Following a tumultuous week in the Southeastern Conference, a pair of SEC sophomores – Mississippi right hander Bobby Wahl (Springfield, Va.) and LSU catcher Ty Ross (Naples, Fla.) – have been tabbed for the lead honors among the CB360 Primetime Performers for the seventh week of the 2012 college baseball season (March 26-April 1), as presented by CollegeBaseball360.com. They are joined by 12 others on the week-7 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll, with Ross and Wahl the top honorees as the respective CB360 Primetime Player of the Week and Primetime Pitcher of the Week. front-page photo courtesy of LSU
The Primetime Performer awards program – also utilized on affiliate sites CollegeSports360.com, CollegeSoccer360.com and 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 14 week-7 Primetime Performer honorees are listed below – with short bio. capsules, headshots and action photos included at the bottom of the page.
WAHL narrowly edged two Pac-12 righthanders – Arizona sophomore Konner Wade (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Oregon senior Alex Keudell (Portland, Ore.) – for the top pitching honor among the week-7 Primetime Performers, in part due to the unique dual role that Wahl played in the Ole Miss series win over top-ranked Florida (3-0, 4-9, 7-6).
Most notably, Wahl turned in eight strong innings in the series-opening shutout, holding the potent Gators lineup to a pair of hits and three walks, while striking out six in that career-long outing. Wahl led the way in handing Florida its first shutout loss since April 4, 2011 . He allowed only one baserunner into scoring position and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced, improving to 5-0 while posting his third Friday-night shutout effort of the season.
In the waning moments of the weekend series, Wahl was called in to pinch-run (something he had not done since high school). He promptly scooted from 1st to 3rd on a single up the middle and scored on a ground ball for the dramatic 9th-inning finish. Ole Miss now has won all three series it has played vs. #1-ranked teams, during the tenue of head coach Mike Bianco.
ROSS handled the catching duties during a strong all-around week from the LSU pitching staff, while also providing key production from the bottom half of the batting order. He posted 2-hit efforts in each game of the huge series sweep of CB360 #3 Arkansas (10-6, 2-1, 3-2 in 11), highlighted by coming through in the clutch with a game-ending single in game-2 and then scoring the 11th-inning run a day later to complete the sweep.
In the low-scoring series vs. Arkansas, Ross hit 6-for-13 with a pair of clutch RBI, two runs scored, a home run, double and walk. He also twice gunned down leadoff batter Tim Carver on stolen-base attempts, including one to end the top of the 8thin the tense game-2.
Ross hit 2-for-5 in the opener, with a solo home run and another run scored. He added an early leadoff double in game-2 before ending the game in the 9th, on a 1st-pitch, opposite-field single to right (vs. Barret Astin) to score Mason Katz. Ross then reached base three times in the series finale (2-for-4, BB) and again was among the final-inning heroes, sparking the rally on a 2-out single and coming around to score in bottom of the 11th. He directed an LSU pitching staff that posted a 3.00 team ERA (52 Ks, 8 BB) during the series vs. the potent Arkansas squad.
In addition to Wahl, Wade and Keudell, the week-7 CB360 Primetime Performers include six other pitchers: four righthanders – Georgia Southern junior Chris Beck (Jefferson, Ga.) … San Francisco jr./so. Abe Bobb (Denver, Colo.) … UNLV freshman Erick Fedde (Las Vegas, Nev.) … and Long Beach State junior Shawn Stuart (Turlock, Calif.) – along with a pair of young LHPs, in Southern Miss so./fr. Jake Drehoff (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Cal State Northridge freshman Jerry Keel (Palmdale, Calif.). Other Primetime honorees include two more catchers – Texas State junior Andrew Stumph (Katy, Texas) and Kentucky senior Michael Williams (Knoxville, Tenn.) – plus California junior third baseman Mitch Delfino (Cloverdale, Calif.) and North Carolina State junior leftfielder Tarran Senay (South Park, Pa.)
The 14 Primetime honorees include three seniors, six juniors, three sophomores and a pair of freshmen – with three from California hometowns, two from Georgia, and one each from Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
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; #7)
(March 26-April 1, 2012 … presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)
“It’s not so much what you do, as it is when you do it.”
Elite pitching prospect who provided a rare glimpse at his versatility by notching the first save of his career and then racking up a career-best 16 strikeouts later in the week … closed 5-3 win at Georgia Tech (cb360 #28), striking out Kyle Wren & Brandon Thomas before inducing Sam Dove’s flyout for a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, vs. the top of the GT batting order … struck out 10 of the first 14 batters he faced (16 total Ks), en route to 4-2 series-opening win over fellow SoCon contender College of Charleston (cb360 #41) … allowed a pair of runs on seven hits and two walks in that 6-inning start … averaging 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings this season (61 Ks in 47.2 IP).
Saturday starter who tacked on another quality outing, this time in a Sunday series finale, as Dons won a rare 1-0 thriller vs. surging San Diego (cb360 #26), which had been shut out only once previously this season … countered six hits allowed by striking out six and walking none, in 7.1 tense innings vs. the Toreros … forced contact early vs. USD while regularly working ahead in the count by executing his pitches, changing arm angle and attacking the hitters …has posted four wins this season while compiling a 2.33 ERA and impressive 36-to-5 K-to-walk ratio.
(California … 3B … Jr. … Cloverdale, CA … 2-hole … bats: R … #44)
Racked up a 1.245 OPS (on-base plus slugging) during the week, as Bears posted 7-6 road win over quality Fresno State team before winning 2-of-3 vs. Texas (cb360 #20) in Round Rock, Texas (a virtual home series for the ‘Horns) … reached base eight times during the week (6-for-17, 2 BB), with 14 total bases (2 HR, 2 2B) and six RBI … provided three key RBI in close win over Fresno, with two-run double and a solo home run … homered again in another 1-run thriller, adding a timely RBI single in 6th inning of that 6-5 series clincher vs. Texas.
Nearly went the distance while picking up 2-1 win that ties series vs. Conference USA favorite Rie (cb360 #11) … kept the ball low in the zone while racking up 19 outs via groundballs (plus an infield popup and foulout) … improved to 4-0, after scattering nine hits and three walks over the 8.2 innings (the longest outing by a USM pitcher this season).
Delivered seven shutout innings to help Rebels take series finale at Mountain West favorite TCU (cb360 #38) … struck out seven while allowing only three hits, plus three walks … did not allow a multi-hit inning … retired final 11 batters he faced.
Make several clutch pitches while working out of several jams, en route to complete-game win, 5-1, in series finale vs. Big West power Cal State Fullerton (cb360 #12) … scattered nine hits and two walks over the marathon 133-pitch outing, with three strikeouts … allowed a run in the first, before putting eight straight zeroes on the scoreboard … held the potent 2-3-4 trio of Anthony Trajano, Michael Lorenzen and Carlos Lopez to a 2-for-10 combined day (those three went 9-for-13 a day earlier, in 8-6 win over the Matadors) … lowered his team-best ERA to 1.49.
Registered the first solo shutout of his four-year college career, winning a rare 1-0 pitchers duel (opposite Brady Rodgers) to ultimately help Ducks sweep Arizona State (cb360 #24) … the shutout was the first for Oregon in its all-time series vs. ASU … faced only three batters over the minimum (30), offsetting four hits and two walks allowed with a pair of pickoff throws and a double-play ball (part of his 14 groundball outs, to go along with a pair of strikeouts) … an Andrew Aplin double was the only extra-base hit allowed in his third career complete game.
Handled catching duties during strong all-around week from the LSU pitching staff, while also providing key production from bottom half of the batting order … posted 2-hit efforts in each game of huge series sweep of CB360 #3 Arkansas (10-6, 2-1, 3-2 in 11) … came through in the clutch with game-ending single in game-2, then scored 11th-inning run a day later to complete the sweep … hit 6-for-13 in the low-scoring Arkansas series, with a pair of clutch RBI, two runs scored, a home run, double and walk … also twice gunned down leadoff batter Tim Carver on stolen-base attempts (including one to end the top of the 8th, in the tense game-2) … hit 2-for-5 in the opener, with a solo home run and another run scored … added an early leadoff double in game-2 before ending the game in the 9th, on a 1st-pitch, opposite-field single to right (vs. Barret Astin), scoring Mason Katz … reached base three times in series finale (2-for-4, BB) and again was among the final-inning heroes, sparking rally on a 2-out single and coming around to score in bottom of the 11th … directed LSU pitching staff that posted 3.00 team ERA (52 Ks, 8 BB) during series vs. potent Arkansas squad.
Played key role for Wolfpack squad hoping to remain among nation’s top-20, batting 6-for-13 (.462) that included 4-3, 11-inning win over East Carolina and key series vs. Virginia (5-2, 2-5, 7-6) … his 3-for-5 game vs. ECU (2 RBI, R, 2B) included 2-out single to right that scored Brett Austin with the winning run in the 11th … hit his first home run of the season during series vs. UVa … closed week by batting 2-for-4 with a double and key sacrifice bunt in series-clinching comeback vs. Cavaliers … his 6th-inning double in that game preceded Andrew Ciecin’s sacrifice fly … later executed sac.-bunt as part of game-winning, 2-run rally in bottom of 9th.
Secured series-deciding win with 1-hit shutout at Cal Poly (cb360 #36), after totaling a season-high nine strikeouts and allowing only three baserunners through the full nine innings (one walk and one hit-batter among 30 faced, with 107 pitches) … fashioned first 1-hitter by a Long Beach pitcher since 2006.
Helped Bobcats extend their impressive string of midweek wins, with some key hits in victories over CB360 #17 Oregon (11-3, 7-6) … smacked his first home run in first game vs. the Ducks, then rose to the challenge in 8th inning og game-2 – with RBI single (eventual gamewinner) after Oregon had walked Jeff McVaney in favor of facing Stumph … also threw out two attempted base-stealers in the Oregon series … later helped win Southland Conference series vs. McNeese State, batting 6-for-13 (6RBI-2R-HR-2B).
Picked a great time for the best outing of his career, going the distance in a 3-hitter that clinched series vs. #2 Stanford (4-2) … carried no-hitter into 6th inning, while facing one of Pac-12’s top lineups … touched for only one earned run … did not allow a hit over the final three innings and retured final seven batters he faced, highlighted by striking out the side in the 8th … totaled seven strikeouts vs. only one walk … ranked second among Pac-12 pitchers with 52 total Ks this season (also third in the league in low opp. batting avg., at .198) … the Wildcats went on to sweep Stanford (for the first time since 1993) and now have won seven straight weekend series this season.
Played unique dual role in series win over top-ranked Florida (3-0, 4-9, 7-6), most notably in his eight strong innings that opened the series … held potent Gators lineup to a pair of hits and three walks, while striking out six in that career-long outing … led the way in handing Florida its first shutout loss since April 4, 2011 … allowed only one baserunner into scoring position and retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced … improved to 5-0 while posting his third Friday-night shutout effort of the season … called in to pinch-run (something he had not done since high school) in the series finale, scooting from 1st to 3rd on a single up the middle and scoring on a ground ball for the dramatic 9th-inning finish … Ole Miss now has won all three series it has played vs. #1-ranked teams, during the tenue of head coach Mike Bianco.
Helped Wildcats extend their historic season (capped by the program’s first #1 national rankings) during 3-1 week that included 7-4 win over Western Kentucky and series win at Cb360 #21 Georgia (6-7, 9-8, 11-2) … provided big lift from the 8-hole, batting .500 during the week (8-for-16), reaching base 10 times (2 BB) and factoring into 11 of his team’s runs (9RBI, 2 R), with a pair of doubles … pulled a 3-run double down the leftfield line to spark series-tying effort in game-2 (he hit 3-for-5 in that key game, with 4 RBI) … added another strong game in series-deciding showdown (2-for-4, 2RBI-BB-2B) … hit 2-for-3 with 3 RBI in midweek win over WKU (R-BB).
* – Ross is the CB360 Primetime Player of the Week and Wahl the Primetime Pitcher of the Week
Action photos pictured below (and above) courtesy of the respective schools and their photo staffs (special thanks to Chuck Cox of RoadTripSports.com for the photo of Cal’s Delfino, from action in Round Rock)