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2016 Pac-12 Championship and NCAA Regional Highlights

DaShawn Keirsey Jr.

Two-Time First-Team All-Pac-12

The Team

Utah tied a school record by having four players taken in the MLB Draft last summer. But the core of returnees and 14 freshmen/redshirt freshmen on the roster will give the Utes a mix of veteran experience and talented newcomers in 2018.

Outfield

The Utes return the most experience in the outfield. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. returns for his third season in center field. He finished third on the team last year with a .327 batting average and finished fourth in the Pac-12 in hits per game (1.42) and triples (5). In left field, Chandler Anderson was second on the team and eighth in the Pac-12 with a .336 batting average last year. Dominique Foscalina shared time in right field last season as a freshman. He hit .322 with a .373 on-base percentage.

Infield

The infield will have a new look in 2018. The lone returning starter, Oliver Dunn, is in his second year at second base. He scored 30 runs and drove in 19 last season. At first base, Wade Gulden has made 68 starts during his career at various positions and designated hitter. He hit .263 last year and had four home runs.

Catchers

Zack Moeller, who started nearly every game at catcher last year, had five home runs and 11 doubles a year ago and was third on the team with a .429 slugging percentage. Freshman Chris Rowan Jr. was the 2017 5A Salt Lake Tribune MVP.

Pitchers

Three seniors lead a deep staff. Josh Lapiana has a 4.80 ERA with a 7-12 record and 110 strikeouts in his career. He is working out of the bullpen this year after serving as the Sunday starter. Tanner Thomas, slotted to move into the rotation this season, made 23 appearances in relief last year with a 4-0 record, two saves and a 2.91 ERA. Trenton Stoltz has made 53 relief appearances in three seasons. Last year, he led Utah with a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings with one save.

Junior Joshua Tedeschi went 2-0 last year over 12 relief appearances with a 2.79 ERA. Jacob Rebar pitched in 17 games in 2017 as a freshman with four starts, recording a 5.72 ERA with a 3-5 record and one save. His 44 strikeouts ranked fourth on the team.

Junior Kyle Robeniol earned All-So-Cal and all-conference honors at Orange Coast College in 2017 after transferring from Oregon. Freshman Brett Brocoff was a 28th-round selection in the MLB Draft out of high school to the Atlanta Braves. He was the 2017 4A Southern Nevada Player of the year. Freshman Riley Pierce, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, could work into a starting role as well.

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Head Coach

BILL KINNEBERG

bkinneberg@huntsman.utah.edu

Bill Kinneberg is in his 16th season at the helm of the Utah baseball program and 24th as a head coach at the collegiate level. He was named the 2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year after leading the Utes to the conference championship. Kinneberg has taken the Utes to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances, placing second in Fullerton (Calif.) in 2009 and going 1-2 in Oxford (Miss.) in 2016. Ten Utah players have been taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft under Kinneberg, including the school's first-ever first-round selection in C.J. Cron (2011, 17th overall). Kinneberg has also established school records for wins in a season at three schools: UTEP (1985), Wyoming (1990) and Utah (1996).

Kinneberg led the USA Baseball Collegiate Team to a silver medal at the 2010 FISU World University Championships in Japan. He also went 25-12 with the 2007 U.S. National Team as its pitching coach, as the team finished with a 1.93 ERA.

Prior to joining the Utah staff, Kinneberg worked for the Chicago White Sox organization as a minor league pitching coach. From 1996-2001, Kinneberg was the associate head coach at Arizona. He served an assistant baseball coach at Arizona State from 1992-94. In his last two seasons, Kinneberg helped lead the Sun Devils to back-to-back appearances in the College World Series.

Kinneberg and his wife Janet have two sons, Joe (17) and David (15).

 

Staff

Mike Crawford

Associate Head Coach
Recruiting Coordinator

mcrawford@huntsman.utah.edu

Mike Crawford is in his 10th year as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Utah, and his second season as associate head coach.

Crawford has had 12 pitchers drafted during his time at Utah, including seven in the first 10 rounds. Tyler Wagner was a fourth-round pick by Milwaukee in 2012 and made his major league debut in 2015. The Utes had three pitchers drafted in 2017: Riley Ottesen (5th round), Jayson Rose (8th round) and Andre Jackson (12th round). Rose was a two-time All-Pac-12 player at Utah. In 2017, Ute opponents were held to a .264 batting average and 247 runs scored, both low marks since Utah joined the Pac-12. Utah led the league with 14 pickoffs. Utah set a team record with 421 strikeouts in 2009.

Crawford previously spent two seasons as associate head coach at Yavapai College. From 2002-05, Crawford was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Cochise College. Crawford played at the University of Arizona from 1999-2000. He was a starting pitcher at Yavapai College in 1997-98 and was named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Pitcher of the Year in 1998. Crawford has a son, Kolby (12).

Jay Brossman

Assistant Coach

jbrossman@huntsman.utah.edu

Former four-time all-conference Ute infielder Jay Brossman is in his seventh season on the baseball staff and his second as a full-time assistant with the Utes, serving as hitting coach and running the offense.

Utah's .287 batting average in 2017 was its highest since the Utes joined the Pac-12 in 2012. Utah ranked fourth in the league in batting average, third in on-base percentage and fourth in runs scored and RBI last season. Dallas Carroll ranked in the top five in in the Pac-12 in several major hitting categories and earned All-America honors from the ABCA. Carroll and DaShawn Keirsey Jr., both earned All-Pac-12 honors.

Brossman worked two seasons (2015-16) as the volunteer assistant coach for the Utes. He also served two years as the director of operations and one year as a student assistant coach. During his Ute playing career from 2004-07, he hit .359 and set school records for hits, doubles and total bases.

Brossman was selected in the 36th round of the 2007 MLB Draft and spent five years in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system. He was a Pioneer League All-Star in 2007. Jay and his wife Jenny have two sons, Colten and Caleb.

Parker Guinn

Volunteer Assistant Coach

pguinn@huntsman.utah.edu

Parker Guinn is in his first season as a volunteer assistant coach at Utah. Guinn joins the Utes from Washington, where he was a student manager in 2017.

Guinn played three seasons at catcher for Washington (2012-14) before transferring to SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) for his senior season in 2015.

Guinn was the volunteer assistant coach at SIUE in 2016. He served as the head coach for the U16 team of the Narrows Baseball Club from 2016-17.

Guinn is originally from Las Vegas, Nev., and attended high school in Gig Harbor, Wash. He earned a degree in mass communications with a minor in business administration from SIUE in 2015.

A New Home

Utah Athletics has announced plans to build a $7.5 million baseball stadium, providing a state-of-the-art on-campus home for Ute baseball. The project would transform Ute Field, the current baseball practice facility on Guardsman Way, into a 2,000-seat stadium with an artificial turf surface.

Current Team Facilities

Utah baseball makes use of excellent facilities on and off campus, including the state-of-the-art Sorenson High Performance Center and picturesque Smith's Ballpark in downtown Salt Lake City.

Here's a closer look.


Smith's Ballpark

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Ute Baseball Field

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Sorenson High Performance Center

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Spence Eccles Field House

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Tradition

The Utes were the 2016 Pac-12 Conference champions, winning the title in one of the nation's top-rated baseball leagues that boasts a record 28 NCAA championships. The Utes head into the 2018 season coming off back-to-back Pac-12 upper division finishes after tying for fifth in 2017.

Utah has advanced to NCAA Regionals twice in the last nine years. The Utes made their first NCAA appearance since 1960 in 2009 after winning the MWC Tournament. The Utes went 2-2 to finish as the runner-up in the Fullerton Regional. Utah went 1-2 in the Oxford Regional in 2016, getting a 10-inning win over No. 7-ranked Ole Miss in the tournament opener.


In his first stint as Utah's head coach, Bill Kinneberg led Utah a then school-record 30 wins in 1996. The team he assembled before leaving to become the associate head coach at Arizona won 36 games and captured the WAC North Division title in 1997. In Utah's final year in the Mountain West Conference, Kinneberg led Utah to 29 wins and a runner-up finish in the league.

Dallas Carroll

2017 Third-Team All-American

Utah's Greatest

Four Utes have earned All-America honors since 1997.

First baseman C.J. Cron was named first-team All-American in 2010 and 2011, making the Baseball America, NCBWA, ABCA, Perfect Game, ESPN, and Louisville Slugger teams the second year.

Shortstop Ryan Khoury was an All-American in 2006, making the ABCA first-team, NCBWA second-team, and the Collegiate Baseball third team.

Chris Shelton was a third-team NCBWA and a second-team Collegiate Baseball All-American in 2001.

Senior third baseman Dallas Carroll was named a third-team ABCA/Rawlings All-American and a first-team All-West Region selection in 2017.

Some of the best pitchers in school history have come through the program in recent years. Jayson Rose, a two-time All-Pac-12 pick who was drafted in 2017, holds both the career (256) and single-season (106) strikeout records. Tyler Wagner, a 2012 MLB draft pick, owns both the single-season (12) and career (17) saves marks, as well as the single-season record for lowest ERA (2.04). Two-time honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick Mitch Watrous tied the record for strikeouts in a game (12) in 2012. Dalton Carroll, a 2016 MLB draft pick, holds the career record for innings pitched (316 2/3).

Ryan Khoury

Utah has garnered seven All-Pac-12 team selections the last two years. Dallas Carroll, center fielder DaShawn Keirsey Jr., and pitcher Jayson Rose earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2017. It was the second consecutive year on the squad for all three. A record four Utes made the All-Pac-12 team in 2016.

DaShawn Keirsey Jr. was named the 2016 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team.

Eight Utah players were named to the Pac-12 All-Academic team in 2017, led by second-team selections Chandler Anderson and Ellis Kelly.

Ute Pros

Utah has had 10 players taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft since 2008.

For the first time in the program's history, three Ute players were taken in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Draft in 2017. Four were selected overall, which ties the school's high mark. Utah's 2017 selections were Riley Ottesen (5th round, Dodgers), Jayson Rose (8th round, Brewers), Dallas Carroll (9th round, Brewers) and Andre Jackson (12th round, Dodgers).

In addition to Ottesen, Rose and Carroll in 2017, Mitch Watrous (eighth round, 2014), Nick Green (10th round, 2014) and Bret Helton (ninth round, 2015) have been top 10 round selections over the past four years.

C.J. Cron, who was Utah's first-ever first-round draft pick in 2011, made his Major League debut in 2014 with the Los Angeles Angels as a 1B/DH and is in his fourth season with the big league club. He set career-best marks with a .278 batting average, 16 home runs and 69 RBI in 2016.

Pitcher Stephen Fife, a third-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2008, spent time in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers over three seasons (2012-14) before suffering an injury.

Pitcher Tyler Wagner, taken by Milwaukee in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, made his major league debut with the Brewers in May 2015. He earned his MLB first win with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016. He is currently with the Texas Rangers' organization in AAA.

Tyler Wagner
Tyler Wagner

Catcher Parker Morin advanced to AAA with the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) in 2016 and has been with Omaha for the majority of the 2017 season.

Pitcher Trey Nielsen has advanced to AAA Memphis in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. The Salt Lake City native was drafted in 2013 and was on Italy's roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

C.J. Cron
C.J. Cron

A Night With…

Since 2004, Utah has ushered in the season by bringing in baseball celebrities for a special banquet to support the program. The guest list includes: Terry Francona (2005, '08, ‘17), Cal Ripken Jr. (2006), Brooks Robinson (2007), Harmon Killebrew (2009), Bruce Hurst (2010), Dave Winfield (2011), Ozzie Smith (2012), Tommy Lasorda (2013), John Farrell (2014), Jim Palmer (2015) and Ned Yost (2016).

Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg (right) welcomed manager Terry Francona (left) of the 2016 American League Champion Cleveland Indians to the 2017 Utah Baseball Banquet.