SAU baseball to host free camp to all local youths next month

The Southern Arkansas University Athletic Department is pleased to announce the return of the popular “Camping with the Cardinals” all-skills baseball camp.

The free camp is open to area youth ages 6-14 and will take place on Saturday, Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Magnolia High School Indoor Facility.

Pre-registration for the camp will begin on-site at 8:30 a.m. that morning.

The camp will once more be hosted and conducted by the coaching staff and players of the 2018 SAU baseball team, and will feature special instruction by current St. Louis Cardinals catching coach, Jamie Pogue, and MLB All-Star closer, Trevor Rosenthal.

The Magnolia A&P Commission, Albemarle Foundation, Magnolia, and Mulerider Athletics are co-sponsors of the camp once more, and free camp jersey shirts of Pogue and Rosenthal will be given out to the first 200 registered campers.

“We at Mulerider Athletics are really excited to continue to partner with the Magnolia A&P Commission and the Albemarle Foundation, Magnolia to offer this camp once more,” noted SAU Director of Athletics, Steve Browning. “Last year’s camp was a great success and saw a tremendous turnout from our community! We are eager to build on that momentum this year!”

“It is not every day that kids in our community get to be around professional athletes and the willingness of both Jamie Pogue and Trevor Rosenthal to come to Magnolia to help put on a camp like this means so much to everyone involved, especially the kids that will attend,” added SAU Head Baseball Coach, Justin Pettigrew. “This is also a really special opportunity for our baseball program, players and coaches alike, to engage with the community and continue to cultivate a culture of caring that has become the trademark of our University.”

Pogue, who played for the Muleriders as a senior in 1999, has been the Cardinals bullpen catcher/catchers coach since 2012 and helped St. Louis reach the 2013 World Series. In his lone year as a Mulerider, Pogue led the team in home runs (9), RBIs (61), slugging percentage (.643), runs scored (68), walks (39), and on-base percentage (.521). He was also second on the squad that year in batting average (.405), doubles (17), and hits (75) en route to being named All-Gulf South Conference First-Team and earning All-South Central Region accolades. Pogue later signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cardinals and was in their farm system until 2003.

“I am extremely excited and honored to be returning to Magnolia for the second annual Camping with the Cardinals baseball clinic,” remarked Pogue. “My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire weekend last time – from the camp, which hopefully had a positive impact on baseball in the community as well as each kid that attended – to showing my kids the campus where I went to college, watching some Mulerider basketball and spending time with some great friends! We are all eager to return to return to Magnolia for a weekend immersed in baseball and southern hospitality!”

Rosenthal, 27, recently completed his sixth season pitching out of the bullpen with the St. Louis Cardinals. Originally drafted by the Cardinals in 21st Round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Rosenthal made his major league debut in July of 2012 and asserted himself a valuable member of the bullpen since.

In 2014, Rosenthal became the Cardinals’ primary closer and tallied 45 saves that year. The following season, Rosenthal was named as a National League All-Star and ended the year with the second-most saves in the big leagues with a St. Louis-record 48 saves.

Armed with a blazing fastball that frequently reaches triple digits, Rosenthal has amassed 121 big league saves and has struck out 435 batters in 325.0 career innings pitched.

“I am really excited to be a part of Camping with the Cardinals this year,” remarked Rosenthal. “I heard a lot of great things from (Jamie) Pogue and (Michael) Wacha about last year’s camp and the resounding impact that is being made on the community of Magnolia and its youth baseball in just this short amount of time is tremendous. Pogue has also spoke so highly of the area and Southern Arkansas University from his time there, which adds to my excitement!””

In addition to the baseball skills aspect of the camp, the camp will also be a platform for the instructors to provide motivational talks with the campers about the importance of education and physical wellness.

“It should be a great day for the kids to learn a lot about baseball as well as the role education and overall physical wellness will play in their lives,” noted Pogue.

Additional instructors for the camp will include the following:

• Justin Pettigrew – SAU coach.

• Adam Anderson – SAU assistant coach.

• Brandon Stover – SAU assistant coach.

• Chris Townsend – SAU graduate assistant coach.

• Bobby Beeson – Magnolia head coach, SAU Sports Hall of Fame – 2016.

• TC Graham – Magnolia assistant coach.

• Steve Goodheart – Former SAU head coach, SAU Sports Hall of Fame – 2008.

• Steve Browning – SAU Director of Athletics, former SAU head coach.

• Current SAU and Magnolia baseball players.

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