Sept. 24, 2010
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux named Brent Porche the programs new volunteer assistant as the Bulldogs opened fall practice at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park Friday afternoon.
"We're going to ease into fall practice and it's mainly to give them reps and see as much as we can from our dual players," said Simoneaux. "We've got nine guys that are position players that also pitch and we need to determine whether or not they are going to continue to do both or choose one or another."
Spending the last week going through individual workouts and walk-on tryouts, Tech started the afternoon practice with defensive and position specific drills prior to breaking out into fungo drills and batting practice.
Perhaps the biggest adjustment for an offense that totaled a .336 batting average and belted 81 homeruns and 441 RBI will be the institution of a new testing system for aluminum bats by the NCAA, essentially banning the use of composite bats.
"You have to make the best of your situations and be able to get the runs in while they are out there and score without hits," said Simoneaux. "It's important to be able to get hit by pitches, be able to walk, bunt and move runners - the things that we like to do. We are going to have to go back to old school baseball and play the game the way it is supposed to be played."
With 27 scholarship athletes and 13 walk-ons vying for spots on the 35-man roster, the coaching staff will be using fall practice to evaluate talent that will allow Tech to contend for a conference title this season.
"Some players will be surprises and some will be disappointments but it's a marathon, not a sprint," said Simoneaux. "We've got to come out here and teach them how to work every day. It's not what you do in the first day of fall practice - it's what you are capable of doing when we are going to our conference tournament or regional at the end of the year."
Joining the Bulldog staff this season as a volunteer assistant coach is Brent Porche.
A native of Baton Rouge, Porche began his collegiate career at Tech prior to transferring to Louisiana State University in Shreveport where he was instrumental in the Pilot's first ever regular season Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championship team in 2005. During his four seasons in Shreveport, Porche led LSUS to three consecutive GCAC tournament championships from 2006-08 as the squad finished as the Region XIII runners-up on three occasions.
"He has tremendous catching experience," said Simoneaux. "He is the son of a coach and he is a good kid and a family man. He'll work with our catchers predominantly and be our bullpen coach during the season while helping out with scouting reports. He's a good young man that will work hard for us."
While in school, Porche assisted LSUS associate head coach Chris Bertrand with the Gametime Academy Angels 18U baseball team during the summer of 2007 and 2008. The Angles notched back-to-back quarterfinal appearances in the Premier Baseball World Championships while totaling four tournament titles.
After his eligibility expired as a student-athlete, Porche spent the 2009 season as a student assistant under head coach Rocke Musgraves while finishing his undergraduate degree before he was promoted to graduate assistant during the 2010 season.
As a graduate assistant, Porche instructed both outfielders and catchers while assisting Musgraves with the Pilot offense as the team captured the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship in 2010.
Under the direction of Porche, the LSUS offense established single-season school records in runs scored (614), walks (366) and homeruns (103) during the 2010 campaign.
In his two seasons on the Pilots coaching staff, Porche instructed OF Chase Wentz, an 18th round selection in the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and C Andrew Brouillette, a 2010 all-American honoree.
The Bulldogs will go through their second practice Saturday before partaking in their first intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday. Tech will conclude the fall practice session with their annual seven-game Fall World Series slated to take place from Oct. 29 - Nov. 6.