CAA BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Chris Baker, Old Dominion
Jr., 1B, Chesapeake, Va./Deep Creek
Baker batted .556 (10-18) with two homers, five runs scored and eight RBI as Old Dominion split four games last week. The junior went 8-for-10 and drove in six runs in the final two games of the Monarchs’ CAA series at Hofstra and also had a pair of hits in their 7-4 triumph at nationally ranked East Carolina last Tuesday.
CAA BASEBALL CO-PITCHERS OF THE WEEK:
Daniel Cropper, UNC Wilmington
Sr., RHP, Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill
Cropper threw a complete game in UNCW’s 3-2 triumph over VCU last Thursday to help secure a CAA Tournament berth for the Seahawks. The senior allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out five and didn’t give up a walk to up his record to 7-3 on the year.
Justin Malone, Georgia State
Jr., RHP, Abingdon, Va./Abingdon
Malone gave up just one run over 8.0 innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters in Georgia State’s 2-1 victory over George Mason on Saturday that clinched a CAA Tournament berth. Malone (7-1) scattered nine hits and didn’t issue a walk.
CAA BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Bill Cullen, VCU
Fr., OF, Colonial Heights, Va./Thomas Dale
Cullen batted .333 with two doubles, a triple, his first career homer and a team-high seven RBI in VCU’s four games last week. The freshman also scored eight runs from the leadoff spot and was 3-for-3 on stolen bases.
DELAWARE (27-26 overall, 16-14 in CAA)
The Blue Hens, who were off last week, finished in a tie for fifth in the CAA standings. Senior Pat Dameron led the Hens and was 7th in the CAA with a .363 batting average and led the league with 22 doubles. He ranks second on UD’s career doubles list (68) and ninth in RBI’s (164) and hits (249). Senior Steve Ulaky hit .339 and was among the CAA’s top 10 in homers (14/3rd), doubles (18/7th) and RBI’s (54/4th). Junior Corey Crispell led the pitching staff with a 6-3 record and a 2.86 ERA, which ranked fifth in the conference. Stephen Ritcher had a team-high nine saves.
GEORGE MASON (21-32-1 overall, 7-23 in CAA)
The Patriots dropped two of three at Georgia State to conclude the season. Mason rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win Friday’s contest 5-3. Chris Cook went 2-for-5 with two RBI and Chris O’Grady came out of the pen to throw four scoreless innings. Cook also was 4-for-5 in a 2-1 10-inning setback in Saturday’s finale. Starting pitcher Ryan Pfaeffle scattered four hits over five shutout frames. For the series, Mason’s pitching staff limited GSU to 17 hits and eight runs. Brig Tison finished the regular season as the CAA leader in hits (91) and 4th in batting (.368). Dan Schafferman ranked sixth in the CAA in batting (.366), while Zack Helgeson was second in the league with 15 homers.
GEORGIA STATE (37-19 overall, 17-13 in CAA)
The Panthers won two of three from George Mason to earn their third straight CAA Tournament berth. GSU clinched the final spot on Brandon Williams’ RBI single in the 10th that gave the Panthers a 2-1 victory on Saturday. Justin Malone allowed only one run on nine hits and fanned a career-high 11 batters over the first eight innings and Jake Dyer threw two shutout frames to earn the win. Dyer also earned his eighth save in the series. Will Campbell improved to 9-2 and dropped his ERA to 2.74 after giving up just one run over 6.2 innings in Thursday’s 3-1 triumph. Rob Lind had a hit in all three contests and drove in three. Lind leads the CAA with 52 walks and is 2nd in OB percentage (.478).
HOFSTRA (15-32 overall, 12-18 in CAA)
The Pride finished the season strong, winning two of three from Old Dominion. Jared Hammer batted .462 with three RBI and drove in the winning runs in Friday’s 5-4 triumph. Taylor Stuart delivered the game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning of Saturday’s 6-5 victory. Dylan Nasiatka batted .500 in the series to raise his season average to .303, while freshman Logan Davis hit .400 versus ODU with a double and two runs scored. Andrew Barbarino picked up both wins in relief, allowing just one hit over 3.0 innings with three strikeouts. Jeff Guthridge finished 2nd in career appearances (77) and saves (9) and Rob Kumbatovic is HU’s all-time innings leader (271.1) and 3rd in strikeouts (177).
JAMES MADISON (37-17 overall, 21-9 in CAA)
The Dukes swept a three-game series at Northeastern and claimed the CAA regular-season title in back-to-back years for the first time. JMU closed the year with 10 straight CAA wins, which is its longest league win streak since 1994-95. The Dukes used 11 different pitchers and posted a 0.67 ERA in the series, including their first two shutouts of the year. At one point, JMU had a streak of 30 straight scoreless innings. Sean Tierney gave up just one hit over four frames in 5-0 victory on Thursday to up his record to 9-1. D.J. Brown had a four-inning save on Friday after five shutout innings from Alex Valadja. Catcher Billy Logan was 4-for-4 with two homers and four RBI in just his 7th start on Thursday.
UNC WILMINGTON (30-26 overall, 18-12 in CAA)
The Seahawks took two of three from VCU and extended their streak of being the only team to qualify for every CAA Tournament. UNCW edged VCU 3-2 in Thursday’s opener behind a complete-game pitching effort from Daniel Cropper (7-3), who gave up two runs on seven hits and fanned five. The win was the 20th of his career. Thomas Pope leads the league with a .411 batting average and is trying to become the first UNCW player since 1989 to top the CAA in batting. Hunter Ridge batted .500 (8-16) with four runs scored and five RBI last week. He leads UNCW with 54 RBI. Michael Bass, who returned to action this week after a concussion, hit .429 with five runs scored and two stolen bases.
NORTHEASTERN (18-33 overall, 12-18 in CAA)
The Huskies lost all three games of their season-ending series with James Madison. Northeastern scored just two runs in the series. Connor Lyons batted .400 (4-10) versus JMU and stole a base in each game. Pitcher Les Williams finished as the Huskies’ all-time leader in innings pitched (288.1) and ranks 4th in career strikeouts (232). He was 5-6 this season with a 3.98 ERA and struck out 77 in 95.0 innings. Freshman Aaron Barbosa finished with a team-best .335 batting average and leads the CAA with 29 stolen bases. Closer Dylan Maki was 3-1 with a team-high six saves and a 3.38 ERA.
OLD DOMINION (27-24 overall, 19-11 in CAA)
The Monarchs knocked off nationally ranked East Carolina (7-4) before losing two of three at Hofstra over the weekend. Junior Chris Baker led ODU offensviely, batting .556 (10-18) with two homers, five runs scored and eight RBI. He ranks third in the CAA with 58 RBI. Josh Wright is among the top six in the CAA in batting (.376/3rd), runs (52/3rd) and homers (12/6th). Closer Adam Wisniewski broke the ODU record for saves in a season (14) at ECU. Kyle Hald (8-2, 3.51 ERA) now has 250 career strikeouts, which ranks 5th all-time at ODU. He ranks second in the CAA with 102 K’s in 89.2 innings this season. The Monarchs’ #2 seed for the CAA Tournament is their highest since 2007.
TOWSON (26-28-1 overall, 15-15 in CAA)
The Tigers fell short of a CAA Tournament berth after dropping the final two games of their series with William & Mary. Towson won the opener 5-4 as Charlie Cononie allowed four runs on seven hits over 8.0 innings. Connonie, who was 7-1 in CAA play, finished 8-3 with a 3.39 ERA and struck out a school-record 94 batters in 85 innings. Freshman Chris Acker gave up six hits over 7.1 shutout innings on Saturday but Towson was unable to hang on to a 4-0 lead in the ninth. Nick Natoli set a school record with 827 at-bats and was 3rd in career hits (254) and steals (51). Chris Wychock ranks second in career RBI’s (162) and doubles (64) and third in career homers (39). Towson tied its season record for fielding percentage (.969) and set a record for CAA wins in a season (15).
VCU (22-32 overall, 12-18 in CAA)
The Rams lost two of three at UNCW to close the season. VCU won Friday’s middle game 16-7 as Bill Cullen went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer and a career-high six RBI. Cullen had his career-best 13-game hitting streak come to an end in Saturday’s finale. Taylor Perkins was also 4-for-4 with three runs in the win and batted .412 with four RBI for the week. Michael Cheatham batted .667 (12-18) for the week with four runs scored and six RBI. Kyle Haynes scattered eight hits and didn’t allow an earned run over six innings to earn the win at UNCW on Friday. Freshman Joey Cujas batted .333 with three RBI last week.
WILLIAM & MARY (26-29 overall, 16-14 in CAA)
The Tribe won two of three at Towson over the weekend to finish in a tie for fifth place. William & Mary set a school record by capturing seven of its 10 CAA series and the team’s 12 road victories were the most since 2004. Jonathan Slattery batted .400 (6-15) in the series with a homer and seven RBI’s. Derrick Osteen went 3-for-5 and scored twice in Sunday’s 8-3 triumph. The Tribe trailed 4-0 in the ninth on Saturday before rallying for a 5-4 win in 10 innings. Logan Billbrough gave up two earned runs on eight hits over 8.0 innings and struck out eight on Saturday. He finished the year 7-2 with a league-best 2.58 ERA and became the third W&M pitcher with over 100 strikeouts (105) in a season.