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The Upper Deck



Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.


HOLBROOK HIRED

On Tuesday, Chad Holbrook appeared to be the choice as head coach for the College of Charleston, only to have the school's president veto the deal. By Wednesday, it seemed N.C. State pitching coach Scott Foxhall, the former CofC pitching coach, would get the job. But on Thursday, it circled back to Holbrook, the former South Carolina head man, and he was hired. He'll be introduced to the public today.

After his Gamecocks missed the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons, Holbrook resigned in June, despite going 200-106 in five seasons, winning 40 games in three of those five seasons and reaching super regionals in 20013 and 2016.

“I want to coach at College of Charleston for a long time, go to a bunch of NCAA regionals and retire here,” Holbrook told reporters. “I want this to be my last job.”

Holbrook replaces Matt Heath, who lasted just two seasons at College of Charleston and who was fired amid allegations of abusive behavior toward players. Heath has denied any wrongdoing and filed a lawsuit against the school for wrongful termination.


UBER-BALL

With their flight cancelled, four minor leaguers had to find another way to get from Phoenix to Albuquerque—and quick. So they did what many millennials do—they Ubered.

The four players—Dan Vogelbach, D.J. Peterson, Pat Light and Mark Lowe, all of Triple-A Tacoma (Mariners)—decided to take the 417-mile ride after their American Airlines flight was cancelled. The cost: $683, and it took seven hours, or about 5 1/2 hours longer than the flight would have.

The players made it on time, but alas Tacoma fell to Albuquerque, a Rockies affiliate, 6-5.


PITCHING IN

The U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, but nothing can keep church and baseball apart. Just ask the low Class A South Bend Cubs. Outside of their Four Winds Field home stands Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, in great need of repair of a leaky roof and broken-up sidewalk. So, like any good neighbor the Cubs pitched in.

The Cubs have offered the church about $30,000 for their repairs, ABC57 reported.

“God just works in ways where he brings people together and he brings help from places you didn’t expect the help to come from and that’s where the Cubs stepped in,” Pastor Chris Derrickson told the TV station.

South Bend Cubs president Joe Hart told the station it’s important to them to see the church thrive.


GOOD THINGS COME IN TWOS?

Two big leaguers each belted two homers on Thursday to power their teams to victory.

In Cincinnati, Jake Lamb went deep twice as Arizona pounded the Reds 12-2.

And in Boston, Justin Smoak continued his breakout season, belting homers Nos. 25-26 as Toronto toppled the Red Sox 8-6.
Nick Madrigal Danielshirleygetty

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