Every week, I will be breaking down the top teams and players in college baseball. Here are the top performers for the week of March 27- April 1.
Team of the week: LSU Tigers (22-6, 6-3 SEC)
The Tigers went 4-0 on the week, including a three-game sweep of previously number-four ranked Arkansas. They moved up five spots to number seven in the national ranking. They started off the week defeating Louisville-Lafayette 5-0 in a game where 10 pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout. First baseman, Grant Dozer went 1-for-3 with a three-run home run and right fielder, Mason Katz went 1-for-3 with a solo shot in the win.
Kevin Gausman, a top prospect in the draft, went 6.2 innings in the opener against Arkansas, striking out 12 while walking two. He did allow five runs on five hits, but it was good enough for the win in the 10-6 victory by LSU. Sophomore, Ryan Eades, tossed 7.1 innings in the second game, allowing just one run on five hits in a 2-1 win. He also struck out eight to just one walk. Chris Cotton, a junior reliever, picked up his third win of the season by throwing 1.2 perfect innings. Highly touted freshman, Aaron Nola, a 6’-1” right hander, went 6.1 innings in the finale, allowing two runs on three hits. He also struck out nine to just one walk in a game that LSU would win 3-2 in 11 innings. On the season, he is now 3-1, with a 3.15 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 40 K/4 BB over 39.2 innings.
Offensive player of the week: Raph Rhymes, OF, LSU
When you are hitting .486 (.531 in SEC play), people are going to notice. The light-hitting junior managed to up his batting average in a three-game sweep over Arkansas by going 8-for-12 with his first home run of the season and six RBI during the series and now leads the nation in hitting. For the week, he went 10-for-17 (.588) as LSU went 4-0. He now has 16 multi-hit games, and has recorded at least one hit in 25 of 28 games.
Pitcher of the week: Bobby Wahl, RHP, Ole Miss
Wahl, a 6’-3”, junior right-hander, was brilliant against top-ranked Florida on March 30. Against a Gator team that came in averaging seven runs a game, and a team batting average of .299, Wahl tossed eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits in a 3-0 win. He struck out six while walking three as the Rebels handed the Gators just their third loss of the season. Wahl is now 4-0 on the season, with a 1.91 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 48 K/15 BB over 42.1 innings.
Freshman of the week: Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt
Beede, the only first-round draft pick from 2011 to not sign, has been showing why the Toronto Blue Jays tried their luck in selecting him with the 21st-overall pick despite his strong commitment to Vanderbilt. His overall numbers may not look that impressive — 1-3, 5.47 ERA, 1.59 WHIP — but since he has been re-inserted into the starting rotation, they have been looking a whole lot better. Against then-number-14 South Carolina on March 31, he went six innings, allowing just one run on five hits. He also struck out seven to just one walk in picking up his first college win in a 12-4 win. Over his last two starts, he has given up two runs over 11 innings, striking out 15 to just two walks.
Other top performers:
Chris Beck, RHP, Georgia Southern
There is no telling how many strikeouts Beck would have got had his pitch count not been so high. As is was, the top-draft prospect struck out 16 batters over six innings, departing after 126 pitches in a 4-2 win over the College of Charleston. He gave up two runs on seven hits while walking two. On the season, Beck now has 61 strikeouts over 47.2 innings.
Buck Farmer, RHP, Georgia Tech
Farmer out-dueled fellow top-draft prospect, Marcus Stroman, in a 1-0 win over Duke on March 30. He threw a complete-game shutout, allowing three hits over nine innings, while striking out 11 to no walks. Farmer is now 5-2, with 58 strikeouts over 45.1 innings on the season.
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
Stroman was equally impressive in his match-up with Farmer on March 30. Over 7.2 innings, he allowed one run on six hits, while striking out 12 to no walks. He now leads the nation in strikeouts with 72 over 49 innings.
Duke von Schamann, RHP, Texas Tech
Von Schamann threw a two-hit shutout in a 3-1 win over Kansas on March 30. He struck out six while walking just one in picking up his fourth win of the season. The 6’-4” right-hander now has a 1.47 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and has held opponents to a .160 BAA over 61.1 innings on the season.
Justin Amlung, RHP, Louisville
The junior right-hander tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit in a 12-1 win over Villanova on March 30. He struck out nine and didn’t allow a walk in picking up his fourth win of the season. He has a 2.38 ERA, 0.81 WHIP with 49 K/9 BB over 49.1 innings on the year.
Ethan Ogburn, RHP, North Carolina State
The junior right-hander threw eight innings, allowing one run on four hits in a 5-1 win over Virginia on March 30. He struck out seven with no walks in picking up the win. On the season, he is now 3-0, with a 1.50 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 40 K/5 BB over 42 innings.
Ryne Stanek, RHP, Arkansas
Stanek had a tough no-decision in 2-1 loss to LSU on March 31. Over seven innings, the junior allowed one run on six hits. He also struck out 10 while allowing just one walk. He is still a perfect 6-0 on the season, with a 1.26 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 41 K/14 BB over 43 innings.
Kurt Heyer, RHP, Arizona
Heyer beat projected top-five pick Mark Appel and Stanford 8-7 on March 31. Over eight innings, the junior allowed two hits, scattered 10 hits and struck out 11 to two walks. He ran his record to 4-1, with a 2.12 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 51 K/9 BB over 51 innings. Appel got rocked around, allowing six runs on 12 hits over eight innings.
Alex Keudell, RHP, Oregon
The senior out-dueled top-prospect, Brady Rodgers, in a 1-0 win over Arizona State on March 31. He threw a four-hit shutout in picking up his third win of the season. The performance lowered his ERA to 2.39, and WHIP to 1.03 over 48.2 innings on the season.
Brady Rodgers, RHP, Arizona State
Rodgers continues to impress with his ability to keep hitters off base. In a tough loss to Oregon, he went eight innings, allowing one run on four hits, while striking out three to no walks. He is now 4-1 on the season, with a 1.29 ERA< 0.82 WHIP and 42 K/6 BB over 56 innings.
Austin Cousino, OF, Kentucky
Cousino, one of the top freshman in the country, had a huge week for the top-ranked Wildcats. Over four games, he went 6-for-16 (.375) with three home runs, nine RBI and five runs scored as Kentucky went 3-1 on the week. For the season, he is hitting .358 with 10 doubles, five home runs, 24 RBI and six stolen bases. Cousino was a highly decorated player coming into this season, having been named All-American by Baseball America, and was a member of the U16 gold medal winning Team USA.
Darnell Sweeney, 2B, Central Florida
Sweeney went 10-for-18 (.556) with five runs, three RBI and three stolen bases as the Knights went 4-0 on the week and are now ranked 17 in the nation. Over 29 games, the junior is hitting .324 with 31 runs, 18 RBI, 12 stolen bases and a .447 OBP.
Jonathon Walsh, OF, Texas
The junior went 6-for-14 (.429) with two home runs and seven RBI for the Longhorns over four games on the week. He is now hitting .371 with two home runs, 19 RBI and five stolen bases through 24 games on the year.
Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M
Naquin, one of the top outfield prospects in the draft, continued his hot hitting as he went 7-for-16 (.438) over four games this week, and is now hitting .421 through 28 games on the season. He has also added 26 RBI, 11 stolen bases and has a .511 OBP.
Beau Amaral, OF, UCLA
The junior went 5-for-15 (.333) with five runs and five RBI as the Bruins went 3-0 for the week and are now ranked number four in the nation. He also added his first home run of the season, and is now hitting .321 with 17 RBI and six stolen bases on the season.