idea might be. I've had some ideas. I don't know yet. I'll keep doing homework."
He always has. It's still serving him well.
Photographs by Gammons Daily.Com; UIC Athlete Promotions; USATSI; and UIC News Center
Teurlings' Mike Thibodeaux Is National Baseball Coach of Year
By William Weathers, The Acadiana Advocate
|Teurlings Catholic baseball coach Mike Thibodeaux has been a frequent visitor to the American Baseball Coaches Association's annual convention, a forum that has had a profound impact on his career.
Instead of attending this year's 73rd Annual event January 6 in Anaheim, California, with the intent of picking up ideas from guest speakers, or paying reverence through the organization's Hall of Fame induction, Thibodeaux, pictured here raising the trophy with his Teurlings' players, will be there as a guest of honor.
He will receive the ABCA/Diamond Division II (school enrollments between 750-1,500) high school coach of the year after guiding Teurlings to the Class 4A state championship and a consensus Top 25 national ranking.
The Rebels finished No. 8 in MaxPreps.com and No. 9 in the USA Today Super 25.
"Going for this reason is going to be a little different," said Thibodeaux, who qualified for the honor after being selected the ABCA Region 6 Coach of the Year.
The ABCA will honor 11 coaches ranging from Division I Coach of the Year, Gary Gilmore of national champion Coastal Carolina, to the top coaches in NAIA, junior college and high school.
"Mike will be the first to tell you that baseball's always been big at Teurlings and has always been pretty good," said Teurlings athletic director Sonny Charpentier. "Mike has been able to take it to another level. He does an outstanding job and they're always well prepared and well coaches. The proof's in the pudding."
A year after being denied the Class 4A state title by archrival St. Thomas More, Teurlings returned with a vengeance and steamrolled its way through the regular season and early stages of the state playoffs.
The Rebels put the finishing touches on a school-record 35-4 mark and the school's sixth state championship with a 3-2 victory over West Ouachita.
"You always have to have a goal of winning championships," said Thibodeaux, who won his third state title in his ninth season at the school. "You have to have a measuring stick. It's not about the trophies or the rings, but the opportunity to play the game of baseball and to play it at a high level."
"This is further acknowledgment of what 24 young men were able to accomplish on the field," said Thibodeaux, who was assisted by Brock Broussard, Richey Garrett and Scott LeJeune. "This award is about the players. It's an extension of the state championship, but an outstanding group of young men who played the game well from beginning to end."
Teurlings returned more than just a talented team in 2016, a group that went on to feature five college signees and two of three juniors who committed before the start of the season.
The Rebels placed four players --- pitchers Brett Weber and Josh Taylor, right fielder Nick Webre and catcher Austin Kirkpatrick --- on the Class 4A all-state first team, with Webre earning 4A Outstanding Player and Mr. Baseball honors.
"One of our mottos this season was talent-plus wins championships," said Thibodeaux, shown here talking to his players. "We had great leadership, the best I have ever had in any sport I've coached. They made it so much fun and the challenge was continuing to raise the level of expectations and challenge them in different ways."
A season's worth of objectives started piling up by the end of April --- an undefeated District 4-4A championship and school-record 30th win --- which left Teurlings within striking distance of its ultimate goal.
The Rebels showed plenty of resolve in rallying from a four-run deficit in the second inning for a 5-4 semifinal win over Breaux Bridge. They did so twice again in the title game against West Ouachita with RBI hits from Hayden Cantrelle and Jacob Richard, to go along with Taylor's complete-game effort on the mound.
First of all, I'm blessed to be a coach," Thibodeaux said. "To form relationships that will last a lifetime, that's the reward. I'm not aware of any coaches that get into coaching to win an award yourself. That's not why you do it. It's a selfless profession. If it's not, you won't be in it very long."
Photographs by theadvocate.com; and theadvertiser.com
Kyle Muller Wins Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year
By Chad Konecky, USA TODAY High School Sports
|The Jesuit College Prep (Dallas) baseball team photo became even more of a memorable souvenir for senior pitcher Kyle Muller when Texas Rangers ace Cole Hamels ducked into the frame and handed Muller the 2015-16 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year trophy.
"This is overwhelming," said Muller, 18, a Texas signee who is projected as an early round pick in the Major League Baseball draft. "I'm just very thankful to my teammates and coaches and my family, of course. It's thrilling and I'm so glad to be part of the Gatorade family."
The 6-foot-7, 245-pound left-handed pitcher and outfielder, pictured here, led the Rangers to a 34-8-2 record and the Class 6A Region 2 title. Muller owns an 8-0 record on the mound with a 0.46 ERA and 133 strikeouts, surrendering just 26 hits and issuing only 15 walks in 76 innings. The southpaw has hurled five shutouts and fired two no-hitters to post a WHIP of 0.54 entering the 6A state semifinals scheduled for June 10.
"This brings me back to the pure innocence of not knowing what's in store for you in this game," said Hamels, 32, the 2008 World Series MVP and a three-time All-Star. "You're playing the game because it's the only thing you want to do and because you love it. You're only in that situation once."
Also an elite hitting prospect, Muller batted .396 with 15 home runs and 52 RBI through 44 games, slugging at an .849 clip and swiping 20 bases in 21 attempts. A 2015 Under Armour All-American, he set a national high school record by striking out 33 consecutive hitters in March. Muller has allowed only four extra-base hits through 11 starts.
"Lefthander Kyle Muller is one of the most improved players in the nation this spring," said Baseball America high school writer Hudson Belinsky. "He worked his tail off and added 25 pounds of muscle to his wide-shouldered, 6-foot-5 frame. he could be an early MLB Draft pick in June.
Muller has a low-to-mid-90s fastball and quality off-speed pitches, as well as command of his entire arsenal. He is also an accomplished prospect as a hitter, owning exceptional right-handed power."
The Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the baseball diamond. Muller is now a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the year award. USA TODAY High School Sports administrates the nationwide selection process in collaboration with Gatorade.
Muller has maintained an 86.5 average in the classroom. A member of his school's Big Brother program, he has volunteered locally as part of an elementary school literacy-outreach initiative and participated in a school-sponsored, community-building service mission.
Muller becomes the fifth Texas to win Gatorade national honors in baseball and the second in a row. Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas) right-hander Luken Baker, now a freshman as well as the top hitter and ERA leader for TCU as the 12th-ranked Horned Frogs enter the Super Regional of the College World Series, won a year ago. Three-time Cy Young Award-winner and 2014 National League MVP Clayton Kershaw won for Highland Park (Dallas) in 2005-06.
Muller is the 31st prep athlete from Texas across all sports to earn Gatorade national honors, joining an impressive list of in-state alumni that includes current Olympic track and field silver medalist Kerron Clement (LaPorte), who won in 2003.
California, with 65, has produced the most national Gatorade winners across the program's 12 sports. Texas, Florida (21), Illinois (15) and Virginia/Indians (13) round out the top five.
Photograph by Trent Musho, Gatorade
High School Baseball Will Have Pitching Restrictions Mandated in 2017
By Maddie Koss, National High School Federation
|INDIANAPOLIS --- High school baseball rules now will require a pitching restriction policy based on the number of pitches thrown in a game.
The revised pitching policy in Rule 6-2-6 was one of six rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June meetings in Indianapolis. The rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Each NFHS member state association will be required to develop its own pitching restriction policy based on the number of pitches thrown during a game to afford pitchers a required rest period between pitching appearances.
"We're pleased that the rules committee worked in conjunction with the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to find an acceptable and reasonable modification to this rule in order to emphasize the risk that occurs when pitchers overuse their throwing arm," said Elliott Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and staff liaison for baseball.
The Baseball Rules Committee also revised Rule 2-32-2 regarding sliding into home plate. "At home plate, it is permissible for the slider's momentum to carry him through the plate in the baseline extended."
The committee altered this rule since the physical design of home plate makes it difficult for a runner to break momentum on a slide -- as opposed to the other three bases which are elevated.
The committee also revised Rule 3-3-1, which states the umpire has the ability to give three warnings to a coach or player before he or she is removed from the game.
"Officials now have the opportunity to provide a tiered warning system for coaches or players," Hopkins said. "It provides the coaches or players with a teachable moment to change their unsportsmanlike behavior in order to stay in the game."
A new article 6 was added to Rule 8-3 to provide a rules reference for an existing ruling in the Baseball Case Book.
The new article reads: "When a plate umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher's throw attempting to prevent a stolen base or retire a runner on a pickoff play, if an out is not made on a pickoff play, if an out is not made at the end of the catcher's initial throw, the ball shall be dead and all runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the interference."
The rules committee also approved an addition to Rule 8-4-2, which states that any runner is out when he is physically assisted by a coach. This rule change supports a revision in Rule 3-2-2 Penalty, which states that the runner shall be called out immediately when he is physically assisted by a coach.
A complete listing of the baseball rules changes will be available in the future on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on "Activities & Sports" at the top of the home page, and select "Baseball."
Photograph by Jeffrey W. Tucker, zenfolio.com
Mundelein H.S. Grad Jordan Wiegold Responds with Breakout Baseball Season
By Bob Narang, Pioneer Press Reporter
|Jordan Wiegold lost count of the number of reasons that led to his sudden bout of nervousness.
The Carthage College shortstop expected nerves to become a small factor, but after sitting out an entire season due to labrum surgery, Wiegold realized the mental side of returning back to the field was a tougher-than-anticipated opponent.
Wiegold, a former two-year varsity player at Mundelein High School in northern Illinois, sat out the 2015 baseball season after tearing his labrum playing basketball in November 2014.
Despite playing only one prior season at shortstop, as a sophomore in high school, Wiegold was named the team's starter for the opener. His coach, Augie Schmidt IV, was a former shortstop and the second overall pick in the 1982 MLB draft. Considering Schmidt's background, Wiegold joked, that there was no reason to be nervous.
"It was exciting, like my first game ever playing again, just with all the emotions of playing and going through everything and coming back," Wiegold recalled. "It was a very exciting time. I don't get nervous very often, but I did that game."
"I tried to stay as focused as possible, play by play, but there was still a lot of things running through my head. It was emotional, happy, nervous, and every emotion was going through my mind in that first game."
After enduring an early slump, Wiegold rediscovered his hitting stroke. The former College of Lake County standout batted .390 and blasted seven home runs to go with 35 RBIs to earn 2016 D3baseball.com All-Central Region first-team honors. He was also named team MVP.
The Mundelein graduate had a resurgent junior season at Carthage College after missing a year due to labrum surgery.
Wiegold said his injury taught him many lessons, even noting "to stop playing basketball until my baseball career is over."
"It's been definitely a roller coaster," Wiegold said. "I've put in a lot of hard work, and it has finally started to show. The injury was terrible and tough, especially at the beginning, but it helped me grown and realize more about the game and grown as a person. Physical therapy helped build up my core, shoulder and leg strength. Stabilization also helped immensely."
At 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Wiegold, a right-hander, exceeded Schmidt's expectations for his first full season at the Kenosha, Wisconsin school.
"Jordan was pretty unlucky with the injury, and we were just looking to replace a senior shortstop," Schmidt said. "Jordan is a pretty versatile kid, so we threw him over there and he did well for not playing shortstop much in his life. He hit the tar out of the ball, and he became one of our best players by far. He's a ballplayer and understands the game and has all the intangibles. He's not the most imposing guy, but he plays the game with strength. He kind of exploded on the scene this year."
During the past few months, Wiegold has been a non-stop flurry of activity. He attended Mundelein's Class 4A state-title game loss to Providence on Saturday, June 11. He helped coached the Lakeside Legends 16U team and played for the Kenosha Kings summer baseball team.
A senior in the classroom with one season of eligibility left, Wiegold, a former catcher in high school, is motivated by team success next spring. Schmidt, though, is simply asking "for more of the same next season, and I think he's going to do bigger things next year."
Wiegold said, "I just want to win as many games as possible and have the best season I can. The dream is to play after college, but it's a dream. The odds are it won't happen, but I'm excited to see what the team will do."
Photographs by newstaggr.com; and Mundelein Review/Chicago Tribune
Santa Barbara Defeats Hays 6-2 to Win NBC World Series Title
By Jeffrey Lutz, The Wichita Eagle
|A championship game between two of the National Baseball Congress' most traditional franchises went the way of tradition.
Santa Barbara tied the NBC record with its sixth World Series championship, defeating Hays 6-2 on Saturday, August 13, at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The Foresters equaled the number of titles won by Fairbanks, Alaska.
Hays, which has never won an NBC World Series, finished second for the fifth time. The Larks became the second team to lose just one game in the tournament and not finish first, matching their own 2001 distinction.
The tournament went from a double-elimination bracket to pool play and Hays went 3-0 in its pool before two more wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Santa Barbara has won all of its championships since 2006.
"They're not running together," said Santa Barbara manager Bill Pintard. "Absolutely I remember them. I remember our first one. I can remember the team of '08, '11, '12 and '14. This one was really, really sweet."
Both teams faced similar obstacles before Saturday's game. Hays' Friday win over the Kansas Stars, a team of former major league players, lasted 17 innings and forced the Larks to use their closer, Brian James, in a win that ended past midnight.
Santa Barbara followed that game with a 12-inning win over San Diego, finishing off a three-run, game-winning rally at about 4:30 p.m. The Foresters didn't create an issue out of their short night, preparing for the championship game without thinking of time.
"We approached it like we do every other game," Pintard said. "We have our coaches meetings, we go over that, and even though we didn't have much sleep, we had sleep-deprived headaches going on. Then we went and hit and fed our guys, just carried on. We were all business."
Hays had an emotional win over the Stars, who rallied from a 6-0 lead to tie it with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Larks went 13 innings without a run before scoring three in the 17th. Pictured here, Pintard holds the Foresters' 6th title trophy.
A championship would have made Friday's win even sweeter, instead, Hays will treat that victory as its tournament highlight.
"I'll always remember that," Hays outfielder Michael Burns said. "I'll always remember beating the Stars and just playing with those guys in the 15th, 16th innings. They're just as competitive as can be. I'll always remember that. But if we would have won it, it would have made that just a little bit better."
Santa Barbara channeled its adrenaline against Hays and scored three runs in the first inning. Lex Kaplan's RBI single with two outs nicked off the glove of first baseman Austin O'Brien, then Dylan Paul drove in two more with a bloop double between second base and center field. Starting pitcher Jacob Patterson allowed the Foresters to maintain the tone they set with the early runs. Patterson, who hadn't made a start in the tournament, pitched seven scoreless innings and was best when danger approached.
Hays was 2 for 14 with runners on base against Patterson, squandering chances in the six innings the Larks reached base against him. "He was unbelievable," said Santa Barbara third baseman Bret Boswell. "Our whole pitching staff is unbelievable. Probably the second half of the summer, they just came together and they've just been unreal."
Santa Barbara scored its first five runs with two outs. The outcome appeared lopsided but could have changed if Hays had the clutch pitching and more timely hitting. Those things never seem to happen for the Larks in NBC championship games, though.
Perhaps the most difficult thing about losing on Saturday was that it forced the Larks to take stock of the fluctuating feelings they had between Friday's emotional win and Saturday's equally provocative defeat.
"Sometimes you can't judge the mental strength that's put on somebody when it happens," Hays manager Frank Leo said. "Our guys came back today and it was all about pitching today. They pitched better than us and never gave us a chance."
Photographs by newslocker.com; National Baseball Congress; and Paul Wellman, independent.com
Texarkana, Arkansas Post 58 Wins 2016 Legion World Series Title
By Steve B. Brooks, The American Legion Magazine
|Texarkana, Arkansas, Post 58 won its first American Legion Baseball World Series title on August 16 in front of 8,500 spectators at Keeter Stadium in Shelby, North Carolina. The Razorbacks (42-5) rallied from a 4-0 deficit against Rowan County Post 342, which, being 82 miles from Shelby, drew a pro-Rowan crowd.
Texarkana won the game with a four-run 12th inning, escaping a late comeback attempt to win 8-6 and bring home the state's first ALWS title. Nick Myers provided a tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the 12th inning and teammate Parker Ribble followed with a two-run double to give Post 58 an 8-4 lead. Rowan County scored two runs in the bottom of the inning before Zac Harrington got the final out.
Post 58 team manager Dane Peavy said he saw something special in this squad that went beyond the ability to hit, pitch and field. "We knew what kind of talent we had," he said. "We knew we needed to put it together throughout the year. But we also knew what kind of family we were bringing in here."
"These guys were close," continued Peavy. "They have the camaraderie. When you have the mix of camaraderie and talent, it can be strong. And I think we proved that tonight."
Harrington was the Razorbacks' ace in 2014 but missed the 2015 season with a partial tear in his flexor tendon. "It's what you dream of since you're a little kid, playing in front of a big crowd, teammates looking to you to make a big play," he said. "I'm just glad I got the chance."
Rowan County, which finished with a 41-14 record, also came back from an opening defeat. That the team didn't go down without a fight in the 12th was no surprise to coach Jim Gantt.
If we didn't have that tough mentality we wouldn't be here, and I'm proud of that," Gantt said. "They're coachable and they bought into what we were trying to do. We're probably had many teams that were more talented than this one, but we didn't have a better team than this one."
Each player received a $2,500 scholarship. The overall academic player is named team captain and receives $5,000 scholarship. The annual All-Academic Team is sponsored by Diamond Sports, a leading manufacturer in baseball merchandise and the official baseball used during ALB national tournaments.
Post-Season Award Winners
George W. Rulon, American Legion Player of the Year - Will Smith, Texarkana, Ark.
Big Stick Award - Zach Luckey, Omaha, Neb., and Angelo Bortolin, San Mateo, Calif. (27 total bases each)
Slugger Award - Tyler Villaroman, San Mateo, Calif.
Click Cowger RBI Award - Angelo Bortolin, San Mateo, Calif. (24 strikeouts in regional and ALWS competition)
Bob Feller Pitching Award - Gerald Hein, Kennewick, Wash. (4 strikeouts in regional and ALWS competition)
Jack Williams Memorial Leadership Award - Texarkana, Ark., coaching staff
James Daniels Sportsmanship Award - Logan Vidrine, Texarkana, Ark.
Photograph by Lucas Carter
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