After missing the A-Sun Tournament for the first time since 2006, the JU baseball team (0-0) will start a clean slate in 2009 beginning with a three-game series at Florida International (0-0).
The Dolphins and Golden Panthers will open the three game set at University Park on Friday at 7 p.m. The series will continue with a 7 p.m. contest on Saturday before concluding on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The contest can be followed through livestats on fiusports.com and the first two games of the series can be heard on the Golden Panthers student radio station - wrgp.fiu.edu.
Alexander searching for 600<
JU head coach Terry Alexander has enjoyed several milestones as the Dolphins skipper and his next one is on the horizon.
The all-time winningest coach at JU with 594 wins, Alexander is six wins shy of surpassing 600 wins in his career.
In 18 years as head coach, he has led the squad to eight NCAA Regional appearances, won five conference championships, and has posted five 40-win seasons. Alexander is a three-time conference “Coach of the Year” honoree (2 - Sun Belt / 1 - A-Sun).
JU ranks fifth in preseason poll
The Dolphins were picked to finish fifth in the Atlantic Sun Conference as voted by the conference coaches in this year’s preseason poll.
Kennesaw State led the poll with 116 points, including six first place votes, while defending champion Lipscomb (three first place votes) and Florida Gulf Coast (one first place vote) tied for second with 95 points. Stetson ranked fourth with 94 points while JU (one first place vote) rounded out the top five with 76 points. Stetson and Lipscomb were each voted as tournament champion with five points apiece.
UNF (74), Belmont (50), Mercer (47), Campbell (33), USC Upstate (30) and ETSU (16) made up the rest of the poll.
Gillan named preseason all-A-Sun
Senior catcher Jeremy Gillan was the lone representative for the Dolphins on the A-Sun preseason all-conference team.
Stetson outfielder Jeremy Cruz was selected preseason "Player of the Year" while Kennesaw State junior starter Kyle Heckathorn was named preseason "Pitcher of the Year".
Gillan, who was a transfer from Indian River CC, led the Dolphins in hits (83), doubles (10), home runs (9), RBI (60), total bases (120), slugging percentage (.545), sacrifice flies (6), multi-hit games (27), multi-RBI games (16) and fielding percentage (.987).
JU hires Todd Claus
Todd Claus, an advance scout for the Boston Red Sox the past two years and a veteran with 26 years of baseball experience was named the new assistant coach at Jacksonville University.
Before joining the scouting department, Claus spent three years as a manager in the Red Sox’s minor league system (2004-06) including two seasons with the Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A) and a year with the Sarasota Red Sox (High-A).
In his two seasons in Portland, Claus made the playoffs each year and won an Eastern League title to earn Baseball America’s Minor League “Manager of the Year” honors in 2006.
Prior to joining the Red Sox, Claus spent 12 years with the Anaheim Angels organization as a minor league manager (2002-03), amateur scout (1999-01) and minor league hitting instructor (1995-2001).