Head coach Ed Blankmeyer was honored several times at the American Baseball Coaches Association convention in Chicago, Ill. last week. The 11th-year head coach was officially recognized after being named the Northeast Region Coach of the Year at the end of a record-setting 2005 season. He won the award after leading the Red Storm to a school record 41 wins and a regular season BIG EAST title. Also, the conference's Coach of the Year, Blankmeyer has been named the ABCA's Northeast Region Coach of the Year two straight years.
Blankmeyer was also honored for 25 years of coaching service and became a member of the ABCA College Baseball Players Rules Committee. Blankmeyer, who was an associate head coach at Seton Hall for 16 seasons, came to St. John's in 1996 and has proceeded to post a 307-209-3 record (.603) in 10 seasons.
In addition to honors from the ABCA, Blankmeyer was also recognized by the BIG EAST Conference. The league named him the President of the BIG EAST Coaches Committee. He replaces Notre Dame head coach Paul Mainieri as the head of the committee.
RED STORM RECEIVING VOTES IN NCBWA PRESEASON POLL
The St. John's baseball team, coming off a school-record 41-win season in 2005, is receiving votes in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll. The poll, released on Tuesday, Jan. 17, is one of three preseason polls released so far, all of which feature defending national champion Texas as their No. 1 team.
Three schools on St. John's 2006 schedule appear in the NCBWA's top 30, led by top-five teams in No. 4 Rice and No. 5 Nebraska. Along with Texas State, St. John's takes on both at The Crowne Plaza/Rice Invitational at the end of February. The three games are part of a Texas swing for the Red Storm that includes a three-game set at Texas Tech (Feb. 17-19) to open the season.
No. 22 Notre Dame is the lone BIG EAST school represented in the poll's top 30. The Atlantic Coast Conference (six), Southeastern Conference (six), Big 12 (four), Pac-10 (four), Big West (three) and Conference USA (three) all have at least three teams appearing on the preseason poll.
2006 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT TO BE HELD IN CLEARWATER, FLA.
The BIG EAST Conference, in conjunction with Minor League Baseball's Clearwater Threshers, announced Tuesday that the 2006 BIG EAST Conference Baseball Championship will be held at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Fla. Bright House Networks Field is the Spring Training home of Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies and is also home to the Clearwater Threshers - the Philadelphia Phillies' Class A Affiliate. The 2006 BIG EAST Baseball Championship will take place on May 23-28.
The BIG EAST increased its baseball membership to 12 teams in 2006 with the addition of the University of Cincinnati, University of Louisville and University of South Florida. The league's top eight teams based on regular-season finish in the conference standings will qualify for the double-elimination event. The tournament champion receives the league's automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship.
"The BIG EAST Conference is extremely excited to be bringing its 2006 Baseball Championship to the beautiful city of Clearwater and to a state-of-the-art facility like Bright House Networks Field," BIG EAST Commissioner Michael Tranghese said. "We are looking forward to our association with the Clearwater Threshers and with an outstanding organization like the Philadelphia Phillies."
Bright House Networks Field, which opened its doors in 2004, is a fan-friendly ballpark with a capacity of 8,500. The ballpark distinguishes itself with a 360-degree main concourse, grass berm seating, and a tiki-hut pavilion in left field. The stadium also includes group picnic areas, a children's play area, and a state-of-the-art video scoreboard.
MVP 06 NCAA BASEBALL GAME RELEASED ON WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18
The new MVP 06 NCAA Baseball video game by Electronic Arts was released on Wednesday, Jan. 18. The collegiate baseball game, the first of its kind, features the stadiums of 16 programs nationwide, and The Ballpark at St. John's was selected as one of them.
Users can choose to play as 128 different universities representing 14 major conferences in the game. Both St. John's and the BIG EAST are included in that group, and users will get a chance to not only play as the Red Storm, but on a recreated St. John's Queens campus. Through correspondence with the university, EA Sports was able to duplicate The Ballpark and all of its surrounding area.