FAU Baseball Focuses on Fall Training
Florida Atlantic University’s 2009 baseball program began its focus on strength and conditioning, skills development and individual instruction on Tuesday, August 25 at FAU’s Boca Raton campus. Official team practices will start on Friday, October 2.
“The fall season is when we get to work. It’s where jobs can be won and lost,” said FAU Baseball Head Coach John McCormack. “With so many new guys, this fall is especially important to us, in that so many new guys will have to learn our offensive and defensive systems. It is a great opportunity for us to learn and grow individually and as a team.”
FAU’s 2009 fall roster is comprised of 34 student-athletes, including 18 newcomers.
“We feel like we signed a very good class last fall and were fortunate to be able to add some key pieces during the late period,” said Jason Jackson, FAU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. “Eddie Cassidy is the first one that comes to mind. He can really hit. He has the ability to bat in the middle of the lineup for us and play a number of positions as well.”
Cassidy hit 15 home runs last season as an All-Panhandle Conference catcher at Gulf Coast Community College . All-Southern Conference infielder Dan Scheffler from Palm Beach Community College and Andy Mee, a Santa Fe Community College NJCAA All-American, joined Cassidy as three of the top players in the Florida Community College Athletics Association last season.
Cassidy, Mee and Scheffler are set to compete for immediate playing time since the Owls will be without six everyday position players from its 2009 lineup. Additionally, spring signees’ Ian MacGeorge and Jason Kitchen figure to contribute right away. MacGeorge has a chance to be an impact player in the outfield and Kitchen is a right-handed pitcher who offers the Owls maturity and experience.
“This fall in particular, there is going to be a lot of competition both in the field and on the mound,” said McCormack. “Due to the draft and our senior class from a year ago there is going to be a lot of opportunity out there.”
FAU is armed with an accomplished group of pitchers with players such as Mike Gipson, Glen Troyanowski, Barry Rooks, Ahmed Garcia, Hugh Adams and Ryan Garton. Gipson and Troyanowski turned in impressive summers in the Cape Cod League, while Adams and Garton both were named 2009 Cal Ripken Summer League All-Stars.
The Owls also have added All-Panhandle Conference right-hander Taylor Everist along with prep pitching stars R.J. Alvarez, Kevin Alexander and Jason Boyer.
“We have some very talented young arms that will be relied upon very heavily early in their careers,” said Jackson . “It is our job to guide and help them in making this transition and to get them as prepared as possible for the spring season. The fall is such a crucial time and it goes by very fast.”