March 8, 2013


Around the Nation

By Sean Ryan @collbaseball


At 10-3, Furman is off to its best start since 2001 after a 4-1 road trip. The Paladins, who have two wins over Michigan State and one over USC Upstate and Cincinnati, began SoCon play by taking two of three from preseason favorite Elon – winning Game 1 in 12 innings and dropping Game 2 in 12 innings – then swept a midweek, two-game set at Coastal Carolina. They get another shot at a SoCon top dog when they host Appalachian State this weekend.


Furman, which returned six starters and eight pitchers who saw significant action a year ago, has gotten a big lift from its arms. So far, coach Ron Smith is having success mixing and matching his deep staff: Paladins pitchers average four innings per start and a starter has gone more than six innings twice (Nate Smith both times). In all, starters have thrown 53 innings, while relievers have logged 70.2 innings.


Ryan Morse (1-0, 1 save) and Ben Carlson (2-0, 1 save) each have thrown 10.1 innings in relief and have yet to give up a run in 15 combined appearances, and Mike Solter has earned three saves with a 1.23 ERA.




Rider coach Barry Davis grew up in Virginia and was an all-conference shortstop at Bridgewater College in Harrisonburg, Va. Davis and his Broncs are 5-1 in Virginia after taking three from Radford in games played at Virginia Tech. Rider travels to meet South Carolina this weekend.




La Salle is getting its travel out of the way. The Explorers’ Spring Break trip started with three games at Texas Tech, where they won the opener, and continued this week with two games at New Mexico. They’ll close the trip with four games at New Mexico State. Amazingly, from March 19-May 5, have one trip of more than 60 miles – an April 23 date at Penn State. La Salle plays A-10 foes Fordham, Richmond, Massachusetts and VCU at home; “road” dates during that span are Temple, St. Joseph’s and Delaware (about an hour away).




Stat watch:

·    LSU pitcher Aaron Nola has struck out 26 and walked four this season – he walked seven all of last year. Teammate Raph Rhymes averaged 1.63 hits a game last year (100 in 61 games); he’s at 1.46 a game so far this season (19 in 13 games).

·    NC State shortstop Trea Turner stole 29 straight bases to open his freshman year last year and ended up leading the nation with 57 thefts in 61 attempts. He’s 8 for 8 this season, but as of March 3, doesn’t rank in the top 50 in the nation.

·    Georgia Tech senior Buck Farmer has 30 strikeouts and one walk in 21 innings; Cal State Fullerton freshman Thomas Eshelman has 20 strikeouts and no walks in 20.2 innings.

·    Three of the top 10 hitters in the country are Daniels: UT San Antonio’s Daniel Rockett (first, .553), Troy’s Danny Collins (third, .513) and Georgia Tech’s Daniel Palka (10th, .489).