March 8, 2013
Around the Nation
By Sean Ryan
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
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).
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).