Spring has sprung

"From the Publisher" by Keith Madison

“From the Publisher” by Keith Madison

Spring! Flowers, birds, mowing grass, short sleeves and BASEBALL. This is the “perfect storm” for baseball enthusiasts; college baseball is in full swing, high school baseball is cranking up and the major leaguers are embracing the beginning of the 162-game marathon we all know and love as baseball season. Continue reading

Interview with Tony Vittorio

Tony Vittorio

Tony Vittorio

The 2012 University of Dayton baseball team was an historic one by any measure. The Flyers played in their first NCAA Regional after winning both the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament championships. UD also led the nation in stolen bases, another first for the program. After the season, a school-record five members of the 10-man senior class signed professional contracts. (From Univ. of Dayton website)

How do you set new expectations after a record-breaking season like last year?

As a head coach, you spend a lot of time after the season is over thinking about next year’s team and what your motto and philosophy is going to be heading into next year. It helps everyone understand what we need to do as a team to win championships. Last year’s motto was ‘why not us?’ and after we won the Atlantic 10 and advanced to an NCAA Regional, this year’s motto is ‘we are, we will.’

How do you deal with weather when it becomes a challenge in the fall and winter?

Around here, fall is the best time of the year to play baseball, so we don’t have to worry about having to practice indoors during that time. When winter does hit though, we have a lot of indoor developmental programs going on. I think a lot of northern schools can get away from defense when they move inside. It’s easy to get into throwing bullpens, individual day work, and hitting groups and not work on defense.

At Dayton, we emphasize defense as well and work on our baserunning, along with pitching and hitting. You can’t get a lot better at some things during the season if you’re not emphasizing them in the offseason. How can you hold players accountable for some things if you’re not constantly working on them? We try to work on other aspects of the game within the time we’re allotted.

What advice can you give to amateur players with dreams of playing major college baseball?READ THE REST

FALLing into place

The fall practice period in college baseball represents everything that is good about our national pastime. With eagerness rivaling those of MLB spring training in February (albeit to a slightly lesser extent), student-athletes, coaches, and support staffs assemble for what marks a new beginning for every program in the country.

Expectations may be heightened, however, for coaches like Tim Corbin, Greg Goff, Scott Stricklin and Tony Vittorio, who are currently in the midst in preparations for their own programs at Vanderbilt, Campbell, Kent State and Dayton, respectively. The quartet, who combined for three conference championships and three NCAA Regional bids in 2012, recently gave Inside Pitch an all-access pass to how they approach fall ball. Continue reading

3 up, 3 down: MLB playoff edition

Who will hoist the trophy in 2012? Greg Goff, head coach, Campbell University Scott Stricklin, head coach, Kent State University Tony Vittorio, head coach, University of Dayton
Favorite thing about MLB postseason How players up the ante with their energy, excitement, intensity, and competition level. They play like they’re supposed to play. I like the intensity of it.  Every pitch, every play means something. Watching the players who play the game right, with passion and energy.
Favorite memory from MLB postseason I’ve always loved to watch players that I’ve had a chance to coach (Brandon Webb with Arizona Diamondbacks; Joe Blanton with Phillies) Watching Sid Bream round third base for the Braves to beat the throw from Barry Bonds in 1992 playoffs. I’m a huge Carlton Fisk fan, so I’d have to go with his homerun against the Reds in game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
Pick to win it New York Yankees Texas Rangers- I think they’re the most complete team. The Oakland Athletics and the Washington Nationals would be the perfect World Series. Former Dayton Flyers LHP Jerry Blevins (currently with Oakland) versus former Flyer RHP Craig Stammen (Washington).