Weekend Insider: What’s On Sorenson’s MindColumns
• Eight For Omaha
• Midseason Best Coaching Hires
• College Baseball vs. College Basketball
• Five Coaches Who Could Manage MLB Teams
• Five Teams We’re Watching
• Quick Hits
Spring has sprung. In fact, we are already a few weeks into it. So it’s time for Mother Nature to give our sport a break, especially since the Athletic Directors around the country have taken up the mantle of hating our sport and treating us like a pile of dung after it looks like they may not be willing to pass the legislation enough to add a third paid assistant coach.
So with the better weather moving in – and staying, right? – we are going to begin getting to crunch time. Can you believe we are already at this point in the season? Mid-April. My gawd, say it ain’t so. Anyway, this will be a big weekend on the diamond so be sure to get out to a game near you if you can.
Let’s start with this…
MIDSEASON REVIEW: BEST COACHING HIRES
With roughly half the season already played this regular season let’s rank the top five coaching debuts of the 2019 seasons.
1- Chris Lemonis, Mississippi State
This Year: 27-6, 7-5 SEC, No. 17 RPI
Last Year: 39-29, 15-15, CWS
I give the nod here to coach Lemonis due to the immense pressure and spotlight that is involved in taking over the program this season. The fact that he had no ties to the MSU program and they were playing in a new cathedral called Dudy Noble Field, this was an all-pressure situation. And yet the Dogs are barking, sitting at No. 6 in the D1 rankings.
2- Pat Bailey, Oregon State
This Year: 23-6-1, 9-3 Pac 12, No. 3 RPI
Last Year: Well you know, national title.
This is one of those situations where a coaching change isn’t much of an actual “change.” Coach Bailey has been the associate head coach for a number of years and was responsible for practice schedules and whatnot under Pat Casey. This year, it’s just a matter of keeping things on track and he has. But coach Bailey and pitching coach Nate Yeskie now will have to deal with no Kevin Abel the rest of the season.
3- Gino DiMare, Miami
This Year: 22-12, 7-8 ACC, No. 32 RPI
Last Year: 28-26, 16-13 ACC
This long-proud program was circling the drain in the last few seasons of the Hall of Famer Jim Morris’ career, missing the last two NCAA Tournaments. But it looks like the Hurricanes are back under DiMare, the former Cane player. After taking two of three from rival Florida State last weekend, the Hurricanes’ are now sitting pretty in the RPI and in the hunt for a return to the NCAAs.
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