Oklahoma slugs its way to 14-0 start
Notes: UAB off to best start since ’06; Lucas pacing Bridgewater
With two-plus weeks of the Division I baseball season in the books, the statistics are starting to write their own story. One team particularly pops out among the top 12 teams, as No. 2 Oklahoma is batting 40 points higher than any other squad in the group.
The Sooners boast a .383 batting average through 14 games, and the closest team approaching Oklahoma’s offensive juggernaut is No. 7 Clemson at a .343 clip.
Oklahoma also leads the group with 17 home runs, just three behind last year’s 14-game pace despite the new BBCOR bats, and the Sooners top the list in runs per game at 10.85. No. 8 LSU is the only other team in the group averaging double-digit runs per game at 10.08. Only four of the 12 teams have hit more than eight home runs with Oklahoma, LSU (14), South Carolina (13) and Florida State (12) each reaching double-digits in round-trippers. Virginia and Cal State Fullerton have yet to go yard this season.
On the mound, Virginia and UCLA lead the group with 1.50 and 1.55 ERAs, and only Clemson (3.17 ERA) touts an earned average of over 3.00.
The Sooners are the last remaining unbeaten squad in Division I baseball after getting off to the best start in program history at 14-0. The Sooners also are enjoying their longest winning streak since the 1985 team won 19 consecutive.
|12||Cal State Fullerton||.267||0||4.45||2.09|
|USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Top 25 rankings; statistics through March 8|
Need to Know
• At 8-3, UAB is off to its best start since 2006 after winning the past seven games. The winning streak also is the program’s longest since 2006. Junior third baseman Patrick Palmeiro, son of former MLB star Rafael, batted .389 with nine RBI, two doubles and a home run to lead the Blazers in a sweep of Cleveland State last weekend. Palmeiro, who leads the team with 14 RBI in 11 games, was named Conference USA Hitter of the Week for his contributions.
• Division II’s West Texas A&M cracked the latest Collegiate Baseball Division II Poll at No. 19 after taking two of three games from then-No. 14 Cameron in a Lone Star Conference series last weekend. The Buffaloes have won 11 of their past 12 games thanks to an incredible .411 team batting average and 10.10 runs per game. Jess Cooper leads the Buffs with a .567 average, 38 hits and 27 RBI.
• Fordham University’s Ryan Lee picked up Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Week after batting .714 with four runs scored, two doubles and three RBI. Lee stretched his hitting streak to six games in Tuesday’s 7-3 win against New York Tech. The sophomore outfielder tops the Rams’ with a .591 batting average – marked improvement on his season average of .285 in 2010. The Rams are 9-2 on the season and have won nine of their past 10 contests.
• Harding University of Division II has reeled off nine consecutive victories, including last weekend’s sweep of Missouri S&T. The Bison will look to extend the streak in a Wednesday doubleheader against fellow Gulf South Conference member North Alabama.
• West Florida senior right fielder Greg Pron garnered Gulf South Conference East Division Player of the Week after becoming the school’s career RBI leader (138) during the Argonauts’ series victory against Valdosta State in Division II action last weekend. A native of Daphne, Ala., Pron batted .444 with six RBI and two homers for the week as the No. 12 Argos improved to 15-4 on the year.
• After vaulting 11 spots to No. 14 in the latest NCBWA/D3baseball.com Top 25, Christopher Newport University added to its program-best winning streak as the Captains earned their 15th consecutive victory by defeating Albertus Magnus 13-3 on Tuesday afternoon.
• Bridgewater sophomore pitcher Joseph Lucas tossed a complete-game shutout to defeat Hampden-Sydney in Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference action on March 5. A native of Waynesboro, Va., Lucas earned his second ODAC Pitcher of the Week award after fanning eight batters and allowing just three hits in the outing.