Notebook: Loudoun County Lefty Burke Commits to Pitch at JMU

September 19 - Donovan Burke, a senior left-hander at Loudoun County, committed last week to pitch at James Madison University, the magazine has confirmed.

The 6-foot, 160-pound Burke, who played this summer with Leesburg Post 34 and is a member of the Marucci Stars travel program, will become the Raiders’ first player to play at the Division I level since 2015 graduate Sam Rexroad, who played for one season at the Air Force Academy. Burke’s older brother, Patrick, pitches at Roanoke College.

Burke joins the Dukes’ 2019 recruiting class that includes Robinson catcher Ethan Rothstein. James Madison went 26-26 overall and 11-13 in the Colonial Athletic Association last season under coach Marlin Ikenberry.

After Trading Spikes for Pads, Beal Catches 1st Career Collegiate Touchdown

Evan Beal (South County) caught a 10-yard touchdown in Southeastern University’s 58-14 win at Cincinnati Christian University on Saturday, the former minor league pitcher’s first career touchdown since switching sports earlier this year.

The 25-year-old freshman tight end has two catches for 17 yards this season for Southeastern, a NAIA school located in Lakeland, FL. He and his brother, Jesse, ended professional baseball careers marred by injuries to take to the gridiron. Jesse Beal, a freshman tight end at West Virginia University, has not yet made his collegiate football debut.

Evan Beal had a successful four-year minor league career, posting a 2.93 ERA in 108 relief appearances as a member of the Kansas City and Miami organizations. Jesse Beal, 28, pitched professionally for 10 seasons after being selected out of South County by Baltimore in 2008, but missed two full seasons with injuries and retired after pitching in independent ball in 2016-17.

VBCA Hosting Coaching Clinic and Convention in Charlottesville

The new Virginia Baseball Coaches Association will be hosting its inaugural coaching clinic and convention from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville.

Headline speakers at the clinic include Division I head coaches Paul Mainieri (Louisiana State), Brian O’Connor (Virginia), Tom Walter (Wake Forest) and Shawn Stiffler (Virginia Commonwealth), and the event’s agenda will also include instruction, demonstrations, clinics and vendors.

For more information or to register, visit VBCA’s clinic page here.

Photo of Donovan Burke by Tom Watts