College Notebook: Camp Settles in As Mason’s Pitching Coach

October 17 - Shawn Camp is no stranger to Raymond H. “Hap” Spuhler Field, the home park of George Mason. It’s there where he set the program record for strikeouts per nine innings from 1995-97 before an 11-year career as a Major League reliever.

Now, Camp has returned to ‘The Hap’ as the Patriots’ pitching coach, and the early returns have been good. 

“It’s been great having him around. He’s made a huge, positive impact on our staff,” said Lyle Miller-Green, a freshman from Lake Braddock who will pitch and play first base. “Camp has brought so much knowledge, not only the staff but to the entire team So everyone is pumped that he’s here.”

Camp takes over pitching coach duties from Brian Pugh, who is now the program’s recruiting coordinator and third base coach. He joined coach Bill Brown’s staff after spending his first five years post-retirement as the pitching coach at Battlefield, where he helped develop eight college pitchers, including four who went on to pitch at the Division I level. 

“The impact Shawn has, not just from the standpoint with his expertise in teaching pitching, but is the aura that comes with him,” Brown said. “The energy, the fun that comes with him, not only does that rub off on our kids but it impacts recruiting as well. And we’ve seen that already.”

JMU Releases Schedule, Will Face Mason in Consecutive Weeks in April

James Madison last week released its 2020 schedule, which includes games against three teams that made the NCAA Tournament and its annual home-and-home series with in-state rival George Mason. 

The Dukes, which went 31-26 last spring in coach Marlin Ikenberry’s fourth season, open their season with a three-game series at N.C. State from Feb. 14-16. They’ll open at home the following weekend against Quinnipiac, the reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion. 

James Madison’s schedule includes 10 games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents - three-game series against the Wolfpack and at Pittsburgh and midweek games against Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech. They’ll play a home-and-home with the Terrapins. The Dukes’ two games against George Mason are on Apr. 8 in Fairfax and Apr. 14 in Harrisonburg. 

Their 2020 roster includes eight players from Northern Virginia, including the following returners: right-hander Nick Stewart (Rock Ridge), left-hander Liam McDonnell (Paul VI Catholic), catchers Kyle Hayes (Madison) and Michael Morgan (Paul VI Catholic), infielders Fox Semones (C.D. Hylton) and Kyle Novak (Madison) and first baseman Brady Harju; and the following incoming freshmen: lefty Donovan Burke (Loudoun County) and catcher Ethan Rothstein (Robinson). 

ECU’s Agnos Shines in Scrimmages in Charlottesville

Zach Agnos (Battlefield), a two-time NOVA Nine Team selection, appears to be primed to have an impact as a two-way player during his freshman season this spring at East Carolina. 

The shortstop and right-hander had a single and a double in the Pirates’ first game against Virginia on Sunday in Charlottesville, then had his fastball reach 91 MPH when he took the mound for a couple relief innings in the second contest. Agnos is following his older brother, Jake, a left-hander who earned All-American honors at East Carolina last spring before being taken in the fourth round by the New York Yankees in June’s Major League Baseball Draft. 

“Good news, ECU fans. You may have lost an Agnos, but you gained an Agnos too, and this one is gonna be very good,” D1Baseball’s Aaron Fitt tweeted after taking in the two scrimmages. “Zach Agnos is a legit 2-way guy, had a liner single and a ringing double in Game 1, tough out, feel for barrel. And he attacks with three pitches, 88-91 [MPH] with sink.”

Photos of, clockwise from left, George Mason pitching coach Shawn Camp by Joey Kamide, Nick Stewart courtesy of JMU Athletics, and Zach Agnos courtesy of D1Baseball