02/26/2018 10:44 AM
We’re almost two full weeks into the 2018 college baseball season, which means it’s time to look at how Big Train players are starting off their spring campaigns. Locally, Logan Driscoll (BT 2017) is off to a hot start for George Mason. He’s hit safely in all seven of the Patriots’ games, and leads the team with a .560 batting average, .680 slugging percentage, 14 hits and six runs scored. Driscoll has also shown off his versatility, making starts at catcher, third base and right field.
Around the beltway, outfielder Zach Jancarski (BT 2017) leads the Maryland Terrapins with three steals, and ranks second in batting average (.276), slugging (.517) and RBIs (5). He notched his first career two-homer game last Wednesday when he launched a pair of solo shots in the Terps’ loss to William & Mary. Teammate John Murphy (BT 2016-17) has not allowed a run in four innings so far, and picked up his first save of the season when he closed out Maryland’s 6-3 victory over Army on Sunday. Justin Morris (BT 2014-17) is just 2-for-18 to start the season, but his six walks rank second on the Terps, and his .360 OBP ranks third.
At James Madison University, right-hander Matt Marsili (BT 2016) has four strikeouts in 3.2 innings without surrendering a run. His teammate, Fox Semones (BT 2016-18), is off to a slow start, however, hitting .222 with four runs scored through seven contests.
Right-hander Mitchell Wilson (BT 2017) got the ball in UMBC’s season opener Friday, tossing 4.1 innings of one-run ball with four strikeouts in a 2-1 win over Penn State. Stephen Schoch (BT 2016-17), who didn’t allow a run in 26.1 innings for Big Train last summer, tossed three scoreless frames to close out the victory.
The reigning Cal Ripken League Most Outstanding Player and Perfect Game Summer Collegiate Player of the Year, James Outman (BT 2017), is off to a hot start at the plate for Sacramento State. The junior outfielder leads the team in hits (8) and doubles (3), and his .286/.375/.500 slash line is second on the Hornets. Fellow Hornet and Big Train alum Vinny Esposito (BT 2016-17) has seen his average dip to .240, but the senior first baseman is tied with Outman for the team lead in doubles, and paces the team with seven walks and a .406 on-base percentage.
Elsewhere in California, Ken Waldichuk (BT 2017) has solidified his spot in the St. Mary’s Gaels rotation. Through two starts, the left-hander has tossed 12.2 innings with a sparkling 2.13 ERA. This includes a dominant performance Sunday against Arizona State, in which Waldichuk struck out 10 and walked none in 7.2 innings, but was tagged with a tough luck loss after giving up just two runs. Fellow southpaw Ty Madrigal (BT 2017) has not given up an earned run in three relief appearances spanning 5.2 innings. Kevin Milam (BT 2017) is an early star for St. Mary’s (CA) both at the plate and on the mound. The sophomore is slotted in the lineup as the three-hitter and has earned his spot in the rotation as the Gaels’ Saturday starter. At the plate, Milam leads the team with a .320 average, eight hits, six walks and a .469 OBP. The right-hander owns a lofty 5.25 ERA through two starts, but whiffed eight hitters in six innings on Saturday.
Down the road in Los Angeles, Albee Weiss (BT 2014) is dominating early on for the Cal State Northridge Matadors. He leads the team with five homers, 14 RBIs and nine runs scored, while boasting a .357 batting average.
At Cal State Stanislaus, right-hander Matt Pulos (BT 2017-18) has made three appearances, including two starts, through the team’s first 12 games. In 10.2 innings, he’s struck out 14 hitters and posted a 3.37 ERA.
Down in Florida, Logan Gilbert (BT 2016) has suffered a couple rough outings to open the season, boasting a 5.56 ERA through two starts as the Stetson Friday night ace. The big right-hander’s stuff is electric as ever, though, as he’s struck out 20 in 11.1 innings, and he gave up two runs across six strong frames last time out. His battery mate, Austin Hale (BT 2016), leads the Hatters with a .368 average and .478 on-base percentage through seven games. Outfielder Jacob Koos (BT 2017) is hitting just .222 early on, but is tied for the team lead with four runs scored.
Right-hander Kyle Marman (BT 2016) leads Florida Atlantic with 21 strikeouts in 12.2 innings, and has allowed just one run on the season for a 0.71 ERA. In three appearances (3.1 innings), Blake Sanderson (BT 2017) has given up just one hit while striking out three. Gunnar Lambert (BT 2016) is hitting just .217 in six starts, but has one of the Owls’ three home runs, and ranks second on the team with a .478 slugging percentage.
Freshman Tanner Allen (BT 2017) has started all seven games for Mississippi State this spring, playing primarily at third base. He’s slashing .261/.370/.478, and put together a 3-for-3, four RBI, two double performance Saturday against Nicholls State. Jacob Billingsley (BT 2014) has made two starts for the Bulldogs, posting a 5.87 ERA in 7.2 innings on the mound.
Elsewhere in the SEC, Luke Heyer (BT 2017) has hit safely in six of seven games. The Kentucky infielder is hitting .333, and leads the team with an .875 slugging percentage while ranking second with four homers.
Infielder Garrett Kueber (BT 2016-17) leads Austin Peay in numerous offensive categories, including batting average (.423), slugging (.808), doubles (5), RBIs (10) and total bases (21). He’s hit safely in all but one game this season, including a pair of three-hit performances against Toledo over the weekend.
Jacksonville State second baseman Clayton Daniel (BT 2016) is off to a slower start than expected this spring, hitting just .257, but the senior collected hits in all three games against Radford over the weekend, including his second career homer (and first of the 2018 season).
Catcher Michael Emodi (BT 2016-17) starting 2018 off well for the Creighton Blue Jays. He leads the team in RBIs (10) and doubles (5) while hitting .346, good for third-best on the squad.
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