Thursday, March 3, 2016

Gary McClure Recalls 2013 Mid-Major Hot Board

Gary McClure
2013 was a memorable year for Gary McClure. Not only did the Governors win their third consecutive OVC Conference, but the veteran coach was inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Here, McClure touches on a few notable teams and players in the world of college baseball from what many would argue was McClure’s best year.

Florida Gulf Coast

In 2013, Florida Gulf Coast was often in the spotlight for its basketball program. However, according to Gary McClure, it was the FGCU baseball team that shone the brightest. By mid-season, Brooks Beisner was hitting an outstanding .360. Pitcher Harrison Cooney caught a good bit of attention, pulling off four saves in less than half a dozen appearances.

Mercer

Gary McClure has always respected Mercer but says their 2013 win against Georgia Tech is really stood out to him. The 10-1 final score was achieved in no small part by the pair of home runs courtesy of Travis Benn. They have been an excellent program for many years now and one that no one takes lightly.

Belmont

Nashville’s Belmont University tore through the season with an excellent campaign executed by the Bruins. They just truly were a very good team and one we were fortunate to beat in a key series during conference play. Gary McClure nods to then-pitcher Chase Brookshire who was soon signed by the St. Louis Cardinals (June 2013). Brookshire voluntarily retired in 2015.

Austin Peay

Gary McClure is, understandably, partial to his former team. We had an excellent ball club and were truly skilled in all facets of the game, but we still had to overcome many injuries throughout the year. That made the 2013 team really stick out. The team turned out a number of notable players including senior LF Cody Hudson, LHP Zach Hall, 2B Jordon Hankins (All-American and Cubs Draftee), 1B Craig Massoni (All-American and Giants Draftee), Shortstop Reed Harper (All-American and Braves Draftee), CF Michael Blanchard (Giants draftee), Closer/RHP Tyler Rogers (All American and Giants Draftee), RHP Lee Ridenhour (Phillies Draft), and RHP Casey Delgado (Mets signee). Seven MLB Signees off 1 team is the most ever in school history.

Florida Atlantic

The Owls blazed through the season with a duo of great arms, Jeremy Strawn and Austin Gomber. Strawn held a respectable 2.72 ERA while Gomber’s 1.75 definitely turned heads. Overall, McClure says 2013 will always be a special year for him and that he was honored to have witnessed so many great baseball players and coaches do what they do best.