Jaguar Baseball Begins Fall Practice This Week

September 20, 2012 · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

The South Alabama Jaguar baseball team will hold an intrasquad game on Friday at Eddie Stanky Field to kick off their first day of fall practice. The game will begin at 3:30pm.

The Jags will have two weeks of individual and four-on-one workouts. Similar to last fall, they will hold intrasquad games every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday during their workout period. They will scrimmage at 11am on Saturday morning then an intrasquad game on Sunday at 11:30am.

The Jags have several returning players this year with key positions being filled by some newcomers to the program. But head coach Mark Calvi says that there will be competition at all positions. Returners are bigger and stronger but the most important thing that the Jags need to improve is on their quality of pitching and pitching depth.

Last season the Jags opened fall practice without definite one, two or three pitchers or a closer. They only returned around 30 innings of experience in their pitchers. This season coach Calvi estimates they are returning around 350 innings of experience. Plus some JuCo transfers that coach Calvi are quite excited about.

The intrasquad games will be very beneficial to the coaching staff as they evaluate players and see how they react in game-like situations.

Additionally, an emphasis on offseason conditioning is paying off. “Our guys appear to be much stronger,” he said. “[Associate strength and conditioning] Coach [Jon] Hersel has really worked hard in putting his workouts together to make the guys better. And there is a competitive balance. You want the workouts to be very competitive, but you also don’t want to cross the line where someone gets hurt.”

“But I think coach Hersel has done that,” Calvi continued. “Our guys are flexible, and the key to strength and conditioning is you want to keep your players on the field performing at their best. There is that balance, and I think Jon has struck a good balance of getting their work in, yet, have them at peak-ability on the field. I’m very pleased with the way the strength and conditioning part of the program has been going.”

The date for the annual Red and Blue World Series, the final intrasquad game of fall practice, has not yet been set.

Jaguar Baseball Announce Walk-On Tryouts

August 21, 2012 · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

Head baseball coach Mark Calvi and his staff announced that the Jags baseball team will be holding walk-on tryouts on Wednesday, September 5 beginning at 3pm at Eddie Stanky Field.

Anyone who wants to tryout will need to be present for a pre-participation exam which will include medical clearance, complete sickle cell requirements and proof of medical health insurance before they will be allowed to participate in the workout.

You can find these forms here.

For further information, contact USA baseball director of operations Andrew Carden at 251.460.6876.

Go Jags!

Erdmann Appointed To NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament Selection Committee

July 24, 2012 · Filed Under Baseball, News, Sun Belt Conference · Comment 

USA Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann.

The University of South Alabama Athletics Director Dr. Joel Erdmann has been appointed to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament selection committee. Dr. Erdmann will begin his first term with the committee on September 1, 2012 and runs through September 1, 2016.

Committee members are selected by geographical location to assure equal representations across the nation. THeir responsiblities are the oversight of the College World Series which is held in Omaha, Nebraska each year and the continual exposure of the sport nationally. They also select and seed the field for the NCAA Tournament each spring.

Erdmann was notified of his appointment to the committee this past spring but had to go through a lengthy process to become a member. He was first nominated to be on the 10-member Sun Belt Conference committee, then in conjunction with a nomination, each potential candidate must then submit a justification as to why they would be qualified to server on the committee. They must also list any applicable past experience in a role or some type of knowledge or expertise in the sport that would be beneficial.

Erdmann has previously served on both the NCAA Division II Football Committee while at the University of North Alabama during 2006-2007 academic year. He also co-chaired the NCAA Division II Football Southeast Region Advisory Committee during his time with UNA. he was also an assistant coach at USA in 1996-1997 and a graduate assistant before that for the Jags during the 1992 season.

“I’m very humbled and honored to be nominated and selected to be on the committee,” Erdmann stated. “I think part of the benefit is to try and make sure the game itself is healthy and the championships are healthy and good. Any time a person can represent a university and a conference, that’s also a benefit and has some intangible benefits to it. I’m looking forward to serving on the committee. I think it will be a great experience. It’ll be a bit of work and a lot of time, but it’ll be well worth it.”

South Alabama Baseball Opening Night Friday

February 17, 2012 · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

South Alabama Baseball Opens the 2012 Season Friday at 6:30 PM vs. College of Charleston!

The South Alabama Baseball Team will host the College of Charleston in a weekend series at Stanky Field.  The weekend series will begin Friday, February 17 at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 18 at 2 p.m.; and Sunday, February 19 at 1 p.m.  Saturday is $1 Hot Dog Day…purchase $1 hot dogs from 1-2 p.m.  Sunday is “Family Day”…You can purchase (4) tickets, (4) hot dogs, (4) Pepsis and (2) Jaguar T-shirts for only $30.  Come out and support Head Coach Mark Calvi and the Jaguars.  Season tickets are on sale now starting at only $50 per seat, and when you purchase the family deal…one adult season ticket you get one child’s season ticket for free.  The 2012 schedule includes home games versus Alabama, Auburn, Southern Miss and the Sun Belt Conference.  Call 461-1USA to secure your seats today.

You may purchase your tickets in advance at the Mitchell Center ticket office M-F 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. or at the ticket sales windows as you enter Stanky Field.  Ticket prices are as follows:  Box Seats $10, Chair Back Seats $8; General Admission:  Adults $5; Seniors $4; Children 2-12 $4 and Children under 2 are free.  Group tickets for 15 people or more starting at $3 per ticket.

For more information please call 461-1USA or visit for a full season schedule and further information www.usajaguars.com.

Mark Calvi From South Carolina Named Head Coach In Waiting

July 15, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball, News · Comment 

South Alabama formally announced the hiring of Mark Calvi as the ‘coach-in-waiting’ to replace Coach Steve Kittrell at the end of the 2011 season. Coach Kittrell announced his intentions to retire back in June.

Calvi was the pitching coach for the University of South Carolina, who just won the College World Series. He was named associate head coach and ‘head coach in waiting’ on Thursday and will be formally introduced on Friday at 1pm at a press conference at the Mitchell Center. Calvi will be only the fifth head coach in the South Alabama baseball program.

Athletic Director Joel Erdmann received interest from several qualified candidate, but chose Mark in the end. Erdmann stated the following about Calvi, “Obviously, we’re very excited about hiring Mark. He brings not only a wealth of coaching experience to the table, but a demeanor and various intangibles that are going to make him a great member of this family. A facet of the game that we looked deeply at was pitching, and his background in that area — as well as in recruiting, and his familiarity with the Sun Belt Conference, the southeast region and the nation — is very impressive. Mark has been with two very, very good programs, and he has demonstrated loyalty and longevity to those schools. And the key is that he has had success — success that includes conference championship levels and Regionals, while rising to Super Regionals and Omaha on the way to a national championship.”

Calvi has spent the previous six seasons at South Carolina and helped the Gamecocks to rank amon the SEC and NCAA leaders in pitching. He also spent 11 years at Sun Belt Conference foe Florida International. He has worked with 35, an impressive number, of pitchers that have either been drafted or signed with Major League teams.

This past season where the Gamecocks won the National Championship, his staff ranked in the top 10 nationally in ERA (3.75 7th in nation), strikeouts (8.9, 6th) and hits allowed (7.48 3rd) per 9 innings. While in the College World Series they posted a 2.15 ERA. The Gamecocks also finished the season with a sub 4.00 ERA and reached the NCAA Regional each of his six seasons in Columbia, SC.

While at Florida International, they advanced to the NCAA Regional seven times and the 2001 Super Regional. In 1995, the Golden Panther staff led the country with an ERA of 2.40. Add in their 16 shutouts which ties them with the 6th highest total in NCAA history.

Calvi is 41 and a native of Marco Island, FL.

Welcome to the Jaguar Nation Coach Calvi. You have big shoes to fill but we think you are the man to do it.

Coach Kittrell Retirement Announcement Tomorrow

June 22, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball, News · Comment 

Tomorrow at 2pm it is expected that South Alabama Baseball coach Steve Kittrell will announce his retirement. He has one year remaining on his contract and it is expected to be his last.

Coach Kittrell will turn 62 in November and will be entering his 28th year with the program. His record stands at 1,022-611-1 at USA and 1,055-630-1 overall. He has 18 NCAA tournament appearances and 10 Sun Belt Championships to show for his time at South Alabama.

Coach Kittrell has seen over 100 former players sign professional contracts and 17 have made it to the major leagues.

Let the speculation begin. Who is on Dr. Erdmann’s list? Will they try to make a splash with a former player/major leaguer? Will they try to pluck a coach from another program? Is there someone on the coaching staff to promote to head coach?

Are Some South Alabama Fans Calling For A Coaching Change?

May 30, 2010 · Filed Under Athletic Department, Baseball · Comment 

In this mornings Sound Off in the Mobile Press-Register, a reader wrote in criticizing the Jaguar baseball coaching staff. This is rightly so, the team has not performed well since 2006 and the ERA lately has been over 6. So, what is the Athletics Department to do?

With Coach Kitrell’s past success and general likability in the community, it would be a hard sell to fire him. It doesn’t seem like Coach K wants to retire either. However, they might be able to convince him that this would be the best for the program. Either way, what do you do?

Probably the most likely to happen is a shake-up in the staff. Pitching is definitely an area where the bullseye would probably fall. Another area where things could change would be the position of recruiting coordinator.
Recruiting is definitely a tough area for College Baseball. When good high school players graduate, their first inclination is to try to make it in the Minor Leagues. This is the shorter route to possibly making it to the Major Leagues. If they go to college, they may get drafted early in their collegiant career and go play in the Minors. But again, because it’s the shortest route, you don’t go from College to the Majors.

South Alabama and the other programs must have top notch recruiters in order to convince these kids to come to their program. Currently, pitching is at a premium. Which is why you see major league pitchers receiving high paying deals while clubs are scouring minor league teams for the next pitching prospect.

So what is the answer for the South Alabama baseball program? I think it’s too early after the major letdown at the end of the season to determine that. This may be the first major decision the new Athletic Director Joel Erdmann will have to face at South Alabama.

Would Luis Gonzalez like to become a college baseball coach? It could be a big boom in recruiting and his alma mater might be searching.

After Dropping Two Consecutive Games USA Is Eliminated From SBC Tournament

May 29, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball · 1 Comment 

After an inspiring start on Wednesday, the Jags fell in the second round of the Sun Belt Tournament to top seeded Florida Atlantic. Thought they didn’t go down without a fight.

Trailing 10-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, USA could only manage to score two runs after they loaded the bases with with no outs. In the bottom of the ninth, still trailing 10-6, the Jags scored a run before Jags loaded the bases again with no outs. After a fielders choice scored another run, a single through the right side loaded the bases again. A sacrifice fly ball to right would score another run, but was stranded after that when the game ended 10-9.

On Friday, the Jags found themselves facing Florida International, whom they defeated the first day to put them in the losers bracket. FIU scored eight runs in the first four innings but South Alabama would rally for six runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut the lead to 8-7.

The top of the seventh would see the Jags tie the game at eight, but was answered by the Owls in the bottom half of the inning with two runs. The top of the eighth inning had the Jags score their final run of the game.

Trailing by a run in the top of the ninth, they got a one out single to right field, however the runner could not be advanced past first base. So for the second consecutive game the Jags fell 10-9 but were eliminated from the Sun Belt Tournament.

The Jags end the season with an overall record of 32-27 after stranding 12 runners on base against for the game.

Jags Still Holding Onto Postseason Baseball Hopes

May 25, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

While the Jags lost five of the last six games of the season, at least they sent the seniors out on a winning note against Troy. After dropping the first two games at home, the Jags won 11-10 on Saturday’s Senior Day.

The season ending losing streak took the Jags from first place to fifth place and will open the Sun Belt Tournament against fourth seeded Florida International on Wednesday at 9am. FIU started the Jaguars losing streak with a three game sweep in Miami.

However, an interesting note about this is that the last time the Jaguars won the Sun Belt Tournament in 2005 the Jaguars lost five of their last six regular season games.

The Jags need to win the SBC Tournament in order to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The eight participants in the Tournament in order of their seeding are: 1) Florida Atlantic, 2) Lousiana-Lafayette, 3) Middle Tennessee, 4) Florida International, 5) South Alabama, 6) Troy, 7) Arkansas State and 8) Western Kentucky. As usual with baseball tournaments, this is a double elimination tournament.

Go Jags!

Jags Baseball Get Swept Out Of First Place

May 17, 2010 · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

South Alabama‘s baseball team tumbled down the Sun Belt standings over the weekend when they were swept by Florida International in their weekend series.

South Alabama fell to 30-23 for the season and 16-11 in the Sun Belt while FIU improved to 30-20 overall and 16-11 in the Sun Belt. The Jags fell to 5th place in the Sun Belt, a full three games behind Florida Atlantic who is in first place. The full Sun Belt rankings are: FAU (19-8), ULL (18-9), MTSU (17-10), FIU (16-11), USA (16-11), ASU (15-12), Troy (14-13), WKU (14-13), UALR (10-15), ULM (7-20) and UNO (2-26).

The Jags have a three game home stand against Troy to end the season, while FAU’s regular season has concluded. While the Jags have a chance to improve their SBC tournament ranking, but the other teams the Jags need to leap-from also play lower ranked teams. Another weekend sweep would be disastrous for the Jags.

So come out to Stanky Field and support the Jags during this pivotal weekend series as they try to make the NCAA Tournament.

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