CAA BASEBALL Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Jason Appel, UNC Wilmington
Sr., OF, Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK
Appel batted .579 (11-19) with six runs scored and five RBI as UNCW went 4-0 on the road last week. The senior laced a two-out single in the ninth to give the Seahawks a 6-5 victory over VCU on Sunday, extending the nation’s longest winning streak to 20 games.
CAA BASEBALL Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Justin Bour, George Mason
So., 1B, Centreville, Va./Westfield
Bour batted .538 (14-26) with three homers, six runs scored and 13 RBI as George Mason split six games. The sophomore had four hits against ACC foe Maryland, hit two homers and drove in seven against Liberty and had a homer and four RBI in the ODU opener.
CAA BASEBALL PITCHER OF THE WEEK:
Ryan Bergh, Old Dominion
Sr., RHP, Reddick, Fla./Oak Hall
Bergh tossed his second straight complete game to lead Old Dominion to a 3-1 win over George Mason in Sunday’s deciding game of the series. The senior right-hander allowed just four hits and one earned run, while fanning four and walking none.
CAA BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
McKinnon Langston, James Madison
Fr., 3B, Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian
Langston batted .400 (6-15) with three doubles, four runs scored and three RBI as James Madison went 4-1 last week, including a three-game sweep at Hofstra. The freshman also drew three walks and was perfect in 23 chances defensively.
UNCW Moves Into National Polls: UNC Wilmington is ranked #19 this week by Collegiate Baseball and #20 by Baseball America. The Seahawks swept defending league champ VCU over the weekend to improve to 12-0 in CAA play and extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 20 games. It is the first time that UNCW has ever been ranked in the national polls.
CAA In The RPI: Five CAA baseball teams are ranked in the top 90 of the RPI through games of March 30 according to popular college baseball web site boydsworld.com. UNC Wilmington, which is riding the nation’s longest winning streak at 20 games, leads the way at #13, followed by James Madison at #60, Old Dominion at #77, William & Mary at #79 and Georgia State at #87. The CAA is ranked #12 as a conference.
DELAWARE (8-16, 3-6 in CAA)
The Blue Hens went 2-2 last week but dropped two of three at CAA foe William & Mary. Junior outfielder Scott Shockley led UD offensively, batting .500 (7-14) with a double and five runs scored. Shockley, who also walked five times and had a .611 on-base percentage, extended his hitting streak to nine games. Senior Adam Tsakonas pushed his career-long hitting streak to 16 games before seeing it end at W&M on Saturday. He started a new streak on Sunday by belting his team-leading eighth homer. Kyle Davis smacked a grand slam in a 17-2 win over Saint Joseph’s last Tuesday and drove in nine runs for the week. Junior infielder Alex Buchholz hit .389 over the four games last week, while freshman outfielder Pat Dameron batted .364 with a homer and three RBI.
GEORGE MASON (12-14, 7-4 in CAA)
The Patriots split six home games last week, but lost their first CAA series of the season to ODU. Mason batted .314 for the week and posted an impressive 3.17 team ERA, but was hurt by 11 errors. Sophomore first baseman Justin Bour hit .538 (14-26) with three homers, six runs scored and 13 RBI. He went deep twice and drove in seven in a 13-0 win over Liberty and had a homer and four RBI in a 10-5 victory over ODU on Saturday. Bour is batting .426 on the year and leads the CAA in homers (11) and RBI (40). Sophomore Chris Henderson hit .370 on the week but saw his 14-game hitting streak end on Sunday. Junior Brent Weiss batted .455 (10-22) for the week, breaking out of a 4-for-44 slump. Sophomore pitcher Ryan Brecko went 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings of work last week, including 6.2 innings of shutout relief versus ODU. Kris Mengle tossed a six-hit complete-game shutout against Liberty.
GEORGIA STATE (17-9, 6-6 in CAA)
The Panthers went 3-2 last week, including taking two of three from Northeastern to even their CAA record at 6-6. Sophomore third baseman Bradley Logan batted .478 (11-23) with five doubles, a homer, seven runs scored and seven RBI. He’s batting .345 with a team-high 28 RBI on the year. State hit .333 as a team over the five games and averaged 8.6 runs. The Panthers rank second in the CAA in batting (.327) and runs (215) for the season. Junior pitcher Robinson Polanco scattered seven hits in his first career complete game on Friday versus NU, striking out a career-best nine in the 7-4 victory. Polanco is tied for the CAA lead in wins with a 5-1 mark and has 32 K’s over 40 innings. Freshman Zach Chastain threw three perfect innings out of the bullpen last week.
HOFSTRA (8-19, 0-12 in CAA)
The Pride picked up non-conference victories over Siena (6-3) and Coppin State (12-3) last week, but is still looking for its first CAA win after being swept by JMU. Sophomore infielder Matt Prokopowicz batted .438 (7-16) for the week with a homer, three RBI and eight walks, raising his season average to a team-high .303. Prokopowicz, who has moved to second base for the past seven games, is riding a five-game hitting streak and has reached base in 10 straight games. Freshman Jeff Guthridge started all six games last week and hit .333 with a double, his first career homer and four RBI. Sophomore pitcher Ryan Radke went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three appearances last week totaling 7.2 innings. Opponent batted just .095 against him. Senior lefty Brody Fontaine earned a win at Siena after allowing just one hit in five innings of relief with three strikeouts.
JAMES MADISON (19-7, 12-3 in CAA)
The Dukes went 4-1 last week, capped by their third CAA series sweep of the season at Hofstra. JMU has already topped its CAA win total from a year ago at the halfway mark of league play. Sophomore outfielder Alex Foltz hit .550 (11-20) from the leadoff spot. He was 9-for-12 in the Hofstra series with a pair of doubles and three RBI, including two four-hit games. Junior Brett Sellers, who tops the CAA with a .435 average, homered three times last week while sophomore Steven Caseres went deep twice in an 8-4 win over VMI. Both have nine homers on the year. Freshman McKinnon Langston batted .400 for the week with three doubles and three RBI. JMU’s starting pitchers allowed just six earned runs in 23.2 innings at Hofstra. Lefty Justin Wood tossed the Dukes’ first complete game of the year on Saturday at HU, giving up just four hits and two unearned runs in a 6-2 victory. Junior Kurt Houck fanned a career-high nine batters in 6.2 innings on Sunday, while Kyle Hoffman threw eight innings on Friday.
UNC WILMINGTON (21-4, 12-0 in CAA)
The Seahawks went 4-0 last week to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 20 games. UNCW, which also has the longest active road winning streak in Division I at nine games, has matched the 1995 club for the best overall start in school history and is one win shy of its best CAA start ever (13-0 in 1989). Senior outfielder Jason Appel batted .579 (11-19) for the week with six runs scored and five RBI. His two-out single in the ninth drove in the winning run on Sunday as UNCW completed a three-game sweep at VCU. Appel also became the 13th player in Seahawks’ history with 200 career hits. Freshman David Shambley’s single in the eighth brought home the winning run in Saturday’s 3-2 triumph over the Rams. Senior Shane French went 4-for-4 and snapped a tie with a ninth-inning homer as UNCW rallied past #18 Coastal Carolina 10-7. Freshman reliever Cameron Roth improved to 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA after picking up a pair of wins last week, despite seeing his streak of 22.2 innings without an earned run come to an end. Fellow rookie Stephen Harrold earned his fourth save on Sunday. He has given up only one unearned run over the last 11 frames.
NORTHEASTERN (10-10, 3-6 in CAA)
The Huskies won 8-6 at Rhode Island, but captured just one of three games in their CAA series at Georgia State. Northeastern belted seven homers in a 14-6 win over State on Saturday as each of the first six batters in the lineup went deep. Sophomore Frank Compagnone went deep twice versus GSU and had three homers, two doubles and seven RBI for the week. Senior shortstop Mike Lyon hit .400 (6-15) last week with three doubles, a homer and four RBI. He ranks among the top five in the CAA with a .432 average, 11 doubles and nine homers. Sophomore David Gustafson hit .316 with two homers and five driven in for the week. Sophomore pitcher Sheldon McDonald went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two relief appearances last week. McDonald gave up two hits over 5.2 innings and dropped his team-best ERA to 3.09. After 10 road games and 10 at a neutral site, Northeastern is scheduled to play its home opener versus Boston College on Tuesday.
OLD DOMINION (15-12, 7-5 in CAA)
The Monarchs went 3-2 last week, including winning two of three at George Mason. Senior right-hander Ryan Bergh (3-2) threw his second straight complete game in Sunday’s 3-1 win at Mason, allowing just a run on four hits while fanning four and not issuing a walk. Bergh leads the CAA with a 2.89 ERA. ODU also got a complete game from freshman Kyle Hald (3-0) as he limited Longwood to three runs in an 8-3 win and struck out six. Senior outfielder Jimmy Miles went 4-for-6 with two doubles, a triple and four RBI in Friday’s 12-4 win over the Patriots. Miles, who has a 10-game hitting streak, tops the CAA with 37 runs scored and 21 stolen bases. Junior Anthony Shawler extended his hitting streak to 19 games and is now batting .385 overall and a sizzling .531 in CAA play. First baseman Bryan Cipolla has driven in a team-best 31 runs.
TOWSON (11-14, 3-6 in CAA)
The Tigers swept a three-game series from Albany over the weekend and have won six of their last eight games. Towson is now 8-1 at Schuerholz Park and has outscored its foes 59-33. The Tigers have a 3.42 ERA and a .991 fielding percentage at home. Sophomore shortstop Nick Natoli batted .600 in four games last week, including .750 (9-12) in the Albany series with three hits in each contest. Third baseman Steve Yarsinsky batted .500 with three RBI in the Albany series and smacked his first career homer. Senior outfielder Brian Conley’s grand slam versus Albany made him the 13th player in school history to hit 25 career homers. Junior pitcher Duane Herr gave up just an unearned run in five innings of relief versus Albany. He is 2-0 and hasn’t given up an earned run over his last 14 frames. Freshman Drew Permison limited Albany to a run on three hits in five innings on Friday, but didn’t get a decision in his first career start.
VCU (5-19, 0-8 in CAA)
The Rams went 0-4 last week, with three of the four losses coming by a total of just four runs. VCU dropped a 5-3 decision at nationally ranked Virginia and fell 3-2 and 6-5 in the final two games of their series with first-place UNCW. Sophomores M.L. Morgan and Richard Gonzalez each hit over .400 for the week and combined to score five runs. VCU’s pitching staff only gave up seven earned runs in the final two games of the UNCW series. Freshman pitcher Andrew Morgan struck out six in 5.1 innings of work out of the pen. Ian Thomas limited the Seahawks to two runs over 6.1 innings on Saturday but didn’t get a decision in the 3-2 setback. Freshman catcher Eric Curtis had a career-high three hits in the game. VCU’s 0-8 CAA mark is the worst conference start in school history.
WILLIAM & MARY (18-10, 9-6 in CAA)
The Tribe snapped a six-game losing streak by winning the final two games of their CAA series with Delaware. The wins kept W&M in fourth place in the CAA and improved their home record to 15-3, including 8-1 in league action. Senior outfielder Paul Juliano batted .500 (4-8) for the week with a homer and five RBI. Most of those came on a 7th-inning grand slam in Sunday’s 9-4 triumph over the Hens. Junior outfielder Jeff Jones batted .429 (6-14) for the week and stole three bases. Senior right-hander Pat Kantakevich didn’t allow an earned run over five innings in three relief stints last week and also picked up a save in Saturday’s 6-2 win over UD. Junior Jeremy Neustifter started that game and allowed only one earned run over the first 6.1 innings. Senior Tim Park was 4-for-7 in the two wins over the Hens and is batting .425 for the season. Freshman right-hander Tim Norton improved to 4-1 on the season after giving up two earned runs in 5.1 innings on Sunday.