News & Notes (3/7/15)

Top Performers

  • RHP Carson Fulmer (Vanderbilt) wasn’t sharp, but he did enough to earn his third victory of the year in a 6-0 shutout of UCLA. The right-hander allowed just three hits, but walked five batters and hit another in 6.1 innings. He was able to limit the damage thanks to nine strikeouts.
  • OF Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt) and SS Dansby Swanson (Vanderbilt) continued their hot-hitting ways in the series-opener against UCLA. Wiseman went 2-for-4 with his second home run, while Swanson, a projected top-ten pick, went 2-for-5 with an RBI and his fifth stolen base of the 2015 campaign.
  • RHP Thomas Eshelman (Cal State Fullerton) has earned a reputation as a control pitcher, and he was firing on all cylinders on Friday night, striking out a career-best 14 in a 4-0 complete-game shutout of Texas Tech. Eshelman, who picked up his second victory, scattered just five hits and walked one, and threw a ridiculous 75% of his 119 pitches for strikes. He appeared to get stronger as the game went on, striking out five of the final six batters.
  • Both LHP Kevin Duchene (Illinois) and LHP Tyler Jay (Illinois) were on point Friday night in a 6-2 win over Oklahoma State. In his second start of 2015, Duchene struck out six over seven-innings of one-run ball. Through 14 innings, he has posted a 15-to-1 K-to-BB ratio. Jay allowed an inherited run to score when he entered the game in the eighth-inning, and gave up two hits in the ninth, but he got the crucial outs and picked up his fourth save of the year.
  • 2B/SS Alex Bregman (LSU) stole 12 bases last year and a career-best 16 in 2013, but he’s on pace to shatter both numbers in very short order. He picked up his tenth steal in LSU’s 4-2 win over Houston last night, in just the team’s 14th game of the year. Bregman is already a proven hitter (.339 in 2015) and a solid defender, so adding in the threat of stolen bases only increases his value as we inch closer to draft day.
  • LHP Cole Irvin (Oregon) continues to look sharp in his return from Tommy John surgery. The lefty tossed four scoreless innings, striking out three, in a 4-3 extra-inning win over St. John’s, and has allowed just one earned run in 11 innings to start the season.
  • RHP Dillon Tate (UC Santa Barbara) is moving up draft boards so quickly, he might actually warrant the number one overall selection by the time the draft rolls around. The right-hander struck out ten more batters in seven scoreless innings of work and improved to 3-1 on the year in a 2-0 win over Sacramento State. Through four starts, Tate has 35 strikeouts in 28 innings and an ERA of 0.96.

Worst Performers

  • RHP James Kaprielian (UCLA) mirrored his opponent on Friday night with nine strikeouts against Vanderbilt, but he couldn’t escape a vaunted Commodores lineup without giving up four runs, three earned, on eight hits. The right-handed needed 99 pitches to make it through 5.1 innings. The loss was his first of the year.
  • INF Matt Gonzalez (Georgia Tech) continues to struggle to hit his own weight, which is a healthy 195 pounds. Despite a 1-for-4 performance on Friday night in a 3-2 extra-innings loss to Notre Dame, the junior is hitting a meager .189 with just three extra-base hits. Through 13 games, he has more strikeouts (13) than hits (10).
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