Two players who led their teams during opening week on the road at challenging and tradition-rich environments headline the list CB360 Primetime Performers for opening week of 2013, as presented by CollegeBaseball360.com. University of Pittsburgh junior rightfielder and 3-home hitter Casey Roche (Downingtown, Pa.) is the CB360 National Primetime Player of the Week, while Illinois-Chicago sophomore righthander Tomas Michelson (Naperville, Ill.) is the Primetime Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 15-17, 2013. They are joined by 10 others in comprising the week-1 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll (listed below). front-page photo courtesy of Illinois-Chicago
CLICK HERE for CB360 Primetime Performers archive (previous seasons)
The Primetime Performer awards program – also utilized on affiliate sites CollegeSoftball360.com, CollegeSports360.com,
CollegeSoccer360.com, CollegeFencing360.com – seeks to recognize players based on more than simple raw stats, instead taking into account quality of opponent, contribution to team success and various situational factors (such as clutch play, all-around performance, leadership, adversity overcome, etc.).
The 12 opening week Primetime Performer honorees are listed below – with short bio. capsules, headshots and action photos included at the bottom of the page.
In addition to Roche and Michelson, the week-1 CB360 Primetime Performers include three other RHPs (all juniors): Rice’s Austin Kubitza (Colleyville, Texas), Tulane’s Tony Rizzotti (Arlington, Texas) and Mississipi’s Bobby Wahl (Springfield, Va.). The other position player honorees feature: Creighton junior catcher Kevin Lamb (Tulsa, Okla) … Oklahoma State junior 1B Tanner Krietemeier (Castle Rock, Colo.) … San Diego State junior 2B Tim Zier (Escondido, Calif.) … and Western Illinois so. 3B Jameson Henning (Jamesville, Wis.) … along with a pair of centerfielders in Liberty junior Ryan Cordell (Orangevale, Calif.) and Appalachian State freshman Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, NC … #21), plus Virginia sophomore DH/3B Kenny Towns (Burke, Va.).
The 12 Primetime honorees include eight juniors, three sophomores and the freshman Davis. Two are California natives, while two hail from Texas hometowns and two more from Virginia, plus one each from Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
ROCHE posted three straight strong games during Pittsburgh’s series sweep at cb360 #37 Wichita State (6-4, 10-8, 11-3), batting 8-for-14 (.571) while factoring into 12 of his team’s runs (7 RBI, 7 runs, 2 home runs). The Panthers 3-hole hitter reached base 10 times (2 walks) while striking out only once during the series. The week-1 results marked the first time Wichita State had been swept in a home series since 1970 (vs. Creighton) and WSU legendary coach Gene Stephenson had never previously lost a home game during the month of February (dating back to 1979).
During a tense game-1 at Wichita, Roche stroked an RBI single in the decisive top of the 9th, as the Panthers scored twice to break a 4-4 tie (moments earlier, the Shockers had tied the game with two runs in bottom of 8th). He added home runs in game-2 and the series finale, ultimately producing steady production and key hits throughout the three games.
MICHELSON delivered in a big way – despite making only his third career start and playing in the tough environment of Texas A&M’s Olsen Field – with 7.1 shutout innings, leading UIC to a 2-0 season-opening win over the Aggies (cb360 #25). It was the program’s first season-opening victory in 11 years. While limiting A&M to four hits (.160 team batting avg.) and two walks (27 batters faced), Michelson posted five strikeouts en route to registering only his second career win.
Over the course of his outing, Michelson registered 17 of his 22 outs via strikeouts or goundballs (12, including a double-play ball). He logged three 1-2-3 innings and did not allow a runner to reach third base, with only three advancing to second. With a runner on second base in the 3rd, Michelson rolled up a 5-6-3 double play to end the threat. He also allowed a 2-out double in the 4th and a leadoff double in the 7th, shortly before the end of his outing.
Primetime Performer Award Criteria (not based solely on raw stats, but rather …)
• Must have been playing for or against a CB360 top-50 team (in the Composite National Rankings or performed a high level in games that could be key to a team’s conference/NCAA postseason qualification; made significant contribution to team’s success and potential postseason positioning (single-game wins, “quality” wins, series wins, road wins, etc.).
• Involved in clutch performances, such as late game-winning hits, noteworthy comebacks, game-changing plays, team leadership, key defensive efforts, etc.
• Performed at a top level against a team rated highly nationally (or within its conference), with bonus consideration given for key performances away from home field and vs. traditional rivals.
• Overcame adversity or extreme circumstances (for the team and/or individual).
• Any accomplishment that is rare, historic, record-setting, etc., on a national level.
CB360 PRIMETIME PERFORMERS WEEKLY HONOR ROLL (2012; #1)
(Feb. 15-17, 2013 … presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)
“It’s not so much what you do, as it is when you do it.”
Ryan Cordell (Liberty … CF … Jr. … bats: R … 2-hole … Orangevale, CA … #9)
Jaylin Davis (Appalachian State … CF … Fr. … bats: R … 5-hole … McLeansville, NC … #21)
Jameson Henning (Western Illinois … 3B … So./Fr. … bats: R … 3-hole … Jamesville, WI … #36)
Tanner Krietemeier (Oklahoma State … 1B … Jr. .. bats: S … 5-hole … Castle Rock, CO … #16)
Austin Kubitza (Rice … RHP … Jr. … Colleyville, TX … #21)
Kevin Lamb (Creighton … C … Jr./So. … bats: R … 9-hole … Tulsa, OK … #16)
*Tomas Michelson (Illinois-Chicago … RHP … So. … Naperville, IL … #24)
Tony Rizzotti (Tulane … RHP … Jr./So. … Arlington, TX … #44)
*Casey Roche (Pittsburgh … RF … Jr. … bats: R … 3-hole … Downingtown, PA … #41)
Kenny Towns (Virginia … DH/3B … So. … bats: R … 6-hole … Burke, VA … #9)
Bobby Wahl (Mississippi … RHP … Jr. … Springfield, VA … #19)
Tim Zier (San Diego State … 2B … Jr. … bats: R … 2-hole … Escondido, CA … #12)
* Roche is the CB360 National Primetime Player of the Week and Michelson the Primetime Pitcher of the Week
Hit 6-for-13 (.462) during 3-game series at cb360 #7 South Carolina, leading strong bid from Flames to take the series (3-4, 7-8, 3-2) … collected multiple hits in all three games, highlighted by 2-hit, 3-RBI effort in game-2 (Liberty took 7-0 lead into the 8th but SC rallied for the win) … also smacked an extra-base hit in all three games, including a triple in the 3-2 win … factored into seven of Liberty’s 13 runs during the series (5 RBI, 2 R), struck out only once and compiled a .760 slugging percentage … hit .301 during 2012 season (25 RBI, 35 R, 4 HR, 3B, 11 2B) … named the top pro prospect in the 2012 Great Lakes League (summer wood-bat), per Baseball America … product of Valley Christian High School (in Sacramento area).
Had a memorable debut to his college baseball career, homering on the first pitch he saw from North Carolina State All-America lefthander Carlos Rodan, launching clutch 2-out, 3-run home run over the leftfield fence to spark 6-3 upset of the Wolfpack (cb360 #10) … added a 9th-inning double that helped Alex Leach come around to score an insurance run … his home run was followed by two other blasts vs. Rodon (by Noah Holmes and Preston Troutman) … rest of the series vs. NC State was cancelled due to weather … product of Northeast Guilford High School.
Proved to be WIU’s most consistent player during three-game series at top-ranked Arkansas, collecting two hits in both game-2 (one a double) and two more in the series finale, a 7-5 win for the Leathernecks (the program’s first win over a #1-ranked team) … executed sacrifice bunt that helped produce a pair of runs to open game-3 … added a single in the second, as WIU tacked on another run … added a 4th-inning groundball RBI and stole second, as Leathernecks scored three more times for 6-3 lead … also hit leadoff single and scored in 7th, for insurance run … played error-free at the hot corner during the series … played in only nine games during 2012 season before wrist injury (has four years of eligibility remaining after 2013).
Led Cowboys during wild series win at cb360 #32 New Mexico (4-2, 15-14 in 13 inn., 1-9), batting 6-for-11 (.545) and reaching base eight times (2 BB), with 3 RBI and 3 runs … switch-hitting transfer (played 2011 at Nebraska and ’12 at Iowa Western JC) who was only player to hit safely in all three games (despite coming off the bench for his only at-bat of opener) … proved his value as a clutch hitter in both wins … appeared as pinch-hitter in 9th inning of opener, with game tied (2-2), and singled on first pitch he saw to drive in the go-ahead run … hit 2-for-6 with two RPI and pair of runs in game-2, as part of Cowboys furious rally to even the series (Lobos led 14-6 entering the 8th) … had a single as part of the 4-run top of the 8th during that stunning rally – then delivered in the 9th with 2-out and an 0-2 count, singling through the right side to send home two runners and tie the game … ended series by batting 3-for-4 in game-3 (rest of team managed only one hit) … product of Rock Canyon High School.
Sparkled in season opener vs. visiting Stanford (cb360 #6), opposite the Cardinal’s own ace Mark Appel in highly-anticipated pitching matchup … racked up 12 strikeouts in six shutout innings, leading the Owls to 5-1 win and ultimately taking the series … limited potent Stanford offense to four hits (all singles) and a .182 team batting avg. … faced 27 batters, with four walks and one hit-by-pitch … posted 2.69 ERA in 80.1 innings as sophomore, after Conference USA Freshman of the Year season in 2011 (2.34, in 100 innings) … product of Heritage High School.
Newcomer behind the plate (transfer from Eastern Oklahoma JC) who proved up to the DI challenge during series at cb36 #39 Dallas Baptist, helping lead Jays to impressive week-1 sweep (11-9, 15-6, 3-1) … hit 6-for-9 in the series for huge boost from the bottom of the lineup, factoring into six runs (5 RBI, run) while also reaching on a hit-by-pitch and executing a sacrifice bunt … played key role in emotional game-1 comeback from late 8-4 deficit, with an earlier RBI single in the 5th before his 2-out, 2-run single capped the 4-run tying rally in the 8th … drove in two more runs during game-2 rout (2-for-4) and then entered series finale as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning, allowing backup Michael Miller to get some time behind the plate … began his career at Oral Roberts in 2011 … product of Bixby High School.
Delivered in a big way – despite making only his third career start and playing in the tough environment of Texas A&M’s Blue Bell Park/Olsen Field – with 7.1 shutout innings, leading UIC to a 2-0 season-opening win over the Aggies (cb360 #25) – the program’s first season-opening victory in 11 years … limited A&M to four hits (.160 team batting avg.) and two walks (27 batters faced), with five strikeouts en route to registering only his second career win … 17 of his 22 outs came via strikeouts or goundballs (12, including a double-play ball) … logged three 1-2-3 innings and did not allow a runner to reach third base, with only three advancing to second … rolled up 5-6-3 double play to end threat in 3rd (runner on second) … also allowed a 2-out double in the 4th and leadoff double in 7th, shortly before end of his outing … pitched only 34 innings as a freshman in 2012, pitchign mostly out of the the bullpen … product of Neuqua Valley High School.
Began the season in impressive fashion by 1-hitting 2012 NCAA tournamen team Sam Houston State (cb360 #41), during action at the challenging Texas State Invitational … had not pitched competitively for nearly two years due to knee injuries (started his career at TCU in 2011, then member of Grayson JC team in ’12) … 20 of his outs came via strikeouts (5), groundouts (14) or foulouts (1) … ultimately had to face 32 batters (one walk) due to three errors behind him, but allowed only two runners into scoring position (one moved to third on an error while bottom of the 9th started with two errors) … located 71 of his 107 pitches for strikes … posted five 1-2-3 innings, including retiring first seven batters he faced and 10 straight spanning the 5th-8th innings … posted first solo shutout by a Tulane pitcher since 2009 (and first in season opener since ’08) … pitched only 4.2 innings at TCU in 2011 … his strong opener helped Green Wave turn in a commendable week-1 showing (lost 2-0 to host Texas State and won 6-4 vs. cb360 #35 Missouri State) … product of James Martin High School.
Posted three straight strong games during series sweep at cb360 #37 Wichita State (6-4, 10-8, 11-3), batting 8-for-14 (.571) while factoring into 12 of his team’s runs (7 RBI, 7 runs, 2 home runs) … reached base 10 times (2 walks) while striking out only once during the series … the week-1 results marked the first time Wichita State had been swept in a home series since 1970 (vs. Creighton) and WSU legendary coach Gene Stephenson had never previously lost a home game during the month of February (dating back to 1979) … had RBI single in decisive top of the 9th during game-1, as Panthers scored twice to break 4-4 tie (moments earlier, Shockers had tied game with two runs in bottom of 8th) … three-year starter who earned third team all-BIG EAST honors in 2011 … product of Downington East High School.
Had only two hits in abbreviated series at cb360 #38 East Carolina (14-4, 13-9) – but they were huge hits, with a grand slam in the top of the 1st and another 4-run HR to highlight the back-breaking, 8-run top of the 7th … delivered with 2-outs in RH-RH matchup vs. ECU sophomore Jeff Hoffman, going with 1-0 pitch for opposite-field blast over the rightfield wall and early 4-0 lead … six innings later, jumped all over first pitch from fr. RHP Hayden White for another opposite-field home run (to right-center) that put game out of reach … drew a walk in game-2 win … product of Lake Braddock High School.
Delivered 6.1 shutout innings in season opener vs. cb360 #12 TCU, setting the tone for impressive sweep from Ole Miss (cb360 #22), 1-0/5-2/5-2 … went toe-to-toe opposite TCU ace Brandon Finnegan, with lone run of the game coming unearned … racked up eight strikeouts in pitch-limit, day-1 start, while allowing three hits and three walks … allowed leadoff double to first batter he faced but did not allow another hit until the 6th, at one point retiring 10 of 11 batters … came up with clutch strikeout in the 5th, with two runners in scoring position (Rebels then scored in the bottom of the inning) … a second team all-SEC performer in 2012 … product of West Springfield High School.
Veteran 2-hole hitter who delivered SDSU’s first RBI in each game of series sweep at rival San Diego (8-1, 4-2, 5-3), as Aztecs never trailed while spoiling the debut of Fowler Field for cb360 #20 USD … hit 6-for-14 (.429) during the series while factoring into more than half of SDSU’s 17 runs (7 RBI, 2 runs), adding a pair of doubles and error-free play on 15 chances at second base … stroked RBI double in his first at-bat of the series, ultimately going 3-for-5 with three RBI in the key opening win (R, 2B) … followed with an RBI single and run scored at the start of game-2 (added an RBI double in that win) … came through onces more in third inning of game-3, delivering a bases-loaded double to chase home two runs … product of Escondido High School.
All photos courtesy of the respective schools (action photos of Roche and Michelson at top of page; photos of Henning and Rizzotti currently unavailable, may add later)