Big And Little Numbers…
(CB360 co-founder Pete LaFleur contributed to this report.)
We’re not looking at RPIs, ok there are some RPI references, but we are taking a look at more highly noteworthy numbers as teams and players start heading to the finish line of the 2012 college baseball season. From winning streaks to losses, saves, complete games, no-hitters and all points in between … here’s this week’s By The Numbers:
32 … Game winning streak by Utah Valley (39-11, 24-0). The Wolverines were only 7-11 after a 13-3 loss to Sacramento State on March 22, but they haven’t tasted defeat since. Texas (1977) and Florida Atlantic (1999) share the record for the longest D1 winning streak at 34 games. The Wolverines need a win on Tuesday against Utah to tie the 1982 Texas team for the second-longest DI winning streak of all-time. They potentially could push their winning streak to 41 by the time NCAA selections come out.
3 … Stunning losses at Oklahoma over the weekend by Baylor. The Bears started Big 12 play with a record 18-0 mark, but after having conference byes for two straight weekends they suffered their first conference losses of 2012. Saturday’s setbacks were by finals of 1-0 (in 10 innings) and 2-1, but they were thumped 12-6 on Sunday to suffer their second 3-game losing streak of the year. Baylor (39-11, 18-3) still has locked-up the Big 12 regula- season title and had won nine straight series dating back to the 2011 season.
5 … Complete games pitched this season by Arizona’s Kurt Heyer, after Friday’s 3-1 win over Cal. Heyer fanned nine and allowed onlt an unearned run on five hits against the Bears. His individual complete game total is better than eight of the 10 teams in the Pac-12. With seven staff CGs, Oregon is the only team in the conference to boast more than Heyer.
1 … CG by the LSU pitching staff this season. It came from Kevin Gausman in Friday’s 2-1 win over Vanderbilt. Gausman struck out 11 and scattered five hits to help the Tigers clinch at least a tie for the SEC Western Division title and a bye in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
2-for-12 … LSU outfielder Raph Rhymes’ hits and at-bats for the week. Rhymes entered the week with a Supermanesque .500 batting average for the season, but the Vanderbilt pitching staff proved to be his Kryptonite over the weekend. Still, Rhymes is batting an amazing .478 for the season.
.500 … Vanderbilt’s season winning percentage after Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Louisville. The Commodores (now 26-25) started the season 1-7 and had not been even in the win-loss column since being 0-0 on opening day, but they went on to move above .500 for the first time this year by taking two of three games at LSU over the weekend. Tuesday’s win was head coach Tim Corbin’s 400th at Vanderbilt. He missed Sunday’s 5-4 extra-inning win over the Tigers to be home with his sick daughter.
35 … Straight years Florida State has won at least 40 games. The Seminoles reached the mark this season with Tuesday’s 9-1 win over Stetson. FSU remains stuck on 40 after falling 6-5 to the Hatters the next day and then dropping their series-opener at Clemson. The Seminoles and Tigers will complete their series Monday with a doubleheader. The second game (6 p.m. ET) will be televised on ESPNU.
30 … Win plateau reached by Michigan State with Tuesday’s 15-7 victory over Western Michigan. After winning 34 games in 2010 and 36 last year, it marks the first time in program history the Spartans have recorded three straight 30-win seasons. The Spartans (33-17, 12-9) went on to take two of three in their weekend series with Iowa. With an RPI in the mid-40s, they remain hopeful of at least an at-large NCAA berth.
4-0 … The score of Michigan State’s biggest win of the season – a March 7 victory at Baylor. The Spartans are 47th in the current RPI (per WarrenNolan.com) and that number is propped up significantly by that victory over a Baylor team that remains in the running for a top-8 national seed.
20 … Road wins by Purdue this season – the second-highest total of any DI team in the nation this season. Ivy League champion Cornell leads the country with 22 road victories. The Boilermakers, who clinched their first Big Ten title since 1909 by taking two of three games at home from Michigan over the weekend, have played only 16 home games with one more remaining. They close the regular season at Iowa next weekend. Despite the lack of home dates, Purdue (39-9, 16-4) already has set a school record for wins this season.
3 … Road losses by Central Florida – tied with UCLA for the fewest of any DI team in the nation this season. UCF’s only road setbacks came on April 13 at Southern Mississippi, Feb. 22 at Florida and at Marshall over the weekend. The Knights (39-13, 14-7) still took two of three from the Thundering Herd to set up next week’s showdown for the C-USA regular season title with Rice (36-14, 15-7).
28 … Career saves by Central Florida’s Joe Rogers after notching one in Friday’s comeback win over Marshall. UCF plated three runs in the top of the 9th and then Rogers struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to shut the door on the 6-5 victory.
35 … Appearances on the mound by UCLA’s David Berg. The freshman leads the Pac-12 and set the Bruin’s program record for appearances in a season with his 34th trip to the mound in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Washington. Berg appeared in all three wins over the Huskies over the weekend, totaling 3.1 innings and allowing only two hits with three strikeouts. Berg is 5-2 with a 1.40 ERA in 51.1 innings while serving as the primary set-up man for close Scott Griggs (13 Saves, 2.20 ERA).
16 … Saves in 2012 by North Carolina’s Michael Morin after saving 2-1 and 3-0 wins over Duke on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Morin now ranks second on the UNC all-time single season saves list behind Andrew Carignan (2007) and Thad Crisman (1993), who each had 18 saves. Morin’s efforts also helped North Carolina clinch the ACC’s Coastal Division crown. They hold a three-game lead over second-place Virginia and own the tiebreaker with the Cavaliers heading into the final weekend of the regular season. Morin is 5-3 with a 0.94 ERA in 48.0 innings and 31 appearances this season.
1 … Game this season in which Cal State Fullerton has hit multiple home runs. It came in Friday’s 9-7 win over UC Santa Barbara when J.D. Davis, Michael Lorenzen and Matt Chapman all left the yard. The three long balls nearly doubled Fullerton’s home run production in 2012. The Titans entered last week ranked 283rd in the nation with only five home runs all season. Fullerton (32-15, 14-4) swept the series with the Gauchos for their 11th straight series win. They lead Long Beach State by two games atop the Big West standings.
36 … Career home runs, a St. John’s school record, by Jeremy Baltz. The junior went deep for the 36th time in his career in Saturday’s 6-3 win at Louisville. Baltz hit 24 pre-BBCOR home runs as a freshman in 2010 but dipped to six long balls a year ago. Saturday’s shot was his sixth of 2012. The Red Storm (32-19, 17-7) lost two of three games to the Cardinals (35-17, 16-8), but they still lead the Big East standings by one game over Louisville and South Florida.
16 … Years since Texas A&M’s previous 9-inning no-hitter prior to Ross Stripling’s no-no in Saturday’s 1-0 win over San Diego State. The senior used 106 pitches with seven strikeouts to fire the gem on the day he was scheduled to graduate. A 5th-inning walk was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect day – and that runner was erased on a caught-strealing, as Stripling ultimately faced the minimum 27 batters.
29-5 … Kentucky’s home record this season to set a program high-water mark for home victories after a weekend sweep of Alabama. The Wildcats (41-11, 18-9) also have the second-most total victories in the 107 year history of Kentucky baseball. They remain in the running for the SEC regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament.
73 … Hits this season by UK’s Austin Cousino – a freshman record at Kentucky. Cousino’s ninth home run of the season in Sunday’s 8-1 win over Alabama also gave him the Wildcats freshman for runs scored (54). Cousino is batting a team-best .343 with 18 doubles, 11 stolen bases, a .543 slugging percentage, and .421 on base percentage.
6 1/3 … Innings pitched by Stanford’s Stephen Piscotty in his first career start – an 8-3 win over Washington State on Saturday at Sunken Diamond. Piscotty made 156 previous career combined starts at third base, first base, left field, and designated hitter for the Cardinal. In addition to earning the win, Piscotty was 3-for-3 at the plate with two walks, while issuing no walks of his own from the mound. The projected first-round pick in next month’s MLB Draft also had made 10 previous relief appearances. He is batting .344 with five home runs and a team-high 50 RBIs this season to go with a 3-2 record and 2.49 ERA.
50 … Stolen bases by North Carolina State’s Trea Turner. The freshman swiped a pair in Saturday’s 6-2 win at Virginia Tech to join Georgia Tech’s Ty Griffin (50 in 1986) and UNC’s Brian Roberts (63 in 1997) as the only other players in ACC history to steal as many as 50 bases in a season. Turner has been caught only twice all year.
12 … Strikeouts in 7.0 innings by Loyola Marymount’s Trevor Megill in Saturday’s 8-6 win over San Diego. The win gave LMU the series win over the Toreros in the important WCC series. The effort helped the Lions take two of three games from the West Coast Conference-leading Toreros. Loyola has remaining series against second place Pepperdine and Santa Clara, while San Diego’s only WCC games left are vs. Pepperdine in two weeks. With no postseason tournament, the WCC regular-season champion receives the league’s automatic NCAA bid.
40 … Wins for Indiana State – the first 40-win season for the Sycamores in 20 years. ISU swept Southern Illinois over the weekend to reach the mark. The Sycamores (40-12, 13-5 MVC) travel upstate to face Purdue on Tuesday and then will host Missouri State (36-17, 11-6) to close out the regular season this weekend. The winner of that series will take the top seed in the Missouri Valley Conference Touranament.
4 … The number of DI baseball teams that have cracked 40 wins this season … the previously-mentioned Kentucky (41-11), Florida State (40-10), Indiana State (40-12) and UCF (40-12).