Bats and Blogs: Opening Day!
Friday, February 17, 2017
Welcome to the first edition of Bats and Blogs!
The purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts on college baseball throughout the season. It will not just be about the games, but it will also be about the people involved, the stadiums, the towns and cities and the great food.
Today begins my 33rd year of covering SEC Baseball. I spent more than 20 years as the media relations contact for the Alabama Baseball team. I am now in research and talent stats for ESPN and the SEC Network. I have worked 31 SEC Tournaments, 23 NCAA Regionals, 9 NCAA Super Regionals and 12 College World Series.
While there were three games played yesterday, today if the official Opening Day of the 2017 NCAA Division I College Baseball season.
The SEC has seven different teams ranked in the various preseason polls entering the 2017 season. The list includes Florida, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, LSU, Texas A&M< Ole Miss and Miss. State.
The SEC has 13 players on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The Golden Spikes award is the baseball equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. Six players on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List. The SEC has nearly 30 different players on the various preseason All-American Teams.
Alabama, Kentucky, Miss. State and Missouri will unveil new head coaches as the season begins today. Greg Goff (former head coach at Montevallo, Campbell and Louisiana Tech) takes over for Mitch Gaspard at Alabama. Steve Bieser (former head coach at SE Missouri State) makes his Missouri coaching debut today in Fort Myers, Fla. Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione and Miss. State head coach Andy Cannizaro will make their head coaching debuts this weekend.
I’ll be taking in a handful of games this weekend in Tuscaloosa and Starkville. Alabama hosts Presbyterian College on a three-game series at the Joe. Miss. State is hosting 2016 CWS participant Texas Tech and Western Illinois this weekend at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville.
Presbyterian and Western Illinois will be new teams for me bringing my list of college baseball teams to No. 172 and No. 173 this weekend. Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin’s first head coaching job came at Presbyterian College.
Thanks for reading!