We are days away from the first DII baseball regional rankings of the 2022 season. What those rankings don't take into account are some of the best offenses tearing the cover off baseballs.
Of the top-5 lineups looked at, it is refreshing to know that two — Spring Hill and Albany State (GA) — are scoring a ton of runs without a dependence of the long ball. In this era of boom or bust run production, seeing teams do it the "old-fashioned" way by barreling up, finding the gaps, getting on base and bringing 'em in is fun to watch.
Of course, so is the Bison Bomb Squad homering at an absurd pace, but more on them in a few.
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5 ridiculous hitting lineups in DII baseball (through April 21)
As long as Haydn McGeary is in town, the Mavericks are going to rake. Whether opponents pitch to him or around him, his highly advanced bat-to-ball skills make everyone else around him equally dangerous. McGeary — the reigning DII baseball player of the year — is hitting a cool .448 with 10 doubles, 17 home runs and 42 RBI with a ridiculous 1.508 OPS. But names like Caleb Farmer, Spencer Bramwell, Chase Hamilton and Harrison Rodgers give opposing pitchers little time to rest. This lineup has Colorado Mesa in the top 5 in DII baseball in batting average (.356), home runs per game (2.11) and slugging percentage (.628) and sixth in scoring with 10.1 runs per game, having scored in double-digits 18 times this year.
The air is thin in Colorado and that makes the offenses some of the more fun to watch. The Roadrunners and Mavericks split a four-game series in early April, combining to score 71 over the weekend. MSU Denver is fifth in DII baseball in home runs per game (1.98), second in doubles (2.79), second in slugging percentage (.620) and are right behind the Mavericks, scoring 10 runs per game. Cam Yuran is hitting .427 with 12 doubles and 10 home runs to lead the way, but Bill Ralston is one of the premier sluggers in the division tied for the fourth-most home runs with 18. These guys can find the gaps: Five hitters already have double-digit doubles on the season and three more should get there this weekend.
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The Panthers have been one of the top hitting teams all season, among the DII baseball leaders in several categories. It starts with Aaron Mann, who leads the team with a .409 average, and Stephen Randazzo, who leads the team with 16 doubles and nine home runs. Mann and Randazzo are part of six players with at least 10 doubles, which leads DII baseball with 2.84 doubles per game. Drury opened the season by scoring in double figures in nine of the first 10 games, really setting the tone for the season (the one game it didn’t was a 9-2 victory by the way). Drury is currently fifth in batting average (.351) and on-base percentage (.456) and fourth in scoring at 10.4 runs per game.
Albany State (GA)
There is perhaps no better team at getting players on base and putting the ball in play this season than the Golden Rams. Of the 12 players that have played at least 20 games, 11 are hitting .330 or better. This team leads DII baseball in batting average (.364) and on-base percentage (.488), and the Rams don’t waste those ducks on the pond. They are the second-best scoring team at 11.8 runs per game. Nicholas Hernandez brings the lumber for this squad, hitting .418 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Each player in the everyday lineup has scored at least 28 runs this season.
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The Badgers needed a big season to get long-time skipper Frank Sims to 1,000 wins, and they have certainly delivered. Sims reached the milestone victory, and Spring Hill is currently a 28-win team powered by the top-scoring lineup in DII baseball with 11.9 runs per game. Three players in the everyday lineup — Gage Ragona, Micah Morgan and Luke Sweeney — hit above .400, placing this lineup third in DII with a .358 average. Morgan has been one of the best all-around hitters in the division, among DII leaders with a .448 average, 17 doubles, 15 home runs and 65 RBIs. He drives a lot in because there are always Badgers on base; they are second in DII with a .463 on-base percentage.
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Five more to watch:
North Greenville: The Crusaders are led by John Michael Faile and Marek Chlup, who are both hitting over .400 with double-digit home runs, but the lineup is top 15 in DII baseball in slash categories (batting average/slugging percentage/on-base percentage).
Illinois Springfield: The Prairie Stars are on fire, winners of 12 in a row and the offense is clicking. Watch out for Zion Pettigrew as a player-of-the-year candidate. He is part of a potent lineup with the fifth-best slugging percentage (.586), 10th-best on-base percentage (.442) and sitting in eighth with 10.0 runs scored per game.
Oklahoma Baptist: Can’t leave DII baseball’s home run leaders off the list. Don Pruitt (19 home runs), Alex Schroeder (18), Isaiah Lissade (14) and Kade Self (11) lead the Bison Bomb Squad, which has 94 home runs. Probably to no one’s surprise, this team is third in DII slugging percentage at .608.
Columbus State: The Cougars look like contenders once again, and the offense leads the way. Robert Brooks is having a strong season leading the team with a .379 average, 15 home runs and 60 RBIs, but the entire offense is among DII leaders in home runs, runs scored and slugging percentage.
West Texas A&M: The Buffs are a top-10 lineup in batting average and runs scored. Adam Becker is having a monster season, hitting .417 with 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 69 RBIs. The entire team has gap-to-gap power with six players recording at least 11 doubles so far.