DALLAS - The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released the Pro-Line Athletic National Player of the Week awards for the period ending April 29, today. UCF senior third baseman Matt Horwath was named National Hitter of the Week, while Tennessee sophomore lefthander James Adkins was named National Pitcher of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I conferences each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Horwath, the Knights leadoff hitter, had one of the best offensive weeks in UCF history. In four games, he went 11-for-16 for a .688 average, scored eight runs, drove in three, stole a base and had four doubles, a home run and his first two triples of his career. The senior scored twice and had at least two hits in all four games to help the Knights go 4-0 on the week, including a three-game sweep of Tulane, its first-ever sweep of a C-USA series. In Friday night's series opener against Tulane he hit for UCF's first-ever cycle. Horwath was hit by a pitch in the first, singled in the third, tripled in the fourth and homered to lead-off the seventh. He came to the plate with the score tied at 6-6 in the eighth and delivered with a RBI double to complete the cycle and also give UCF a 7-6 win.
Adkins broke the Tennessee school record for strikeouts during a complete-game win at LSU last Friday in which he allowed just three hits and struck out 14 batters. The preseason All-America selection got Jason Lewis to strikeout looking in the bottom of the sixth inning to break former big-leaguer and Vol great R.A. Dickey's school record of 345 strikeouts from 1994-96. Adkins now boasts 350 Ks for his career and has 103 on the season. A junior from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., Adkins needed just three pitches for six of his 14 Ks Friday. He allowed only one run while notching his sixth career complete game and his second of 2007.
With this week's honor, Adkins automatically are named to the watch list for Roger Clemens Award, given to the national collegiate pitcher of the year, sponsored by the Greater Houston Baseball Organization.
Fort Worth-based Pro-Line Athletic supplies the official cap to more than 100 Division I college teams and official uniforms and team wear to six Division 1 college teams. This is the third season Pro-Line has sponsored the NCBWA's Players of the Week. The sponsorship provides for plaques to be awarded to each of the weekly winners and other promotional consideration. For more information about Pro-Line, visit their Website at: www.prolineathletic.com .
The most hyped series of the weekend turned out to be a huge disappointment. The Florida State Seminoles completed the weekend sweep of the Vols to extend their record to 3-0. The Seminole bats carried the team today in a 19-7 romp. Tony Thomas Jr. went 4-6 with four runs scored and driven in.
The FSU Seminoles took Game 2 on Saturday by a score of 4-0. Seminoles starter Micheal Hyde lasted 6.1 innings while only giving up two hits. Hyde also had a career high 10 strikeouts. Brian Chambers pitched 1.2 innings of hitless baseball and Jimmy Marshall pitched the ninth inning without allowing a hit. D’Vontrey Richardson in his first career baseball game went 2-3 with a run scored and driven in. The Vols offense has been non-existent and better get it rolling before the start of the SEC season.
The Florida State Seminoles took game one from the Volunteers of Tennessee on Friday. Bryan Henry gave a top of the line performance by giving up no runs in his six innings of work. Henry also struck out eleven batters. The Seminoles were led on offense by Jack Rye and Buster Posey. Rye went 2-4 including a homer and also scored two runs and drove in three. Craig Cobb of Tennessee did not give a great performance on the mound by giving up nine runs in 6.2 innings of work. Shawn Griffin and Cody Brown both went 2-4 in the loss. The teams face off tomorrow back at Dick Howser Stadium.
FSU Game Recap
Tennessee Game Recap
All Smiles at FSU after Game 1
Henry overpowers Vols
Posey solid behind plate
Both Florida State and Tennessee have posted game notes for the big series in Tallahassee this weekend. The Seminoles enter the series with many question marks with a pitching staff which is very low in experience. After Bryan Henry, The Noles are planning on starting Micheal Hyde who really was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde last season and they are still TBA on a Sunday starter. They will also be without Luke Tucker who is still sitting on the sidelines with a sore pitching arm. The Vols are not without injuries either. They will be missing Julio Borbon who was expected to start in center field this season but will be out another 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle. He was one of the best players on the USA National team this summer.
Julio Borbon will be out 8-10 weeks with an ankle injury which hampers the beginning of the season for the Tennessee Vols. They are expected to compete for teh SEC championship this year and Julio was expected to be the catalyst for the program. He led the team in hitting in 2006 with a .366 batting average. The full article written by Kendall Rogers is available here.
The Volunteers have released their 2007 schedule also. As previously discussed on here is their trip to FSU and they have a bunch of non-marquee OOC games. The full schedule can be seen here.
Nebraska won their Super Regional today with a sweep as they beat the Miami Hurricanes 6-3. Johnny Dorn provided the pitching for the Huskers as the Husker pitching staff kept the Canes bats quiet the whole series. Alex Gordon was ejected from the game for the Huskers in the sixth inning for arguing with an umpire. (He said a magic word.) There will be a full report from one of our Huskers reader real soon.
The Georgia Tech baseball team was swept right out of the tournament by a pitching heavy Tennessee squad. The duo of James Adkins and Luke Hochevar kept the Jackets bats quiet throughout the weekend with a 13-3 victory on Saturday and an exciting 3-2 victory to lead them back to Omaha.
Vols at Georgia Tech
They are looking to go to their fourth CWS qualifying in 1951, 1995, and in 2001. They have a team which is led by one of the best pitchers in the country in Luke Hochevar (15-2 2.13 ERA 140 K’s). As you expect, he dominated the SEC throughout and will likely win the game in which he starts. The Vols top offensive threat is Eli Iorg who has a batting average of .390 with 15 homers and 70 RBIs. He only saw limited action in the Regional due to an injury to his foot. He hopefully will be back for the Super Regional in a full capacity or UT might be in some major trouble.
The ACC Regular Season and Postseason Champs Georgia Tech look to be the best team because they have it all. They have solid starting pitching and an excellent offense. Sophomore 3B Wes Hodges leads the Jackets in hitting with a .404 BA with Tyler Greene being the second option with his .373 Average, 72 RBI’s, and 12 homers. Greene was selected by the St Louis Cardinals with the 30th overall pick. The top three starters for the Georgia Tech team are Lee Hyde, Blake Wood, and Ryan Turner have a combined record of 24-7 and a 3.74 ERA.
Baseball America’s take on Greene
Green is a 60 runner (some say 70 under way) on the 20-80 scouting scale, with good instincts on the basepaths and elsewhere. A plus arm and good range make him at least an averages defender at short. The question is offense. His hands are just OK both at the plate and in the field. Greene’s swing has evolved to a metal-bat, inside-out style that doesn’t incorporate his hands, short-circuiting his power and leaving him with several holes. His aptitude with wood, however, reminds scouts of Cubs prospect Matt Murton, who also hit better in summers on the Cape than with Georgia Tech.
I believe with the pitching depth of the Jackets that they win this series in 2 quick games.
Clemson at Baylor
Clemson comes into this series on a hot streak by winning 14 out of their last 16 games. They dominated their regional by only letting up 5 runs in the three games they played. They are led by DH Kris Harvey who is hitting .342 this year with a nice total of 24 HRs. The hottest pitcher for them has been Josh Cribb who is 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in his last four starts.
Baylor enters this series after a tough weekend of bad weather in Waco. They are lead by Mark McCormick who is 7-3 with a 3.12 ERA this season. Senior Catcher Josh Ford is their top offensive weapon with his .322 average which leads the team. These are very low numbers for a team leader and could spell issues for the Baylor offense.
My prediction is that Clemson wins the series 2 games to 1.
Arizona State at Cal State Fullerton
Arizona State is not going to win this series because they have to face the potent lineup of Cal State Fullerton. Ricky Romero who was the number 6 overall pick of the Blue Jays will dominate this Sun Devil team. Romero has a 12-5 record with a 132 K’s in 125 innings. He is the best pitcher in the game and is battle tested for an example just look at the CWS from last year when Romero pitched very well in Omaha. He won two games in the CWS including Game 1 of the Championship series. Ronnie Prettyman is hitting .333 this year with 13 SBs.
Baseball America’s Take on Ricky Romero
Romero has three solid, major league-ready pitches that he can throw for strikes almost at will, including a fastball that sits at 90-91 mph and touches 93-94. He also has an excellent curveball and a better feel for a changeup this year after he reduced his reliance on his curve. But Romero gets his highest grades for his makeup, temperament and competitive zeal. He is an excellent student of the game who understands the science of pitching, and is a master at controlling the tempo of a game.
This CSF team is well rounded and will beat the Sun Devils in 2 games.