The third week of the college baseball season didn’t quite have the bevy of marquee tournaments and series that the second week did, but that doesn’t mean that it was devoid of outstanding and notable performances.
In fact, as this week’s three stars will show, it was a week of fantastic performances at the extremes of both hitting and pitching.
Here are college baseball’s three stars for the third week of the season.
3. Griffin Canning- UCLA
With the turnover that UCLA had on their pitching staff after last season, we knew that the Bruins would be leaning hard on Griffin Canning. He had enjoyed a solid freshman campaign in 2015, but they would be asking more of him in 2016 as one of the team’s weekend starters, and on top of it, they would likely be looking to him to become the staff ace.
Over the first two weeks of the season, he had shown signs of becoming that type of pitcher, but in his week three start against Mississippi State, he took a decided star turn. Against the Bulldogs, he threw 8.2 innings, giving up five hits and one earned run with two walks and 12 strikeouts in the team’s hard-fought 2-1 win.
With Canning the centerpiece of the pitching staff, UCLA has shown the potential to be a contender in the Pac-12 right alongside Oregon State, Oregon, and Cal.
2. Noah Davis and Kyle Nelson- UC- Santa Barbara
In UC- Santa Barbara’s 1-0 win over Oregon this past Saturday, plenty of outstanding pitching was on display. Oregon starter Matt Krook, for example, threw six no-hit innings before being lifted from the game.
Given that type of performance, it was though not to include Krook here, but the honors instead will go to the UCSB pair who pitched in that Gauchos victory.
Davis started and threw eight innings, giving up one hit and no runs with two walks and five strikeouts. In relief, Nelson was just as effective, and nearly as durable, throwing six innings, giving up three hits and no runs with one walk and four strikeouts, earning himself the win for his troubles.
1. The Dallas Baptist Offense
If you had told New Mexico that they would score eight runs in the Saturday game of their series against Dallas Baptist, I’m betting they would have liked their chances to come away with a victory. And in most cases, they probably would have.
But not on this day, as the Patriots plated 33 runs on the Lobos’ pitching staff. Five different DBU players had three or more hits on the day, led by Luke Stratman (5-for-7, 2B, 2 HR, 4 R, 8 RBI), Trooper Reynolds (4-for-7, 3 R, 4 RBI), Darick Hall (5-for-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI), David Martinelli (4-for-8, 2B, HR, 4 R, 5 RBI), and Camden Duzenack (3-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI).
For an encore performance, the Patriots scored 12 runs on 20 hits in a 12-11 win in the series finale on Sunday. Coming into the season, there were concerns about DBU’s pitching staff after they lost so many pieces to pro baseball, but if their offense continues to rake like this, any good pitching they get will just be gravy.