SEMO baseball coach ready for first alumni game

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Southeast Missouri State baseball coach Mark Hogan said the trash talking has been underway for a while.

"Guys are saying they're going to go deep," Hogan said. "I've already told people I'm going to strike them out."

As he spoke, Hogan was laughing, which he considers appropriate because he expects Southeast baseball's inaugural alumni game to be plenty of fun.

The event is set for Friday at Capaha Field, with introductions at 6 p.m. followed by the game at 6:30. Hogan said the public is encouraged to attend.

"I really think it's going to be a very enjoyable evening," Hogan said. "Hopefully the weather will hold out."

Unfortunately, the forecast calls for rain during the day Friday, though less of a chance in the evening.

Hogan, a former Southeast pitcher who is in his 16th year as the program's coach, said he's pleased that an alumni game finally is a reality.

"I've had so many people ask about it over the years," said Hogan, who finished his college eligibility in 1977. "It's long overdue. I'm really glad we've put it together. It will be great to see all the guys.

"With it being homecoming, it's just a great time to have it."

Hogan said the plan is to hold an alumni game every other year.

"I think most programs do it that way, so it doesn't get worn out," he said.

Hogan said 46 former players -- ranging from the late 1960s to 2008 -- have confirmed they will attend.

"We should have a very good turnout," Hogan said. "You're talking about the players and their families. ... There will be a lot of people here."

Among those planning to participate is former major leaguer Kerry Robinson, who completed his Southeast eligibility in 1995.

All-American Zach Borowiak (final year in 2003), who currently plays in the Boston Red Sox minor league system, also plans to take part.

The same goes for All-American Todd Pennington (2002), a former minor leaguer.

As for the game itself, Hogan -- who was serious when he said he'll take the mound -- said, "We'll divide into teams and play until everybody gets worn out."

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