College Baseball 360 Primetime Performers #1

February 21, 2012

Boston College senior shortstop Anthony Melchonda (Braintree, Mass.) and Stanford freshman lefthander John Hochstatter (Danville, Calif.) rose to the challenge during the opening week of the 2012 college baseball season and headline the first CB360 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll, as presented by Melchonda and Hockstatter – who are joined by 14 others on the Primetime Honor Roll – are the top honorees among this group, as the CB360 Primetime Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week.

Anthony Melchionda

The Primetime Performer awards program (also utilized on affiliate sites, and 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 opening-week Primetime Performer honorees include three freshman catchers: Pepperdine’s James Grandpre (Lancaster, Calif.), Xavier’s Derek Hasenbeck (Poway, Calif.) and USC versatile newcomer Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif.), who also started in the outfield (LF/CF) and even played some at third  base during the first week of the 2012 season. Two senior shortstops – Cal Poly’s Mike Miller (Concord, Calif.), along with Melchionda – also are among the 16 honorees, as are Central Michigan senior catcher William Arnold (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.), Santa Clara senior outfielder (RF/CF) Lucas Herbst (Monterey, Calif.) and Rice junior rightfielder Jeremy Rathjen (Houston, Texas).

The other pitchers on the Primetime Performers Honor Roll include four righthanded starters – North Dakota State senior Luke Anderson (Savage, Minn.), Michigan State senior Tony Bucciferro (Joliet, Ill.), Duke sophomore Robert Huber (Plano, Texas … #16) and UAB senior Dillon Napolean (Winnetka, Ill.)  – along with Kent State senior lefthanded starter David Starn (Hudson, Ohio). Maryland freshman lefthanded closer Jimmy Reed (Gaithersburg, Md.) also earned a spot on the Primetime honor roll, as did Illinois righthanded John Kravetz (Lansing, Ill.), who mirrored Hochstatter in his long-relief win over a top opponent.

MELCHONDA hit .429 (6-for-14) with six RBI during opening week and played error-free at shortstop on 21 chances, helping turn four of BC’s six double plays spanning the impressive string of wins at the Coastal Carolina tournament (5-3 vs. CB360 #24 Virginia; 8-5 vs. CAA favorite James Madison; 8-3 at #41 CC). The team captain slugged .857 (HR, 3 2B; BB-3R) and did not strike out all weekend, despite facing several top pitchers over the challenging weekend.

HOCHSTATTER faced a unique challenge in his first college appearance, after quickly warming up to take the mound facing a 4-0 deficit with runners on the corners in the top of the 2nd vs. #11 Vanderbilt. The rookie lefthander worked out of that jam by inducing an inning-ending flyout from A.J. Gregor and went on to record 6.1 shutout, no-hit innings (2BB-2K-23 BF), as the #3 Cardinal completed its impressive sweep of the Commodores (8-3, 9-5, 18-5).

The bulk of the 16 honorees interestingly are either seniors (8) or freshmen (5), plus two juniors and a sophomore. Six of the Primetime Performrs hail from hometowns in California, while three are Illinois natives, two are from Texas and one each from Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.

Scroll down for information on all 16 of the Primetime nominees (w/ headshots of each; action photos included above, or below).

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.

(opening week; Feb. 17-19, 2012 … presented by
             “It’s not so much what you do, as it is when you do it.”

LUKE ANDERSON  (North Dakota State … RHP …
Sr. … Savage, MN … #35)
… Limited the talented #14 Arizona offense to a pair of hits in 7.0 innings while pitching in tight 2-2 game (5BB-3K) opposite Connor Wade, setting stage for Bison’s 8th-inn. rally vs. bullpen and 8-2 day-2 win.


WILLIAM ARNOLD  (Central Michigan … C …
Sr. … Mt. Pleasant, MI … 3-hole … bats: R … #4)
… Saw his power stroke awaken in a big way during series at #44 Troy, launching four home runs as part of his 6-for-12 weekend vs. the Trojans; already has matched his home run total spanning the previous three seasons combined; reached base eight times in the series while amassing an off-the-charts 2.071 OPS (.571 on-base pct. plus 1.500 slugging); factored into 12 runs during the series (8RBI-8R-4HR) and even chipped in a sacrifice bunt;  launched pair of home runs as part of his strong closing game to help deliver 14-7 win in series finale (3-for-5; 4RBI-4R-BB); hit safely in each game of the series, after ending 2011 on 8-gm hit streak.


TONY BUCCIFERRO (Michigan State … RHP …
Sr. … Joliet, IL … #41)
… Beat #24 St. John’s on opening day (11-4; Dunedin, FL) while pitching opposite one of nation’s top prospects, Kyle Hansen (w/ bevy of pro scouts on hand); showcased pinpoint control while retiring first 13 en route to six shutout innings (1H-6K-19 BF).


JAMES GRANDPRE  (Pepperdine … C … Fr. …
Lancaster, CA … 9/8-hole … bats: R … #23)
… Rookie signalcaller who logged all 27 innings while directing Waves pitching staff that allowed only nine runs in series win/near-sweep vs. #17 Oklahoma (3-4, 10-0, 7-6); reached base six times in the series (4-for-10; 2RBI-R-2BB), providing key production at bottom of the order; was on-base twice (1B-BB-R) while catching strong shutout performance from RHP Scott Frazier (7IP-5H-BB-6K) in series-turning second game; scored key run in tight series finale.


DEREK HASENBECK  (Xavier … C … Fr. …
Poway, CA … 8-hole … bats: R … #4)
… Reached base five times (3-for-3, 2 BB) and factored into four runs (3RBI-R-2B) while batting near bottom of lineup, in 10-4 win at #4 North Carolina; directed staff that allowed only six hits and three walks to UNC offense that had 12 hits a day earlier (10-2 win over XU); hit 2-for-4 w/ a walk (2RBI-R-2B) in high-scoring series finale (10-16).


LUCAS HERBST  (Santa Clara … RF/CF  … Sr. …
Monterey, CA … 2-hole/leadoff … bats: L  … #4)
… Key top-of-the-order batter who played lead role in surging SCU’s 3-0 showing at the Bobcat Invitational, highlighted by pair of extra-inning thrillers to open the season (5-4 in 13 vs. host/#47 Texas State, 7-1 in 12 vs. #47 Wichita State, 8-5 vs. La.-Lafayette); reached base eight times during weekend (6-for-14; BB-HBP, 2 2B) and factored into five key runs (RBI-4R); helped end SCU’s marathon 25-inning day with 1-out single/run that sparked 6-run top of 12th vs. Wichita (game ended a couple minutes past 1:00 a.m.; hit 3-for-6 in that game).


Fr. … Danville, CA … #33)
… Delivered clutch bullpen effort in series final vs. #11 Vanderbilt, after entering in 2nd inning w/ 4-0 deficit and runners on the corners; worked out of that inherited jam and went on to record 6.1 shutout, no-hit innings (2BB-2K-23 BF), as #3 Cardinal completed impressive sweep (8-3, 9-5, 18-5).


So. … Plano, TX … #16)
… Native of Lone Star State who turned in six shutout innings
to lead 5-2 series-ending victory for Blue Devils,
in Austin vs. his home-state team #7 Texas (2H-3B-6K).


JOHN KRAVETZ  (Illinois … RHP …
Fr. … Lansing, IL … #23)
… Called out of bullpen early for extended relief vs. #24 St. John’s (in Dunedein, FL), responding with 6.2 shutout innings (2H-BB-6K-23 BF) as Illini posted 9-4 win; entered game facing 3-1 deficit in 1st, w/ based loaded and only one out (quickly rolled up 4-6-3 double play to help spark comeback).


* ANTHONY MELCHIONDA  (Boston College … SS … Sr. …
Braintree, MA … 3-hole … bats: R … #11)
… Team tri-captain who hit .429 (6-for-14) with six RBI during opening week and played error-free at short on 21 chances (helped turn 4 of BC’s 6 DPs), leading  BC to impressive string of wins at Coastal Carolina tournament (5-3 vs. #24 Virginia; 8-5 vs. CAA favorite James Madison; 8-3 at #41 CC); slugged .857 (HR, 3 2B; BB-3R) and did not strike out all weekend, despite facing several top pitchers.


MIKE MILLER  (Cal Poly … SS … Sr. …
Concord, CA … leadoff … bats: R … #2)
… Flashed stellar error-free defense up the middle and added some key offense, as team leader for Mustangs team that allowed only three runs in series sweep of #45 Oklahoma State (6-0, 11-3, 6-0); ignited offense from leadoff spot in series-clinching win (3-for-4; 2RBI-3R-3B-2B-BB), adding 2RBI-R-2B in game-3 win.


Sr. … Winnetka, IL … #24)
… Limited Clemson’s potent offense to a lone run
in season-opening pitching duel, as Blazers
emerged with 2-1 win over the homestanding Tigers


JEREMY RATHJEN  (Rice … RF … Jr. …
Houston, TX … cleanup … bats: R … #3)
… Won gm-2 with leadoff HR in 12th and hit 4-for-10 in series w/ huge 1.271 OPS (on-base plus slugging), as #6 Owls opened w/ sweep of #38 Florida International (6-2, 5-4, 8-1); reached base eight times (3BB-HBP) and factored into four runs (2RBI-3R-HR).


JIMMY REED  (Maryland … LHP …
Jr. … Gaithersburg, MD … #11)
… Played lead relief role in series win at #16 UCLA (2-1, 5-6, 5-1), highlighted by save in gm-1 as Terps won season opener for first time since 2001; struck out 6-of-11 batters faced in pair of victory-closing appearances (3IP-3H, no walks); entered gm-1 save and K’d 3-of-4 batters faced (two on three pitches); inherited runner w/ no outs in 7th inning of season finale, producing K and 643 DP in 8-inn. win (3K) – completing Maryland’s first series win on the road since 2009.


DAVID STARN  (Kent State … LHP …
Sr. … Hudson, OH … #37)
… Rose to the challenge of opening-day start at #9 Georgia Tech (opposite Buck Farmer), facing only 28 batters, striking out nine and generally keeping the GT hitters off-balance in eight shutout innings as Flashes shocked host team in 5-0 win (4H-2BB-9K).


Del Mar, CA … leadoff … bats: L … #51)
… Versatile newcomer who settled in as leadoff batter, hitting .445 in series (5-for-11; RBI-3R-3BB) while making starts at LF, CF and behind the plate (also played some at 3B) – as #50 USC posted solid week-1 sweep vs. #39 Jacksonville (8-2, 11-3, 4-3) for good start in quest to make NCAAs for first time since 2005.
* Melchionda is the CB360 Primetime Player of the Week and Hochstatter the Primetime Pitcher of the Week
Action photos featured below (and at top of page) … all photos courtesy of the respective schools …


William Arnold

Luke Anderson

Tony Bucciferro

James Grandpre

Derek Hasenbeck

Lucas Herbst

Robert Huber

John Kravetz

Dillon Napolean

Jeremy Rathjen

Jimmy Reed

David Starn

Garrett Stubbs

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