TCU’s Schlossnagle, LSU assistant friends since Tulane days
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Like many coaches, TCU’s Jim Schlossnagle says one of the great things about his profession is the relationships with the people in the game. One of his closest friendships is with LSU assistant Andy Cannizaro, who was in the opposite dugout for Thursday night’s game.
Schlossnagle was Tulane’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator when he first met Cannizaro two decades ago. Cannizaro became a two-time All-America shortstop for Tulane and led the Green Wave to their first College World Series appearance in 2001.
“You’d like to think your relationship with every player is the same. It’s certainly not,” Schlossnagle said. “I had recruited Andy since his junior year in high school and coached him for four years. He’s just a very special young man in every sense of the word.”
Cannizaro was drafted by the New York Yankees and spent several years mostly in the minor leagues. He was a scout for the Yankees for five years before Paul Mainieri hired him at LSU last July as hitting coach and recruiting coordinator.
“I told coach Mainieri that he beat me to the punch because if I would have had the right opportunity, the right fit at the right time, certainly Andy is a guy I would love to have on our staff,” Schlossnagle said. “There’s no doubt that he’s a big part of their success and going to be for a very, very long time. He’s a very special human being.”
CANES EXPECT TO RETURN: Though Miami is disappointed with going 1-2 in its first CWS appearance since 2008, and getting blown out twice by Florida, coach Jim Morris said getting to Omaha was a big step for his program.
Morris, 65, said he plans to coach until his contract runs out in two years, and he’s confident he’ll bring another team back to the CWS. “I’d like to win a ring, no doubt about that,” he said.
The Canes (50-17) had 11 freshmen, nine sophomores, nine juniors and four seniors this season on a team that won the most games since the 53-win squad in 2008.
They expect to lose ace Andrew Suarez, a second-round pick of the San Francisco Giants, but should have back its other three top starters and most of their bullpen. Third baseman David Thompson (fourth round, Mets) and second baseman George Iskenderian (seventh round, Brewers) are among four other draftees.
“We’ve got an outstanding recruiting class coming in, and I’m sure we’ll lose some of our juniors and, of course, our seniors,” Morris said. “But we’ll have a good club next year. We’ve got to just build on what we’ve done this year.”
SHORT HOPS: Entering Thursday, there had been 10 home runs hit, the most in a CWS since there were 10 in 2012. ... Three of Florida’s four home runs against Miami were the longest in TD Ameritrade Park’s five years, according to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker. Peter Alonso’s 421-footer was the longest in a CWS game at the stadium. Harrison Bader’s homer went 414 feet and Buddy Reed’s went 412. ... The last team to hit four home runs in a CWS game was Texas, against LSU, in 2009 at Rosenblatt Stadium.