CAA Baseball Weekly Report - April 8
Ben Verlander, Old Dominion
Jr., OF, Maidens, Va./Goochland
Verlander batted .438 with a homer, four runs scored and five RBI’s in ODU’s 3-1 week, which included a three-game CAA sweep at JMU. The junior was 3-for-5 with three runs scored in Friday’s 7-4 win over the Dukes and went 3-for-5 with his league-leading 9th homer and four RBI’s in Sunday’s 14-2 victory at JMU. He’s batting .402 for the year.
CAA BASEBALL PITCHERS OF THE WEEK:
Christian McDonald, UNCW
Jr., LHP, Virginia Beach, Va./Greenbrier Academy
McDonald gave up just two hits over 7.1 shutout innings in UNCW’s 4-1 victory over Davidson on Sunday. The junior lefty retired 13 consecutive batters before giving up a single in the 8th and finished with four strikeouts. McDonald improved to 4-0 on the season with a 2.91 ERA.
Matt Soren, Delaware
Sr., RHP, Roslyn, N.Y./Roslyn
Soren allowed only four hits over 7.0 shutout innings in Delaware’s 16-1 win over George Mason on Sunday that completed a three-game sweep. The senior right-hander struck out six and didn’t give up an extra-base hit. For the season, Soren is 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA.
CAA BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Matt Rose, Georgia State
Fr., IF/P, Melbourne, Fla./Palm Bay
Rose contributed at the plate and on the mound in Georgia State’s four-game sweep of Fordham over the weekend. The freshman infielder batted .400 (4-10) with four RBI’s, driving in a pair of runs in Saturday’s 5-3 victory and Sunday’s 5-2 triumph. He also struck out the side in the ninth to earn a save in Sunday’s win.
DELAWARE (22-8, 9-3 in CAA)
The Blue Hens went 4-0 last week, extending their winning streak to 12 games. UD defeated Temple 5-3 to advance to the championship game of the Liberty Bell Classic before sweeping a three-game series from George Mason to move up to second in the CAA standings. Jimmy Yezzo batted .333 with three homers, five RBI’s and six runs scored last week. He’s reached base in 42 straight games and is batting .444 with a league-high 42 RBI’s this season. DJ Long belted a walk-off three-run homer in an 11-8 victory over Mason last Friday. Brock Niggebrugge is riding an 11-game hitting streak and is batting .512 with 11 RBI’s and 11 runs in that stretch. Matt Soren limited Mason to four hits over seven shutout innings in a 16-1 win on Sunday, while Adam Davis held Mason to one run over 6.2 frames in a 7-1 victory on Saturday.
GEORGE MASON (12-20, 4-11 in CAA)
The Patriots went 0-5 last week and have dropped eight in a row. Mason couldn’t hold on to a 9-7 lead in the ninth against GW last Tuesday and surrendered a 5-0 advantage in a setback to Longwood last Wednesday. Third baseman Blaise Fernandez batted .450 (9-20) with a double, triple, homer and six runs scored last week. He has reached base safely in 39 consecutive games dating back to last season and leads the team with a .388 batting average. Junior Tucker Tobin is among the CAA’s top five in hits (48), homers (7), RBI’s (30) and total bases (82).
GEORGIA STATE (20-13, 5-7 in CAA)
The Panthers swept a four-game weekend series from Fordham. Freshman Matt Rose batted .400 with four RBI in three games and also earned a save in Sunday’s 5-2 victory after recording three straight strikeouts. Shortstop Chad Prain leads the nation with a .469 batting average and is second in the league with 34 RBI’s despite batting at the top of the lineup. His 20-game hitting streak was snapped last week but he’s reached base in 30 straight games. As a team, GSU is among the top five nationally in batting average, runs, hits, doubles and on-base percentage. Coach Greg Frady won his 400th game as a collegiate head coach on Sunday, with 213 victories coming in seven seasons at GSU.
HOFSTRA (14-18, 4-8 in CAA)
The Pride pushed their winning streak to nine (one shy of a school record) with victories over Manhattan (12-3), NYIT (11-3) and Northeastern (9-2) before dropping their final two games to the Huskies. Chris Nardo batted .421 with three RBI’s and five runs scored last week but had a 10-game hit streak end on Sunday. Matt Reistetter stayed hot, hitting .462 with a homer and seven RBI’s in four games. Pitcher David D’Errico limited NU to two runs on six hits over 7.1 innings last Friday in his longest stint since returning from Tommy John surgery. He retired 13 batters in a row at one point. Nick Kozlowski gave up just two runs and one hit over 7.0 innings in two relief appearances and fanned nine.
JAMES MADISON (14-16, 6-8 in CAA)
The Dukes went 0-4 last week and have lost seven in a row, including six in CAA play. Johnny Bladel had his 16-game hitting streak come to an end on Saturday but has reached base in 26 straight games. Bladel ranks among national leaders in on-base percentage (.538). Chad Carroll hit his nation’s-leading seventh triple on Friday and is one shy of the JMU season record. The Dukes hit just .228 as a team last week, with Carroll (.417), Conner Brown (.333) and Bradley Shaban (.333) leading the way. Ben Garner allowed just an unearned run and three hits over 5.2 innings in a pair of relief appearances last week. The Dukes are 14-0 this season when leading after six innings but are 0-16 when trailing after six frames.
UNCW (23-10, 7-1 in CAA)
The Seahawks split tough non-conference games with College of Charleston (7-2) and #1 North Carolina (0-10) before taking two-of-three from Davidson over the weekend. Luke Dunlap batted .467 (7-15) for the week with a double, homer, six runs scored and four RBI’s. Michael Bass, who is batting .406 and has a 24-game hitting streak, sat out last week with an ankle injury. Hunter Ridge has 178 career RBI’s and is four shy of UNCW’s all-time mark. UNCW pitchers allowed just five runs in its three-game series with Davidson. Christian McDonald (4-0) limited Davidson to two hits over 7.1 shutout innings in Sunday’s 4-1 win. He retired 13 in a row at one point. Freshman Evan Phillips held CofC to a run on four hits over 6.0 innings. Mat Batts is 2-1 with a 0.69 ERA in his last three starts and opponents are hitting just .141 against him.
NORTHEASTERN (18-13, 7-8 in CAA)
The Huskies went 3-2 last week, including a pair of CAA victories over Hofstra. Connor Lyons was 2-for-4 with three RBI’s and Aaron Barbosa was 3-for-5 with three runs scored in Sunday’s 9-1 win over the Pride, while Rob Fonseca was 2-for-3 and scored twice in Saturday’s 4-1 triumph. On the mound, Kevin Ferguson gave up just a run on five hits over 8.2 innings on Sunday to improve to 5-2 with a 1.86 ERA. On Saturday, Nick Berger didn’t allow an earned run over 7.0 innings. Dylan Maki recorded his league-leading fifth save of the season on Saturday and now has a school-record 15 saves for his career.
OLD DOMINION (16-14, 7-8 in CAA)
The Monarchs swept a three-game CAA series at JMU over the weekend to move into a tie for fifth place. Junior Ben Verlander batted .438 with a homer, four runs scored and five RBI’s last week. He’s hitting .402 for the season and tops the CAA with nine homers. Austin McGowan was 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBI’s and Brian Bashara was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI’s as ODU had 19 hits in a 14-2 victory on Sunday. Freshman Tommy Alexander threw 4.1 shutout innings of relief to earn his first collegiate win in the game. Dean Ali evened his record at 2-2 after giving up two runs over 6.1 innings in Friday’s 7-4 win. Ali has a 2.09 ERA and opponents are batting just .196.
TOWSON (15-16, 7-5 in CAA)
The Tigers ended a seven-game losing streak by taking two-of-three from William & Mary over the weekend. Towson batted .339 and scored 27 runs against the Tribe’s highly-ranked pitching staff. Peter Bowles batted .357 with two homers and six RBI’s versus W&M, including a three-run blast in Sunday’s 13-8 win. Shortstop Hunter Bennett hit an inside-the-park homer on Sunday, which was Towson’s first at Schuerholz Park since 1992. The Tigers turned five double plays against W&M and are among the nation’s leaders with 44 in 31 games. Seventeen of Towson’s season-high 19 hits were singles in Friday’s 13-8 victory over the Tribe. Four Tigers had three hits apiece in the contest.
WILLIAM & MARY (21-12, 6-3 in CAA)
The Tribe lost three of four last week, but posted a 5-2 victory at Towson on Saturday. Senior John Farrell improved to 7-0 and lowered his ERA to a league-best 1.55 after allowing just three Towson hits over seven shutout innings. Farrell fanned seven Tigers and has 48 strikeouts with only six walks this season. Ryan Lindemuth provided the offense in the win, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI’s. Ryan Brown was 2-for-4 and drove in two in Friday’s 12-4 setback to TU and 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI’s in Sunday’s 13-8 loss. It was the first time that W&M had lost a weekend series since dropping two-of-three at Clemson to open the year.