Stephen Francis checks-in again with some top week 2 performances from the Lone Star State…
With the college baseball season now entering the third weekend of play, hitters in the Lone Star State seem to be adjusting to the new bat regulations set for the by the NCAA. Regardless of this, there were several players who shined offensively and defensively this past weekend and earned top honors in what was a great weekend of Texas baseball.
Here are this week’s top Texas players by classification.
Texas Freshman Offensive Player of the Week:
David Paiz, RF — Texas Tech Red Raiders
Paiz put together a very nice four game stretch as the Red Raiders competed in their second consecutive tournament weekend in Lubbock with a pair of games against BYU and two against Northern Illinois. He played his part well in Tech’s three wins by batting .444 for the weekend with eight hits in 18 at bats with five RBI and three runs scored. Six of his hits and four of his RBI came against the Huskies as he seemed to feast off of the NIU pitching staff.
Texas Freshman Pitcher of the Week:
Andrew Mitchell, RHP — TCU Horned Frogs
Mitchell began the season for the Horned Frogs with the understanding that he would fill the role of weekday starter and would pitch out of the bullpen on weekends, barring any injuries to starters. He took the mound against Baylor to pitch 6 2/3 innings of two-hit shutout baseball with four strikeouts and three walks to earn his first career victory. As it would turn out, an opening weekend blister to TCU’s Friday starter, Matt Purke, would thrust him into a Sunday start a mere five days after his first one; this time against college baseball powerhouse Cal State Fullerton. The freshman responded by tossing five shutout innings and yielding just one hit with three walks and two strikeouts. Although the bullpen couldn’t hold onto his lead, he still ended the week with 11 2/3 innings pitched with a 0.00 earned run average, three hits allowed, six walks, six strikeouts and his first career win.
Texas Sophomore Offensive Player of the Week:
Jamodrick McGruder, LF — Texas Tech Red Raiders
It was a good four days for Texas Tech outfielders. Actually, it was a good four days for Texas Tech hitters in general, but McGruder did almost everything offensively possible to earn his keep this weekend. Aside from getting plunked four times in four games, which should earn him at least something more than a bandage, the former Freshman All-American also stole two bases, batted .583, smacked three triples and drove in two runs while scoring five of his own. He also walked four times and finished the weekend with an on-base percentage of .750 and a slugging percentage of 1.167 for a nasty 1.917 OPS. McGruber has nothing on this guy as McGruder “took it like a man” this weekend and almost seemed to feed off of getting beaned.
Texas Sophomore Pitcher of the Week:
Michael Wacha, RHP — Texas A&M Aggies
If the name Wacha sounds familiar, don’t thank Fozzy Bear. His name should actually sound familiar because he’s being featured for the second week in a row. After six shutout innings in week one, he added to it by going seven shutout innings this past weekend against Gonzaga. The Hoyas managed only five hits and struck out six times without a walk against the right-hander. On the season now, he has tossed 13 innings with two wins in two starts without surrendering a run. In fact, one more scoreless start just might have College Station shouting Wacha, Wacha, Wacha — which would be an appropriate chant when Baylor comes to town.
Texas Junior Offensive Player of the Week:
Anthony Rendon, 3B — Rice Owls
Rendon had a week reminiscent of Barry Bonds this past weekend. Strike that, maybe that’s not a good comparison for an amateur athlete. Perhaps Mark McGwire . . . never mind that comparison, either. Let’s just put it this way. Rendon took a lot of walks this week — seven to be exact. Maybe there’s a reason for that. He only batted .273 but hit two home runs, knocked in five runs and scored six runs of his own. His .556 on base percentage dwarfed the batting average and more than made up for it. Of course, that .818 slugging percentage didn’t look too bad, either.
Texas Junior Pitcher of the Week:
Taylor Jungmann, RHP — Texas Longhorns
Jungmann appears to be doing his best to remain a main-stay on this list. After his first career shutout last weekend, the Longhorn ace went out and did it again against Hawaii. The fact that he took the mound four hours after his normal start time didn’t seem to faze him at all as he pitched his second consecutive complete game shutout and allowed only four hits with nine strikeouts.
Texas Senior Offensive Player of the Week:
Chris Andreas, 1B — Sam Houston State Bearkats
Andreas put on a show in week two, simple as that. He amassed a slugging percentage of 1.111 by going 9/18 at the plate with three home runs and two doubles. He was also involved in a majority of the Bearkats’ runs by driving in ten and scoring seven. He was named the “Hitter of the Year” by the SHSU baseball team in 2010. Now we know why.
Texas Senior Pitcher of the Week:
Taylor Walton, RHP — UT-San Antonio
To be honest, it was a tough week for senior pitchers in Texas this week. That’s probably because there aren’t very many of them, though. Whatever the case, Walton went out and pitched a gem regardless of his classification. The Midland native is playing his only season of Division I baseball, but didn’t look like it against St. Joseph’s with six scoreless innings on four hits with five strikeouts. He earned his second win of the year and has now pitched 11 innings without allowing a run.
The top Texas match-ups for week three:
Texas Longhorns — vs. Stanford Friday, Saturday and Sunday
TCU Horned Frogs — @ Texas Tech Red Raiders Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Houston College Classic
Baylor Bears — vs. Houston Friday, Utah Saturday and Rice Sunday
Texas A&M Aggies — vs. Utah Friday, Rice Saturday and Houston Sunday
Houston Cougars — vs. Baylor Friday, Kentucky Saturday and Texas A&M Sunday
Rice Owls — vs. Kentucky Friday, Texas A&M Saturday and Baylor Sunday