NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs Vanderbilt

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin, who grew up in Wolfeboro, N.H., observes the national anthem with his players prior to last Friday’s NCAA College World Series game against Louisville. The Commodores play Michigan in the CWS finals that start tonight.

THE MOST accomplished active coach from New Hampshire in big-time college athletics isn’t Ryan Day, Dan Mullen or Chip Kelly. It’s Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin, who guided the Commodores to the 2014 national championship — the school’s first men’s national title in any sport — and has his team in the hunt for another national title this year.

The Commodores (57-11) will be seeking their second national championship when they open a best-of-three series against Michigan (49-20) on Monday (6 p.m./ESPN). Michigan coach Erik Bakich was a member of Corbin’s original staff at Vanderbilt and an assistant coach with the Commodores for seven seasons.

For those who don’t know, Corbin was born in Wolfeboro and graduated from Kingswood Regional High School in 1979. He played college baseball at Ohio Wesleyan, and his foray into coaching included one season as Kingswood’s junior varsity head coach (1985).

Before taking over at Vanderbilt, Corbin, 57, was an assistant coach at Clemson for nine years and served as the head coach at Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C., for six years.

Since he became Vanderbilt’s head coach in 2003, Corbin has transformed the Commodores from a Southeastern Conference weak sister to one of the country’s elite programs. Before he took over as head coach, Vanderbilt had six winning seasons in the SEC since baseball became a scholarship sport in 1968. Corbin’s Commodores have advanced to the NCAA tournament in 15 of his 17 seasons as head coach, including the last 14.

Corbin, whose base salary is reportedly around $1.1 million — more than 11 major league managers — has always emphasized recruiting in the Northeast. When he was an assistant at Clemson, he pursued — and landed — Kingswood’s Kyle Frank, who played for Clemson from 1999 to 2003. While at Vanderbilt, Corbin coaxed a commitment out of former Portsmouth High School outfielder Kobie Taylor, who opted to turn professional instead. Current Portsmouth outfielder Cal Hewett has reportedly committed to Vandy as well.

Ryan Flaherty, who graduated from Deering High School in Portland, Maine, and Tyler Beede, who played at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., are two other recruits from New England who Corbin lured to Vanderbilt. The Baltimore Orioles took Flaherty with the 41st pick in the 2008 MLB draft, and the San Francisco Giants picked Beede 14th overall in 2014.

Vanderbilt tied a Southeastern Conference record this season by having 13 players selected in the draft, including outfielder J.J. Bleday, who went fourth overall to the Miami Marlins.

In addition to Vanderbilt’s championship season in 2014, the Commodores finished as the NCAA runner-up in 2015. This year’s Vanderbilt team has already set the school record for victories in a season.

Day, Mullen and Kelly may have more recognizable names than Corbin, but that’s certainly not because they’ve experienced more success.

.

Sticking with college baseball: Former Souhegan High School infielder Bryce Reagan announced last week that he is leaving the University of Texas and transferring to the University of Arizona. After junior David Hamilton suffered an Achilles injury, Reagan moved into the starting lineup and began the season as Texas’ starting shortstop. He made 19 starts before losing his job because of defensive struggles. He had a .904 fielding percentage and his eight errors were the second most on the team. Reagan hit .220 in 59 at-bats with 13 runs scored and five RBIs.

.

The University of New Hampshire has offered a basketball scholarship to Exeter High grad Josh Morissette, who will attend Phillips Exeter Academy in the fall. It is Morissette’s first offer.

.

Boston College tight end Hunter Long was named to Phil Steele’s preseason All-ACC third team. Long, who played for Exeter High School, appeared in all 12 of BC’s games as a redshirt freshman last season. He finished the year with four receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Long spent one year at Deerfield Academy before he joined the BC program.

.

The Northeast Regional for the America Legion Baseball Junior tournament will be held at Concord’s Memorial Field from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11. This will be an eight-team, double-elimination tournament that will include two teams from New Hampshire, the state champion and runner-up. There will also be two teams from Massachusetts, and one from Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Maine.

.

Former University of New Hampshire wide receiver R.J. Harris has caught 11 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown to help the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks get off to a 2-0 start this season.

.

Salem’s Nick Shumski, a junior at Merrimack College, was named the top defensive shortstop in Division II last week when he was selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association Division II Gold Glove team. He became the first player in the program’s history to earn a Gold Glove honor.

Shumski committed seven errors in 238 fielding chances for a .971 fielding percentage last season. He went 21 straight games without committing an error (99 chances) from April 2 through May 4. Shumski also hit a career-high .297 during his junior season.

.

A reminder that this week’s practices for Saturday night’s CHaD East-West All-Star football game are open to the public.

The East team is practicing at Manchester West, and the West team is working out at Manchester Memorial.