Every week, I will be breaking down the top teams and players in college baseball. Here are the top performers for the week of 4/16-4/22.
Team of the week: Baylor Bears 35-7 (18-0, Big 12)
- Officially licensed by the MLB
- Officially licensed by the MLB
Baylor went 5-0 on the week including a three-game sweep of in-state rivals Texas A&M. On April 17, they beat Texas A&M Corpus Christi 15-12 as third baseman Cal Towey went 3-for-4 with four RBI. Left fielder Dan Evatt added a three-run home run in the slug fest, and freshman Austin Stone allowed two runs over five innings in picking up his second win of the season. The Bears knocked of Corpus Christi 11-1 the following day as sophomore left-hander Brad Kuntz allowed just one hit over five innings. Towey added two more RBI in the win.
Junior left-hander Josh Turley picked up his sixth win of the season in the Bears 5-3 win over the Aggies on April 20. He went seven innings, allowing one run on eight hits. He improved to 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 65 innings. Center fielder Logan Vick added two RBI and junior Max Garner tossed two perfect innings picking up his sixth save.
Trent Blank, a senior right-hander, was dominant in a 1-0 Bears win on April 21. He went eight innings, allowing no runs on four hits while striking out six to no walks. He is now 9-0 with a 2.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. First baseman Max Muncy added the only RBI with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Garner pitched a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.
Catcher Josh Ludy went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in Baylor’s 7-5 win over the Aggies on April 22 to finish the sweep. Evatt and Muncy added two RBI a piece and Garner picked up his third save of the series by getting the final two outs. Baylor climbed four spots in the rankings and now sits at number five in the nation.
Offensive player of the week: Trea Turner, 3B, North Carolina State
Turner added five more stolen bases this week and continues to lead the nation by a landslide. Over five games, he went 12-for-21 (.571) with seven runs scored, five RBI and had a .654 OBP. He has been ridiculous over his last 10 games, going 24-for-44 (.546) with 13 runs, four doubles, 12 RBI eight walks, 12 stolen bases and a 1.305 OPS. That torrid run has boosted his season totals to a .355 AVG, 43 runs, 28 RBI, a .911 OPS and he is 41-for-43 in stolen base attempts.
Pitcher of the week: Jordan Spencer, RHP, Oregon
In just his third start of his career, the freshman left-hander tossed the first no-hitter in Oregon’s history. He faced 29 batters, struck out five and walked none in the Ducks 3-0 victory on April 18. He is now 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 11 K/9 BB over 21.2 innings.
Freshman of the week: Carlos Rodon, LHP, North Carolina State
Rodon finishes off the freshmen sweep as he continues to be not only one of the best freshman in the country, but one of the best pitchers regardless of class. He tossed eight shutout innings against Boston College in a 9-0 Wolfpack win on April 21. He allowed just five hits while striking out 10 to one walk. He improved his record to 7-0 with a 1.23 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 85 K/20 BB over 73.1 innings. He ranks third in ERA among starters and is holding opponents to a .182 batting average.
Other top performers
Nick Petree, RHP, Missouri State
Petree, a sophomore left-hander who red-shirted his freshman year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, went six scoreless innings as Missouri State beat Wichita State 6-0 on April 20. He allowed four hits while striking out nine to three walks. It wasn’t an extraordinary performance on his part, but it did run his scoreless streak to 49.1 innings. The NCAA doesn’t seem to hold official records for this stat, but it appears to already be a record. He is now 8-2 with a 0.77 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 67 K/22 BB over 70.1 innings. During his seven-game scoreless streak, he has allowed just 28 hits while striking out 52 over those 49.1 innings.
Kyle Hansen, RHP, St. Johns
The 6’-8”, junior right-hander completely dominated Cincinnati on April 22. He threw a six-hit shutout, while striking out a career-high 16 batters to no walks in the Red Storm’s 9-0 win over the Bearcats. He is now 2-5 with a 4.05 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 72 K/15 BB over 53.1 innings. His 12.2 K/9 ranks among the top-five in the nation.
Matthew Reckling, RHP, Rice
Reckling tossed a one-hit shutout over East Carolina on April 20 and continues to put together one of the most impressive seasons for a starter this year. He struck out 10 to two walks in Rice’s 2-0 victory. The junior is now 7-0 with a 1.44 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 80K/25 BB over 68.2 innings. It was his second shutout of the year, and he’s holding opponents to a miniscule .145 batting average.
Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State
Heaney went 8.1 innings, allowing just one run on six hits in a no-decision against Texas Tech on April 20. He struck out nine while walking just two and is now 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 94 K/16 BB over 75.2 innings. He ranks second in the nation in strikeouts and has four complete games.
Jace Fry, LHP, Oregon State
The freshman left-hander tossed a six-hit shutout over UCLA on April 21 as the Beavers beat the Bruins 3-0. He had a career-high six strikeouts and has pitched 16 scoreless innings over his last two starts. He is now 4-2 with a 2.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 29 K/16 BB over 44.1 innings.
Kurt Heyer, RHP, Arizona
Heyer went the distance, allowing just one run in the Wildcats 10-2 thumping of Washington on April 20. It was his fourth complete game of the year, and over 10 starts, he is now 7-1 with a 1.96 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 62 K/12 BB over 78 innings.
Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
The 5’-9” junior struck out nine more batters over seven innings in picking up a win in Duke’s 6-3 victory over Virginia on April 20. He allowed three runs on seven hits and is now 4-3 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, and he leads the nation with 102 strikeouts.
Travis Jankowski, OF, Stony Brook
The projected first-round pick has been heating up lately, going 8-for-15 (.533) over five games last week with six runs, a double, three triples, four RBI and three stolen bases. He was also hit by a pitch three times, giving him seven for the year. Over 39 games, he is hitting .355 with 12 doubles, seven triples, 23 RBI, 23 stolen bases and a .992 OPS.
Raph Rhymes, OF, LSU
Rhymes went 13-for-20 (.650) over five games last week and is now leading the nation with an insane .496 batting average. He had three doubles, a home run and seven RBI on the week. He has six multi-hit games in a row and 22 on the season, including five four-hit games.
Matt Wessinger, SS, St. Johns
The senior went 9-for-23 (.391) over five games with a home run and eight RBI, and over his last 10 games, is 21-for-43 (.488) with 19 runs, three doubles, a home run, 15 RBI and four stolen bases. On the season, he is hitting .380 with 46 runs, 10 doubles, five home runs, 40 RBI, 24 stolen bases and a 1.024 OPS over 40 games.