June Baseball Blog

May 31, 2013 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell on May 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Updated: June 7, 2013 1:17 pm

TUCKETT AND PULLINS BILLBOARD: With the home season now over, advertising banners were pulled from the outfield wall of Larry H. Miller Field. However, the banner of Glen Tuckett and Gary Pullins remains visible. That banner was unveiled last month when their jerseys, No. 20 and No. 1, were retired.

FORMER PLAYERS AT TUCKETT-PULLINS EVENT: Among the former Cougars in attendance at last month’s jersey-retiring festivities during the San Francisco series were the following: Tim Anderson, Dick Belliston, Lee Berge, Bob Burch, Dick Clark, Tom Fife, Dane Iorg, Jim Kimmel, Dennis Lamb, Bob Noel and Mike Staffieri who along with Pullins played for Coach Tuckett; and Keith Harrison, Nate Hyde, Sean McNaughton, Kelly Shepherd and Coach Mike Littlewood who played for Coach Pullins.

UPSETTING NO. 13 ASU: What a fun atmosphere it was at Arizona State in BYU’s 8-3 upset over the No. 13 Sun Devils. Among the 2,957 spectators were 88 BYU fans through the sales efforts of Keaton Cenatiempo’s mother. Another Cougar in attendance that night in Tempe was former BYU baseball coach and athletic director Glen Tuckett who enjoyed the company of his former players Mike Elmer, Dennis Lamb and former Cougar cager Veryl Law. Tuckett also was in town for the high school graduation of one of his grandsons.

WIVES’ CAR POOL: While many of the Cougars were flying to Stockton, Calif., for last month’s West Coast Conference Baseball Tournament, several of the players’ wives carpooled, driving I-80 en route to California. The drivers/riders were Deidre Miller, Ali Whitney, Madison Dennis and Merilee Speigner. One wife who didn’t drive was Alexis Brugman because she is expecting a baby this September.

EARTHQUAKE DURING WCC OPENING GAME:  BYU joined San Diego, San Francisco and Gonzaga playing at Banner Island Ballpark, home to the Single A Stockton Ports. Among the Ports opponents are the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. However, there was a real earthquake mid-way through BYU’s opening Thursday game against San Diego, registering 5.7 on the Richter Scale at 8:47 p.m., 25 miles southwest of Susanville, Calif., just over 200 miles away from Stockton. While many did not feel the quake during the game, Jaycob Brugman recalled hearing a fan comment about it after his at bat.  Most BYU players were unaware of the quake until Saturday morning when they read about it in newspapers at the Sacramento Airport.

FLYING AROUND:  Returning home early from Stockton after being eliminated from the West Coast Conference Tournament was a challenge on Memorial Day weekend. No single flight could accommodate the BYU entourage of over 30 travelers, so coaches scrambled and divided the team into four groups. One group flew to Seattle, another to Portland, another to Las Vegas and another to Phoenix, all routing towards Salt Lake City where the Cougars boarded a bus to Provo and listened to Jacob Hannemann’s pre-recorded interview on KSL Radio. Another impressive airport drill happened earlier in the week as the team flew out of Phoenix to Sacramento. After leaving their Phoenix hotel in the wee hours of the morning, the bus driver parked at the wrong terminal where the Cougars had to quickly reload bags and get back on the bus for the right terminal.

SPECIAL GUEST AT BANNER ISLAND BALLPARK: Theo Epstein, President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, was in the stands at Banner Island Ballpark for part of Friday’s action at the WCC Tournament, watching San Diego’s All-American Kris Bryant with a keen eye.

FORMER BYU ATHLETE FROM STOCKTON: Among the former BYU athletes who are from Stockton, Calif., is Paul Mendenhall, father of current football coach Bronco Mendenhall and former Cougar gridder Matt Mendenhall.

COUGAR TWEET: Last week we Tweeted the following: BSB | We believe in vicarious work. Good luck San Diego, San Francisco, LSU & Arizona State this weekend.

HANNEMANN AND THE DRAFT: BYU freshman outfielder Jacob Hannemann flew the last week of May to workouts in Seattle, Chicago (Cubs), Oakland and Los Angeles (Dodgers) in preparation for the June 6-8 Major League Baseball Draft. He also took a train from Chicago to workout for the Milwaukee Brewers.

WEDDINGS: Less than a week after the season finished, junior designated hitter Bret Lopez got married to Taryn Roberts. Next to get married are first baseman Cody Shepherd on June 29 to Lindsey Horton and pitcher Jeff Barker on July 27 to Kylie Richmond.

MATTHEW NEIL: Former BYU pitcher Matthew Neil was called up to the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami) last month.

LITTLEWOOD’S VACATION: BYU coach Mike Littlewood is taking a few days of vacation to watch his son Marcus play for the Clinton LumberKings (Seattle).  The Cougar mentor will watch games in Illinois and Wisconsin.

KNEE SURGERY: Hayden Nielsen played through a knee injury the last several weeks of the season and will be having surgery this month. He should be ready to pursue baseball later in the summer.

AWAITING MISSION CALL: Freshman infielder Nate Favero is awaiting a mission call.

SUMMER PLAYING ASSIGNMENTS: Jeff Barker - Conejo Oaks, Kelton Caldwell - DC Grays, Jacob Hannemann (depending on draft) Orleans (Cape Cod League), Trace Hansen - Bisbee Ironman, Bryan Heward (SLCC Transfer) - Bisbee Ironmen, Andy Isom - Saskatoon Yellow Jackets, Adam Law (depending on draft) Holyoke Blue Sox and Chunner Nyberg - DC Grays.

PAST TOP 10 ROUND DRAFTS:  Here BYU's Top 10 round draft picks:

Name Draft (Pick), Team Year
Cory Snyder 1st (4), Cleveland Indians 1984
Brian Banks 2nd (43), Milwaukee Brewers 1993
Ryan Hancock 2nd (45), California Angels 1993
John Greene 3rd (42), Kansas City Athletics 1966
Rick Aguilera 3rd (58), New York Mets 1983
Wally Joyner 3rd (67), California Angels 1983
Jacob Hannemann 3rd (75), Chicago Cubs 2013
Dave Jensen 3rd (78), Kansas City Royals 2002
Paul Cluff 4th (87), California Angels 1989
Carl Keliipuleole 4th (99), Cleveland Indians 1987
Darin Kracl 4th (113), Oakland A’s 1989
Jack Morris 5th (98), Detroit Tigers 1976
Eric Varoz 5th (117), San Diego Padres 1984
Steve Parker 5th (153), Oakland A’s 2009
Matt Carson 5th (156), Oakland A’s 2002
Mike Staffieri 6th (127), Cincinnati Reds 1972
Scott Nielsen 6th (139), Seattle Mariners 1983
Steve Eagar 6th (156), Detroit Tigers 1984
Joey Whitmer 7th (164), Seattle Mariners 1982
Gary Cooper 7th (172), Houston Astros 1986
Stan Younger 7th (173), Detroit Tigers 1980
Doug Howard 8th (183), California Angels 1970
Cliff Pastornicky 8th (197) Kansas City Royals 1980
John DeSilva 8th (213), Detroit Tigers 1989
Kevin Foderaro 8th (222), St. Louis Cardinals 1994
Nik Lemon 8th (239), Chicago White Sox 2004
Dave Horlacher 8th (256), Los Angeles Dodgers 2005
Tom Morris 9th (220, Houston Astros 1979
Jared Jensen 9th (275), Oakland A's 1997
Ken Crosby 10th (227), New York Yankees 1969
Marc Thomas 10th (242), Houston Astros 1979
Jeremy Toole 10th (297), San Francisco Giants 2009
Leon Johnson 10th (307), Chicago Cubs 2007