1/15 Roundup: One month to go
January 15, 2013 2 Comments
The next time a calendar reads the 15 of a month college baseball will be here.
As we enter the final turn of the offseason, here is a roundup of news from the last week as it pertains to Big Ten baseball.
Rivals boast new scoreboards
The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is globally known. While exploits are often reserved for the gridiron, and the occasional basketball game as we saw Sunday, last week coaches from both sides took to Twitter to announce facility upgrades.
Ohio State’s Greg Beals provided the first renderings of a new video scoreboard to dot Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium going forward. In recent years the home of the Buckeyes have seen the construction of new columns greeting fans entering the stadium which celebrate past Big Ten championship and College World Series teams, as well as the replacement of playing surface, which is now an artificial turf thanks in part to a $500,000 gift from former Buckeye Nick Swisher.
Not shortly after the Beals tweet, Michigan assistant Nick Schnabel tweeted this picture of a scoreboard upgrade which will see the Wolverines add a video screen of their own. Like Bill Davis Stadium, Ray Fisher Stadium has seen significant upgrades in recent years. A $9 million renovation to the stadium, thanks in large part to Fred and Judy Wilpon, was completed in 2008 which saw upgrades to the seating, stadium exterior and clubhouse.
Unfortunately for fans of the rivalry, neither scoreboard this year will have the others name upon it as the Buckeyes and Wolverines do not meet.
Biondi named Michigan captain
What will be on the scoreboard for Michigan, and for the final time, is the number of Patrick Biondi, Michigan’s 2013 captain.
A unanimous selection for the captaincy, Biondi is only fourth Wolverine to be named a two-time captain in the last 14 seasons. A 2012 Second-team All-Big Ten selection, Biondi batted .303 with 11 doubles, three triples, a pair of home runs and a Big Ten-leading 32 stolen bases. Following an offseason in which he led the Cape Cod League in batting, Michigan’s leadoff hitter is just three stolen bases away from breaking Michigan’s all-time record, entering 2013 with 88.
Smith headlines College Baseball Insider blog
After College Baseball Insider tabbed Purdue’s Calvin Gunter and David Miller for it’s 2012 season journal, and followed the Boilermakers to their first conference championship in 103 years, CBI returns to the Big Ten, specifically the Hoosier State in selecting Indiana’s Tracy Smith as one of its on-field 2013 voices.
For those unaware, Smith is a huge American Idol fan, in addition to being one of college baseball’s most dynamic coaches, as seen often via his Twitter @HoosierBaseball. CBI will call upon Smith for insight into the Fox hit series as well as the stories and notes as he leads the Crimson and Cream as they seek to break a 63-year Big Ten championship drought.
Rogers ranks Cornhusker recruiting class
A while back, I mentioned I would not rank the Big Ten recruiting classes. In short, I felt there are too many dynamics in play to accurately do so. But there are those out there who do pour time and effort into such rankings and deserved mention and merit for their work.
As Perfect Game’s college baseball editor, Kendall Rogers is releasing his top 50 2013 recruiting classes according to Perfect Game’s player rankings.
Probably the lone Big Ten school to make the list, Nebraska checks in at No. 37 with one of the nation’s top prep outfielders in Ryan Boldt of Red Wing, Minnesota, leading Nebraska’s class.
Rogers’ write-up has the Cornhuskers with 10 players, while the school’s release states 13 players signed a National Letter of Intent to join the program.
MLive.com features Boss’ work with young players
If one is ever around the Michigan State program, two things stand out about the Spartans under Jake Boss. The first, the rise of Michigan State baseball, years three and four saw three-plus-decade championship and NCAA Tournament droughts snapped. The second is the ability for Boss to reach out and connect to those within the baseball world throughout the state of Michigan.
This weekend provided another example as MLive.com caught up with Boss as he the Spartan staffed worked with 50 youth baseball players at a clinic in Jackson, Michigan.