Feb. 3, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. - Baseball head coach Mike Batesole has been emphasizing the importance of academics to his Bulldog programs since arriving at Fresno State in the summer of 2002 and it shows. Combined with their success on the diamond, the Bulldogs have also excelled in the classroom, earning a 3.135 team GPA for the fall semester.
This marks the third straight semester the 'Dogs have earned over a 3.0 cumulative GPA as a team. The Bulldogs had 24-of-31 student-athletes finish the fall with over a 3.0 GPA, marking the most under Batesole for a single semester.
"We have had a change in the culture of college baseball across the country over the past 10 years," said Batesole. "I am happy to report that our program is out on the forefront."
Senior Cody Kendall was one of three Bulldogs to make the President's List. The kinesiology major has made the President's list twice and Dean's list five times during his college career.
Seniors Gene Escat, Trent Garrison, Patrick Hutcheson and Chris Mallory, along with sophomore J.D. Salles and freshmen Daniel Delaney and Jordan Luplow made the Dean's List for their performance in the classroom.
"We consistently preach to our players the importance of getting their degrees and hopefully winning a ring or two while they are here at Fresno State," said Batesole. "In the end, most kids get used by the game of baseball and are done playing after a brief minor league career. We are trying to change this culture by having our kids use the game of baseball to get their degree. In that way, whether they are one of the few who make their fortune in baseball or not, they are set up to have a career that they choose."
Under Batesole, 53 student-athletes have earned academic honors from the Western Athletic Conference. Eight Bulldogs earned Academic All-WAC honors at the end of the 2011 season with Kendall receiving CoSIDA Academic All-Region honors. Batesole has also coached the program's first Academic All-American in former Bulldog Steve Susdorf, an outfielder on the 2008 National Championship team.
With its consistent academic climb, Fresno State had a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 976 out of 1000 in 2010, far surpassing the NCAA minimum standard of 925. That same year, intercollegiate baseball programs at Division I public institutions averaged 953. The Bulldogs finished the 2008-09 academic year with a 990 APR. The NCAA describes the APR as an early indicator of eventual graduation rates.
Fresno State has officially begun practice and opens the 2012 season at home against Butler Feb. 17-19. Season and single game tickets are now available online or by calling the Bulldog Ticket Office at 559-278-3647.
"We Are Your Team!" The 2008 National Champion Bulldogs will begin their final season in the Western Athletic Conference before you know it. If you can't make it to Beiden Field, then listen to the 'Dogs on AM 940 KYNO, the flagship station for Bulldog baseball. Follow us on Facebook (fresnostateathletics) and Twitter (@FSAthletics). For up-to-date information on Bulldog baseball, log onto gobulldogs.com.
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