We are roughly one month into the DII baseball season. While it normally takes pitchers a little longer to get warmed up in the chillier winter months, let’s take a look at a few who have started the season red-hot.
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JR McDermott, Colorado Mesa
McDermott has been a staple in the Mavericks pitching arsenal for some time. After getting to the DII Baseball Championship in 2017, McDermott missed nearly all of 2018, making just three starts before getting injured. He’s right back on track in 2019, allowing just one earned run across his first four starts, striking out 20 in 18 innings pitched, while walking just three.
Hunter Riggins, Delta State
The entire Statesmen pitching staff can highlight this list, their combined 1.51 ERA one of the top marks in DII in the first month. Riggins has tossed the most innings, allowing just four runs in his first 34.2 innings pitched. The sophomore righty has struck out 38 as well, with two double-digit strikeout outings already in 2019.
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Andrew Dean, Illinois Springfield
The Prairie Stars are off to a hot start, and up to No. 3 in DII baseball. Dean, coming off an impressive 2018 campaign, is off tand running, already 2-0 in his first three appearances. The senior lefty is getting stronger as well, going seven shutout innings and striking out 10, while walking just one, in his last start.
Devin Peters, Ashland
The senior righty has gone 19.1 innings in his first three starts, striking out an impressive 28 batters along the way, walking a mere four. That’s a 13.03 strikeout-per-nine rate, all while posting a 1.86 ERA. Peters has allowed just four runs this season, three of which came against a very good hitting Seton Hill team.
Will Bausinger, Missouri Southern
Ok, so the junior righty struggled a little in his first March start. Can we talk about how he closed out February? First, he tossed a nine-inning perfect game, striking out 17 against Washburn and followed it up with eight shutout innings, striking out 11 against Central Oklahoma. Yes, he allowed three runs his last time out. He’s forgiven.
In case you missed it, @WillBausinger made @espn @SportscenterTop for his #Perfect game this week. Bausinger threw the first perfect game in MSSU history and the 9th-ever no-hitter. @NCAADII @divIIbaseball pic.twitter.com/LEp5mgH4dU— MSSU Athletics (@mososports) February 15, 2019
Charles Hall, Tusculum
The senior righty doesn’t look the part, listed at just 5-10 and 170, but he is blowing people away as a power pitcher would. Hall went five innings in his first start, striking out just six, but has struck out double-digits —16, 10, 11, 10 — in his last four starts. He got a little wild against Goldey-Beacom but has otherwise been in the zone.
Keven Pimentel, Tampa
The Spartans have a senior-laden rotation, but there were high expectations on the right-hander and so far he has answered. Pimentel had a nice season in 2018 after transferring from Miami and is off to a hot start now, 3-1 through five starts on the young season. He’s struck out 35 in 31 innings and has been stingy, posting a 1.45 ERA in 2019.
Joe Corbett, West Texas A&M
Corbett was one of the names to watch entering the season and he has not disappointed. The Buffs have won all five of the senior righty's starts, and he’s a perfect 4-0. Corbett has allowed just five earned runs in his first 31 innings, striking out 45 with just four walks. Expect the Buffs ace to keep them in the hunt for Cary all season.
Parker Morrison, North Georgia
How about a little love for a closer? Matt Bradley of Carson-Newman is leading DII baseball with seven saves and pulled off the rare "immaculate inning" this past week, so he definitely deserves some kudos. Morrison is one of seven players tied for second with five. So, what makes Parker stand out?
The redshirt-sophomore righty has 34 strikeouts and just five walks in his first 19.2 innings. Three of those walks came in his one bad outing of the season. Even more impressively, Morrison struck out eight batters in three innings of work against 2018 NCAA tournament team Southern Indiana and then had eight strikeouts in 2.2 innings against West Georgia.