April 21, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

KNIGHTS OUT: Lynn University broke into the latest Collegiate Baseball Division II poll at the No. 23 spot after the program’s first-ever Sunshine State Conference series sweep over then-No. 4 Florida Southern last weekend.

Senior centerfielder Daniel Flores had a spectacular week at the plate for the Fighting Knights, compiling a .500 batting average, six runs scored and eight RBI in four games.  The native of Torrance, Calif., hit safely in all four contests, but provided a three-run homer in the second win against the Mocs, and belted a pair of two-run home runs in the 15-7 season finale.  Florence, who posted a 1.125 slugging percentage and .526 on-base percentage for the week, received SSC Player of the Week honors for his contributions.

The Fighting Knights sit in fourth place in the SSC standings behind three other nationally-ranked programs -- No. 4 Barry, No. 13 Florida Southern and No. 15 Tampa.

GOLDEN GUY:  West Chester clinched at least a share of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Eastern Division title after posting a 5-0 record last week, including a sweep of Bloomsburg in divisional action.

Senior outfielder Matt Cotellese ignited the Golden Rams offensively, batting .600 with 10 RBI and eight runs scored.  Seven of Cotellese’s 12 hits were for extra bases, including four doubles, a triple and two home runs as the native of Boyertown, Pa., garnered his second PSAC East Player of the Week award in the past three weeks.

Cotellese raised his batting average 21 points last week to .448, which ranks third in the PSAC.  He is also tied for the league lead in with 21 doubles, and is just three shy of the school’s single-season record.

The Golden Rams are currently riding a 10-game winning streak and moved up to No. 7 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Division II poll this week.

RIDING HIGH: Top-ranked Southern Arkansas continued its reign at No. 1 in the national rankings after sweeping then-No. 25 Ouachita Baptist in a three-game Gulf South Conference series last weekend.

The Muleriders have now won 20 straight games, just two short of tying the school record of 22 consecutive wins set by the 1987 team.  SAU also reached the 40-win plateau for the fourth straight year as it improved to 41-7 on the year.

Southern Arkansas’ five home runs in its doubleheader sweep of OBU on April 19 pushed the Muleriders season home run total to 72, tying last year’s school season record.  SAU ranks sixth in Division II with 72 round-trippers on the year.
The Muleriders close out the regular season by hosting Delta State this weekend in a series that will decide the GSC West Division title and No. 1 seed in the league tournament.  SAU enters the week with a one-game lead over the Statesmen in division play.

NOTABLE:  Cameron University jumped 10 spots in the latest Collegiate Baseball Division II poll after taking three of four games from then-No. 9 Abilene Christian in Lone Star Conference action last weekend.  The Aggies eclipsed the school record for wins in a season with 37 and moved into a tie with ACU for first place in the LSC standings.  Cameron and ACU hold the same LSC mark at 28-12, but the Aggies hold the tiebreaker entering their final regular series against Southwestern Oklahoma on April 24-25 … Ashland University expanded its first-place lead in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings to five and a half games with 6-1 record last week that included a three-game sweep of then-No. 5 Grand Valley State.  The key victories vaulted the Eagles eight places to No. 5 in the latest national poll.