Gonzaga junior lefthanded ace Marco Gonzales (Fort Collins, Colo.) – who doubles as a quite capable first baseman for the Bulldogs – and Baylor fifth-year senior third baseman Cal Towey (Seattle, Wash.) headline the week-3 grouping of the CB360 Primetime Performers, as presented by CollegeBaseball360.com. Towey is the CB360 National Primetime Player of the Week while Gonzales is the Primetime Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 25-March 3, 2013. They are joined by 10 others in comprising the week-3 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll (listed below). front-page photo courtesy of Gonzaga
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 week-3 Primetime Performers list is heavy on pitchers, with Gonzales joined by a couple other lefthanded starters in North Carolina junior Kent Emanuel (Woodstock, Ga.) and South Carolina sophomore Jordan Montgomery (Sumter, S.C.). There also are four righthanded starters among the honorees: Stanford senior standout Mark Appel (Houston, Texas), University of the Pacific sophomore Michael Benson (Placentia, Calif.), Cal State Fullerton freshman Thomas Eschelman (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Notre Dame senior Adam Norton (Highland, Ind.). The honor roll likewise includes Arizona State freshman closer Ryan Burr (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) while Towey is joined by three other position players: Georgia Tech catcher/RH reliever Zane Evans (Roswell, Ga.), Kent State junior rightfielder T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) and Houston freshman second baseman/leadoff batter Josh Vidales (LaPorte, Texas).
The 12 honorees include the fifth-year senior Towey, plus two traditional seniors. four juniors, a pair of sophomores and the freshman trio of Eschelman, Burr and Vidales. Seven of the 12 hail from hometowns within the confines of three states – California (3), Colorado (2) and Texas (2), plus one each from Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.
TOWEY paced the Bears from a key part of the lineup (3-hole/cleanup) while facing four quality opponents, including three games big-league Minute Maid Park in Houston. The veteran hit at a .500 clip (7-for-14) during the week while factoring into 12 of Baylor’s runs (8 RBI, 4 runs), collecting 11 total bases (with a triple and two doubles) and reaching base 10 times (when adding three walks). The 3-1 stretch for the Bears – who have played a highly commendable touch schedule so far – included a 5-4 midweek win vs. Pepperdine (cb360 #32) plus wins in Houston vs. California (9-0) and cb360 #13 Rice (9-2) and a 15-4 loss to upstart University of Houston. Towey compiled a 1.397 OPS spanning the four games (.611 on-base plus .786 slugging pct.).
In the midweek comeback vs. Pepperdine, Towey reached base twice (single & hi-by-pitch) while driving in two crucial runs. He then scored or drove in four of his team’s runs (2RBI-2R; 3B-2B) during the first game of tournament action at Minute Maid Park, as Baylor shut out Cal in a “battle of the Bears. ” Towey delivered two more RBI (1-for-2, BB-2B) vs. surging Houston squad and then closed the week by batting 3-for-4 with yet one more RBI, a run scored, a walk and a double. He was named tournament MVP of the Astros Foundation College Classic, while also featured North Carolina and Texas A&M in the strong six-team field.
GONZALES faced only 33 batters en route to a shutout victory (3-0) over cb360 #2 Arkansas, during tournament action in Surprise, Ariz. The Gonzaga ace did not walk or hit a batter, while totaling nine strikeouts (including three vs. veteran infielder and cleanup batter Dominic Ficociello). The junior lefthander proved up to the challenge while facing a lineup featuring several holdovers from the 2012 Arkansas team that nearly reached the CWS championship series.
In addition to avoiding major trouble throughout his outing vs. the Razorbacks, Gonzales did not allow multiple hits in any inning, with only four runners advancing into scoring position. He recorded 21 of his outs came via strikeouts (9), ground balls (10; including a pair of double-play balls, one a 1-6-3) or foulouts (2, both to the first baseman). An experienced two-way player, Gonzales played at first base during Gonzaga’s split vs. UOP (3-9, 7-3) and in the game vs. tournament host Arizona State that resulted in a 6-6 final score, hitting 6-for-9 with a pair of walks in those three games (RBI-R-2B). He did his part in theiloss vs. UOP (3-for-4, RBI-R-2B) and then hot 2-for-3 with a walk in the win over the Tigers before going 1-for-2 with another walk in the tie vs. ASU.
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; #3)
(week of Feb. 25-March3, 2013 … presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)
“It’s not so much what you do, as it is when you do it.”
Mark Appel (Stanford … RHP … Sr. … 6-5/215 … Houston, TX … #26)
Michael Benson (Univ. of the Pacific … RHP … So. … 6-4/105 … Placentia, CA … #22)
Ryan Burr (Arizona State … RHP/closer … Fr. … 6-4/215 … Highlands Ranch, CO … #32)
Kent Emanuel (North Carolina … LHP … Jr. … 6-4/225 … Woodstock, GA … #41)
Thomas Eschelman (Cal State Fullerton … RHP … Fr. … 6-3/190 … Carlsbad, CA… #15)
Zane Evans (Georgia Tech … C/RHP … Jr. … 6-2/220 … bats: R … 6-hole … Roswell, GA … #10)
*Marco Gonzales (Gonzaga … LHP/1B … Jr. … 6-1/185 … bats: L… 6-hole… Fort Collins, CO… #7)
Jordan Montgomery (South Carolina … LHP … So. … 6-4/225 … Sumter, SC … #34)
Adam Norton (Notre Dame … RHP … Sr. … 6-2/195 … Highland, IN … #1)
T.J. Sutton (Kent State … RF … Jr. … 5-10/180 … bats: L … 6/8-hole … Uniontown, OH … #5)
*Cal Towey (Baylor … 3B … 5th-Yr.-Sr. … 6-1/215 … bats: L … cleanup/3-hole … Seattle, WA … #18)
Josh Vidales (Houston … 2B … Fr. … 5-7/150 … bats: switch … leadoff … LaPorte, TX … #8)
* Towey is the CB360 National Primetime Player of the Week and Gonzales the Primetime Pitcher of the Week
All photos courtesy of the respective schools
Elite senior prospect (2012 first-round draft pick) who matched his career-high with 14 strikeouts while fashioning a 3-hitter in tightly-contested, 2-0 series opener vs. visiting Texas (cb360 #25) … issued his only walk of the game with two outs in the opening inning, before retiring the next 15 batters … nearly took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, allowing a 2-out infield single in the 6th, and ultimately faced only 30 batters (thanks to a game-ending, 4-6-3 double play) … three of his four baserunners allowed came with two outs already on the board (all but Matt Moynihan’s leadoff single in the 9th) and only one reached second base, on Codey McElroy’s 2-out double in the 8th … had five 1-2-3 innings and struck out the side in both the 4th and the 7th … struck out six straight batters from the 3rd through the 5th innings … 22 of his outs came via Ks (14), groundballs (6) or popups/foulouts (2) … his dominating performance set the tone for series sweep of the Longhorns (2-0, 7-2, 2-1) … 2012 first team All-American (2.56, 10-2, 130 Ks/30 BB in 123 IP, .213 opp. avg.) who was selected with the 8th pick in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft, but he ultimately opted to return to Stanford for his senior season … played his high school baseball in the East Bay, for Monte Vista High School.
Logged eight quality innings while facing cb360 #2 Arkansas in tournament action at Surprise, Ariz., keeping UOP within striking distance as the Tigers rallied to win in the 9th (4-3) … scattered eight hits and only one walk while avoiding the big inning, allowing only a pair of runs in tight battle that was 1-1 through five innings … logged 1-2-3 innings in the 2nd and 3rd while allowing only one baseunner (leadoff hit in the 1st) until the 4th inning … did not allow an RBI hit, as both Arkansas runs against him came on sacrifice flies … did not allow any hits with runners in scoring position … held Razorbacks to 0-1 hits in six innings (2H in 4th & 6th) … put UOP in position for rare in over top-5 opponent, after Tigers had started season 3-6 … struck out three Arkansas batters, with eight other outs coming on ground balls and three on popups/foulouts … product of Saguaro High School, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Saved both wins over Arkansas (cb360 #2) during tournament action in Surprise, Ariz., allowing one run and only three baserunners (H-2BB) during five total innings of work, with six strikeouts … entered first game vs. ‘Hogs with ASU clinging to a 2-1 lead in the 7th and closed the tension-packed game by allowing one run on one hit and two walks, with four strikeouts (the lone run was manufactured, courtesy of a pair of runner-advancing groundouts) … returned two days later for another extended save opportunity and again closed low-scoring game (3-1), retiring all six batters he faced (on a pair of strikeouts, three ground balls and a flyout to center) … prep All-American while starring for Highlands Ranch High School, in southeast Denver area … played on Ohio-baseed Midland Redskins team that won Connie Mack World Series.
Matched Rice ace Austin Kubitza in tournament action at big-league Minute Maid Park, setting the stage for the top-ranked Tar Heels to remain unbeaten with wild 2-1 win over the Owls (cb360 #13) … limited Owls to the lone run on a 2nd-inning squeeze play (when he nearly had a play at the plate) while scattering eight hits and only one walk, with five strikeouts in the 7-inning stint (111 pitches) … Kubitza was knocked out in the 7th (6.2-R-4H-2BB-9K), when UNC finally scored the tying run … worked around a pair of infield errors that led to runners in scoring position during the 3rd and 5th innings … erased 1st-inning baserunner on pickoff play … owns a 0.78 season ERA, with 18 strikeouts and only three walks in 23 innings (.203 opp. batting avg.) … named a 2012 third team All-American (2.33, 9-1, 89 Ks in 104.1), after earning 2011 Freshman All-America honors … a 19th-round draft selection of the Pittsburgh Pirates, in the 2010 MLB Draft … product of Woodstock High School (near Atlanta).
Member of talented young Titans pitching staff who rose to the challenge as game-1 starter vs. cb360 #7 Oregon (led by former CSF coach George Horton), registering 4-hit complete game as Fullerton won 8-2 … did not walk a batter (one hit-by-pitch), while striking out six … retired the first 11 batters he faced and ultimately logged six 1-2-3 innings … allowed only four baserunners past first base … impressive start to his freshman season includes a 0.87 ERA, no walks and 20 strikeouts in 20.2 innings … product of Carlsbad High School, in the San Diego area.
Veteran two-way talent who hit .579 (11-for-19) with four home runs during 5-0 week, most notably a pair of games at cb360 #46 Georgia Southern (which opened the season by taking 2-of-3 from Georgia, followed by a midweek win over Florida) … factored into 13 of GT’s runs (9RBI-8R-HR) as Jackets flexed their offensive muscle, outscoring Georgia Southern (11-4, 14-8) and Rutgers (13-1, 11-2, 12-0) by a 61-15 combined scoring margin … reached base 14 times during the week, with three walks and no strikeouts … racked up a 1.847 OPS (.636 on-base plus 1.211 slugging) during the 5-game week, as GT improved to 11-1 … collected hits in all five games … opened mideek series vs. dangerous Georgia Southern team by smacking pair of home runs (3-for-5; 5 RBI), including a 2-run blast that broke a 4-4 tie in the 6th and proved to be the winning hit (he followed with a 3-run shot in the next inning) … returned the next day to homer again, also scoring three runs and closing the game with two innings of scoreless relief … went on to collect six hits (one a home run) and three RBI in the sweep of Rutgers … shook off slow start (2-for-16) by batting .464 (13-for-28) since then, with all five of his home runs (currently the most by any ACC player) and 12 RBI in that span … named to 2012 ACC All-Tournament Team and a 2011 Freshman All-American … product of Roswell (Ga.) High School … uncle Ed Barney played for the Cincinnati Reds.
Faced only 33 batters en route to shutout victory (3-0) over cb360 #2 Arkansas, during tournament action in Surprise, Ariz. … did not walk or hit a batter, while totaling nine strikeouts (including three vs. veteran infielder and cleanup batter Dominic Ficociello) … proved up to the challenge while facing lineup featuring several holdovers from the 2012 Arkansas team that nearly reached the CWS championship series … avoided major trouble throughout his outing and did not allow multiple hits in any inning, with only four runners getting into scoring position … 21 of his outs came via strikeouts (9), ground balls (10; including a pair of double-play balls, one a 1-6-3) or foulouts (2, both to the first baseman) … lowered his season ERA to 2.45 … experienced two-way player who played at first base during split vs. UOP (3-9, 7-3) and game vs. tournament host Arizona State that resulted in a 6-6 final score … hit 6-for-9 with a pair of walks in those three games (RBI-R-2B) … did his part in loss vs. UOP (3-for-4, RBI-R-2B) and then hit 2-for-3 with a walk in win over Tigers before going 1-for-2 with another walk in tie vs. ASU.
Stepped into the pressure cooker as game-1 starter in unique 3-site series vs. arch-rival Clemson (cb360 #27) and responded with impressive eight shutout innings, facing only 28 batters with three hits and two walks allowed while striking out nine (career-high) in the 110-pitch outing … the win helped the Gamecocks ultimately win the rivalry series, with 8-0 home win in game-3 (after losing 6-3, in Greenville, S.C.) … fellow lefty Nolan Belcher had a similar dominating start in the gm-3 win (9IP-3H-7K-32BF-118p) … delivered the key road win in the series, after retiring eight of the first nine he faced and ultimately allowing only two baserunners into scoring position (one on a 2-out double; neither reached third) … totaled five 1-2-3 innings … has compiled a 0.95 ERA while winning all three of his starts this season, with 19 strikeouts, seven walks and a .188 opponent batting avg. in 19 innings … the 8.0 innings matched his clutch performance vs. Arkansas in the 2012 College World Series (2-0 win, with SC facing elimination) … earned 2012 Freshman All-America honors … a prep All-American while pitching for Sumter (S.C.) High School.
Went the distance to register Notre Dame’s first solo shutout since 2000 vs. a team listed among the top-25 in the national rankings, as the Irish topped Virginia Tech, 3-0, during tournament action in Cary, N.C. … faced only 32 batters, with four hits nd one walk allowed, despite facing a Hokies offense that entered the game batting .337 with 8.3 runs per game … retired the first 10 batters he faced and 16 of the first 17, before a bunt single in the top of the 6th … went on to again post 10 straight outs and was one out away from wrapping up the game before allowing any more baserunners (on a pair of 2-out singles) … having received fairly miniml run support and with the tying runs aboard, he ended the 4-hit shutout by inducing a popup to the catcher off the bat of Tyler Moran (who hit 16 home runs in the summer of 2012 to set a Cape Cod League record) … located 76 of his 108 pitches for stikes (70%) … allowed only two baserunners to venture into scoring position … dropped his ERA to 1.71, having won all three of his starts with 14 strikeouts and only three walks in 21 innings (.253 opp. batting avg.) … started roughly half of the games in 2010 and again in 2011 as a position player for the Irish, before making 15 starts on the mound in 2012 … local product from nearby Andrean High School in Merrilville, Ind.
His strong all-around series at Louisville (cb360 #19) paid off in series finale, batting 3-for-4 with a double and key run scored as the Golden Flashes picked up a much-needed win, 3-2 (Kent State had started 1-9 while facing a touch schedule that included two games vs. Virginia Tech, plus 3-gm road series at San Diego and Louisville) … hit 7-for-10 in the series, with multiple hits in each game while facing a Louisville team that boasted a 1.75 staff ERA … reached base three times in the series opener (2-for-3, with a walk) and then went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored in game-2 (the rest of the Kent State team managed only one hit and one walk in gm-2) … reached on leadoff bunt single in the 5th and came around to score, tying the series finale and sparking the Flashes to the go-ahead pair of runs in the 6th … stroked 1-out double in the 9th inning of gm-3 but was left stranded … played error-free at second base during the Louisville series … starter on the 2012 Kent State team that made a spirited postseason run all the way to the College World Series (he hit 5-for-11 with two RBI, two runs and three doubles in the Super Regional series at Oregon) … in-state product from Canton GlenOak High School.
Paced Bears from key part of the lineup while facing four quality opponents, hitting at a .500 clip (7-for-14) while factoring into 12 of Baylor’s runs (8RBI-4R), collecting 11 total bases (3B; 2 2B) and reaching 10 times (3 walks) during 3-1 week: 5-4 vs. Pepperdine (cb360 #32), 9-0 vs. California, 4-15 vs. upstart Houston and 9-2 vs. (13) Rice … compiled a 1.397 OPS spanning the four games (.611 on-base plus .786 slugging pct.) … reached base twice (1B-HBP) and drove in two crucial runs during the comeback win over visiting Pepperdine … scored or drove in four of his team’s runs (2RBI-2R; 3B-2B) during first game of tournament action at big-league Minute Maid Park, as Baylor shut out Cal in battle of the Bears … had two more RBI (1-for-2, BB-2B) vs. surging Houston squad and then closed the week by batting 3-for-4 with yet one more RBI, a run scored, a walk and a double … was named tournament MVP of the Astros Foundation College Classic (while also featured North Carolina and Texas A&M in the strong field) … has delivered RBI in seven straight games (multiple RBI in six of those seven) … batting 10-for-22 (.455) with 13 RBI over the past seven games (5R-5BB-HR-3B-2 2B-SB) … earned second team all-Big 12 honors in 2012 … product of Eastside Catholic High School, in the Seattle area … his father Curt Towey and uncle Steve Towey played professional baseball.
Freshman leadoff hitter who proved to be classic table-setter during 3-1 week for upstart Cougars (8-3), who won midweek vs. Houston Baptist (10-2) before joining strong 6-team field annual tournament action at Minute Maid Field … reached base nine times during the week, after batting 3-for-6 with six walks, three run and an RBI … scored twice, adding an RBI and double, in in over Houston Baptist … opened the next two games with leadoff walks, s Houston went on to beat cb360 #37 Texas A&M (7-6) and Baylor (15-4), which was among the CB360 preseason top-50 … hit 2-for-4 with an RBI and run in key in over A&M, then walked four different times (and scored once) vs. Baylor … added yet another walk, plus a single and run scored, in game vs. Cal … played error-free at second base throughout the week … batting .300 with nine runs scored, four RBI and a .462 on-base pct. (11 walks, plus one hit-by-pitch) … his 11 walks currently are most among any player from Conference USA … product of LaPorte (Texas) High School … father Johnny Vidales played baseball at Texas Tech.