Baseball Weekly Notebook (Mar. 14)
The Missouri Valley Conference posted its first win over a Top 25 opponent this season, as Wichita State notched a 1-0 victory at No. 24 Tulane last Saturday. It was the first time the Shockers shut out a ranked team on the road since March 17, 2006 when Wichita State won at No. 21 Long Beach State, 9-0. Wichita State checks in at No. 26 in this week's Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top 30 poll.
Bradley was a perfect 3-0 last week, tallying neutral field wins over Toledo, Air Force and Massachusetts. The Braves are currently riding a five-game winning streak.
Creighton is sitting at 12-3 on the season, including two series sweeps (four games over New Mexico and three games over South Dakota State) and an eight game winning streak. The 12-3 start is the best since the Bluejays went 15-3 in 2006.
This week's Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Player/Pitcher of the Week are Trever Adams of Creighton and Tim Kelley of Wichita State.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Trever Adams, Sr., OF, Creighton
Adams continued swinging a hot bat in the last week, going 10-for-17 from the plate, finishing the week with a .588 average. The senior right fielder knocked in five RBI and scored eight runs in a 3-2 week for the Jays, which included a sweep of SDSU at home. Adams had home runs in the Arkansas State and SDSU games last week, as well as triples in both games as well. Adams is now on a 10 game hit streak, the longest of any Jay this season, and has had multiple hits in six of the ten games during the stretch. Adams now leads the team with 3 homeruns, a .672 slugging percentage; 13 runs scored, 22 hits, 3 triples, 41 total bases and four stolen bases. He has not committed an error in 43 defensive plays in the outfield this season.
MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Tim Kelley, Sr., RHP, Wichita State
Kelley pitched a complete game shutout on Saturday at No. 24 Tulane. He allowed just three hits with three walks and six strikeouts. He allowed multiple baserunners in just one inning (1st) and allowed just two runners into scoring position the whole game. Four of the nine innings were 1-2-3 innings. It was Kelley’s first complete game of the season and the sixth of his career. It was also the third shutout of his career.
Noteworthy - In addition to the league's player and pitcher of the week selections, several conference players had notable performances, and they include:
Jason Leblebijian (BU) - Leblebijian raised his season average to .404 by going 6-for-11 in Bradley’s three wins last week. The sophomore shortstop had two hits in each of Bradley’s three games and played flawless defense, handling all nine chances. Following a 9th-inning leadoff single, he scored the tying to force extra innings in Friday’s 7-4 win against Toledo. He also singled and scored the game’s first run, then started the game-ending double play to preserve the shutout in Saturday’s 6-0 win against Air Force. He also had base hits in both of Bradley’s run-scoring innings Sunday versus Massachusetts, while starting another inning-ending double play in the only inning the Minutemen produced multiple base runners.
Ryan Oesterle (UE) - Oesterle recorded hits in all four games, including three multi-hit games. The Peoria, Ariz. native batted .438 on the week with seven hits that included three doubles and his first home run of the season. Oesterle is currently riding a six-game hitting streak and leads the Aces with a .357 batting average through 13 games. In the field, the senior led UE with 32 putouts, playing first and third base, and has yet to commit an error on defense, piloting the Aces with 73 putouts on the season.
Tyler McNeely (ILS) - McNeely went 5-for-14 (.347) with six runs scored and two RBI on a double and a home run during ISU’s last five games. McNeely led the Redbird offense in ISU’s first-ever win against Miami, Mar. 9, going 2-for-2 with a run and a RBI on a solo home run. The homer was McNeely’s fourth of the season, which is a team-best. Additionally, McNeely walked a game-high three times against the Hurricanes. McNeely also helped ISU beat Ohio State, Mar. 11, scoring a run, earning a RBI and walking twice. Against Miami (Ohio), Mar. 12, McNeely scored the Redbirds’ lone run after he reached base with a double during a 1-for-3 performance. McNeely wrapped up the weekend scoring a team-high three runs while going 2-for-3 with two walks against the Bison. McNeely is currently hitting .310 with 13 runs, 13 hits and 13 RBI through the first 15 games. He is also credited with four doubles and four home runs.
Ryan Walterhouse (INS) - Walterhouse led Indiana State this past week, going 6-for-17 (.353) at the plate with a pair of doubles and a home run. Walterhouse also led ISU with five RBIs and 11 totals bases, while recording 40 putouts and three assists without any errors in the field.
Chris O'Brien (WSU) - O’Brien hit .462 (6-for-13) with one run, one double, one RBI and a perfect fielding percentage in 22 total chances. He had a hit in each game to extend his hitting streak to six games. On Friday, he went 1-for-4 with a run and a double. On Saturday, he went 1-for-4 with an RBI and on Sunday, he went 4-for-5. The four hits was a career-high.
John Nasshan (BU) - The 6-foot-6 sophomore right-hander made his first career complete game a shutout, blanking Air Force on five singles in Saturday’s 6-0 victory at the RussMatt Baseball 2011 Central Illinois Invitational. Nasshan walked one and struck out five and did not allow a runner past first base until consecutive 1-out singles in the ninth inning put runners at the corners. He responded by inducing a game-ending double play.
Ty Blach (CU) - Blach, a third-team Freshman All-American last season, was stellar on the mound in his only appearance of the week. In the 6-0 shutout win over South Dakota State on Friday night, Blach threw a career high eight strikeouts and gave up just six hits in 7.0 innings of work. Blach only walked one batter in his appearance. He now has a 2.16 ERA on the season and is 4-0 in four starts, pitching a team high 25.0 innings.
Cody Fick (UE) - Fick did it all for Evansville last Tuesday night versus Jacksonville, as the Aces started their spring break trip with a 7-0 win. Making just his second career start on the mound, Fick threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout, with nine strikeouts. At the plate, Fick led the Aces with three hits, just a home run shy of hitting the cycle, and had a hand in all of UE’s seven runs, batting in five and scoring two. On the week, Fick led the Aces with eight RBIs. After multiple early-season injuries in UE’s pitching staff, Fick has stepped up to lead Evansville with a 2-0 record, 0.00 ERA, and has held his opposition to a .157 batting average on the season.
Corey Maines (ILS) - Maines earned his second win of the season Mar. 11, as the Houston, Texas native led ISU to a victory over Ohio State at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla. Maines pitched 6.1 shutout innings, limiting the Buckeyes to just four hits, while striking out eight and walking two. Maines, who has amassed a 3.09 ERA, currently leads the Redbirds in innings-pitched (23.1) and strikeouts (24). He is also limiting opposing hitters to a .221 average.
Colin Rea (INS) - Rea put together ISU’s best outing on the mound this week, going seven innings against Western Illinois on Friday in ISU’s 7-3 victory. Rea struck out seven batters while allowing six singles and two runs (one earned). The Sycamore newcomer tops the pitching rotation with a 3-1 record in 2011, with 25 strikeouts in 25 innings.