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Southwestern Baseball "Kent" Get Enough

Updated: Thursday, February 6 2014, 11:09 PM CST

Despite what Mother Nature has to say about it, Southwestern University head baseball coach R.J. Thomas is turning up the heat when it comes to rebuilding his program.

"We are trying to get this program back to where it was when Coach [Jim] Mallon had it running like a finely-tuned engine," Thomas told KEYE TV sports.

Therefore, Thomas hired an assistant coach so impressive, that nobody even believed it.

"I thought it was a joke at first," admitted Southwestern third baseman Zach Lynch.

"Is it that Jeff Kent?," people would ask.

Yes, that Jeff Kent. The 2000 National League MVP who hit 377 career home runs and got more Pro Baseball Hall of Fame votes this year than Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly and Sammy Sosa.

"I'm a former pro baseball player who has a lot of knowledge," Jeff Kent said. "If I can pass it on to the next kid, hopefully he'll get better from it. If that happens, then cool."

Of course turning a double play is how Kent, a former second baseman, got to Southwestern. A resident of Bee Cave, Kent works with Keith Jackson's Action baseball club - a local college development program. When Jackson joined the Pirates as pitching coach this summer, he helped recruit the 17-year Major League veteran to be a volunteer assistant at SU.

"If you can pass on some knowledge you've learned through the past, like I can to them, that makes them better or  gives them an advantage over someone else - maybe they can take it and run with it," Kent said.

Kent hit more home runs than any other second baseman to ever play Major League Baseball. But here at Southwestern, he's not swinging for the fences. Kent says it's not his goal to turn all of these guys into pro ballplayers. That wasn't even his own goal.

"I never wanted to be a pro ballplayer.," Kent recalled. "I used baseball to go get an education to go get a real job. I just happened that baseball kept panning out for me."

"We college athletes and baseball players pay attention to him," said Southwestern pitcher Nino Tutino. "We listen, we don't talk, we want to absorb as much as we can from him."

After making a career of punishing pitchers' stuff, Kent threw himself a curve ball.

"There's one thing I swore I'd never do when I retired: that was be a little league coach," Kent admitted.

When he's not working with the Pirates, you guessed it - he's coaching his son's little league team.

"The younger kids, they don't know who the heck I was or what I did," Kent joked. "You were a ballplayer? You're just a fat old man."

"Recruits are interested," Coach Thomas said. "We've got middle infield guys that are looking forward to him being around next year when they come in as freshman."

Now if Mother Nature will just hold up her end of the bargain.

by Adam Winkler
Southwestern Baseball "Kent" Get Enough


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Scores & Schedules

September 04, 2015 07:08 GMT

AM Prep-Scores and Skeds

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Thursday's Games

Chicago White Sox 6, Minnesota 4

Kansas City 15, Detroit 7

Friday's Games

Tampa Bay (Odorizzi 6-7) at N.Y. Yankees (Severino 2-2), 7:05 p.m.

Baltimore (U.Jimenez 9-9) at Toronto (Hutchison 13-2), 7:07 p.m.

Cleveland (Kluber 8-13) at Detroit (Lobstein 3-5), 7:08 p.m.

Philadelphia (Morgan 5-4) at Boston (J.Kelly 8-6), 7:10 p.m.

Chicago White Sox (Joh.Danks 6-12) at Kansas City (Medlen 3-0), 8:10 p.m.

Minnesota (Pelfrey 6-8) at Houston (McHugh 14-7), 8:10 p.m.

Seattle (Olmos 1-0) at Oakland (Brooks 1-1), 10:05 p.m.

Texas (M.Perez 2-3) at L.A. Angels (Richards 12-10), 10:05 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Thursday's Games

Washington 15, Atlanta 1

Milwaukee 5, Pittsburgh 3

Colorado 11, San Francisco 3

San Diego 10, L.A. Dodgers 7

Friday's Games

Arizona (Godley 4-0) at Chicago Cubs (Lester 8-10), 2:20 p.m.

Atlanta (Teheran 9-7) at Washington (Roark 4-4), 7:05 p.m.

Milwaukee (Garza 6-14) at Cincinnati (Sampson 2-2), 7:10 p.m.

N.Y. Mets (deGrom 12-7) at Miami (Koehler 8-13), 7:10 p.m.

Philadelphia (Morgan 5-4) at Boston (J.Kelly 8-6), 7:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh (Happ 3-1) at St. Louis (C.Martinez 13-6), 8:15 p.m.

San Francisco (Heston 11-8) at Colorado (J.De La Rosa 8-6), 8:40 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (Bolsinger 5-3) at San Diego (Shields 1

NFL PRESEASON

Thursday's Games

Green Bay 38, New Orleans 10

Atlanta 20, Baltimore 19

Cincinnati 9, Indianapolis 6

N.Y. Jets 24, Philadelphia 18

Tampa Bay 22, Miami 17

Jacksonville 17, Washington 16

Carolina 23, Pittsburgh 6

Detroit 17, Buffalo 10

N.Y. Giants 12, New England 9

Tennessee 24, Minnesota 17

Chicago 24, Cleveland 0

Dallas 21, Houston 14

Kansas City 24, St. Louis 17

Arizona 22, Denver 20

Seattle 31, Oakland 21

San Francisco 14, San Diego 12

WNBA

Thursday's Games

Chicago 82, New York 60

Tulsa 85, Seattle 67

Los Angeles 93, Washington 91

Friday's Games

Connecticut at San Antonio, 8 p.m.

Indiana at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Saturday's Games

Phoenix at San Antonio, 8 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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