A pair of juniors – Princeton catcher/cleanup hitter Sam Mulroy (Bethesda, Md.) and Kentucky ace pitcher Alex Meyer (Greensburg, Ind.) – lead the way on the CB360 week-12 Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll (for May 2-8, 2011), as selected by CollegeBaseball360.com. front-page photo courtesy of Kentucky
Mulroy is the CB360 Primetime Player of the Week and Meyer the Primetime Pitcher, with eight other players (listed below) joining them on the week-12 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll.
The imposing 6-foot-9, 220-pound MEYER delivered a shutout victory in a 2-0 pitchers duel opposite Vanderbilt ace Sonny Gray, a key result in the three-team battle for the SEC regular-season title as Vanderbilt (cb360 composite #3; #1 in several polls) remains in a tight race with South Carolina and Florida. The veteran righthander was in control for most of the game – racking up 22 of his 27 outs via strikeouts (5), groundouts (10), a pair of infield popups, a lineout double-play, a caught-stealing, a foulout and a pickoff move while facing only 31 batters (four over the minimum) in a 110-pitch outing that included 72 strikes.
Meyer delivered Kentucky’s first win over a #1-ranked team since another victory over Vanderbilt, in a 2007 game vs. a Commodores team led by the likes of current big-leaguers David Price and Pedro Alvarez. Vanderbilt currently ranks as the SEC’s top hitting team (.320), with a conference-best 7.0 runs per game.
Vanderbilt leadoff batter Tony Kemp went 3-for-4, but Meyer limited the rest of the Commodores lineup to a 2-for-25 combined effort (and only one walk from the entire VU team). Thanks to the double play and caught-stealing, Meyer faced the minimum 18 batters through the first six innings and did not allow a batter into scoring position until the 7th inning. He did not allow an extra-base hit throughout the pressure-packed game and registered first-pitch strikes vs. 17 of the 31 batters.
Meyer – who won a similar shutoutt a few weeks back vs. Arkansas – came out firing in the 1st inning, with strikeouts of Kemp, Anthony Gomez and Aaron Westlake. Jason Esposito then singled to lead off the 2nd but was erased on a 2-6 caught-stealing. The Commodores went down in order in the 3rd, 5th and 6th (with Kemp’s leadoff single in the 4th negated by a 9-3 double play).
The final three innings saw Meyer work around leadoff baseunners. Kemp singled in the 7th, moved up on a sac.-bunt but was stranded at second. Mike Yastrzemski drew a walk in the 8th and advanced on a pair of groundouts, putting the shutout in jeopardy and giving Vanderbilt a chance to rally (Kentucky had scored in the 7th for a close 2-0 cushion) – but Meyer induced a groundout to second base from pinch-hitter Sam Lind. Connor Harrell and Kemp singled to start the 9th, but Meyer closed things out with a lineout, popup and K from the 2-3-4 hitters Gomez, Westlake and Esposito.
It was the first shutout suffered by Vanderbilt in 78 games, dating back to a 2010 midseason matchup vs. eventual NCAA champion South Carolina (0-2).
Meyer leads the SEC with four complete games and 96 strikeouts (in 87.2 innings), with a 2.98 season ERA and lowly .220 opponent average. Only 11 of his 66 hits allowed have gone for extra-bases.
MULROY helped lead Princeton to claiming the Ivy League’s automatic berth in the 2011 NCAAs, after winning the Ivy League Championship Series over Dartmouth (9-2; 4-5; 8-5). In addition to directing the Tigers pitching staff to a strong all-around series, the 5-11, 200-pound cleanup batter hit .546 (6-for-11) during the three games, with 11 total bases (HR, 2 2B). He factored into eight of Princeton’s runs (5 RBI, 4 R, HR), including a pair of sacrifice flies, and handled a pitching staff the compiled a 3.46 staff ERA in the tense championship series.
Princeton – which won the Ivy League’s Lou Gehrig Division – will be heading to the NCAAs with a 23-22 overall record and is the first team officially in the 64-team NCAA field.
MULROY powered Princeton to the key opening win vs. Dartmouth, batting 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and a pair of runs scored, with a home run, double and sac.-fly. His leadoff home run opened the scoring in the 2nd inning, followed by the sac.-fly in the 6th and an RBI double that sparked a clinching 4-run bottom of the 8th.
In Saturday’s second game of the series, Mulroy contributed a single as Princeton jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but Dartmouth rallied to force a deciding Sunday game. The Tigers proved ready for that clutch situation, with Mulroy batting 3-for-7 while factoring into half of the team’s runs (2 RBI, 2 R, 2B). He again opened the scoring, with an RBI single in the 1st, and then singled (R) to leadoff the bottom of the 3rd as the Tigers scored twice for a 4-1 lead (followed by a sac.-fly in the 4th).
Mulroy kept rolling to help clinch the Ivy League title, with a 2-out double and run scored in the 6th as Princeton scored three more times for an 8-4 cushion. The Tigers went on to claim their 17th conference title but first since 2006.
Mulroy impressively leads Princeton in season batting avg. (.322), RBI (39), home runs (7), doubles (11), slugging pct. (.544) and stolen bases (13).
Half (5) of the week-12 Primetime Performers hail from Texas hometowns, plus one each from Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, Montana and Pennsylvania. The honorees include: three second basemen and three pitchers (2 RHPs and a LHP), plus a catcher, first baseman, third baseman and rightfielder … the include three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and a freshman.
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 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.
The week-12 CB360 Primetime Performer Weekly Honor recipients are pictured above (Meyer and Mulroy) and below:
CB360 PRIMETIME PERFORMERS WEEKLY HONOR ROLL #12
(week of May 2-8, 2011 … presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)
“It’s not so much what you do, as it is when you do it.”
D.J. Baxendale (Arkansas … RHP … So. … Jacksonville, ARK … 6-2/190 … #24)
… Converted closer who outdueled #4 Florida ace Hudson Randall in 4-3 series opener (9IP-3R/2ER-7H-BB-7K)
Ryan Jones (Michigan State … 2B … Jr./So. … Haslett, MT … 5-10/170 … Bats: R … 2-hole … #10)
… Reached base 8 times (4-10; 4 BB), factored into 5 runs (4 RBI, R; 2 2B, SAC) and extended hitting streak to 33 games, as Spartans swept fellow Big Ten title contender Purdue
Michael Kraft (Texas-San Antonio/UTSA … LHP … Fr. … San Antonio, TX … 5-10/160 … #16)
… His seven strong innings led Roadrunners to 10-inning, 3-2 win over #11 Texas A&M (UER-H-BB-10K)
Jason Krizan (Dallas Baptist … RF … Sr. … Pflugerville, TX … 6-0/185 … 3-hole … Bats: L … #6)
… Had rare 4-double game (3RBI, 2R) in win for NCAA-hopeful Patriots at #11 Texas A&M (14-10; 10 inn.); also helped post key 11-1 win at Texas Tech (1-3; RBI-BB-HBP)
* Sam Mulroy (Princeton …C … Jr. … Bethesda, MD … 5-11/200 … cleanup … Bats: R … #3)
…. Cleanup batter who hit 6-for-11 in the Ivy League Championship Series vs. Dartmouth (5 RBI, 4 R, HR, 2 2B, 2 SF)
* Alex Meyer (Kentucky … RHP … Jr. … Greensburg, IN … 6-9/220 … #17)
… Bested Vanderbilt ace Sonny Gray in one of the most-anticipated pitching matchups of the season, in 2-0 win over Commodores (cb360 #3; #1 in several polls), w/ 5-hit shutout (all singles, BB, 5 K, 31 BF)
Michael Ratterre (Rice … 2B … So. … Houston, TX … 6-1/200 … cleanup/5-hole … Bats: R … #8)
… Hit 10-for-19 spanning win over Southland Conf. leader S.F. Austin and 3-game sweep at Houston (7 RBI, 8 R, HR, 4 2B, SB
Ryan Terry (Monmouth … 3B … Sr. … Levittown, PA … 6-0/190 … 3-hole … Bats: R … #6)
… Hit 8-for 16 (9 RBI, 6 R, HR, 4 2B, BB, HBP, SB) in 4-game sweep of Long Island, as Hawks swapped places with LIU atop Northeast Conf. standings
Joe Weik (TCU … 1B … Sr. … Grapevine, TX … 6-2/215 … 5/7/8-hole … Bats: R … #33)
… His 5-for-12 effort led Frogs to series win at Oklahoma State (cb360 #20), adding 4 RBI, 3 R, 2 HR, 2B, BB, SB
Alex Yarbrough (Mississippi … 2B … So. … Allen, TX … 5-11/180 … 3-hole … Bats: S … #2)
… Had strong all-around series, as Rebels boosted their NCAA hopes w/ pair of wins vs. #3 South Carolina (6-11, 5 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, HR, 2B, SB, o errors on 23 chances/2 DPs)
* Mulroy is the CB360 Primtime Player of the Week and Meyer the Primetime Pitcher
Action photos of the honorees follow below (Meyer and Mulroy above; Ratterre to-be-added later):