CAA Weekend Recap and Players of the Week

Mike Rooney
Mike Rooney

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

CAA BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Mike Rooney, UNC Wilmington

Jr., SS, Cary, N.C./Cary

Rooney batted .556 with six runs scored and five RBI in UNCW’s four games last week. In the Seahawks’ two victories at Old Dominion that clinched a CAA Tournament berth, the junior shortstop went 8-for-10 and scored four times. Rooney is batting .331 for the season.

CAA BASEBALL Co-PITCHER OF THE WEEK:

Rob Kumbatovic, Hofstra

Jr., RHP, Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough

Kumbatovic allowed just four singles and no runs over seven innings as Hofstra blanked William & Mary 3-0 on Saturday. The junior right-hander fanned four and combined with Jeff Guthridge for the Pride’s first shutout since 2007. He earned his team-high fourth win.

CAA BASEBALL Co-PITCHER OF THE WEEK:

Brian Rorick, Delaware

Jr., RHP, Trooper, Pa./Archbishop Carroll

Rorick tossed his third straight complete game, scattering four hits and allowing no earned runs in Delaware’s 6-1 win over VCU last Friday. The junior struck out a career-high 13 batters, which was the most by a Hens’ pitcher since 2005.

CAA BASEBALL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:

Rich O’Donald, Delaware

Fr., RHP, Wilmington, Del./John Dickinson

O’Donald gave up just six hits and three runs over seven innings as Delaware clinched a CAA Tournament berth with a 13-4 victory over VCU. After struggling early, the freshman retired 11 straight batters from the third through seventh innings.

DIAMOND NOTES:

DELAWARE (27-18, 11-10 in CAA)

The Blue Hens downed Maryland 6-4 and then swept a three-game series from VCU to earn the last spot in the CAA Tournament. First baseman Ryan Cuneo homered in all three games against the Rams and batted .500 (5-10) with six RBI and six runs scored in the series. Junior Carlos Alonso extended his hitting streak to 10 last week and completed the regular season by reaching base in all 45 contests. Sophomore Pat Dameron hit .545 (6-11) versus VCU with a homer and five RBI, while senior Scott Shockley homered versus Maryland and then went deep in the first two games of the VCU series. Junior Brian Rorick threw his third straight complete game on Friday, allowing just four hits and one unearned run while striking out a career-high 13 the Hens’ 6-1 triumph over VCU. Freshman Rich O’Donald (5-3) clinched UD’s tournament spot after giving up three runs over seven frames. He retired 11 straight batters at one point.

GEORGE MASON (40-10 overall, 19-5 in CAA)

The Patriots won two of three at James Madison to reach the 40-victory mark for the first time ever at the Division I level. Mason, which will the top seed for the CAA Tournament, didn’t lose a conference series all season and currently owns the top overall winning percentage in the nation. Catcher Chris Henderson went 3-for-4 with a homer and five RBI as Mason defeated the Dukes 10-6 on Thursday. Henderson ranks second in the CAA in batting (.427), hits (90), runs (65) and doubles (21). Second baseman Ryan Soares homered and drove in five as Mason rolled to a 16-6 win on Friday. Senior Mike Modica shook off a rocky first inning and recorded his league-leading 10th win (10-1) of the season on Friday, while Kevin Crum upped his record to 8-3 on Thursday, which is tied for the second-most wins in the conference.

GEORGIA STATE (35-20, 12-9 in CAA)

The Panthers defeated Florida A&M and swept a doubleheader from Alabama State to set a school record with 35 wins. Georgia State, which has won nine of its last 11 games, will be the #2 seed for the CAA Tournament, which is the highest it has ever been ranked in a conference tournament. Senior Derek Simmons batted .600 (6-10) last week and drove in nine runs in the sweep of ASU. Simmons, who is riding an eight-game hitting streak, is batting .556 with five homers and 16 RBI over the final 11 contests. The Panthers have scored a CAA-best 444 runs this season, which is only two shy of the school record. Marc Mimeault, Derek Simmons and Chase Childers became just the second trio in school history to drive in at least 50 runs in a season. State’s 63 home runs in 2009 are the second-most in school history.

HOFSTRA (11-32 overall, 6-18 in CAA)

The Pride ended the season on a four-game winning streak after recording a three-game sweep of league foe William & Mary. It was Hofstra’s first three-game sweep since 2006. Junior Matt Prokopowicz batted .583 (7-12) versus the Tribe with a double, homer and four RBI. He had three hits and two RBI in each game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Shortstop Chris Mentrasti batted .500 in the series and stole three bases, while senior second baseman Tom Legregni smacked a two-run homer in the final at-bat of his Pride career. Pitchers Rob Kumbatovic and Jeff Guthridge combined for a 3-0 shutout on Saturday, which was the Pride’s first shutout since February, 2007. Kumbatovic (4-8) allowed just four singles over seven innings and Guthridge earned his third save. Senior Brody Fontaine picked up his first victory of the season in the nightcap as he limited the Tribe to one run over six innings in an 8-2 triumph.

JAMES MADISON (30-24 overall, 12-11 in CAA)

The Dukes dropped two of three to George Mason last week and finished .002 percentage points out of a spot in the CAA Tournament. JMU, which won the 2008 title, is the first team with a winning record in CAA play to not make the six-team field. Junior Alex Foltz batted .500 (10-20) in five games last week with a triple, homer, five runs scored and five RBI. Matt Townsend hit .375 for the week and finished the season with a .390 average and a team-high 17 homers. Townsend had a hit in 48 of 54 games and reached base in 52. Shortstop David Herbek became the seventh JMU player with 20 doubles in a season. Closer Kevin Munson gave up only two hits and an unearned run in 5.1 innings last week and tied a JMU season record with his ninth save. JMU posted a 9-6 win over Mason on Saturday in the final game in the 35-year history of Long Field/Mauck Stadium. The Dukes will move into a new stadium in 2010.

UNC WILMINGTON (28-21, 10-8 in CAA)

The Seahawks split four games last week, but won two of three at Old Dominion to earn the #3 seed for the CAA Tournament. UNCW batted .358 for the week and scored 27 runs on 36 hits in the first two games against the Monarchs. The Seahawks had 24 hits in Thursday’s 17-7 triumph, which was one shy of a school record set in 1982. Shortstop Mike Rooney batted .556 with six runs scored and five RBI on the week. Junior Bobby Leeper, who batted .385 for the week, became the first UNCW player to hit for the cycle in the series opener at ODU. Third baseman Matt Holt extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games. He’s batting .367 with 10 doubles and 12 RBI over that stretch. Sophomore Cameron Roth earned his first win of the season when he held ODU to a run on four hits over a career-long six innings in the Seahawks’ tournament-clinching win on Friday. Roth forced ODU to hit into three double plays.

NORTHEASTERN (28-23 overall, 13-11 in CAA)

The Huskies reached the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2006 after capturing the final two games of their series at Towson. Northeastern battled back from a 6-0 deficit to win 13-11 on Friday and then rallied for three runs in the eighth and five in the ninth to earn a 12-8 victory on Saturday. NU scored 35 runs on 55 hits in the Towson series and smacked 10 homers. Catcher Frank Pesanello batted .600 (9-15) versus the Tigers with a homer in each contest and seven RBI. He was a perfect 4-for-4 in Saturday’s finale, including a 2-run blast in the ninth. Third baseman Mike Tamsin went 4-for-6 with four RBI in Friday’s win and first baseman Frank Compagnone was also 4-for-6. Tamsin is batting a team-best .353 with 43 RBI, while Compagnone is right behind at .344. After struggling as a starter in Thursday’s loss to Towson, Trevor Smith threw two scoreless innings of relief on Friday to pick up the win.

OLD DOMINION (22-25 overall, 13-11 in CAA)

The Monarchs earned the #4 seed for the CAA Tournament after defeating UNC Wilmington 9-6 last Saturday in the finale of their three-game series. Freshman Ben Tomchick (5-3) allowed four runs over 6.1 innings to earn the win and Chris Boggs tossed 2.1 scoreless frames to get his first save. Freshman Brett Harris drove in four runs in the victory, with three coming on a bases-loaded triple. Third baseman Jake McAloose went 6-for-9 in the series, including a perfect 4-for-4 effort on Thursday. McAloose is third in the CAA with a .408 batting average. Shortstop Gerard Hall had five hits in the series and will carry a 17-game hitting streak into the tournament. Hall is batting .323 on the year. Leadoff hitter Max Most has drawn a league-high 44 walks and is also batting .335 with 42 runs scored. The Monarchs have four players who have stolen 10 or more bases, led by Cameron Scott with 18 in 20 attempts.

TOWSON (28-25 overall, 12-12 in CAA)

The Tigers’ season came to a disappointing end after they lost the final two games of their series with Northeastern that determined a spot in the CAA Tournament. Towson took the opener 13-10 in 11 innings on Austin Harclerode’s three-run, walk-off homer. It was the second walk-off homer of the year for Harclerode, who batted .583 (7-12) with six RBI in the series. Shortstop Gary Helmick broke Towson season records for hits (98), triples (9), runs (72), total bases (179), slugging percentage (.785) and on-base percentage (.502). He also tops the CAA with a .430 batting average. As a team, the Tigers set new school marks for batting (.321) and doubles (137). They also smacked a league-high 97 homers, with five players hitting 10 or more. In addition, seven players drove in 40 or more runs. Brothers Matt and Kevin Collins combined to bat .351 with 40 doubles, 22 homers, 107 runs scored and 108 RBI.

VCU (20-26 overall, 8-16 in CAA)

The Rams fell 4-1 at nationally ranked Virginia and then were swept in their final three-game series at Delaware. Senior Justin Wright was the offensive star against the Hens, batting .545 (6-11) with three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. He went 4-for-5 in Friday’s 9-4 loss. Joe Van Meter finished the season as the Rams’ top hitter with a .347 average, 13 doubles and 36 RBI. Outfielder Andrew Dimino topped the CAA with 25 stolen bases in 30 attempts. Freshman pitchers Seth Cutler-Voltz and Ryan Crosby tossed back-to-back complete games, the first of each of their careers. After a slow start, Cutler-Voltz limited UD to four hits and one earned run over the final six innings. The Rams will only have to replace five seniors off the 2009 squad.

WILLIAM & MARY (24-25 overall, 9-14 in CAA)

The Tribe closed the season with three straight losses at CAA foe Hofstra. William & Mary scored three runs in the seventh to take a 6-5 lead against the Pride in Friday’s opener, but surrendered a pair of runs in the ninth. Designated hitter Brett Conner was a career-best 4-for-5 and first baseman Tadd Bower went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Senior James Williamson was a team-best 4-for-8 in Saturday’s twinbill. Third baseman Tyler Stampone, who led the team with a .382 batting average, smacked his fifth homer of the year on Saturday. He tops the CAA with a .509 on-base percentage. Pitcher Kevin Landry struck out a career-high 12 batters in Saturday’s opener but came out on the short end of a 3-0 decision. He gave up five hits over seven frames.

Mason Ranked In Two Polls This Week: George Mason is ranked for the sixth straight week in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30 poll at #30 and is also listed at #29 by the NCBWA. The Patriots, who will be the top seed for the CAA Tournament, have gone 36-7 after a 4-3 start. It’s the 10th 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.

National Honors For Henderson, Helmick: George Mason junior Chris Henderson was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top collegiate player, and one of the 13 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award, which is presented to the nation’s top collegiate catcher. Towson senior Gary Helmick was chosen as one of 15 semifinalists for the Brooks Wallace Award, which is presented to the nation’s top collegiate shortstop. Helmick is batting .430 with 17 homers and 51 RBI, while Henderson is hitting .427 with 13 homers and 51 RBI