College Baseball 360’s weekly honors have returned for the 2014 season, with 11 players named to the Primetime Performers Honor Roll for Opening Week (Feb. 14-16). Kentucky junior two-way talent A.J. Reed (Terre Haute, Ind.) is the CB360 Primetime Player of the Week, while Canisius junior righthander Rohn Pierce (Lockport, N.Y.) is the Primetime Pitcher of the Week and California freshman pitcher Daulton Jeffries (Atwater, Calif.) has been tabbed for the inaugural CB360 Primetime Rookie of the Week award.
Scroll down for detailed player capsules on each of the 11 honorees, including head shots and action photos.
The Primetime Performer awards program – also utilized on affiliate sites CollegeSoftball360.com, 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.).
CLICK HERE for the Opening Week Primetime Performers from CollegeSoftball360.com.
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 (2014; #1)
(weekend of Feb 14-16, 2014 … presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)
“It’s not so much what you do, as it is when you do it.”
Skyler Ewing (Rice … LF/C … Jr. … 6-1/220 … bats: R … 3-hole/cleanup … Arlington, TX … #44)
Scott Heath (Maine … LHP/1B … Jr. … 6-0/185 … bats: L … 6-hole … Westbrook, ME … #29)
Matt Imhof (Cal Poly … LHP … Jr. … 6-5/220 … Freemont, CA … #48)
*Daulton Jeffries (California … RHP … Fr. … 5-11/175 … Atwater, CA … #24)
Louie Lechich (San Diego … CF/LHP … Sr. … 6-4/205 … bats: L … 2-hole … Stockton, CA … #21)
Jeremy Null (Western Carolina … RHP… Jr. … 6-8/230 … Claremont, NC … #46)
*Rohn Pierce (Canisius … RHP… Jr. … 6-3/210 … Lockport, NY … #30)
Tim Proudfoot (Texas Tech .. SS .. Jr. .. 5-10/180 .. bats: R .. 2-/8-/7-hole .. North Bend, WA … #1)
*A.J. Reed (Kentucky … DH/LHP … Jr. … 6-4/240 … bats: L … cleanup … Terre Haute, IN … #18)
Nick Tanielu (Washington St. .. 3B .. Jr./So. .. 5-11/200 .. bats: R .. 3-hole .. Federal Way, WA..#30)
Zarley Zalewski (Kent St. .. DH .. So. .. 6-3/185 .. bats: S .. cleanup.. New Kensington, PA.#9)
* Pierce is the CB360 Primetime Pitcher of the Week, Reed the Primetime Player of the Week and Jeffries the Primetime Rookie of the Week.
All photos courtesy of the respective schools
Opened season by collecting multiple hits and multiple RBI in each game of series at cb360 #42 Stanford, as Owls won 2-of-3 (10-3, 5-1, 3-12) … hit 7-for-12 over Opening Week, with two home runs and eight RBI while compiling a 1.738 OPS (.571 on-base plus 1.167 slugging pct.) … his 14 total bases during the series included a gm-2 double while his nine productive plate appearances featured the seven hits along with a base on balls and a sacrifice fly … opened the season in strong fashion, batting 3-for-4 with 4 RBI in big 10-3 win over the Cardinal … followed with a pair of extra-base hits in gm-2, including a home run leading off the 7th to end a scoreless deadlock (he added a sac. fly in the pivotal 4-run top of the 8th) … closed the series with another 2-for-4 game and his second home run, a 2-out/2-run shot in the top of the first (he added a single later in that 12-3 loss, but the rest of the Owls hit 5-for-24 the rest of the way) … started most of the 2013 season, mostly at first base (hit .226 with 4 HR, 23 RBI) after playing sparingly as a freshman in 2012 … product of Arlington High School.
Veteran two-way player who impressively won second game of season-opening series at cb360 #17 Miami, 3-1 … faced only 26 Hurricanes batter in that 7-inning stint, after yielding two hits, one walk and a hit batter while striking out eight (62 of his 95 pitches went for strikes) … also singled as the starting first baseman in gm-1 of the Miami series … made 25 starts offensively in 2013, batting .279 with 25 RBI and a home run (plus four pitching appearances, three starts) … named to the 2012 America East Conference All-Rookie Team, after batting .279 with 25 RBI, a pair of home runs and three lateseason pitching appearances … product of Westbrook High School. (pitching action photo currently not available for Heath)
Made move into the #1 starter role for Cal Poly, following the departure of 2013 ace and 13-game winner Joey Wagman, and responded in dominating fashion on Opening Day – striking out 14 while allowing only one ball out of the infield in 7-plus innings, as Mustangs knocked off cb360 #18 Kansas State, 3-0, en route to week-1 series sweep (K-St. was coming off an historic 2013 season that included nearly reaching the College World Series) … faced 27 batters while pitching into the 8th, allowing only two hits (both infield singles) and three walks, plus a hit batter to start the 8th (capping his 111-pitch outing) … five of his 14 Ks came on called third strikes … recorded strikeouts in all seven of his full innings, including two 3K innings and three other frames with two strikeouts … set down the side in order during the 1st and 4th innings … allowed only two runners to reach second base (neither ventured on to third), with the first coming courtesy of a throwing error by the Cal Poly shortstop (on RJ Santigate’s 2-out single in the 5th) … the other runner to reach second came in the 6th, after Ross Kivett’s leadoff walk and a sac.-bunt popup … 20 of his 21 outs stayed in the infield, with 14 Ks, three groundouts and three infield popups (Shane Conlon’s leadoff flyout to center in the 4th was the only ball hit out of the infield vs. Imhof) … Kivett had the other K-State hit in the game, a 3rd-inning single to third base … struck out seven of the nine Kansas State starters, all but Kivett and Austin Fisher, with six of them striking out multiple times (Kivett later K’d vs. closer Reed Reilly) … after issuing leadoff walk to Fisher in the 7th, he struck out the next three batters with only three pitches landing out of the strike zone in that 3-K closing span … earned 2013 honorable mention All-Big West status after going 7-3 with a 2.74 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 101.2 innings (30 BB; .249 opp. batting avg.) … served mostly as a middle reliever during his 2012 freshman season (3.04; 31 Ks in 47.1) … area product from Mission San Jose High School.
Freshman pitchers rarely start Opening Day in college baseball, but Jeffries did just that and showed the composure of a veteran – fashioning six shutout innings as the Bears went on to blank visiting Texas (cb360 #23), 7-0, en route to splitting the four-game week-1 series … struck out four while scattering six hits and one walk … worked around a couple hits from dangerous Texas 2-hole hitter Mark Payton … settled down after allowing singles by the first two batters he faced … after that 1st-inning jam, he retired eight straight batters (from the 1st-3rd) before Payton reached on a single back to the mound … left five Texas baserunners stranded in scoring position … first freshman pitcher to start on Opening Day in the 15-year tenure of head coach David Esquer … older brother Jake Jeffries has played professionally in the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays organizations … product of Buhach Colony High School.
Proven two-way talent who made big impact both at the plate and on the mound, as Toreros won series vs. visiting New Mexico (cb360 #40): 6-4, 2-3 (in 11) and 17-2 … hit 8-for-14 (.429) during Opening Week, factoring into seven runs (5 RBI, 3 HR, HR) while adding a pair of doubles, a sacrifice bunt, a stolen base and only one strikeout as the Toreros 2-hole hitter … won the series finale with 5.2 strong innings, allowed only one run while scattering seven hits and a pair of walks (2 Ks; 2 hit batters) … scored or drove in half of USD’s runs (RBI, 2 R) during tight 6-4 season opener, batting 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base … in the narrow, extra-inning gm-2 loss vs. the Lobos, he had an early RBI single and sacrifice bunt before later reaching on a 2-out double in the 8th (he was left stranded, but USD tied it in the 9th) … his hot bat in gm-3 helped his own cause on the mound, with his 3-for-6 day including a 2-run blast in the 1st followed by an RBI single in the 2nd (as USD jumped out to a 7-0 lead) … key member of USD’s 2013 NCAA tournament team, as starting centerfielder (.265, HR, 25 RBI) and 50-inning contributor on the mound (10 starts; 3.24, 3-3, 35 Ks, 17 BB, .256 opp. batting) … earned honorable mention all-West Coast honors as a sophomore in 2012 (hit .311 with 33 RBI, plus 8.0 innings pitched) … began his college baseball career at Cal in 2011, hitting .286 with 5 RBI and 19.1 innings pitched for Bears squad that reached the CWS … product of St. Mary’s High School.
Lived up to his billing – and then some – as the Southern Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year, after logging eight shutout innings for Opening Day win at cb360 #4 Mississippi State (3-2 win, after bullpen allowed 2R in the 9th) … faced only four batters over the minimum (28), with three hits and one walk allowed, while racking up 12 strikeouts and registering five other outs via infield popups and groundouts … the Bulldogs’ first two singles both went up the middle … limited each of Mississippi State’s top returning hitters, the 2-3-4 batting combo of Alex Detz, Brett Pirtle and deep-ball threat Wes Rea – to 0-for-3 days against him (Rea struck out all three times, while Pirtle also had a K vs. “the Null Set”) … retired the first seven batters he faced, adding three more 1-2-3 innings in the 4th, 6th and 8th … did not allow a runner into scoring position until there were two outs in the 7th, but promptly responded by getting pinch-hitter Jacob Robson looking at a called third strike to leave runners on the corners … struck out seven of the first 13 batters he faced, while half of his 12 Ks were “looking” … also posted double-digit Ks in WCU’s 2013 season opener (12 Ks, vs. Washington State) … second team all-SoCon performer in 2013 (3.46, 9-2, 109 Ks and 27 BB in 91.0; .240 opp. batting avg.), after earning a spot on the SoCon All-Freshman Team in 2012 (5.05, 4-4, 63 Ks and 28 BB in 73.0; .271 opp. avg.) … earned prep All-America honors while starring for Bunker Hill High School.
Opened the season opposite the pitcher widely considered to be the top prospect for the 2014 MLB Draft, North Carolina State lefthander Carlos Rodon, and responded with his own dominating performance – shutting down NC State (cb360 #8) for seven innings as Griffins claimed 3-0 upset win in Raleigh … faced 27 batters while scattering five hits (all singles) and a lone walk in 101-pitch outing that included 65 strikes and six strikeouts … did not allow any baserunenrs to venture past second base – and on the three occasions when a ‘Pack player did reach second, he immediately responded with a strikeout (in the 1st, 5th and 7th), with one of those three scoring-position baserunners coming courtesy of a 7th-inning passed ball … registered three 1-2-3 innings (in the 2nd, 4th and 6th) … opened the game by allowing a single from All-American Trea Turner and a walk by veteran catcher Brett Austin, before retiring 21 of the next 25 he faced (only four of which reached 3-ball counts) … compiled a 5.25 ERA in 60 innings as a junior in 2013 (3-1; 46 Ks, 19 BB; .282 opp. batting avg.), after logging 68 innings as the team’s #4 starter during his freshman season in 2012 (4.63, 2-3, 51 Ks and 17 BB; .266 opp. avg.) … product of Newfane High School.
Talented third-year defensive shortstop who could be due for a breakthrough season at the plate, after batting only .237 as a freshman and .233 in 2013 (he totaled only 11 errors in each season, as the team’s starting shortstop with 106 starts over that two-year span) … played error-free spanning 25 fielding changes during Opening Week, while collecting multiple hits in all three week-1 wins over cb360 #7 Indiana, as the Red Raiders took the 4-gm series (0-1, 10-5, 6-2, 7-0) from a Hoosiers team looking to build off its 2013 College World Series season … singled twice and plated a run on a sacrifice fly, while helping TT square the series in gm-2 … turned in his most productive day of the weekend in gm-3, batting 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored (his 2-out RBI single in the 7th pushed the Raiders to the final 6-2 cushion) … also reached three times in the series-finale shutout, after batting 2-for-3 with a walk to provide more production from the bottom third of the batting order … named to the 2012 Big 12 Conference All-Freshman Team (29 RBI, followed by a 34-RBI season in 2013) … his brother Brandon Proudfoot is a PGA golf professional is Snoqualmie, Wash. … product of Mount Si High School.
Yet another veteran two-way talent among these week-1 Primetime Performers, after playing lead role in Wildcats wins over cb360 #3 Virginia (8-3) and tournament host (36) UNC Wilmington (10-4) … lefthanded power hitter who also is set to serve as the team’s ace gm-1 starting pitcher in 2014 … factored into eight of the Kentucky runs (5 RBI, 3 R, HR) during the first three games, while batting 5-for-13 with a home run and two doubles (also reached via a hit-by-pitch) … drew the Opening Day start against Virginia, a squad tabbed by some as the nation’s preseason #1 team, and picked up the win with five solid innings – allowing a single run on three hits and three walks (plus a hit batter, with two strikeouts) … got Kentucky on the board with his RBI double and came around to score in 4-run bottom of the 4th vs. UVa, for 4-1 lead … provided a pair of key extra-base hits the next day in win over UNCW: first on a 3-run homer in the 3rd and then on a 2-out, RBI double in the 7-run top of the 5th (he went on to score later that innings, as part of Kentucky’s 10-0 midgame lead) … reached base three times (2-for-4, hit-by-pitch) and scored a run in Sunday game vs. VMI, but the Keydets rallied from late 9-4 deficit to win, 10-9 … received 2012 first team Freshman All-America honors, after compiling a 2.52 season ERA in 53.2 innings (5-3; 51 Ks and only 9 BB; .267 opp. batting avg.) while also batting .300 in that rookie season (4 HR, 43 RBI) … launched 13 home runs a a sophomore in 2013, en route to being named the all-SEC first team DH (hit .280 with 52 RBI; on the mound was 2-8 with minimal run support, 4.04, 52 Ks and 15 BB in 82.1; .301 opp. avg.) … star player at Terre Haute South High School before heading off the Lexington for his college career.
Hit over .500 (7-for-13) in season-opening series at cb360 #1 Cal State Fullerton, including combined 7-for-9 in pair of tight battles (WSU won gm-2, 9-7 in 11 innings, while the Titans rallied to win the finale, 5-4) … his week included two RBI, a pair of runs scored and two doubles … batted 4-for-6 with two runs scored, an RBI and a double in series-tying second game … hit a 1-out single and scored in decisive top of the 11th during that 9-7 win … earlier doubled and scored in WSU’s 3-run top of the 3rd (for 4-3 lead), then delivered RBI single in the 6th as Cougars stretched to 7-3 lead … closed series by batting 3-for-4 with an early RBI double in 5-4 loss (Titans took 4-3 lead in the 8th, then both teams scored a run in the 9th) … added gm-3 singles in the 6th and 8th innings, but was left stranded on third base both times … took a redshirt season in 2012 before batting .409 while playing in 32 games (29 starts) during 2013 (23 RBI, 2 HR) … product of Federal Way High School.
Had multiple hits in each game of series at cb360 #28 Arizona, batting 6-for-11 with five RBI, two runs scored, a triple, a double and eight total times on base (with a walk and hit-by-pitch) … reached base three times (2-for-3, BB) in season-opening loss, with the rest of Kent State’s team hitting only .161 (5-for-31) with one walk … led off 4th inning of that game with a full-count leadoff triple (after fouling off seven pitches) vs. ‘Cats ace James Farris … sparked Flashes to big 14-5 win in game-2, batting 2-for-4 (plus a HBP) with 4 RBI while scoring two runs of his own … again proved to be the team’s primary bright in gm-3 loss (7-1), batting 2-for-4 with an RBI double (the other Flashes hit only 2-for-26 in gm-3) … hit .279 as a freshman in 2013 (2 HR, 21 RBI) while making 41 starts, mostly at third base … his father Ed Zalewski played baseball at Penn State … product of Valley High School.