Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina

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Gary Gilmore led his Coastal Carolina Chanticleers through a gauntlet of challenges to the 2016 national title. Down to its last strike in the Raleigh Regional, the Chants dug down deep to upend North Carolina State. The following weekend, CCU traveled to Alex Box Stadium and upset the perennial powerhouse LSU Tigers. Their award for advancing to the College World Series was a first round matchup with the Florida Gators, the nation’s top seed.

A 1980 Coastal Carolina alum himself, Gilmore has been a head coach for 27 years at the college level, 21 with the Chanticleers. His 1,100th win as a head coach was one that claimed the 2016 national championship trophy. We chatted with “Gilly” recently about the “stepping stones” that his program took on the way to the top (including living in a camper just beyond the outfield fence during his first year at CCU), his family life, and how his team “monkeyed around” in the dugout this past year… all the way to a national championship. Continue reading

Top Coach Podcast preview: Mike Rooney- the voice of college baseball

topcoachA former player at Notre Dame and coach at the NCAA Division I (Arizona State), NJCAA (Phoenix College) and high school (Malvern Prep) levels, Mike Rooney is now one of the foremost college baseball analysts the game has to offer. In addition to being one of the more entertaining Twitter follows (@Mike_Rooney) out there, “Roons” is as tuned in with the college game as anyone. He recently sat down with Top Coach Podcast and our friend Jack Warren. Here’s a sneak preview of the interview: Continue reading

Brian O’Connor on culture and competing

summer16The head coach at the University of Virginia since 2004, Brian O’Connor is a five-time ACC Coach of the Year and three-time national coach of the year. In addition to bringing the 2015 NCAA title to Charlottesville, O’Connor boasts the third-highest winning percentage of all current head coaches in Division I baseball and the 14th-best mark all-time. O’Connor is the second fastest ACC coach to reach 500 career wins and has ushered a boatload of talent into professional baseball, including the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Sean Doolittle, and several others.

He came to Virginia after nine years at Notre Dame (1995-2003) under current LSU coach Paul Mainieri, where he was named the 2001 National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America and was AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003.

Inside Pitch recently visited with the Cavaliers’ head coach to talk about how he manages his clubs, his staff, and the winning culture he has developed at UVA. Continue reading

Coach Your Kids… on the details

article by Darren Fenster
Minor League Manager, Boston Red Sox
Founder & CEO, Coaching Your Kids, LLC
@CoachYourKids
CoachingYourKids@gmail.com

Omaha, Nebraska.

Every June, this quaint Midwestern city becomes the pinnacle of the amateur baseball world when it hosts the College World Series.  Every February, it is the destination for all 298 NCAA Division One baseball teams.  It is the goal.  But out of those 298 clubs, only eight get to go.  Only eight get to play for the National Championship.  EIGHT.  It is a special place that only a few special teams get to experience.

This past June, in the bottom of the 10th inning of a tied, deciding game three of the Louisville Super Regional, Cal State Fullerton found itself one run away from its season ending when the leadoff hitter for the Cardinals reached base.

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Taylor Bryant

A sacrifice bunt was in order.  Everyone in the ballpark knew it.  Everybody watching on television knew it.  And Cal State Fullerton’s defense knew it, too… especially their second baseman, Taylor Bryant.

As Louisville’s hitter laid down a textbook sacrifice, Fullerton’s catcher fielded the ball cleanly and without a play at second, shuffled his feet towards first to take the “sure” out.  When the ball left the catcher’s hand, it was apparent that “sure” out would not be recorded; the throw was airmailed over the first baseman’s head, headed for the right field corner. Continue reading

Louisville Slugger’s 2015 performance bats now in stores

presentedbylouisvilleslugger“30-DAY PERFORMANCE PROMISE” COMES WITH EVERY BAT

LOUISVILLE, KY – The new 2015 Louisville Slugger® PRIME 915, SELECT 715 and OMAHA 515 performance bats are now available nationwide. Like these great bats, the reviews are powerful:

“Louisville Slugger – Best Bomb Dropper in the College World Series,” and “Prime 915 turns baseballs into satellites.” – What Pros Wear.  

Louisville Sluggers “hit the ball further” than other bats in the NCAA Tournament according to justbatreviews.com. The review further revealed, “Louisville Slugger bats were the best for hitting extra base hits.”

Louisville Slugger “was more than twice as likely to hit a triple and roughly 1/4 more likely to hit a home run compared to its next closest competitor.” – justbatreviews.com

Louisville Slugger introduced the PRIME 915, SELECT 715 and OMAHA 515 during the NCAA tournament with players on 16 of the 64 teams taking these bats to the plate. Players on three of the eight teams in the College World Series® swung the black, red and white family of Louisville Slugger performance bats – bats which also put on a power display during the Major League Baseball® Junior Home Run Derby. Feedback from college hitters, elite high school players and product reviewers is the same. The 2015 Louisville Slugger performance bats provide hitters with the speed, power and balance to #owntheplate. Continue reading

What’s the deal with scholarships?

College baseball has seen unprecedented growth over the past several years. Facilities, attendance and general interest in college baseball used to just exist in pockets in the southern United States. Now, first-class facilities and growing fan bases are visible all over the country.

The parity that now exists in the game gives many more schools a chance to make it Omaha, thanks in large part to the changes in the bats and the resources that so many universities have now committed to the programs. For all intents and purposes, it’s a fair playing field.

Except for scholarships. Continue reading