South Alabama Announces 2022 Game Against UCLA In Historic Rose Bowl

June 18, 2015 · By · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Helmet_CameraThe University of South Alabama announced on Wednesday that they have finalized a contract to play UCLA at the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in the 2022 season.

The Bruins are the first PAC-12 opponent scheduled to face the Jaguars in their short history of football. The game is scheduled for September 17, 2022.

South Alabama has already played four games against SEC opponents that began with Mississippi State in Starkville and last season with the Bulldogs visiting Mobile, South Carolina and Tennessee. USA has also traveled to Raleigh, NC twice to face North Carolina State and will face them for a third to finish out their three-game contract this season in Mobile.

This upcoming season will see the Jaguars face their first Big Ten school when they visit Nebraska on September 12. They will begin a three-game series against Oklahoma State from the Big XII Conference in 2017.

Frenchou, Hill Earn All-America Honors; Billingsley Named To All-Region Team

June 11, 2015 · By · Filed Under Baseball, NCAA, Sun Belt Conference, Track and Field · Comment 

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Track and Field

Renaldo Frechou, a junior from Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa, represented South Alabama in the men’s hammer throw in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Wednesday and earned First-Team All-America Honors.

Frechou competed against 24 other competitiors and steadily increased his distance on each of his first three attempts with his final throw reaching 68.84m. This is the second year in a row that he has received first-team All-America honors after finishing seventh in the same event last year.

He is the first since the 2006-2007 pair Tonny Okello and Vincent Rono both earned All-America recognition in consecutive seasons.

On Friday, fellow Junior Jan-Louw Kotze will be the second of three Jaguars to compete at the national championship meet when he competes in the men’s discus throw at 6:05pm (CDT).

Kaitlyn Beans will compete on Saturday at 4pm in the women’s triple jump.

Baseball

Baseball honors keep coming in for members of the Jaguar baseball team.

South Alabama right-handed pitcher Kevin Hill was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-America third team on Wednesday.

Hill was the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year and led the SBC in wins (10), ERA (1.73), opposing batting average (.208) and strikeouts (107). He was also named to the Louisville Slugger Division I All-American second team on May 28 to become the first Jaguar pitcher to earn All-America honors since P.J. Walters in 2006.

Hill completed his redshirt junior year this season with four complete games, all four coming in a stretch against conference opponents, and recorded two shutouts in 80 2/3 innings pitched. He perfect 10-0 mark was the first 10 game winner at USA since D.D. Hanks in 2010 and his 107 strikeouts was the first triple-digit strikeout season since Walters in 2006.

Hill is the 27th Jaguar all-time to earn All-America honors and is only the seventh pitcher to do so in the program’s 51 years.

Hill and Cole Billingsley were both named to the 2015 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Division I South Central team with Hill earning first-team honors and Billingsley earning second-team honors.

Billingsley led the conference with 30 stolen bases and finished tied for second in the conference with 80 hits and 4 triples. He tied for fourth in runs scored with 46, tied for sixth in batting average .345 and tied for eighth in walks with 34.

The redshirt sophomore did not commit an error in 163 chances in center field while recording three assists in his 55 games played.

Ben Taylor Selected In MLB Draft; Softball Finishes #23 In Final Poll

June 10, 2015 · By · Filed Under Baseball, NCAA, Softball · Comment 

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Baseball

Jaguar baseball right-hander Ben Taylor was selected in the seventh round of the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday by the Boston Red Sox. He was the 201st overall selection in the draft and just the second pitcher taken by the Red Sox.

Boston chose Tayler with their seix pick in the draft which was the sixth pick in the seventh round.

Taylor was a first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection as a relief pitcher this past season with a 6-3 record, 1.48 ERA and seven saves in 25 relief appearances. He struck out 68 batters with only 13 walks in 42 2/3 innings pitched. In his 13 appearances against SBC teams he was 4-2 with three saves and a 1.12 ERA while striking out 44 with only six walks in 24 innings.

Taylor finished his senior season ranked fifth in the conference in saves and tied for fifth in wins while helping the Jaguars to a 3.22 ERA which was tops in the conference, held opposing batters to a .242 batting avarage as a team and the most strikeouts in the conference with 474.

“It’s unbelievable,” Taylor said. “It’s been a dream of mine to play professional baseball my entire life. I can’t put into words what it’s like to now have the opportunity. It’s huge to become a part of an organization with as much tradition and history as they have, and I just want to go in and make them happy and provide for the team. It’s crazy to think that I will be putting on the same uniform that so many other greats have through the years.”

“I made the transition from starting pitcher to the bullpen during my two years at South Alabama,” he said. “I’m not sure what the Red Sox are going to want me to do in the organization; I might be a starting pitcher again. But during my time at USA, I had a change in mentality that made me a better pitcher. I have become more ferocious on the mound with more of a bulldog mentality – just getting after guys and using my stuff with confidence. That’s something Coach (Mark) Calvi and Coach (Bob) Keller have really helped me with. They have helped make me a much better pitcher.”

Softball

The Jaguar Softball team finished ranked #23 in the final USA Today/NCFA poll and #28 in RPI. Florida repeated as the National Champion after defeating Michgan twice in the best of three championship series.

Sophomore Chloe Rathburn who helped lead the Jaguar team to the Sun Belt Conference championship this past season was granted her release from the team after the season because, as she told the USA Vanguard student newspaper, that she wanted to play somewhere closer to home. She posted on social media and it was reported last week by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she has transferred to Missouri in the Southeastern Conference.

Rathburn, a catcher and infielder, regularly served as the Jaguars designated player. She helped the team to a 40-13 regular season record with a .371 batting average and a school-record 53 RBIs while earning first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors the last two seasons.

Rathburn will be eligible to play in the 2016 season for the Tigers and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Missouri finished 42-16 this season. They were defeated by UCLA in the NCAA super-regional.

Jaguar Football Game Times on ESPN Announced; Season Opener To Be Broadcast

June 9, 2015 · By · Filed Under Football, News, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 

South Alabama Logo on TVOn Monday the Sun Belt Conference office announced the game times for both of South Alabama’s two appearances on the ESPN family of networks and that the Jaguars opening game of the season will air on ESPN3.

The season opening game on Saturday, September 5 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium against Gardner-Webb will be broadcast on ESPN3 with the start time still to be determined.

The Jaguars game against Arkansas State on Tuesday, October 13 will air on ESPN2 across the nation and will kick off at 7pm CDT, while kickoff for the Jaguars game against Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday, November 12 will be at 6:30pm on ESPNU.

Previously announced the Jaguars road game against Nebraska on September 12 will start at 7pm and will be aired on the Big Ten Network.

The start time for all other games will be announced at a later date.

Go Jags!