March 19, 2013
Around the Nation
By Sean Ryan & Phil Stanton
With a win Monday over North Dakota State,
Dartmouth improved to 7-0 and is the only Division I team
without a loss. The Big Green plays Vassar Tuesday and will try
to match the 1903 team for the best start in school history –
140 years of baseball. Dartmouth opened the year with wins over
Minnesota, Northern Iowa and Utah at the Dairy Queen Classic at
the Metrodome and also has wins over Army, LIU and UAB. Through
seven games, the Big Green boasts a 1.57 ERA, tops in the
Dartmouth also leads the nation in
strikeout-to-walk ratio at 5.08 (61 K/12 BB) in 63.0 innings.
Cal State Fullerton is second at 5.00 (145 K/29 BB) in 170
The Big Green boasts two of the three qualifying
pitchers who have yet to issue an earned run: senior Cole Sulser
(12 IP in two starts) and senior Kyle Hunter (11 IP in two
starts). The other hurler with an ERA of 0.00 is sophomore
reliever Matt Lees of VCU (16.1 IP in nine appearances).
Towson’s baseball program officially was notified
that this season would be its last as the school has decided to
drop the program, along with men’s soccer.
The Tigers have responded by taping over the
“Towson” on their jerseys with black tape and winning. The
Tigers are 4-2 in the CAA and 11-7 overall after erupting for 43
runs in a three-game sweep at Hofstra, a team that played
Oklahoma to three tight games to open the season.
Junior outfielder Dominic Fratantuono shared the
CAA Player of the Week with UNC Wilmington’s Michael Bass. It’s
the second time Fratantuono has earned the honor – this time, he
batted .545 (12 for 22) with a homer, three doubles, eight runs
and 11 RBI.
Pitching was on display for a handful of West
Coast teams over the weekend.
UCLA yielded two runs in a sweep of Washington.
UC Irvine took two of three from Nebraska, allowing five runs.
Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State each surrendered six
runs in sweeps of Oral Roberts and Wichita State, respectively.
The Bruins lead the country in WHIP at 0.94 (120
H/39 BB in 169.0 IP).
Also of note, Oregon State allowed nine runs in a
sweep of defending champion Arizona and is second in the nation
with a 1.59 ERA.
There are plenty of big-name schools with the top
RPIs according to Boyd Nation (www.boydsworld.com);
although it’s early, and there often are some early-season
anomalies that correct themselves, it’s worth noting some fast
Notre Dame (12-5) is No. 2
Michigan State (9-7) is No.
South Alabama (17-4) is No.
Austin Peay (17-2) is No. 13
Kent State (6-11) is No. 14
is No. 17
Central Arkansas (17-3) is
Several coaches posted milestone wins over the
weekend. Troy’s Bobby Pierce picked up win No. 900, Virginia
Tech’s Pete Hughes earned win No. 500 and Gardner-Webb’s Rusty
Stroupe notched win No. 300.
Two of the top three and three of the top eight
team batting averages belong to CAA squads. Georgia State is
second at .349, James Madison is third at .337 and Delaware is
eighth at .321. Georgia Tech is the top hitting team at .355.
Lamar is the top fielding team in the country at
.993. The Cardinals have committed six errors in 21 games (812
chances). Lamar is tied for fourth in double plays at 26. UC
Irvine is second in fielding at .991. The Anteaters have seven
errors in 20 contests (740 chances).
The top three strikeout staffs in Division I
reside in the Sun Belt Conference. South Alabama leads the
nation in punchouts per nine innings (9.7, 200 in 186.0 IP).
Western Kentucky is second at 9.7 (183 in 170.2 IP) and Arkansas
State is third at 9.6 (194 in 182.0 IP).
Louisville and Campbell are the top theft squads
in the country. The Cardinals average 3.67 steals per game (66
SB/17 CS in 18 G), while the Camels average 3.53 (67 SB/6 CS in
Junior third baseman Kris Bryant of San Diego
continues to pound the ball, leading the nation in home runs
with 12. Junior D.J. Peterson of New Mexico is the only other
player in double figures at 10. Peterson has the top slugging
percentage at 1.013, with Bryant second at .986.
Senior lefty Nolan Belcher of South Carolina is
listed on the NCAA website as the top pitcher for walks allowed
per nine innings at .25. He has walked one batter in 36.0
innings. But the true leader is freshman right-hander Thomas
Eshelman of Cal State Fullerton, who has yet to issue a free
pass in 35.0 innings.
Senior Tyler Rogers of Austin Peay is the top
fireman, leading the country in saves with eight. Four pitchers
are tied with seven: senior Tyler Webb of South Carolina, junior
Matt Hicks of Louisiana-Lafayette, and sophomores Trace Dempsey
of Ohio State and Brian Miller of Vanderbilt.
West Virginia and Marshall meet on Tuesday, March
19, at 6 p.m. at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston. It will
be the first meeting since 2008, when the Mountaineers defeated
the Thundering Herd 5-3 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It will be the
first in-state encounter since WVU edged MU 12-11 in 1998 in
Charleston. This is the first of a three-game series for 2013.
The teams will meet in Morgantown on April 2 and in Beckley on