The Polk State College fall baseball schedule is filled with opportunity.
The schedule not only includes a variety of travel ball teams and state college opponents, it features two opportunities for Polk coaches, other college coaches and professional scouts to check out the talents of the players.
Plus, the FCSAA Sophomore All-Star weekend in Lakeland offers an opportunity for Corbeil’s players to shine once again.
With just seven returning players from the 2013 spring squad, including one starting pitcher, the entire fall baseball schedule is crucial for coach Al Corbeil and his staff.
“With the amount of turnover we’ve had, the fall is a great way to evaluate our guys and hopefully to watch them continually progress, not only in an intrasquad setting, but in game action as well,” said Corbeil, who enters his fourth year with Polk.
The future Eagles will have big shoes to fill as the squad came up one game short of making the FCSAA 2013 playoffs.
Developing playoff contenders starts in the fall.
The Polk State coaches will want to watch as much action as they can as the temperatures cool down and the competition heats up — not only for starting jobs, but a chance to show off in front of the professional scouts and four-year coaches.
According to Corbeil, many a Polk player has earned future interest through the fall schedule.
“The four-year schools are doing a lot of recruiting at the JUCO level,” said Corbeil. “A lot of guys in the fall have committed for the following year.”
The Eagles open the fall campaign with some tough competition this weekend as they host 11 state college teams in their annual JUCO Twin Classic Saturday and Sunday at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale.
Polk State plays Suncoast rival St. Petersburg College Saturday at noon. The Eagles meet Broward College at 3 p.m.
Sunday, the Eagles face Eastern Florida at noon and Indian River State College at 3 p.m.
According to Corbeil, the event is well attended by professional scouts and four-year university coaches.
In addition, several high school teams will be competing.
“The fall is great,” said Corbeil. “A lot of these teams have some pretty good arms.”
No doubt Polk players will look toward another event that features college coaches and pro scouts — the Polk State Scout Day on Oct. 16 and FCSAA Sophomore All-Star Weekend on Oct. 26.
According to Corbeil, more than 20 professional scouts and coaches from four-year universities will be on hand to see who has the skills on Pro Scout Day.
“We’ve had some guys get offers from these,” Corbeil said.
The FSCAA Sophomore All-Star Weekend at Joker Marchant Stadium features any player from the state selected to their respective All-Conference teams. The event includes participation in a workout and a game. Some players will take part in both the game and the workout.
For Polk, sophomores Daniel Sweet (Mississippi) and Matt Pearce (Bonita Springs) will be selected to compete.
Both were Suncoast Conference First-Team selections and former FCSAA Players of the Week.
Infielder Cody DeNoyelles (Windermere), Alec Wong (Rockledge), Sam Machonis (Tampa), Joe Novis (Lakeland) and pitcher Jose Serrano (Haines City) may gain some attention.
With the returners, a talented freshman class and a good showing in the fall, the Eagles should quickly become Suncoast and FCSAA contenders again, despite the fall results.
“You want to win every game, but it’s more about getting our guys ready for the spring,” said Corbeil.