May 24, 2013

Today's Blue & White - May 24, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

First Pitch!

A lifelong memory was made Wednesday in the opening round of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship at Flour Field in Greenville as catcher Joe Jackson slammed a walkoff home run to lift the Bulldogs over Appalachian State and moves the Cadets to the winner’s bracket.

With his famous great-great-great uncle’s home within the shadows of Flour Field, Jackson’s heroics came with a load of family members in attendance.  Thursday’s game against top-seed Western Carolina was scheduled for 5 pm, weather-permitting.

Congratulations are extended to senior Austin Pritcher, who was named the league’s pitcher of the year and to six other Bulldogs that earned all-conference honors.  Also, Tyler Griffin, who just returned from injury, earned the player of the week citation.

Speaking of honors, that was some notation our wrestling received this week when the National Wrestling Coaches Association picked The Citadel as the 12th-best academic program in all of Division I.

We also salute Rob Acunto and Donnell Boucher on their internal promotions and welcome Danielle Dillahey as our new assistant athletics director.

And finally, please be advised that Today’s Blue & White will take a two-week leave of absence as its longtime editor will be working for the NCAA the next two weeks at a baseball regional and super regional.  We will return on Friday, June 14.  In the interim, please check www.CitadelSports.com for all updates.

As you’ve come to expect, we have another solid issue full of news and notes, so enjoy and Go Bulldogs!!!

Joe Jackson Propels Bulldogs Past Appalachian State in SoCon Tournament’s First Round Game

Local product Joe Jackson hit a walkoff solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a dramatic opening game and lift fourth-seeded The Citadel past No. 5 seed Appalachian State, 6-5, at the Southern Conference Baseball Championship at Fluor Field in Greenville on Wednesday.

Jackson, from nearby Mauldin, took Taylor Thurber’s 0-1 offering to left-center to give the Bulldogs the win after the Mountaineers had staged an impressive rally to tie the game in the top half of the inning.

Trailing 5-3 entering the ninth, Appalachian State got a one-out walk from Preston Troutman to get the rally going. One out later, Hector Crespo sent out the first pitch he saw from Bulldog closer Skylar Hunter to left-center to give the Mountaineers life and knot the game at 5. Appalachian State had a chance for more, but after Noah Holmes’ double, pinch-runner Brandon Burris was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on Will Callaway’s infield single.

Thurber got a four-pitch strikeout for the first out of the bottom of the ninth before Jackson ended the game.

The Citadel never trailed in the contest. The Bulldogs scored a quick run in the bottom of the first inning, with Bo Thompson’s groundout driving in Hughston Armstrong from third.

The Bulldogs pulled back in front in the third inning, with Drew DeKerlegand smoking a bases-clearing triple off the wall in left-center to make it a 4-1 contest. DeKerlegand’s hit capped a two-out rally, as Jackson and Thompson drew walks and Tyler Griffin was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two down ahead of DeKerlegand.

Once again, the Mountaineers quickly found an answer. Pierson led off the top of the fourth with a solo homer to left, his second of the season, and Crespo later added a sacrifice fly to score William Head and make it 4-3 in The Citadel’s favor.

The Citadel added another run in the seventh on Griffin’s sacrifice fly.

Jackson reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with a double, homer and three walks to pace The Citadel at the plate.

 

Led by the volleyball team’s 3.62 grade point average, the Department of Athletics’ overall

GPA of 2.97 continues to top the overall Corps of Cadets’ GPA of 2.93.  The athletes have now outperformed the Corps in the classroom in nine of the past 10 semesters.

Women’s rifle finished second with a 3.3 while soccer was third at 3.25.  Women’s cross country came in fourth at 3.2 while tennis was fifth at 3.13.  Men’s cross country came in at 3.1 and was followed by basketball (3.07), men’s track and field (2.95), football (2.92), wrestling (2.91), baseball (2.9), men’s rifle (2.88), golf (2.7) and women’s track and field (2.44).

Austin Pritcher Selected SoCon Pitcher of the Year; Seven Bulldogs Named to All-Conference Team

Seven Bulldogs have been named to the All-Southern Conference baseball team by the league's coaches and media, a group headed by senior right-hander Austin Pritcher as the SoCon Pitcher of the Year. Pritcher was joined on the all-conference first team by catcher Joe Jackson.

Selected to the second team by the coaches were Hughston Armstrong, Bo Thompson, Skylar Hunter and Mason Davis. Armstrong, Thompson, Hunter and Calvin Orth were on the media second team, and Hunter was also chosen to the 12-man all-freshman squad.

Pritcher finished the regular season with a record of 8-2 and a SoCon-leading 2.45 ERA. He also ranks second in innings pitched (92.0), tied for second in wins and opponent batting average (.237) and ninth in strikeouts (72).

Pritcher was named the SoCon Pitcher of the Week after wins over Furman and College of Charleston and was also the SoCon Pitcher of the Month for his performance in both February and April. He has a total of 22 victories and 314 innings pitched in his career, the most for any active SoCon hurler, as well as 228 strikeouts and a 3.73 ERA.

Jackson, of Mauldin, was having a solid season through the end of March, batting .309 with four home runs and 29 RBI before turning into a candidate for conference player of the year honors over his final 28 games. Over that stretch the junior catcher went 44-for-105 (.419) with 11 doubles, eight homers and 33 RBI and hit safely in all but four games.

He is currently batting .363, the sixth-best mark in the SoCon, and also ranks second in RBI (62) and on-base percentage (.468), tied for second in runs scored (58), fourth in total bases (132), fifth in slugging percentage (.614) and walks (37), tied for sixth in doubles (16) and tied for seventh in hits (78).

After batting a combined .208 the past two years, Armstrong, of Columbia, exploded onto the scene in his third season as a Bulldog, leading the team and ranking third in the SoCon with a current batting average of .379. He also ranks among the conference leaders in runs scored (tied for sixth, 50), on-base percentage (seventh, .446), hits (tied for seventh, 78) and sacrifice bunts (second, 13).

Thompson, also of Mauldin, has been a powerful force in the clean-up spot in The Citadel lineup, slamming a team-leading 14 home runs and driving in 50 runs despite drawing a conference-high 52 walks. He is batting .296 with 10 doubles and 42 runs scored and leads the SoCon with a .472 on-base percentage as well as ranking second in homers.

Davis, of Conyers, Ga., continued his ironman streak this year, having started all 114 games at second base in his two seasons since joining the Bulldog program. This season he is batting .311, a 45-point increase from a year ago, with 10 doubles, four triples, four home runs, 58 runs scored, 23 RBI and 22-27 in stolen bases.

Orth, of Jacksonville, Fla., took over at first base when Thompson suffered an ankle injury and has been in the lineup ever since. He has taken full advantage of his extended playing time, batting .320 with nine doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBI, and has been particularly effective in league play with a .331 average, all seven of his round trippers and 21 RBI.

Baseball Drops Two of Three at UNC Greensboro to Conclude Regular Season

On Saturday, UNC Greensboro scored six times in the bottom of the eighth to rally past The Citadel, 7-4, in the regular season finale.

The Bulldogs appeared on their way to victory after scoring three times in the fifth and adding a run in the seventh to take a 4-0 lead. But two hits and a double-play grounder got the Spartans on the board in the seventh and set the stage for their huge eighth-inning rally.

With Kevin Connell on the mound, the Spartans had two singles to lead off the frame. T.J. Spina followed with a grounder to third, and Bret Hines tagged out Marrero but threw wildly to first to put runners on second and third with one out. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Austin Livingston was brought in to face right-handed hitting Lloyd Enzor but issued a base on balls to force in the first run of the inning.

Skylar Hunter was brought in to stem the Spartan momentum but could not retire any of the three batters he faced. Eric Kalbfleisch walked to make it 4-3, Cole Harrison gave UNCG the lead when his high chopper went over the head of Hines for two runs and a single by Jake Hall past a draw-in infield made it a 6-4 Spartan lead.

On Friday, Trevor Edwards capped a four-run rally with a two-out, two-strike homer in the bottom of the ninth to give UNCG a 13-11 victory over The Citadel.  The Bulldogs took an 11-9 lead into the bottom of the ninth with closer Hunter on the mound.

Hunter, who worked a perfect eighth, allowed a walk and a single and an RBI base hit to make it 11-10 before getting a foul out to first. With The Citadel one out away from victory, the left-handed hitting Edwards took a 2-2 pitch the opposite way and cleared the fence in left-center for his school-record 39th career home run.

The Bulldogs had led since putting up five runs in the sixth, including an RBI single by Bo Thompson and a mammoth three-run homer by Tyler Griffin that made it a 9-5 game. The teams traded runs before the Spartans rallied for four straight two-out hits in the seventh and scored three times to pull within 10-9.

Griffin went 3-for-5 and drove in a career-high five runs for the second time in three games since returning from his foot injury. His home run in the sixth was his 11th of the year and third since returning to the lineup, and gave the Bulldogs a team total of 63 to match the school record for the most in a regular season.

On Thursday, Mason Davis became the fifth Citadel player with a multiple home run game this season, clearing the right field fence twice and driving in a career-high five runs to lead the Bulldogs to a 12-2 victory over UNC Greensboro in Greensboro.  The Bulldogs have exploded for 33 runs and 34 hits, including nine home runs, in their last two games.

Davis joined Griffin, Thompson, Calvin Orth and Joe Jackson with at least two home runs in a game, the first time in school history that five different players have accomplished that feat. Jackson also went deep against the Spartans to give The Citadel a total of 61 on the season, just the second time a Bulldog team has reached the 60 plateau.

Senior Austin Pritcher, a leading candidate for SoCon pitcher of the year, did not have his best stuff but was able to limit UNCG to two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. He won his fifth straight decision and finished the regular season with a record of 8-2 and an ERA of 2.45.

Davis had three hits including a two-run homer in the fourth that gave The Citadel a 6-0 lead and a three-run blast in the seventh that put the finishing touches on the victory.  Jackson added two doubles, a home run and sacrifice fly and drove in four runs, and Hughston Armstrong and Drew DeKerlegand also had three-hit contests.

For more information, please refer to www.CitadelSports.com.

Tyler Griffin Shows Little Rust in Slamming His Way to SoCon Player of the Week Honors

Tyler Griffin returned from a fractured foot last Wednesday and turned in a four-game performance that earned him Southern Conference Player of the Week honors.

The junior right-fielder missed 18 games with the injury suffered in a collision at first base against South Carolina on April 9. But he hardly missed a beat after rejoining the lineup at Charleston Southern, as he went 10-for-17 (.588) with two doubles, three home runs, 13 RBI and five runs scored.

In his first game back, Griffin served as the designated hitter and went 3-for-4 with two home runs and tied his career high with five RBI in a 21-6 win over the Buccaneers. That marked his second two-homer game of the year, going along with the three he hit at North Florida on Feb. 22.

In the three-game series at UNCG to conclude the regular season, Griffin returned to his regular right field spot and had a pair of three-hit games, giving him three on the week. In the middle game of the set, he had a two-run double and a three-run homer to again match his career best with five RBI. He doubled twice and knocked in two more runs in the series finale.

The big week lifted Griffin's season batting average .310 with 11 homers and 43 RBI. He joined Bo Thompson (14) and Joe Jackson (12) as Bulldogs with double figures in home runs, only the third time in school history that three players have hit 10 or more in a season.

Leckonby Announces Changes to Athletic Department Staff

Director of Athletics Larry Leckonby has announced the promotion of two current members of the staff as well as the addition of a new assistant athletic director.

Rob Acunto, an assistant athletic director for compliance since 2010, was promoted to associate athletic director for administration and compliance. Donnell Boucher, the director of strength and conditioning the past five years, has been given the added title of assistant athletic director and will take on more administrative responsibilities.

Joining the staff is Danielle Dillahey as assistant athletic director for external operations. Dillahey has spent the past seven years working in various capacities with the City of Charleston after spending four years in the front office of the Charleston RiverDogs.

In addition to continuing his role as compliance director, Acunto will now work with Dillahey in overseeing The Citadel’s athletic marketing and promotional efforts. He had a similar role as associate director of athletics at American University from 2004-09 and served as co-interim director of athletics at the Washington, D.C.-based school for nine months during the 2006-07 school year.

Prior to his tenure at American, Acunto spent three years as associate director of admissions at Cornell, providing leadership to athletic department and university administrators regarding the successful identification, recruitment and enrollment of elite-level student-athletes. Acunto also has coaching experience, most recently serving as an assistant men’s soccer coach at Vanderbilt from 1997-2001.

Boucher came to The Citadel as a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach in May 2007, moved into the associate director’s position in June of that year and was promoted to director a year later. He has worked most closely with the Bulldog football and baseball programs and developed football players Andre Roberts and Cortez Allen and pitcher Asher Wojciechowski into professional draft picks.

Well-respected in his field, Boucher has been published in American Football Monthly and contributed two chapters to Carl Germano’s book “The Misled Athlete.” Beginning April 20 at Brown University, he will be a guest speaker on the Hammer Strength national clinic circuit.

Dillahey came to Charleston in May 2002 as director of community relations for the RiverDogs, the South Athletic League Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees. She oversaw game day operations, made appearances on behalf of the team to engage and foster partnerships within the community and served on the creative team that developed between inning promotions and special promotional nights.

She moved on to the City of Charleston in 2006 as marketing and special events coordinator for the department of recreation. Two years later she took became the clerk of council tourism manage, served on the City of Charleston Special Events Committee and coordinated logistics for events such as the Cooper River Bridge Run, Spoleto USA and Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Charleston Marathon and several others.

Wrestling Team Places 12th in NWCA’s All-Academic Team Rankings; Frisch Earns Spot on All-Academic Squad

The wrestling program added two more credits to its historic 2012-13 season when the team was honored for its academic achievements by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

The Bulldogs placed 12th in the nation as a team among all Division I programs, while NCAA qualifier Matt Frisch earned a spot on the All-Academic squad.

The 12th-place ranking academically and 20th-place finish in the national tournament were the highest in school history and were both tops among Southern Conference schools. The Bulldogs carried a team grade point average of 3.127 for the 2012-13 academic year.

The team GPA was determined using a system that includes 12 student-athletes from each program.  A total of 10 of these came from the wrestlers that were entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier.  If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they were allowed to fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.

Frisch claimed his spot on the NWCA Academic All-American team after a redshirt freshman season which saw him accumulate a 30-15 record en route to capturing the SoCon title in the 157-pound division to punch his ticket to the NCAA Championship. Frisch closed out the spring semester with cumulative GPA of 3.25 in business administration.

Frisch was one of three Bulldogs to qualify for nationals, a group that included Ugi Khishignyan and Odie Delaney, who finished fourth and seventh, respectively, becoming the school's second and third All-Americans in program history.

On this year's Individual All-Academic Team there are 82 total athletes, four NCAA Champions, four NCAA Runner-Ups, 21 All-Americans and 72 NCAA qualifiers.

Basketball Adds Koopman and Sledge to 2013-14 Class

Basketball coach Chuck Driesell announced that Tom Koopman and Warren Sledge signed their National Letter of Intent to join the basketball program. The combination joins previous signees 6-9 Nate Bowser and 6-6 Brian White for a total of four future cadet-student-athletes in the fall of 2013-14.

Koopman hails from Weert, Germany, where he averaged 16 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest for his Basketball Academy of Limburg program. Over the course of his career, the 6-8, 210-pound Koopman played in the Premier League Basketball's U16, U18 and U20 squads where he faced off against competition from Austria, China, England, Germany and Israel.

In 2009-10 his U16 team reached the Final Four of the Premier League and finished the season ranked third. This past season Koopman led his U20 Premier League team to the Final Four and a third place showing.

Sledge gives The Citadel added depth in the backcourt with his 6-3, 180-pound frame. A three-year starter at Keller Central (Texas) High School, he averaged 12 points, 5.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game his senior season. Known as a solid defender, Sledge drew 43 charges in three years, including a team-high 16 as a junior.

Last season Sledge averaged 9.2 points, 8.3 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals per game while drawing 42 charges as the point guard for Future Prep Academy in California. He converted 48 percent of his shots from the floor, 43 percent from beyond the arc and was effective 82 percent of the time from the free throw line. Along with notching eight triple-doubles, Sledge dished out double-digit assists in 26 contests. He was named to the West Coast Championship all-tournament team after averaging 12.2 points, 10.4 assists and 7.2 rebounds as Future Prep Academy captured the tournament championship.

Summer Sports Camps at The Citadel

Are you looking for something for your children/grandchildren to do this summer?  Consider attending a sports camp that is offered by our coaches:

Baseball                      June 24-27                Day Camp

                                    June 28-June 30       Father/Son Camp

Basketball                   June 17-21               Day Camp

                                    June 21-23               Team Camp

Wrestling                    July 5-12                    Multiple

Soccer                         June 10-13                Day Camp 1

                                    June 17-20               Day Camp 2

                                    June 24-27               Day Camp 3

Football                       June 10-14               Youth Camp

                                    June 14-15              Skill/Lineman Camp

                                    June 19-21              Team option Camp

For more information, please call the Department of Athletics at 843/953-5070.

4th Annual CFA Lady Bulldogs Football 101 Set for July 26

Just in time for the perfect Mother's Day gift, The Citadel Football Association has opened registration for the 4th Annual Lady Bulldogs Football 101 clinic, which will be held on Friday, July 26 on campus.

The experience is open to women and teenage girls and the cost is $50 per person or two for $85. Those interested can register at www.cfabulldogs.org. Everyone in attendance will receive a goody bag, a t-shirt and two tickets to The Citadel-Charleston Southern game on August 31.

A portion of the clinic is tax deductible as proceeds directly benefit The Citadel Football Association's Scholarship fund.

The activities begin with a reception in Seignious Hall at 4:30 hosted by wives of The Citadel football coaches and include tours of the training and equipment rooms. The coaching staff will discuss the basics of offensive and defensive football and there will be a weight room demonstration.

Then it's time to hit the field as all attendees travel to Johnson Hagood Stadium. From 7:15-8:00, the group will show off their passing and catching skills and take off on the "fun run to the end zone" to showcase their individual touchdown dances.

After the on-field practice, Kay Higgins - wife of coach Kevin Higgins - will host a catered meal at the Pearson Lounge on the fourth floor of the stadium. Door prizes will be presented and an optional tour of the stadium suites and press box will follow the dinner.

John Small’s Football Jerseys Stolen

The NFL and college football jerseys of the late John Small of Augusta were stolen in a residential burglary, Richmond County sheriff’s investigators said last Friday, and police are asking the public’s help in locating them.

Accord­ing to a news release, the memorabilia was taken between Monday and Tuesday from a residence in the 2000 block of Bridgewater Drive in Augusta.

Small, a star athlete at Richmond Academy and The Citadel, was the No. 1 draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons in 1970. He played defensive tackle and linebacker with Atlanta through 1972 and with the Detroit Lions in 1973-1974.

He died in 2012.

According to police, the missing jerseys were a blue Citadel and red Atlanta jersey both bearing No. 66. A blue Detroit jersey was also taken.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Paul Godden or any burglary task force investigator at 706/821-1080 or 706/821-1020.

And Having Absolutely Nothing to Do with Athletics

How to get your kids and/or grandkids to clean up their rooms?

Merry Maids of Charleston offer five suggestions on how to get your kids to clean up their rooms -- without a lot of heated banter.

  • Make a contest of it: Assign everyone in the family a room or a space to clean and set a time limit. Then, ask a neutral party to judge. Take before and after pictures and send them to the judge if no one neutral is around. The prize can be an outing of the winner's choice, but something that will be enjoyable for everyone who worked so hard.
  • Give some detail: Instead of just saying "clean your room," give them a clearly defined list of what to do: make your bed, put dirty clothes in the hamper, place books on the shelves and toys in the bins, etc.
  • Give control: You could let them decide the types and styles of bins they use to store their things. They are far more likely to get excited about stashing their toys in a Monsters University bin they picked out themselves.
  • Pick a song: A clean-up song is a great idea. The music will make cleaning up more fun and eventually when your child hears it, he or she will automatically know it's time to tidy.
  • Take it easy: Cleaning up is necessary. Encouraging your children to do it teaches them many skills that will help them throughout their lives. But it doesn't have to be a chore. The more relaxed and positive you are about cleaning up, the more your attitude will rub off.

Courtesy: CharlestonCurrents.com.

They Said It:

“I had guys like Wojo (Asher Wojciechowski) and Matt Talley ahead of me.  And (pitching coach) Britt Reames came in and really put me under his arm and guided me.  I’ve had the same routine for the last two years, and that’s really helped me.”

  • Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year Austin Pritcher, on his coming to The Citadel.  Pritcher is the eighth Citadel hurler to earn the award the first since Asher Wojciechowski in 2010.

“He made a commitment last summer to work on his body, his game, his mechanics, just a total commitment.  And it paid off.”

  • Coach Fred Jordan, on Austin Pritcher’s successes this year.

"Earning 12th in the nation academically is a great honor for the program and is an outstanding representation of how our program is competitive both on the mats and in the classroom. This truly shows that the program properly embraces the concept of a student-athlete."

  • Coach Rob Hjerling, on the wrestling program placing 12th in the nation academically by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Keep Up With Citadel Athletics

For the latest on all athletic events and giveaways, visit the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of The Citadel Athletics at www.facebook.com/citadelbulldogs and at www.twitter.com/citadelsports.  Also, the baseball and football teams now have their own Twitter accounts at www.twitter.com/citadelbaseball and www.twitter.com/citadelfootball.  Follow them today!

Upcoming Birthdays

June 9              David Beckley                        Baseball
June 27            Rob Hjerling                          Wrestling
June 28            Jamie Stewart                       Soccer

Upcoming Events

May 22-26       Southern Conference Baseball @Greenville, SC
May 22            Charlotte Citadel Club Meeting (Lunch)
                       Chester Citadel Club Meeting (Evening)
May 30            Beaufort Citadel Club Meeting (Evening)
May 31            Greenville Citadel Club Meeting (Noon golf)
June 6             Summerville Citadel Club (Golf)
July 26             4th Annual CFA Lady Bulldogs Football 101 @Johnson Hagood Stadium
Aug. 22           15th Annual Kickoff Golf Classic @Wild Dunes Resort
                      Citadel Club of Charleston Shrimp & Beer Night @Beach House

Have a Friend Who Might Be Interested?

Today’s Blue & White is the sister publication of the The Blue & White, the official publication of The Citadel Brigadier Foundation that is printed monthly.  In order to receive the printed version, one has to be a member of TCBF.  However, we’ve opened Today’s Blue & White to anyone and everyone who has a computer and who is interested in activities of TCBF and, of course, The Citadel’s Department of Athletics.  Today’s Blue & White is free.  All one has to do is sign up is to click on this link:  http://www.citadelsports.com/list-signup

Today’s Blue & White is the official electronic publication of The Citadel Brigadier Foundation, Inc. with its office located at The Citadel, McAlister Field House, 171 Moultrie Street, Charleston, SC  29409 (office 843/953-5277).

Publishers........................Jerry Baker & Larry Leckonby

Editor...............................Andy Solomon

Layout/Distribution...........Brian Gargone

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