CAA BASEBALL Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Jake McAloose, Old Dominion
Jr., 3B, Virginia Beach, Va./Princess Anne
McAloose batted .778 (7-9) with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI in the final two games of the VCU series after missing the opener due to injury. In Sunday’s 28-9 victory over the Rams, the junior third baseman was 5-for-6 with five runs scored and six RBI.
CAA BASEBALL Co-PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Rob Nickle, William & Mary
Sr., OF, Amelia Courthouse, Va./Clover Hill
Nickle hit .750 (6-8) with three homers, six runs scored and seven RBI to lead the Tribe to a doubleheader sweep of Longwood on Sunday. The senior was 4-for-5 with 2 HR and six RBI in the opener and followed with a 2-for-3 effort with a solo homer in the nightcap.
CAA BASEBALL PITCHER OF THE WEEK:
Jeff Thomson, Northeastern
Sr., RHP, Grande Pointe, Manitoba/North Delta Secondary
Thomson tossed a complete-game five-hitter in Northeastern’s 3-1 triumph over Delaware on Sunday. The senior gave up only a solo run in the sixth and struck out a career-high 11 batters with no walks on Senior Day. Thomson improved to 6-4 on the season.
CAA BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Brett Harris. Old Dominion
Fr., P/DH, Chesapeake, Va./Hickory
Harris used his bat and arm to lead ODU to a pair of wins over VCU. The freshman threw a complete-game 7-hitter with five strikeouts in a 2-1 triumph over the Rams on Friday. He also batted .429 with 5 RBI, including going 4-for-5 with 4 RBI in a 28-9 win on Sunday.
DELAWARE (23-18, 8-10 in CAA)
The Blue Hens dropped to ninth in the CAA standings after being swept in a three-game series at Northeastern. It was the first time this season that Delaware has lost three straight league games. Freshman pitcher Rich O’Donald threw his third complete game of the season in Sunday’s 3-1 setback to NU, scattering seven hits over eight innings and fanning six. O’Donald, who is 4-3 with a 4.22 ERA, has pitched at least six innings in eight straight starts. Junior Brian Rorick tossed his second consecutive complete game in Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Huskies, allowing 10 hits over eight innings and striking out five. Third baseman Carlos Alonso had a hit in each game of the series and has reached base in 41 straight contests. Alonso tops UD with a .394 batting average. Delaware hosts Maryland on Tuesday before welcoming VCU for a three-game set.
GEORGE MASON (38-9 overall, 17-4 in CAA)
The Patriots, who have already clinched the #1 seed for the CAA Baseball Championship, had their home finale with Rollins rained out last Tuesday and then were off for exams. Mason finished its home schedule with a stellar 25-2 mark. The Patriots return to action on Thursday as they visit James Madison for a three-game series and need two wins to break their school record for victories at the D-1 level. Junior Justin Bour was named the NCBWA National Hitter of the Week on May 5 after batting .500 with three homers, nine runs scored and 14 RBI over five games. Senior Scott Krieger, who is batting .396 and leads the CAA with 18 homers and 74 RBI this season, owns the league’s career RBI record with 232 and is three shy of the CAA’s all-time home run mark of 70. Senior Mike Modica tops the CAA in wins (9-1) and has the third-highest season victory total in school history.
GEORGIA STATE (32-20, 12-9 in CAA)
The Panthers went 3-2 last week and became the second team to earn a berth in the CAA Baseball Championship after beating Towson 15-5 on Sunday. Senior Derek Simmons homered twice in Sunday’s victory and batted .529 (9-17) with four HR, seven RBI and seven runs scored for the week. Senior Marc Mimeault extended his hitting streak to 11 games after batting .563 (9-16) with two homers last week. He ranks third in the CAA with a .402 average and tops the team with 13 HR. Senior Chase Childers collected his 200th career hit on Saturday and now ranks seventh on State’s career hit list. He is also closing in on third place on the Panthers’ career games played chart. Freshman Brandon Williams, who hit .429 for the week, smacked a 3-run homer and drove in five on Sunday. Junior pitcher Ryan Moore threw his first complete game of the season on Sunday and upped his record to 6-1.
HOFSTRA (8-32 overall, 3-18 in CAA)
The Pride won the finale of a three-game weekend series at Norfolk State, topping the Spartans 13-9 in 12 innings. Hofstra had a season-high 28 hits in the victory with six players turning in multi-hit performances. Sophomore outfielder Scott A’Hara had a career-best 6-for-6 effort with two RBI, while senior Mark Stuckless went 5-for-7 and drove in three to raise his team-leading average to .396. A’Hara also threw two innings of scoreless relief on Saturday. Sophomore Jeff Guthridge earned the victory after allowing just two runs over the final five innings. The outing was a career-long for Guthridge, who has either won (3-2) or saved (2) five of the Pride’s eight victories. Hofstra’s win at Norfolk State was just its second on the road this season and its first away from Long Island. The Pride closes the season with a three-game series against W&M starting Friday.
JAMES MADISON (28-21 overall, 11-9 in CAA)
The Dukes were off last week for exams and commencement, but return to action with five games in six days. JMU visits George Washington and Longwood before hosting first-place George Mason in a three-game series starting Thursday. The Dukes are currently fourth in the CAA with an 11-9 mark, but will likely need at least one win to have a chance to defend their 2008 conference title. JMU leads the CAA with a .332 team batting average and eight everyday starters are hitting over .300. Junior Matt Townsend tops the team with a .392 average, 17 homers and 55 RBI while sophomore Trevor Knight is hitting .386 with 13 homers and 52 RBI. Closer Kevin Munson (8 svs) needs one save to break the JMU season mark. The Mason series will mark the end of the Dukes’ tenure at Long Field/Mauck Stadium, where they have competed since 1974 and have recorded nearly 700 victories. JMU will open play at a new stadium next season.
UNC WILMINGTON (26-19, 8-7 in CAA)
The Seahawks split four games against ACC foes last week, beating N.C. State 5-1 before earning a 4-3 win at #19 Clemson on Sunday in the finale of a three-game set. UNCW is 6-5 against ACC teams this season. Catcher Cody Stanley batted .467 (7-15) for the week with a pair of doubles and a triple, highlighted by a 3-for-4 effort in Sunday’s triumph at Clemson. He is batting .326 with a team-high 42 RBI on the year. Stanley’s team-leading sixth triple on Sunday gave the Seahawks 18 three-baggers this year, tying the school record. Matt Holt batted .400 (6-15) last week and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Stephen Harrold earned the win at CU as UNCW’s bullpen gave up only two hits over 4.2 shutout innings. Freshman Ryan Walker didn’t allowed a run in four innings of work at Clemson, including a three-inning stint where he surrendered just one hit on Saturday. UNCW hosts ECU before going to ODU for a big CAA series.
NORTHEASTERN (26-20 overall, 11-10 in CAA)
The Huskies capped a 4-0 week with a three-game sweep of Delaware to move back into contention for a CAA Tournament berth. It was the first CAA series sweep of the season for Northeastern, which moved into a tie for sixth with Towson heading into a key series with the Tigers this week. Freshman Matt Miller batted .467 from the leadoff spot and scored six runs, while junior Frank Compagnone hit .438 and drove in five. Catcher Frank Pesanello became the Huskies’ career home run leader with 38 after belting a solo shot on Sunday. Second baseman James Donaldson went 2-for-5 with four RBI in an 8-5 victory on Saturday. Senior Jeff Thomson tossed a complete-game 5-hitter and struck out a career-high 11 in NU’s 3-1 victory over UD on Sunday. Ryan Quigley fanned a career-high 12 batters in six innings on Saturday before turning the game over to Dan Zehr, who threw three shutout frames for his seventh save.
OLD DOMINION (20-23 overall, 12-9 in CAA)
The Monarchs moved into a tie for second in the CAA after winning two of three at VCU. ODU has captured four of its last five conference series and can clinch a spot in the CAA Tournament with one victory in this week’s series with UNCW. After sitting out the opener due to injury, third baseman Jake McAloose batted .778 (7-9) with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI at VCU. McAloose, who tops the Monarchs with a .388 average, was 5-for-6 with five runs scored and six RBI in Sunday’s 28-9 win over the Rams. Freshman Brett Harris was 4-for-5 with four RBI on Sunday and also pitched his league-leading fifth complete game in the Monarchs’ 2-1 triumph on Friday. Harris (6-3) scattered seven hits, fanned five and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth. Cameron Scott was 4-for-6 with four RBI on Sunday as the Monarchs pounded out 28 hits, including a school-record 13 doubles. Gerard Hall upped his hitting streak to 13 games.
TOWSON (27-23 overall, 11-10 in CAA)
The Tigers went 3-2 in five road games last week, including a pair of victories at Georgia State that kept them in thick of the CAA Tournament race. Towson has won six of its last nine league games and is tied for sixth with Northeastern heading into a 3-game series with the Huskies. Senior Gary Helmick batted .478 (10-22) last week and broke the Towson record for hits in a season with 92. Helmick also tied the Tigers’ season record for triples (8), belted his team-leading 17th homer and scored his league-high 68th run, which is two shy of the Tigers’ season mark. Sophomore Austin Harclerode was 6-for-12 in the GSU series with four runs scored and five RBI and is batting .420 in CAA games. The Tigers didn’t commit an error in 105 chances at Georgia State. After beating the Panthers 7-6 on Saturday, Towson improved to 10-3 in one-run games this year. The Tigers smacked seven homers at GSU, raising their season total to 90.
VCU (20-22 overall, 8-13 in CAA)
The Rams’ CAA Tournament hopes suffered a severe blow after losing two of three to Old Dominion over the weekend. Junior shortstop Doug Otto batted .750 (6-8) with four runs scored in the series. Otto reached base in 10 of his 12 plate appearances, including the last nine in a row, and raised his average to .344 for the year. A trio of freshmen came up in big in Saturday’s 7-6 triumph over the Monarchs. Pitcher Seth Cutler-Voltz allowed just two hits over 3.2 shutout innings in relief, while infielder Brent Mikionis hit a game-tying homer in the eighth and Taylor Perkins drove in the game-winner with a sacrifice fly. Andrew Dimino went 5-for-11 (.455) in the ODU series and stole four bases. Dimino has a league-best 25 thefts in 30 attempts. The Rams travel to nationally ranked Virginia on Tuesday before closing out the season with a three-game series at Delaware.
WILLIAM & MARY (24-22 overall, 9-11 in CAA)
The Tribe swept a doubleheader from Longwood on Sunday afternoon to extend their winning streak to a season-best six games. A trio of seniors celebrated Senior Day in a big way. Outfielder Rob Nickle went 6-for-8 with three homers, six runs scored and seven RBI, third baseman Tyler Stampone batted .833 (5-6) with three walks and five runs scored and second baseman James Williamson was 5-for-7 with a double, triple and solo homer. Freshman Tadd Bower batted .444 in the twinbill and knocked in four. Junior pitcher Kevin Landry allowed just three hits and one earned run over seven innings in the opener and struck out 10. W&M has scored seven or more runs during all six games in its winning streak. The Tribe is still in the hunt for a CAA Tournament berth heading into a three-game series at Hofstra to close the regular season.
Mason Ranked In Two Polls This Week: George Mason is ranked for the fifth straight week in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30 poll at #29 and is also listed at #27 by the NCBWA. The Patriots, who have clinched the top spot in the CAA standings at 17-4, have gone 34-6 after a 4-3 start. It’s the ninth straight week that a CAA team has occupied a spot in the national polls. UNC Wilmington was ranked #26, #27 and #30 over a three-week stretch by the NCBWA.
Only Two Spots Filled In CAA Tournament Field: The regular season comes to an end this week and only two of the six spots have been filled for the 2009 CAA Baseball Championship, which will be held May 20-23 at Brooks Field on the campus of UNC Wilmington. George Mason has clinched the #1 seed and Georgia State has also earned a spot in the field. Third-place Old Dominion can lock up a spot with one win.Just two games separate the teams from fourth to ninth place.