CAA BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Thomas Pope, UNC Wilmington
Jr., OF/DH, Clinton, N.C./Clinton
Pope batted .615 (8-13) with three doubles, a homer, four runs scored and six RBI in UNCW’s four games. The junior had two hits in each contest to raise his league-leading batting average to .422. Pope batted .667 (6-9) and drove in six in the Seahawks’ conference series at Old Dominion last weekend.
CAA BASEBALL PITCHER OF THE WEEK:
Will Campbell, Georgia State
Sr., RHP, Hartford, S.D./Iowa Western CC/West Central
Campbell threw a complete-game 5-hitter in Georgia State’s 7-2 victory at William & Mary last Thursday. The senior gave up just two runs over nine innings and struck out five. Campbell improved to 8-2 on the season and dropped his ERA to 2.85.
CAA BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Bill Cullen, VCU
Fr., OF, Colonial Heights, Va./Thomas Dale
Cullen batted .500 (8-16) with two doubles, three runs scored and a team-best six RBI to help lead VCU to a 3-1 week. The freshman outfielder had seven hits as the Rams won 2-of-3 from league foe Hofstra and extended his career-best hitting streak to 10 games.
DELAWARE (27-26 overall, 16-14 in CAA)
The Blue Hens closed the regular season with a 1-4 week, including a pair of losses in their CAA series at Northeastern. Corey Crispell threw a complete-game 7-hitter in UD’s 5-2 win over the Huskies on Saturday, which was the first CG by a Blue Hens’ pitcher since last May. Crispell struck out a career-high seven batters and walked one. Offensively, Chris Branigan batted .421 (8-19) with three doubles and a homer. Pat Dameron hit .350 with three RBI and four runs scored. He also doubled twice and moved into 2nd place on UD’s career doubles list (68). Steve Ulaky belted his team-leading 14th homer and drove in nine runs last week. He ranks third in the CAA with 54 RBI this season.
GEORGE MASON (20-30-1 overall, 6-21 in CAA)
The Patriots were off last week, but return to action on Thursday as they start a season-ending three-game series at Georgia State. Brig Tison enters the series with a league-high 89 hits, which is eight shy of the Mason season record. Tison is third in the CAA with a .382 batting average, while teammate Dan Schafferman is seventh (.366). Freshman Blaise Fernandez tops the Patriots and ranks seventh in the CAA with 17 doubles. Zack Helgeson is second in the CAA in homers (15) and tied for seventh in RBI (48). Chris Cook has been hit by a pitch 26 times this season, which is tied for the 2nd-most in CAA history.
GEORGIA STATE (35-17 overall, 15-12 in CAA)
The Panthers won two of three at William & Mary last week to grab sole possession of fourth place in the CAA. GSU won the opener 7-2 behind a complete-game effort from Will Campbell, who gave up just five hits and fanned five to up his record to 8-2. Rob Lind batted .500 (5-10) in the series with a homer, three RBI and four runs scored. Lind leads the CAA in walks (49) and is second in on-base percentage (.481). Brandon Williams hit .429 versus W&M and drove in four and Brett Maxwell added six hits against the Tribe. Coach Greg Frady is now 11-3 versus W&M in his five seasons. The Panthers will try to secure their third straight CAA Tournament berth as they host George Mason this week.
HOFSTRA (13-31 overall, 10-17 in CAA)
The Pride lost their first two games at VCU before picking up a 9-4 victory in Saturday’s finale. Junior Danny Poma batted .667 (8-12) with a double, triple, three runs scored and two steals in the series. Poma raised his average to .404, which ranks second in the CAA. T.J. Thomas returned to the starting lineup for the first time since April 15 and went 3-for-3 last Friday. Dylan Nasiatka batted .400 against the Rams and Jared Hammer hit .364 with four RBI. Jared Rogers (1-4) picked up his first victory on Saturday and Jeff Guthridge didn’t allow a run over the final three innings to earn his fourth save of the year.
JAMES MADISON (34-17 overall, 18-9 in CAA)
The Dukes ran their CAA winning streak to seven and clinched a spot in the CAA Tournament after sweeping Towson over the weekend. Jake Lowery batted .385 with his league-leading 22nd homer and eight RBI last week. Lowery broke JMU’s season RBI mark (81) and is second in runs (70) in a season. David Herbek hit .500 with five RBI and smacked a game-winning 2-run homer on Saturday. Matt Tenaglia batted .385 last week and extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Sean Tierney allowed just one run on six hits over 7.0 innings in Friday’s 13-9 win over TU. Tierney is 8-1 on the year and is 4-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his past six appearances. Alex Valadja made his 40th career start on Sunday.
UNC WILMINGTON (28-24 overall, 16-11 in CAA)
The Seahawks went 1-3 last week, but earned a 5-3 win at first-place ODU on Sunday to move closer to securing a CAA Tournament berth. Thomas Pope hit .667 (6-9) with six RBI in the ODU series and raised his league-leading batting average to .422. Pope, who had two hits in all four contests last week, has reached base in 21 straight games. Andrew Cain belted his team-leading 9th homer on Sunday and extended his hitting streak to seven games. Tyler McSwain (5-4) earned the win on Sunday after giving up just one earned run on seven hits over 8.1 innings. UNCW can continue its streak of being the only team to make every CAA Tournament with two wins over VCU this weekend.
NORTHEASTERN (18-30 overall, 12-15 in CAA)
The Huskies went 3-2 last week, capped by a pair of victories in their three-game CAA series with Delaware. Freshman Aaron Barbosa batted .318 with two runs scored and three RBI last week. Barbosa also swiped six bases to set the NU season record for thefts with 29. John Puttress drilled a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th to give the Huskies a 4-3 win over UD on Friday. Brandon McNelis gave up two runs on six hits over 7.0 innings in Saturday’s 8-2 triumph over the Hens. Senior Les Williams has thrown 88 innings this season, which is 8.0 innings shy of the school record, and his 281.1 career innings is 4.2 shy of NU’s all-time mark.
OLD DOMINION (26-22 overall, 18-9 in CAA)
The Monarchs locked up a CAA Tournament berth after winning two of three over UNCW for their eighth straight conference series victory. Nate Hartman and Shawn Sizemore each hit .400 for the week and drove in four runs. Chris Baker had three RBI in Friday’s 10-5 win and leads the team with 50 RBI on the year. Closer Adam Wisniewski tied an ODU season record with his 13th save on Saturday. Wisniewski has nine saves and a 1.35 ERA in CAA games. Kyle Hald upped his record to 8-2 after giving up four runs in 6.0 innings last Friday. Hald fanned eight and is second in the CAA with 96 strikeouts for the season. ODU will try to earn the regular-season title in a series at Hofstra this weekend.
TOWSON (25-26-1 overall, 14-13 in CAA)
The Tigers’ CAA Tournament hopes were damaged after being swept at James Madison and dropping into a tie for sixth. Towson gave up 11 or more runs in four of their five losses last week. Charlie Connonie (7-3), who had his seven-game winning streak snapped on Friday, broke the Towson season strikeout record with 90 after fanning six JMU batters. The Tigers suffered their first Sunday loss since March 13 when they fell 11-1 to the Dukes. Nick Natoli moved into 3rd place on TU’s all-time hits list (251) and is seven at-bats shy of the school’s career mark. Chris Wychock is second in career doubles (63), third in homers (38) and fourth in RBI’s (156) at Towson. The Tigers host W&M this weekend.
VCU (21-29 overall, 11-16 in CAA)
The Rams went 3-1 last week, knocking off rival Richmond 9-4 before winning two of three from CAA foe Hofstra. Senior Michael Caddell, who had five career hits entering last week, batted .615 (8-13) with a triple, two RBI and three runs scored. He reached base safely in eight straight plate appearances. Freshman Bill Cullen batted .500 (8-16) and drove in a team-best six runs. Cullen is riding a career-best 10-game hitting streak. Kyle Haynes gave up one earned run on six hits over 7.0 innings to pick up his fifth win in Friday’s 8-5 triumph over HU. Jonathan Watson threw five scoreless innings in two appearances last week. Blake Hauser is 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in his last three starts and has 15 K’s.
WILLIAM & MARY (24-27 overall, 14-13 in CAA)
The Tribe fell into a tie for sixth in the CAA after dropping two of three in a key series with Georgia State last week. W&M won Friday’s middle game, 8-7, behind Logan Billbrough (7-2), who allowed three earned runs on seven hits over 8.0 innings and struck out 12. Billbrough leads the CAA with 97 strikeouts and ranks second with a 2.61 ERA. Jonathan Slattery and Derrick Osteen each had two hits and two RBI in the victory. Stephen Arcure was 3-for-4 with two RBI in an 11-6 setback in the series finale. Tadd Bower leads W&M with a .313 batting average and has driven in a team-best 36 runs. The Tribe visits Towson this weekend.