CAA BASEBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Johnny Bladel, James Madison
So., OF, Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge
Bladel batted .611 (11-18) with a triple, homer, 10 runs scored and eight RBI in JMU’s 3-1 week. The outfielder also drew five walks and stole two bases. Bladel had at least two hits and two RBI in three of the Dukes’ four contests.
Hunter Ridge, UNC Wilmington
So., 1B, Asheboro, N.C./SW Randolph
Ridge hit .421 with 10 runs scored and seven RBI in UNCW’s 5-0 week, which included a road win at N.C. State and a sweep of CAA foe William & Mary. The first baseman had three doubles and two homers and posted a .895 slugging percentage.
CAA BASEBALL PITCHERS OF THE WEEK:
Charlie Cononie, Towson
Sr., RHP, Germantown, Md./Northwest
Cononie threw a complete-game 2-hit shutout in Towson’s 3-0 triumph over Delaware on Sunday. The senior gave up only a pair of singles in seven innings and fanned five to pick up his second shutout of the year. He improved to 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA.
Andrew Leenhouts, Northeastern
Jr., LHP, Franklin, Mass./Franklin
Leenhouts tossed 8.1 shutout innings in Northeastern’s 2-0 victory at VCU on Friday. The junior lefty allowed only four hits and a walk while striking out five. Leenhouts, who lowered his ERA to 2.73, hasn’t given up a run in the last 16.1 innings.
CAA BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Kenny Jackson, Hofstra
Fr., OF, Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Connetquot
Jackson batted .667 (8-12) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, four RBI and six runs scored in Hofstra’s three-game sweep of George Mason. The freshman was 4-for-4 in Friday’s 9-5 win over Mason and went 3-for-4 in Sunday’s 13-5 triumph.
DELAWARE (19-16 overall, 11-7 in CAA)
The Blue Hens set a season-high for runs in a 16-7 win at Towson last Friday, but lost a twinbill to the Tigers on Sunday that dropped them into a tie for second place in the CAA. Senior Dave Anderson, who hit .556 in the series, went 4-for-4 with five RBI and tied a UD single-game record with three homers in Friday’s victory. The Hens went deep six times in the game and matched a season high with 16 hits. Steve Ulaky was 5-for-11 with two homers over the weekend and leads the Hens with nine homers and 33 RBI for the year. Also hitting home runs on Friday were D.J. Long and Nick Ferdinand. UD hosts an important three-game series against James Madison this weekend.
GEORGE MASON (15-22-1 overall, 3-15 in CAA)
The Patriots beat Navy 13-5 to improve to 12-7-1 in non-conference play, but then were swept in a three-game CAA series at Hofstra. Mason dropped to 0-9 in CAA road contests and 3-14 overall in away games. Freshman Blaise Fernandez continued to play well, batting .526 (10-19) last week with three doubles, two triples and three RBI. He’s batting .286 with 20 RBI on the year. Junior Brig Tison extended his hitting streak to 17 games and became the first player in Mason history with two hitting streaks of 17+ games and three of 14+ games. Tison is batting .370 with a team-high 31 RBI this season.
GEORGIA STATE (27-11 overall, 8-7 in CAA)
The Panthers split four games last week, but dropped two of three to CAA foe Old Dominion. Senior Charley Olson (4-3) earned the win in Saturday’s 8-4 triumph over the Monarchs, allowing just two runs over 7.0 innings while fanning eight. He’s 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA and 12 K’s in his past two CAA starts. Freshman Sam Agnew-Wieland gave up only one hit over six shutout innings and struck out 11 in GSU’s 6-1 win over Alabama State last Wednesday. Agnew-Wieland has a 2.16 ERA for the season and has 29 K’s in 25 innings. Sophomore Drew Shields batted .545 last week to pace the GSU offense. The Panthers are 20-5 at home and need just three more wins to tie a school record.
HOFSTRA (9-20 overall, 8-10 in CAA)
The Pride swept a three-game CAA series from George Mason after entering the weekend 2-22 all-time against the Patriots. Hofstra hit .402 as a team and belted five homers after hitting only eight in its first 26 games. Junior Danny Poma batted .583 (7-12) with three doubles, a homer, six RBI, five runs scored and five stolen bases. Joe Perez hit .538 with a pair of homers and four RBI, while freshman Kenny Jackson batted .667 (8-12) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, four RBI and six runs scored. Senior Rob Kumbatovic allowed just a run on seven hits over 7.0 frames on Saturday to earn his first win since May 16, 2009. David D’Errico scattered 11 hits and gave up only two runs in eight innings in Friday’s 9-5 victory and Joe Burg picked up his first win on Sunday.
JAMES MADISON (25-12 overall, 11-7 in CAA)
The Dukes went 3-1 in non-conference action last week, which featured three straight 12-inning contests for the first time in school history. Johnny Bladel batted .611 (11-18) with 10 runs scored and eight RBI, while Jake Lowery hit .409 with three doubles, three triples and 12 RBI. Lowery now leads the nation in triples (7) and RBI’s (62) and is second in homers (17). David Herbek saw a streak of seven games with multiple hits come to an end, but had three sac flies to raise his JMU career record total to 23. He also upped his CAA record for being hit by a pitch to 53. Pitcher D.J. Brown allowed just five hits and two unearned runs over eight innings out of the bullpen last week and fanned 10.
UNC WILMINGTON (21-14 overall, 10-5 in CAA)
The Seahawks have won six in a row after a 5-0 week that vaulted them into first place in the CAA after a sweep of William & Mary. UNCW batted .335 as a team and out-scored its foes 39-13. Hunter Ridge hit .421 with three doubles, two homers, seven RBI and 10 runs scored. Ridge leads UNCW in runs (37), homers (7) and RBI (34). Thomas Pope hit .429 last week and raised his average to .403, which ranks second in the CAA. UNCW was 13-for-13 in stolen bases last week. Blaze Tart threw his first complete game in Saturday’s 11-2 win over W&M. He took a five-hit shutout into the 9th. Ryan Leach also threw a complete game in a 5-2 win over Campbell as UNCW posted a 2.20 team ERA. William Prince allowed one hit in 5.1 innings and earned a pair of saves.
NORTHEASTERN (11-21 overall, 6-9 in CAA)
The Huskies edged Harvard 6-5 and swept a doubleheader from VCU before having their six-game win streak snapped by the Rams on Sunday. Senior Les Williams threw a complete-game 5-hitter and fanned nine as NU beat VCU 5-2 in Friday’s opener and then Andrew Leenhouts gave up just four hits over 8.1 shutout innings in the nightcap as NU won 2-0. Leenhouts hasn’t allowed a run in the last 16.1 frames and lowered his ERA to 2.73. Dylan Maki picked up his third save on Friday. Sophomore Alan Pastyrnak batted .429 (6-14) with three runs and three RBI last week, while freshman Connor Lyons hit .313 (5-16) and scored twice. NU has a league-best 3.71 team ERA in CAA play.
OLD DOMINION (19-18 overall, 11-7 in CAA)
The Monarchs moved into a three-way tie for second after winning two of three at Georgia State. ODU has captured five straight CAA series, including three on the road (VCU, JMU, GSU). The Monarchs won Friday’s opener 4-1 as lefty Kyle Hald scattered eight hits and fanned seven in a complete-game effort. Hald is 6-2 with a 2.53 ERA and leads the CAA with 78 strikeouts. In Sunday’s 4-3 win at GSU, Nate Hartman hit his third homer of the year and then threw out the game-tying run from right field in the ninth. Closer Adam Wisniewski picked up his league-leading 10th save on Sunday after working a scoreless 9th inning. Outfielder Kenny Stoneback went 2-for-4 with two RBI in Friday’s win.
TOWSON (15-19-1 overall, 9-9 in CAA)
The Tigers moved back to .500 in CAA play after sweeping a twinbill from first-place Delaware on Sunday. Senior Charlie Cononie threw his second 2-hit shutout of the season as Towson won the opener 3-0 and Michael Trionfo and Zach Umberger combined on a 7-hitter as the Tigers took the nightcap, 4-2. Cononie, who is 5-2 with a 2.98 ERA, has won four straight decisions, while Umberger tossed four shutout innings to earn his second save. Towson is 8-1 on Sunday this season and 7-2 at home in CAA action. Freshman Pat Fitzgerald batted .500 for the week with two RBI and two runs scored. Andrew Parker’s three-run homer in the first provided all of the offense in Game 1 on Sunday.
VCU (14-20 overall, 7-8 in CAA)
The Rams went 1-3 last week, but avoided a CAA series sweep by posting a 4-3 win over Northeastern on Sunday. Michael Cheatham and Nick Kime hit solo homers in the 7th inning of the victory and Joey Cujas went 2-for-4. Taylor Perkins batted .357 with two doubles last week and collected a hit in three of the four games. VCU’s starting pitchers gave up just seven earned runs in 28.2 innings last week and struck out 27. Seth Cutler-Voltz threw a complete game and fanned eight in Friday’s 5-2 loss to NU and Kyle Haynes gave up only an unearned run in seven frames and struck out eight in a 2-0 setback.
WILLIAM & MARY (18-20 overall, 9-9 in CAA)
The Tribe dropped all four games last week, including three at UNCW over the weekend. W&M struggled offensively, scoring only 11 runs in the four contests. Tadd Bower hit .412 (7-17) for the week with a double, a two-run homer and four RBI. He had at least one hit in all four games and is batting .312 for the season. Ryan Lindemuth was 3-for-4 and scored a run in Sunday’s 7-4 setback at UNCW. Derrick Osteen continues to top the Tribe in batting with a .328 average. Jay McCarthy allowed only an unearned run in a 5-1 loss to VMI.