CSTV Editor Doug Kroll checks in with his weekly article on the top college baseball players. The position in which he focuses on this week is the closer. He lists Cole St. Clair of Rice in the top spot. He has struggled throughout his career with the Owls as he tends to be injured every season. Continue reading CSTV’s Top Closers
FROM VALLEY BASEBALL LEAGUE
Baseball website PGcrosschecker.com recently compiled its list of the top 20 players in the Valley Baseball League. The list was compiled by Allan Simpson with input from the league’s managers and scouts.
Similar to the recently released Baseball America list, PG Crosschecker identified Winchester’s Luke Greinke as the league’s top prospect. He was also the league MVP. He was followed by Covington outfielder Jason Kipnis, but then six of the next seven players listed were pitchers.
Simpson noted that league officials felt that the 2007 season saw a jump in overall talent around the league, in particular in the pitching department. The numbers appear to support that assertion. In 2007, league pitchers as a whole had a 3.70 earned run average while hitters had a .247 batting average as a league. In 2006, hitters posted a .258 average while pitchers compiled a 3.88 ERA, and the year before saw a .257 batting average and 3.97 ERA as a league.
While Waynesboro finished first in the regular season and won the Jim Lineweaver Cup as league champions, the Generals placed just three players in the top 20 and none higher than #11. In fact, many of the top prospects come from the lower half of the standings. Simpson noted that was a sign of the league’s improved depth.
PGCrosschecker.com Valley League Top 20 Prospects
1. Luke Greinke, UT, Winchester (Auburn)
2. Jason Kipnis, OF, Covington (Arizona State)
3. Zac Blakney, RHP, Fauquier (Montevallo)
4. Shayne Moody, SS, Woodstock (Charlotte)
5. Ashur Tolliver, LHP, Harrisonburg (Arkansas-Little Rock)
6. Donald Jordat, RHP, Luray (Miami-Dade C.C.)
7. Rob Gilliam, RHP, Luray (UNC Greensboro)
8. Tim Sexton, RHP, Staunton (Miami-Dade C.C.)
9. Josh Judy, RHP, Haymarket (Indiana Tech)
10. Tyler Kuhn, SS/2B, Luray (West Virginia)
11. Pat Irvine, C/OF, Waynesboro (Elon)
12. Garrett Parker, RHP, Harrisonburg (Oklahoma City)
13. Bobby Hernandez, RHP, Staunton (Barry)
14. Josh Eidell, RHP, Woodstock (Villanova)
15. Elih Villanueva, RHP, Luray (Florida State)
16. Jeremy Cruz, 1B, Luray (Stetson)
17. Chris Masters, LHP, New Market (Western Carolina)
18. Brandon Sizemore, 2B, Waynesboro (Charleston)
19. Kurt Davidson, C/1B, Waynesboro (Akron)
20. Dustin Umberger, RHP, Luray (Liberty)
Full scouting reports from the summer on each player are available here. A subscription is required to view the insider-level reports.
The Cape Cod Baseball League has announced their players of the week for the week ending on June 29th. The league named Bourne pitcher T.J. Hose (East Carolina) the Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week after pitching eight innings without allowing an earned run. Brian Pruitt (Stetson) also of Bourne was named the Coca-Cola Player of the Week after hitting .412 last week. The full press release from the Cape Cod League is available by clicking here.
The FSU Seminoles picked up a big victory over the Stetson Hatters to force a rematch with Mississippi State on Sunday evening. The Seminoles used an eleven run seventh inning to blow open a 5-0 game. Tony Thomas Jr., Brandon Reichert, and Buster Posey all had three hits in the game to lead the Seminoles offense. Ryan Strauss started for the Noles as he went 7 innings as his record goes to 10-3. Stetson ends the season with a 42-21 record.
Mississippi State 9 FSU 4
Mississippi State eliminated the Florida State Seminoles from the NCAA Tournament after a 9-4 victory. Mitch Moreland went 2-4 with 3 RBI and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to lead the Bulldogs to the victory. MSU now prepares for a Super Regional against the Coastal Carolina/Clemson winner next weekend. FSU ends the season with a 49-13 mark.
The Stetson Hatters (42-20) picked up a victory in an elimination game over Bethune-Cookman 12-0. The Hatters got an excellent start from Corey Kluber who pitched seven shutout innings while scattering five hits. The Hatters offense was led by Justin Bass who went 2-6 with three RBI. Shane Jordan also had a solid game by going 3-6 with three runs scored from his leadoff spot. Angel Mercado and Drew Clark each picked up two hits in the game for the Wildcats. BCC ends the season with a 33-27 record while Stetson awaits FSU in the losers bracket.
Orlando Sentinel Recap
Mississippi State 3 FSU 0
Justin Pigott pitched 7.0 shutout innings and Aaron Weatherford pitched two shutout innings as the pair combined to shut down the Florida State offense limiting them to three hits in a 3-0 victory in the Tallahassee Regional. Russ Snead hit his second homer on the season in the game to lead the Bulldogs offense. MSU awaits the winner of the FSU-Stetson elimination game on Sunday.
The Bulldogs scored all six runs in the fourth inning through the seventh as they were able to handle the Stetson Hatters 6-3. Joseph McCaskill went 3-4 with an RBI to lead the offense for MSU. They will take on FSU on Saturday while Stetson will face Bethune-Cookman.
FSU 6 Bethune-Cookman 2
FSU scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to take control of their opening round game against Bethune-Cookman. FSU was led by Buster Posey who went 3-4 with 2 RBI. The Seminoles will take on Mississippi State on Saturday while Bethune-Cookman will play Stetson.
The Florida State Seminoles was named the number 6 seed in the NCAA Baseball Tournament and was named the host of the Tallahassee Regional. They will be joined by Mississippi State, Stetson, and Bethune-Cookman.
Florida State (47-11)
The Florida State Seminoles enter this weekend after losing two out of three games in the ACC Tournament to put their overall record at 47-11. They are led by All-American candidates Bryan Henry and Tony Thomas Jr. Henry was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year after going a perfect 14-0 in his first 16 starts but picked up a loss in the ACC Tournament as he lost a 5-1 decision to Clemson. Tony Thomas Jr. has been hitting the ball well throughout the season as he is one of the top hitters in the country with his .442 average. He also has 32 doubles and 30 stolen bases in only 58 games. The Seminoles open the tournament by playing Bethune-Cookman at 7 pm on Friday.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs enter the NCAA Tourney with an at-large berth after finishing the season with a 33-20 overall record and 15-13 in the SEC. They are led by Brandon Turner who leads the team with a .407 batting average. Edward Easley leads the team with twelve homers on the season and is hitting at an impressive .373 average. The Bulldog starting pitching is weak with Justin Pigott leading the team in starts but has a 5-6 record with an ERA of 4.63. The other starting pitcher is Josh Johnson who is 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA in 12 starts. Mississippi State opens the tournament on Friday at 1pm when they play Stetson.
The Stetson Hatters enter the weekend as the Regular Season Champion of the Atlantic Sun Conference and reached the semifinals of the Conference Tournament so they picked up an at-large berth with a 41-19 overall record. The Hatters are led by 27th year head coach Pete Dunn who has won over a thousand games in his illustrious career. They are led by a strong pitching staff which has a staff ERA of 3.65. The top starter is Corey Kluber who has an 11-2 record with a slim ERA of 2.19. Number 2 starter Chris Ingoglia has a 9-5 mark and 2.98 ERA with four complete games. Robbie Elsemiller is the closer on the team and has a record of 3-1 with 12 saves and an ERA of 2.32. Justin Bass leads the team in hitting with a batting average of .365 and Shane Jordan is right behind him at .355. Stetson opens the weekend at 1 pm against Mississippi State on Friday.
Bethune-Cookman won the MEAC Conference Tournament to receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They enter the weekend with an overall record of 33-25. The head coach is Mervyl Melendez who is in his eighth season with the school. He is led by Angel Mercado who is hitting .400 for the season in 52 games. Dustin Blackwell is the top pitcher for BCC with a 8-5 record and a 2.86 ERA. After looking over the BCC roster, the coaching staff is making a strong commitment to recruiting kids from Puerto Rico to give them the opportunity to play college baseball.
The CBB predicts that Florida State will win the regional but the sleeper team is Stetson with their strong pitching staff and could surprise some teams.
Memphis 10, Arkansas State 5
JONESBORO, Ark. – Freshman Brennon Martin scattered 10 hits and struck out four in 6.1 innings of work and senior Adam Amar tied the Memphis’ all-time RBI record with a run-scoring single in the first inning, as the Tigers clinched their 30th win of the year in a 10-5 victory over Arkansas State Tuesday evening at Tomlinson Stadium. Amar’s RBI was his 170th and ties him with Chris Marable, who lettered at the U of M from 1986-89.
The win guarantees the Tigers’ fourth winning season since 1995. It also seals the program’s first back-to-back winning seasons since the 1994 and 1995 campaigns. Memphis is now 30-18 on the year and Arkansas State is 19-29. The evening also marked the official opening of Barton’s Baseball Deck at ASU’s Tomlinson Stadium.
The two squads will meet in the series finale on Wednesday at Nat Buring Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.
Troy 20, UAB 15
TROY, Ala. - The UAB Blazers entered Tuesday’s game at Troy as one of only three teams in the nation to have more triples than home runs, but that all changed as the Blazers blasted a season-high six home runs, only to be outdone by the Trojans who out-slugged the Blazers for a 20-15 victory at Riddle-Pace Field. Junior first baseman Ryan Keedy had two home runs to highlight his 3-for-4 showing.
Troy improves to 30-20 with the win, while UAB is now 20-30 and has completed its non-conference schedule.
The Blazers will next be in action on Friday when they begin a three-game Conference USA series at Marshall at 6 p.m. Troy will close out its home schedule with a Sun Belt Conference series against New Orleans this weekend. First pitch Friday night is set for 6 p.m.
UCF 14, Stetson 3
DELAND, Fla. – Mitch Herold’s career-high nine strikeouts and the offense’s record-breaking eighth inning enabled the UCF baseball team to defeat Stetson, 14-3, Tuesday in DeLand, Fla. The Knights (24-26) sent 17 batters to the plate in the eighth vs. the Hatters (36-13), notching 10 hits and scoring 11 runs, the most runs ever in an eighth inning by a UCF offense.
The Conference USA schedule resumes this weekend as UCF wraps up its seven-game road trip at No. 30 East Carolina. First pitch of the three-game series is set for Friday at 7 p.m. Stetson travels to Nashville, Tenn. to face Lipscomb in an Atlantic Sun Conference series.
Citadel 8, No. 30 East Carolina 6
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Ryan Wood’s career night was not enough to help East Carolina, as the Pirates fell 8-6 to The Citadel Tuesday night in midweek action at Clark-LeClair Stadium.
The Pirates will be back in action Wednesday night when the play host to No. 4 North Carolina. Jeff Ostrander will take the hill for ECU with a first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. (EDT). The Citadel will travel to Columbia, S.C. to face No. 7 South Carolina. First pitch is set for 8 p.m. EDT.
The Clemson Tigers bats came alive at Doug Kingsmore Stadium by grabbing 16 hits as the Tigers rolled to a 14-5 victory over South Carolina. Wilson Boyd led the Tigers with 4 RBI with Ben Paulsen and Taylor Harbin with three hits and three RBI. D. J. Mitchell picked up his second win of the season by pitching six solid innings while giving up only one run on four hits and three walks. His record goes to 2-0 on the season. South Carolina starter Blake Cooper went four innings while giving up 2 runs (one earned) but grabbed the loss to drop his record to 5-1. The Tigers did most of their damage against Alex Farutto who gave up four runs in 0.2 innings. Clemson will be back in action when they host Georgia Tech while South Carolina will head to Alabama.
North Carolina 3 High Point 1
The North Carolina Tar Heels got 6.2 innings of shutout relief from Rob Wooten, Matt Danford, and Andrew Carignan combined which carried the Tar Heels to the 3-1 victory over High Point. North Carolina was led on offense by Josh Horton who hit a homer to drive in a run while Seth Williams and Tim Federowicz each had an RBI to account for all the Tar Heels run. North Carolina will be back in action this weekend when they head to NC State while High Point heads to Longwood on Thursday.
James Madison 7 Virginia 6 (14 innings)
The James Madison Dukes scored five runs in the top of the 14th inning but ended up giving up four runs in the bottom of the 14th to hold onto a 7-6 victory over Virginia on Wednesday. The Dukes were led by Mitchell Moses who went 3-6 with four RBI including two homers while lead-off hitter Davis Stoneburner went 4-7. Virginia was led by David Adams who went 3-6. James Madison will head to Georgia State in a conference match-up while Virginia hosts Maryland.
NC State 6 UNC-Wilmington 1
Caleb Mangum drove in four runs to lead the Wolfpack to the 6-1 victory over the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks in non-conference action on Wednesday. Clayton Shunick (4-2) got the win by going 2.2 innings while giving up only one hit. Andrew Morgan got the loss to drop to 0-1 on the season. NC State will host UNC for a weekend series while Wilmington heads to William & Mary.
Miami 7 Stetson 3
Dennis Raben led the Hurricanes to a 7-3 victory by going 2-3 with a homer and 2 RBI. Yonder Alonso also hit a homer with his only hit in the game. Manny Miguelez went seven strong innings while only giving up only three runs to send his record to 1-2 on the season. Corey Kluber got his first loss of the season by giving up five runs in five innings to drop his record to 8-1. Miami will host FSU for a weekend showdown while Stetson heads to UCF next Wednesday for another mid-week match-up.
Virginia Tech 8 Radford 3
Rob Whitley pitched six shutout innings in his first start in over a month to lead the Hokies to a 8-3 victory over Radford. The win was Whitley’s first of his young career. He was led on offense by Jose Cueto who went 2-5 with an RBI. The Hokies will be back in action on Friday at Boston College. The CBB will be moving their offices on Saturday and MIGHT be at Sunday’s series finale. Radford will host Mars Hill for a weekend series.
Wake Forest 13 Appalachian State 5
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons won their second straight game in as many days with a 13-5 victory over Appalachian State in Boone NC. The Demon Deacons used a 17 hit attack but the biggest news of the game was the return of Willy Fox who missed the last 15 games with a laceration to his leg from a botched robbery at his residence in which he was stabbed by the intruder. Wake Forest will be back in action on Friday when they host Duke while ASU will play host to UNC-Asheville.
Northeastern 2 Boston College 0
Click here for Full Recap