March 17, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

TRITONS ON A TEAR:  UC San Diego vaulted to No. 7 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Division II poll after knocking down top-ranked Cal State Stanislaus in a four-game sweep between the two California Collegiate Athletic Association squads last weekend.

Senior right-hander Trevor Decker played a key role in the Tritons’ success as he tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in a 6-0 victory on March 14.  The native of Palo Cedro, Calif., walked the first two batters of the game, but then retired the final 20 batters he faced in order.  He struck out three batters in the outing, and was named Wilson/CCAA Pitcher of the Week for his outstanding performance.

The Tritons, currently on a five-game winning streak, moved into sole possession of first place in the CCAA standings with the sweep.  UCSD returns to CCAA action against San Francisco State on March 27.

SAVE THE DAY:  Drury University’s Zane Montgomery collected four saves in each of the Panthers’ four victories against Northern Kentucky in Great Lakes Valley Conference play, and was recognized as the league’s Pitcher of the Week for his efforts.

The senior closer from Ozark, Mo., fanned six batters, allowed just one hit and one walk as he pitched four scoreless innings in four appearances.  Montgomery now has five saves on the year.

Drury improved to 12-8 overall with its perfect start to the GLVC season.

HOT BAT: The University of Tampa continued to roll last week, posting a 5-0 record and extending its winning streak to seven games behind the hot hitting of sophomore infielder Jared Simon.

The native of Tampa, Fla., batted .579 with 14 RBI and six runs on the week, ripping multiple hits with at least one double in each of the Spartans’ five contests.  Simon, who slugged 1.211 for the week, was named Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week after sparking the Spartans to a conference-opening sweep of Eckerd over the weekend.

LEAVING FOES STUMPED:  West Chester began Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East play with authority as the Golden Rams swept Millersville in four games as part of a 6-0 week.

Junior catcher Bob Stumpo was flawless behind the plate, along with a sizzling bat, to earn PSAC East Player of the Week honors.  The native of Wilmington, Del., batted .533 with two doubles, five runs scored and six RBI.  Stumpo’s play was highlighted by a two-out RBI-double in Saturday’s doubleheader against Millersville that produced the eventual game-winning run. 

The Golden Rams broke into the Collegiate Baseball Division II poll at No. 23 on the merits of their successful week, and stretched their winning streak to seven with a 15-7 non-conference win over Philadelphia University on March 16.

FAST START: Tusculum has raced out to a perfect 9-0 mark in South Atlantic Conference play after sweeping Wingate in three games last week, propelling the Pioneers to a 12-spot just to No. 13 in the latest national rankings.

Sophomore second baseman Payden Houser hit .667 for the week, which included his first collegiate home run in the Pioneers come-from-behind win against Wingate on March 14.  The Lincolnton, N.C., native was selected SAC Player of the Week for his stellar play.

Houser’s teammate Rob Currie, native of St. Charles, Ill., was also honored by the conference as Pitcher of the Week for turning in a 1-0 record, 0.00 ERA and seven strikeouts over two appearances.