May 21, 2009
Danny P Smith -
HOOVER, Ala. -- Chris Curry has returned to the Southeastern Conference Baseball tournament after 10 years.
In 1999, Curry played in the event in Hoover, Ala., as a catcher at Mississippi State. Now he''s back as a volunteer assistant at the University of Arkansas.
"It''s a big circle I''ve run and I''ve been blessed," Curry said. "I started out playing in one of the finest programs in the country, and I loved every second of it. I knew when my time (of playing) was up that I had to get back into this league, and coach (Dave) Van Horn gave me an opportunity (at Arkansas). There''s no better baseball in the country (than the SEC)."
Curry started at Meridian Community College before joining the Bulldogs. He said his time playing for coaches Corky Palmer and Scott Berry at Meridian C.C., and Ron Polk, Pat McMahon, and Jim Case at MSU helped him become a coach.
"When you talk about those men, you know you were trained at playing the game the right way," Curry said. "You get to know the game."
In his one season with the Bulldogs, Curry led SEC catchers in fielding percentage. He left MSU after being drafted in the ninth round of the 1999 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
Curry, a native of Conway, Ark., played professionally for seven years in the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants organization, making it as high as the Triple-A level with the Cubs.
Curry got his start in coaching as an assistant at Hendrix College in 2006-07. He was an assistant coach at Arkansas Tech in 2008.
"He''s an outstanding young coach," Van Horn said. "He has a great demeanor for the game and really knows the game. He''s done a great job with the catchers and he works with hitters well. He is firm but fair with the hitters."
Curry works with catchers and assists hitting coach Todd Butler. He also coaches first base.
"I don''t know anyone who knows the game more than him, especially as a catcher," Arkansas designated hitter Travis Sample said. "He''s had a huge impact and is like having another hitting coach. That''s a big advantage."
All evened up
With Georgia''s 6-3 victory against Ole Miss on Wednesday, the series is tied 31-31.
The Rebels have won six of the past 10 meetings, and took two out of three games during the regular season Southeastern Conference series in Oxford.
The Rebels and Bulldogs have split their only two meetings in the SEC Tournament.
Ole Miss senior catcher Kyle Henson extended his hitting streak to seven games with his three singles against Georgia.
The SEC Player of the Week has 10 multi-hit games this season and four three-hit outings.
Walking up chart
Georgia issued two walks to Ole Miss left fielder Logan Power, putting him fourth in school history with 119 walks.
Home run success
Georgia is 15-2 record this season when it hits at least one home run in a game.
With the grand slam by Matt Cerione, the Bulldogs have hit 98 homers this year, which is second only to the 102 home runs hit by the 1987 squad.