Kleberg Bank College Classic Feb. 24-25-26

Islanders Host Huskers, Rebels, Utes

By Corpus Christi Hooks | November 16, 2011 10:58 AM ET

CORPUS CHRISTI - Fifty years ago, the prospect of a Red invasion was most disconcerting to the American people.

Now, not so much.

When Texas A&M-Corpus Christi coach Scott Malone and his fifth Islander team join the Corpus Christi Hooks in hosting the 2012 Kleberg Bank College Classic, they'll find plenty of red at Whataburger Field in the form of Cornhuskers, Rebels and Utes. There won't be a culture clash or battle of political systems, just seven college baseball games in a three-day period at what has become one of the nation's premier tournaments.

"The Kleberg Bank College Classic is always one of the highlights of our schedule. It's one of the first things our players look for and it is one of the first things our fans look for when the schedule is released," Malone said.

"This year's edition is right along the same lines. Utah's move to the PAC 12 makes them that much more intriguing. UNLV personally for me with my background, it's really exciting to get a chance to play a school where I've coached before. Nebraska doesn't need a lot to be said. Year-in, year-out they have been a perennial Top 25 team and now they have Darin Erstad as their head coach, a former big leaguer who spent time with the Houston Astros."

"Baseball fans in the Coastal Bend are among the most passionate and knowledgeable you'll find," Hooks president Ken Schrom said. "Once again, we are delighted to partner with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Kleberg Bank in bringing them what has become one of the annual must-see events in Corpus Christi."

Kleberg Bank College Classic tickets go on sale Friday, February 3, at the Whataburger Field box office, on-line at cchooks.com and by calling 361-561-HOOK. Tickets will also be available at the Islander athletic offices on campus.

Adult Classic packages for fans 13-and-up are $24 each. Youth Classic packages (4-12) are $12. Daily tickets run $10 and $5, respectively. There is no charge for children 3-and-under. All seating is reserved.

Overall, the 2012 College Classic field is an experienced one. Combined, the four clubs return 72 lettermen. Some may characterize the upcoming campaign as a rebuilding project for Malone, whose 2011 team established a school record with 37 wins, earned third seed at the Southland Conference Tournament in San Marcos and fought in sometimes dramatic fashion for three postseason victories. Calallen's Jeramie Marek heads a list of four returning everyday players.

Change has come to Nebraska, led by first-year head coach and former MLB all-star Erstad. After 16 seasons in the Big 12, the Huskers begin Big Ten competition with eight returning starters in the field and a promising pitching staff. The Cornhuskers finished 10 games over .500 at home last spring but struggled away from Lincoln and failed to qualify for the Big 12 Tournament.

Erstad, first pick in the 1995 amateur draft by the Angels, also played for the White Sox in a 14-year career.

UNLV and Utah are former Mountain West rivals. All five Rebel returning regulars hit .306 or better and coach Tim Chambers enjoys the services of all-conference performers Trent Cook, Brandon Bayardi and Trevor Kirk.

Joining them on the 2011 MWC honor squad were four Utes: James Brooks, Shaun Cooper, Trey Nielsen and Tyler Wagner. Utah's Bill Kinneberg is the most experienced coach in the College Classic field with 423 wins in 15 years overall and 178 in seven seasons at Salt Lake City.  

The 2012 Kleberg Bank College Classic schedule:

Utah vs. Nebraska -- 2
UNLV at Islanders -- 6
UNLV vs. Utah -- 11
Nebraska vs. Utah -- 3
Nebraska at Islanders -- 7
Nebraska vs. UNLV -- 11
Utah at Islanders -- 3
second club listed is home team


City/State:  Lincoln, Nebraska
Founded:  1869
Enrollment:  24,610
School Colors: Scarlet & Cream   
Home Field:  Hawks Field at Haymarket Park (8,486)   
Conference:  Big Ten
Athletics Website: www.huskers.com

Head Coach: Darin Erstad 
Alma Mater (year): Nebraska (1995)
Record at School (seasons): 0-0 (first year)
Overall Record (seasons): same
Assistant Coaches: Will Bolt, Ted Silva, Jeff Christy

Michael Pritchard, OF, L/L, 6-0, 177, Soph., .304/0/7
Kash Kalkowski, OF, R/R, 6-1, 198, Jr., .299/5/42/11 steals (HM All-Big 12); 50th round, Royals
Chad Christensen, INF, R/R, 6-3, 206, Jr., .292/1/16
Kurt Farmer, INF, R/R. 6-2, 198, Jr., .275/2/32
Kale Kiser, INF, S/R, 5-10, 191, Sr., .273/2/19
Bryan Peters, INF, R/R, 6-2, 185, Jr., .273/2/30/12 steals
Tyler King, LHP, 6-0, 198, Soph., 0-1/2.21
Jon Keller, RHP, 6-5, 231, Soph., 3-6/3.62
Dylan Vogt, RHP, 6-2, 193, Jr., 3-1/3.83
Tyler Niederklein, RHP, 6-2, 210, Jr., 8-3/4.17

Everyday Players Returning:  8
Everyday Players Lost: 1
Lettermen Returning: 19
Lettermen Lost: 13

2011 RECAP
Overall Record: 30-25
Home Record: 21-11
Road Record: 4-13
Neutral Record: 5-1
Conference Record (finish): 9-17 Big 12 (9th)
Conference Tournament Record: DNQ

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City/State: Las Vegas, Nevada
Founded: 1957
Enrollment: 28,000
School Colors: Scarlet & Gray
Home Field: Wilson Stadium (3,000)
Conference: Mountain West
Athletics Website: unlvrebels.com

Head Coach: Tim Chambers
Alma Mater (year): Southern Utah (1989)
Record at School (seasons): 33-25 (one year)
Overall Record (seasons): 499-220 (12 years)
Assistant Coaches: Stan Stolte, Kevin Higgins, Jay Guest

Trent Cook, 1B, L/R, 6-2, 190, Sr., .368/2/44 (2nd-team All-Mountain West)
Scott Dysinger, INF, R/R, 5-10, 170, Sr., 345/0/19
Brandon Bayardi, OF, R/R, 6-2, 210, Jr., .325/10/51 (1st-team All-Mountain West)
Trevor Kirk, OF, R/R, 6-0, 185, Sr., .314/1/28/12 steals (2nd-team All-Mountain West)
Ryan Scott, C, L/R, 6-1, 185, Sr., .306/2/28
Zack Hartman, RHP, 5-11, 185, Soph., 5-2/2.35/8 saves
Joe Robinson, RHP, 6-2, 190, Sr., 5-7/4.88; 29th round, Dodgers
Jesse Garcia, LHP, 6-0, 185, Sr., 2-1/5.26/save
Tyler Iodence, RHP, 6-2, 195, Jr., 3-1/5.32

Everyday Players Returning: 5
Everyday Players Lost: 4
Lettermen Returning: 16
Lettermen Lost: 7

2011 RECAP
Overall Record: 33-25
Home Record: 23-10
Road Record: 10-14
Neutral Record: 0-1
Conference Record (finish): 10-13 (5th)
Conference Tournament Record: 0-2

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City/State: Salt Lake City, Utah
Founded: 1850
Enrollment: 29,251
School Colors: Crimson & White
Home Field:  Spring Mobile Ballpark (15,500)
Conference: PAC 12
Athletics Website: utahutes.cstv.com

Head Coach: Bill Kinneberg
Alma Mater (year): Arizona (1980)
Record at School (seasons): 178-204 (seven years)
Overall Record (seasons): 423-387 (15 years)
Assistant Coaches: Mike Crawford, Bryan Kinneberg, Pete Flores

James Brooks, INF, S/R, 6-3, 200, Sr., .372/3/32/11 steals (2nd-team All-Mountain West)
Shaun Cooper, OF, R/R, 5-10, 195, Sr., .332/8/43 (1st-team All-Mountain West)
Trey Nielsen, INF, R/R, 6-2, 195, Soph., .318/9/41 (2nd-team All-Mountain West)
Tyler Wagner, RHP, 6-3, 190, Jr., 4-3/2.04/12 saves (1st-team All-Mountain West)
Zach Adams, RHP, 6-4, 200, Jr., 2-0/2.40
Joe Pond, RHP, 6-3, 195, Jr., 4-4/4.36
Brock Duke, RHP, 6-2, 210, Jr., 6-3/6.00

Everyday Players Returning: 5
Everyday Players Lost: 4
Lettermen Returning: 19
Lettermen Lost: 7

2011 RECAP
Overall Record: 29-21
Home Record: 12-5
Road Record: 14-13
Neutral Record: 3-3
Conference Record (finish): 16-7 (2nd Mountain West)
Conference Tournament Record: 1-2

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City/State: Corpus Christi, Texas
Founded: 1947
Enrollment: 10,200
School Colors: Blue & Green
Home Field: Chapman Field (700)
Conference: Southland
Athletics Website: goislanders.com

Head Coach: Scott Malone
Alma Mater (year): McMurry (1998)
Record at School (seasons): 99-128 (four years)
Overall Record (seasons): same
Assistant Coaches: Chris Ramirez, Marty Smith, Adam Skonieczki

Jeramie Marek, INF, R/R, 5-9, 190, Sr., .328/0/25/14 steals
Weston Montgomery, INF, R/R, 6-1, 175, Sr., .281/0/14
Bobby Buckner, INF, S/R, 6-1, 180, Sr., .298/1/18
Santiago Ruiz, C, R/R, 5-11, 195, Sr., .311/0/10
Philly Garcia, RHP, 5-11, 190, Sr., 3-1/5.25/6 saves
Adam Hoelscher, LHP, 6-3, 185, Jr., 0-1/7.15  

Everyday Players Returning: 4
Everyday Players Lost: 5
Lettermen Returning: 18
Lettermen Lost: 9

2011 RECAP
Overall Record: 37-24
Home Record: 16-12
Road Record: 18-10
Neutral Record: 3-2
Conference Record (finish): 19-14 (3rd)
Conference Tournament Record:  3-2

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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