Quinn Flanagan (Arizona, BT 2018) pitched his first career complete-game shutout Saturday against Utah. Photo by Niamh Brennan
Spring is here, and the 2019 college baseball season is already a month old. Here’s the second edition of our college ball roundup, where we take a look at how former Big Train stars are faring in their college campaigns.
We’ll start out in the desert, where Arizona RHP Quinn Flanagan (BT 2018) tossed his first career complete game shutout Saturday, allowing just six hits while striking out four in the Wildcats’ 8-0 victory over Utah. After recovering from Tommy John surgery in high school, the freshman right-hander has settled in as an ace in the Arizona rotation, posting a 1.13 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in five appearances (four starts) this spring. Teammate Justin Wylie (BT 2018) is hitting a respectable .267 this season in 11 games, mostly coming off the bench in late-inning situations.
Elsewhere out west, the St. Mary’s Gaels swept Pacific over the weekend for their eighth straight victory. LHP Ken Waldichuk (BT 2017) turned in one of the best performances of his career Saturday, throwing nine shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing just three hits. His performance earned him West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time this season. The Gaels couldn’t score in regulation however, so RHP Carlos Lomeli (BT 2018) came in and tossed scoreless tenth, picking up the win after St. Mary’s walked it off in the bottom half. RHP/DH Kevin Milam (BT 2017) gave another quality effort for the Gaels on the hill Friday, allowing three runs over seven innings. On the offensive side, the junior is hitting .304 for the year, and his eight doubles are tops in the West Coast Conference.
No. 2 Mississippi State took two out of three at Florida over the weekend to jump up the D1 Baseball rankings. 1B Tanner Allen (BT 2017) is heating up again, going 7-for-17 with six runs scored, a homer and a double over his last four games.
No. 20 East Carolina completed a weekend sweep at Maryland. LHP/1B Alec Burleson (BT 2018) went just 2-for-9 with a double and two RBIs over the weekend, but the reigning Cal Ripken League MOP leads the Pirates in average (.437), doubles (9), RBIs (15) and hits (32) to go with his 2.35 ERA in 23 innings on the mound. In addition, Burleson’s diving play at first base in the ninth inning of Sunday’s contest preserved ECU left-hander Jake Kuchmaner’s eventual perfect game. RHP Tyler Smith (BT 2017) turned in his best outing of the season Saturday against the Terps, firing six innings of one-run, three-hit ball in the low-scoring 2-1 Pirate victory.
Despite being swept, a couple of Big Train alumni had bright spots for Maryland over the weekend. RHP Elliot Zoellner (BT 2018) entered the game in a jam, but worked out of it, throwing 1.1 scoreless frames. The junior right-hander now has 13 strikeouts in 9.2 innings of work this season. RHP John Murphy (BT 2016-17) struck out three around a solo home run in his inning of work Sunday, and his team-leading four saves match his total from all of last year.
Virginia Tech C/1B Carson Taylor (BT 2018) continues his fine freshman campaign, hitting .338 with a team-best six doubles, and ten walks to just nine strikeouts in 19 games. RHP Ryan Metz (BT 2018) threw a scoreless inning Friday against Pittsburgh, and has allowed just two baserunners in four appearances out of the bullpen this spring.
The Florida Atlantic Owls swept Rice in their first conference action of the season this weekend. RHP Blake Sanderson (BT 2017) has emerged as a bonafide ace for the Owls - his 33 innings pitched lead the team, and he threw a complete game a week ago against Northeastern. Friday against Rice he surrendered two runs over six innings, lowering his season ERA to 3.27. 1B Udie Summerall (BT 2018) collected hits in every game over the weekend, including a double and two RBIs in Sunday’s win, while DH Gunnar Lambert (BT 2016) ranks second on the team with four homers, and fourth with 16 RBIs.
Up the coast at Jacksonville University, RHP AJ Jones (BT 2017) has settled into the Dolphins rotation, going at least six innings in three of his last four starts. His best performance of the season came a week ago against Brown, when he surrendered just one unearned run across seven innings with 11 strikeouts. C Jacob Southern (BT 2018) is heating up as well, hitting .316 with a double and six RBIs over his last five contests.
California Baptist picked up its first Top-25 win as a Division I program on Sunday, defeating then-No. 25 UC Santa Barbara. 1B John Glenn (BT 2018) went 3-for-12 with a homer and three RBIs over the weekend, and the junior is now hitting .297 with an .807 OPS for the spring. RHP Jacob McCarvel (BT 2018) threw three scoreless innings in Saturday’s loss, and is one of the Lancers’ more dependable bullpen arms this season with a 2.35 ERA in seven outings.
George Mason dropped two of three to Monmouth this weekend, but C/OF Logan Driscoll (BT 2017) continues to rake, picking up eight more hits, including a homer, in the weekend contest. The junior leads the Patriots with a .323 average, four home runs, 21 hits, six steals and a 1.032 OPS.
RHP Chris Clarke (BT 2018) continues to dominate out of the bullpen for the Southern California Trojans. In eight appearances spanning 15.1 innings, he has allowed just one earned run for a 0.55 ERA, and he picked up his first two saves of the season this weekend against California.
Wayne State RHP Hunter Brown (BT 2018) continues to excel in the Warriors’ rotation, boasting a 2.57 ERA and a whopping 44 strikeouts in 28 innings across five starts. His best outing came back on March 1 against Missouri-St. Louis, when he threw six no-hit innings with 11 strikeouts in a 12-1 Wayne State victory. RHP Josh Nelson (BT 2018) has a 3.38 ERA across three appearances, including his first start of the season last week against West Chester.
James Madison RHP Matt Marsili (BT 2016) has not yet surrendered an earned run in eight outings this season, and INF/OF Fox Semones (BT 2016-18) picked up a hit in each game over the weekend against Cal State Fullerton.
RHP Gavin Hinchliffe (BT 2018) has made three relief appearances so far for Kansas State, posting a 2.70 ERA with two strikeouts in 3.1 innings of work.
Wake Forest LHP Carter Bach (BT 2018) has pitched just 4.1 innings this season, with a 4.15 ERA, but the junior southpaw has whiffed seven hitters.
OF Kirk Sidwell (BT 2017) has started all 24 games for Embry Riddle this season after transferring from Stetson in the offseason. The senior leads the Eagles in average (.393), OPS (.978), doubles (8) and hits (35).
Through 12 games, Waynesburg INF Tyler Reis (BT 2018) leads the team in runs (11), walks (11) and on-base percentage (.511) to go with his .343 batting average.
Santa Barbara City College C Ben Martz (BT 2018) went 4-for-4 in Saturday’s contest against Cuesta, and in 14 games is slashing .289/.373/.444 with five doubles.