CB360 Primetime Performers #11 (May 4)

May 4, 2010

Pair of veterans – Florida centefielder Matt den Dekker and Oregon righthander Justin LaTempa – lead week-11 PTPers …

Oregon 5th-year senior RHP Justin LaTempa

Florida senior centerfielder Matt den Dekker (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Oregon fifth-year senior righthander Justin LaTempa (Huntington Beach, Calif.) turned in clutch efforts during the final week of April and headline the 11th installment of the CB360 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll. (front-page photo courtesy of Oregon)

Florida senior centefielder Matt den Dekker

LaTempa has been named the national Primetime Pitcher of the Week and den Dekker is the Primetime Player of the Week, while 17 others (listed below, with headshots and info. capsule) join them in comprising the Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll, as selected by CollegeBaseball360.com.

CLICK HERE for archive of previous CB360 Primetime award winners (scroll down for earlier weeks).

The veteran den Dekker continued to lead the young Gators squad during weekend action on April 30-May 2, as Florida (#7 at the time in the CB360 Composite National Rankings) posted its first series sweep of LSU (CNR #13) since the 1996 season. The 6-1, 210-pound lefthanded hitter swung a hot bat throughtout the series – going 8-for-13 (.615) over the course of the three games while totaling 5 RBI and 5 runs scored (plus a home run and 3-of-3 on stolen bases). Widely regarded as one of the nation’s elite centerfielders, the speedy den Dekker flashed those defensive skills to further help Florida double up LSU in total runs, 28-14, during the three-game series (7-3/8-5/13-6).

Senior centerfielder Matt den Dekker capped Florida's first series sweep of LSU since 1996 with the best all-around game of his career (5-for-5, 5 RBI, 5 R, HR, 2 SB). (photo courtesy of Florida)

After hitting in the 6-hole during the first two games of the series, den Dekker was shifted up to the #2 position in the lineup and responded with the best all-around offensive game of his college career – batting 5-for-5 with 4 RBI, 4 runs scored and a momentum-grabbing home run in the early moments of the series finale vs. the defending national champions. LSU All-American Matty Ott worked ahead in the count against den Dekkerin the opening frame, but the Florida veteran jumped all over the 0-2 pitch and pulled a two-run blast over fence in right-center.

The sweep moved Florida (15-6; 31-11 overall) one game back of league-leading South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference standings (whilc also keeping the Gators firmly in the running for an NCAA top-8 national seed). In addition to currently leading the Gators with a .356 season batting average, den Dekker owns team-best totals in runs (43) and stolen bases (16).

With his team looking to bounce back from a tough 3-2 series-opening loss – in addition to the Ducks hoping to stay in the running for being a possible NCAA Regional host – LaTempa delivered in impressive fashion. The 6-5, 210-pound righthander crafted a 1-hitter versus a dangerous Washington State squad that already had claimed Pac-10 series this season vs. Arizona State and Oregon State.

Oregon 5th-year senior Justin LaTempa retired the first 14 Washington State batters he faced, took a no-hitter into the and totaled a career-best 10 strikeouts (plus 11 groundouts) in his 1-hit masterpiece (6-0 win) that sparked the Ducks on to claim the series. (photo courtesy of Oregon)

LaTempa’s dominant performance versus the Cougars included a career-best 10 strikeouts, only one walk and a hit batter – in a 113-pitch outing with only 31 batters faced (four over the minimum). The no-hit bid ended in the 8th, when WSU third baseman/6-hole hitter Matt Argyroppilos poked the first pitch of the inning into shallow right field for a leadoff double.

After retiring the first 14 batters he faced, LaTempa lost Argyropoulos to a 2-out, full-count walk in the 5th. Argyropoulos – the only WSU player that reached second base in the game – then advanced on an E5, but LaTempa induced a flyout to left field that ended what would be his only danger of the night.

All but six of LaTempa’s 27 outs came via strikeouts (10, all “swinging) or groundouts (11). His groundouts included four hit to the shortstop, three to second base, two that were fielded by the first baseman and two more that bounced back to the mound. The leftfield combo of Steven Packard and Marcus Piazzisi had to touch the ball only once in the game, with four of the other flyouts going to center and one to right (where WSU’s only hit landed).

The Ducks went on take the 3-game series from the Cougars with a 6-1 win on Sunday, keeping Oregon (10-8; 30-14 overall) firmly in the race for 2nd-place in the Pacific-10 Conference standings (Arizona State leads at 14-4, followed by Cal’s 11-7 along with Oregon and Stanford, both 10-8).

LaTempa – who played in 2006 at UC Irvine and ’07 with Golden West JC (prior to spending the past two seasons at Oregon) – lowered his 2010 ERA to 2.64 and now has allowed only 51 hits (.235 opp. batting avg.) in 58 innings. His 10 appearances, all starts, also have yielded a 4-2 record and impressive 3.9 season K-to-walk ratio (50 strikeouts, 13 BB).

(note: additional action photos for some of the other honorees may be added to this page, time permitting).

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 other 17 members of the CB360 Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll for April 26-May 2 include: Bryant fr. LF Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) … North Carolina State jr. RHP Jake Buchanan (Dallas, N.C.) … Louisville sr. 1B Andrew Clark (New Palestine, Ind.) … Nicholls State jr. LHP Clint Dempster (Thibodaux, LA) … Florida sr. CF Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) …Le Moyne sr. LF Chris Edmondson (Johnson City, N.Y.) …Virgiia Jr. LF/2B Phil Gosselin (West Chester, Pa.) …Texas jr. RHP Cole Green (Coppell, Texas) … Samford sr. RF Trey Hayes (Crestview, Fla.) … Washington fr. 3B Jacob Lamb (Seattle, Wash.) … Oregon 5th-yr. sr. RHP Justin LaTempa (Huntington Beach, Calif.) … Nebraska fr. RHP Tom Lemke (Phoenix, Ariz.) … Auburn jr. CF Trent Mummey (Pinson, Ala.) … San Diego State jr. RHP Addison Reed (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) … Arizona State so. CF Johnny Ruettiger (Joliet, Ill.) … Florida Gulf Coast Chris Sale (Lakeland, Fla.) … South Carolina sr. catcher Brady Thomas (Anderson, S.C.) … Florida International so. 2B/3B Garrett Wittels (Bay Harbor Island, Fla.).

The 19 honorees include one two-way player (3B/RHP), a multi-position talent (LF-2B) and a utility infielder (2B/3B), along with five other righthanded pitchers, a pair of LHPs, three centerfielders, two leftfielders, a catcher, first baseman, third baseman and rightfielder. The selections feature a 5th-year senior, five seniors, seven juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen (an exact match from the previous week’s 19 selections!). The honorees hail from 15 different home states, led by four from Florida, two Californians and one each from Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

(May 4, 2010
… presented by CollegeBaseball360.com)

“It’s not so much what you do, as it is when you do it.”

Player (Pos.) … School … Yr. … Hometown … Stats & Notes

Bryant … Fr.
Northborough, MA … 6-0  •  195  •  Bats: Left

Rookie leadoff hitter whose efforts in 4-game sweep of league favorite Wagner helped vault Bryant (#5 in Northeast Conf. preseason poll) atop NEC standings (15-5; NEC Tournament is top-4) … hit .588 (10-17) while amassing an eye-popping 1.765 OPS (on-base plus slugging pct.) in exciting series (8-4/6-5/6-3/11-10) that included pair of extra-inning wins … factored into 12 of team’s runs (5 RBI, 8 R, HR), with 18 total bases (2 3B, 2B) and 12 times on base (BB, HBP).

North Carolina State … Jr.
Dallas, NC
6-0  •  220

Outdueled Georgia Tech ace Deck McGuire to win opener (6-5) and send Wolfpack on to winning series (after being swept previous week by Boston College) … struck out 13 GT batters in 7.2 innings while allowing 3 earned runs (5R total), with 6 hits allowed and a single walk.

Louisville … Sr.
New Palestine, IN
6-3  •  225  •  Bats: Left

Veteran 3-hole batter who hit 9-for-15 with 12 RBI and 3 home runs in 4-0 week (10-9 vs. #40 Kentucky; 7-3/8-5/13-6 vs. BIG EAST contender Rutgers) … capped week with 4-for-4, 8-RBI game vs. RU that included pair of HRs (3-run & grand slam) in 10-run bottom of 1st (after RU scored 3) … his other stats for the week included a 1.267 slugging pct. (2B), 8 runs scored, a walk, hit-by-pitch and sac.-fly … now batting .406 for season (11 HR, 46 RBI).

Nicholls State … Jr.
Thibodaux, LA
6-2  •  195

Racked up 16 strikeouts (vs. 8 different Lions starters) in crucial 5-3 series-opening win vs. league power Southeastern Louisiana, keeping Nicholls State in running for its first Southland Conference Tournament berth in 10 years … the hometown hero went the distance while allowing only a single earned run (7H-2BB) in the 147-pitch outing.

*MATT den DEKKER (CF … #17)
Florida … Sr.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
6-1  •  210  •  Bats: Left

Led young team to program’s first series sweep of LSU since 1996 (7-3/8-5/13-6) … hit .615 (8-13) with 5 RBI and 5 runs in series (also HR, 3-of-3 SB) … shifted from 6-hole to #2 spot for series finale and responded with top all-around game of his career (5-for-5, 4 RBI, 4 R, early 2-run HR vs. All-American Matty Ott) … helped keep team in running for SEC title and top-8 seed in NCAAs.

Le Moyne … Sr.
Johnson City, NY
6-0  •  200  •  Bats: Left

Cleanup batter who supplied 2-run blast for game’s big hit in 3-1 series-opening win at #10 Florida State … had pair of home runs and two doubles in series at FSU (plus 4 RBI, 3 runs and a stolen base).

Virginia … Jr.
West Chester, PA
6-1  •  190  •  Bats: Right

Leadoff man and versatile defensive talent whose grand slam sparked Cavs to 6-3 win in regional showdown with #6 Coastal Carolina … also had career-best 4 hits vs. Georgetown (10-5) and helped sweep Duke squad (12-3/11-1/10-6) that already has taken ACC series from UNC and Clemson this season (plus win over FSU) …hit .480 (12-for-25) with team-best 8 RBI during the week.

Texas … Jr. … Coppell, TX … 6-0  •  210

Turned in another impressive outing that stretched deep into the game, while locked in a pitchers duel opposite Baylor’s Shawn Tollesen … tossed 7-plus shutout innings before allowing unearned run that tied game in the 8th (8.1IP-6H-BB-5K-11GO-30BF-111 pitches) – with Longhorns going on to win 2-1 in the 14th.

Samford … Sr.
Cocoa Beach, FL … 6-1  •  200  •  Bats: Right

Produced from 6-hole in pair of wins vs. The Citadel (7-5/6-14/12-11), as Samford became first team to take series from the Southern Conference favorites (Citadel entered the series 16-2 in SoCon play) … hit 5-for-8 and factored into 8 runs (2 RBI, 6R, HR) during the pair of big wins (3B, BB) … his walk helped extend the series finale, as Samford answered Citadel’s 5 runs in top of 9th with 4 in the bottom to win game and series (he scored tying run on game-wining hit).

JACOB LAMB (3B … #18)
Washington … Fr.
Seattle, WA
6-2  •  205  •  Bats: Left

Bounced around lineup (9-hole in opener, then #3 batter) but provided several clutch moments in sweep of surging #22 Stanford (4-2/8-1/4-3 in 11) … hit 6-for-13 in series (2RBI-3R-2 2B-HBP-SB-SAC), with huge effort in finale (5-for-7, RBI, R, 2 2B) that included leadoff single in the 15th (his pinch-runner scored winning run; rest of UW team was 7-for-45 in gm-3).

Oregon … 5th-Yr. Sr.
Huntington Beach, CA
6-5  •  210

Helped NCAA Regional-host hopefuls bounce back from tough series-opening loss vs. Washington State (3-2) by crafting a 1-hitter (6-0) that included career-best 10 Ks and 11 groundball outs … faced only 31 batters (4 over min.; BB-HBP-E) in the 113-pitch outing … retired first 14 he faced and took no-hitter into the 8th … dropped his season ERA to 2.64 ( also 50 K/13 BB).

Nebraska … Fr.
Phoenix, AZ
6-8  •  230

Cornhuskers rookie who pitched like a battle-tested veteran in the Big 12 Conference series finale versus Texas A&M, winning a rare 1-0 game with his 5-hitter … faced 34 batters (2 walks, season-best 9 Ks) in the 126-pitch outing … became first Nebraska pitcher since 2002 to post multiple solo shutouts in the same season … faced only 13 batters through the games’s first four innings.

Auburn … Jr.
Pinson, AL
5-10  •  175  •  Bats: Left

Led bounceback series win (4-9/8-7/13-2) at #4 Arkansas, as Tigers overcame opening loss vs. ace LHP Drew Smiley … hit 5-for-10 in the series, with his all-around contributions including a pair of home runs, 3 RBI, a walk, hit-by-pitch, 2 sacrifice bunts and a stolen base.

San Diego State … Jr.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
6-3  •  215

Talented ace of San Diego State staff who faced only 30 batters in 8.0 shutout innings versus potent offense from #36 New Mexico, as the Aztecs shut out the Lobos in 11-0 opener of their Mountain West Conference matchup … struck out 9 New Mexico batters while allowing only 4 hits (BB-2 HB).

BO REEDER (3B/RHP … #22)
East Tennessee State … So.
Cookeville, TN
6-0  •  195  •  Bats: Right

Two-way player and young leader for team that was picked to finish 9th in Atlantic Sun Conference but now finds itself in 2nd place, after sweeping Stetson team that was picked to finish 3rd in league (12-7/10-7/22-4) … scored winning runs in first two games vs. Stetson and homered in each game of series (pushing his season HR total to 15) … hit 8-for-13 (.615) from the 5-hole during the key series, with 8 RBI-10R-3HR-2B-BB (also had no-decision as game-2 starter on the mound).

Arizona State… So.
Joliet, IL
6-2  •  180  •  Bats: Left

Provided offensive boost from the 6-hole, in huge sweep at #4 UCLA (5-1/6-1/12-5) … his 2-run 3B (run scored) ignited ASU’s 4R in 8th inning of opener, for final 5-1 margin … hit 6-for-10 in the marquee Pac-10 Conference series (3 RBI, 3 R, 3B, 2B, 2 BB, SB).

Florida Gulf Coast … Jr.
Lakeland, FL
6-6  •  185

Highly-regard professional prospect who shut down #27 Clemson’s offense in 4-2 series-opening win (part of rare lateseason four-game non-conference series) … limited Tigers to pair of runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 8.0 full innings, while rolling up 10 strikeouts and 9 more outs via groundballs.

South Carolina … Sr.
Anderson, SC
5-9  •  180  •  Bats: Left

Dangerous pinch-hitter and platoon starter behind the plate, who played key role in helping South Carolina stay atop the Southeastern Conference standings with series win over #32 Alabama (9-7 in 11 inn./4-6/20-15) … dug in on 2-out full count and drove ball over right-center fence to win the extra-innings opener … made the most of his at-bats in the series, hitting 4-for-5 with 6 RBI, 5 runs scored and a pair of home runs.

Florida International … So.
Bay Harbor Island, FL
6-1  •  200  •  Bats: Right

Steady 3-hole hitter who extended his hitting streak t0 38 games – longest in Division I baseball since 1999 and 10th in the NCAA record book (longest in FIU and Sun Belt Conf. history) … kept the streak alive during midweek game vs. Jacksonville and 3-game series vs. Louisiana-Monroe … smacked his first HR of season during the week and had single that forced ULM series finale into extra innings … had 5RBI-2R-HR-2 2B-SB during the week … batting .404 with 39 RBI and 29 runs scored during the 38-game hitting streak.

* – Florida’s den Dekker is the CB360 Primetime Player of the Week and Oregon’s LaTempa the Primetime Pitcher of the Week … note that rankings above refer to the CB360 top-50 … primary class years are based on academic standing (some players may have an extra year of eligibility).

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