Top Performers: Week 11
Towson's Wertz knocks in 15; Florida's Rhodes tosses one-hitter
Cal State Fullerton's Thomas Eshelman tossed a 10-inning complete-game shutout on Friday night in the Titans 1-0 walk-off victory against Hawaii. He became the first Titans pitcher to toss 10 innings since Jason Windsor did so on May 21, 2004 in a 2-1 victory against Jared Weaver and Long Beach State. Eshelman made just 122 pitches in the 10 frames, 99 of them going for strikes. He scattered six hits and struck out six without issuing a walk. He allowed just one runner to reach third base and four to advance to second on the night. His 0.31 walks allowed per nine innings average ranks first in the country, as does his 20.67 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His three complete games rank him first in the Big West and 25th in the nation. He is also ranked third in the conference and 13th in the country with a 0.85 WHIP.
In his fourth start since becoming the Friday night starter for Kansas, Jordan Piche' tossed the first complete game of his career, a one-hit shutout, leading the Jayhawks to a 1-0 win against Baylor on the road. Piche' faced just three batters over the minimum, allowing two walks and a hit, while striking out five batters for his fifth win of the season. His career-high 106-pitch effort helped the Jayhawks break a four-game skid and set the table for a weekend sweep of the Bears in Waco. The only hit Piche' gave up Friday night came from the first batter of the game. That was the fewest hits allowed by a KU starter since Shaeffer Hall threw a no-hitter against Air Force on Feb. 20, 2009.
Seton Hall's Josh Prevost tossed his fourth complete-game of the season, as the Pirates shut down Villanova 10-0 on Friday. Prevost was absolutely dominant, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. The 6-foot-8 right-hander scattered only two hits, struck out a career-high 13 batters and didn't issue a single walk. With the victory, Prevost improved to 9-1 and lowered his Big East-leading ERA to 1.48.
Florida's Aaron Rhodes tossed a one-hit shutout in his third career start as Florida clinched its weekend series against Missouri on Saturday. Rhodes’ effort was the first complete game of the season for the Gators, as well as the first CG and the first CG shutout for UF since March 30, 2013. It was the fewest hits allowed in a complete game by a Florida pitcher since Crawford’s no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman in the NCAA Gainesville Regional on June 1, 2012. Rhodes surrendered only a second-inning double and retired the final 18 Missouri hitters of the game. He matched his career high of six strikeouts and the Tigers were 1-for-27 (.037) against him with two walks.
In five games last week, Towson's Kurt Wertz batted .476 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and 15 runs batted in. In two of the five games, he had seven RBI in each. In a win against George Mason last Tuesday, Wertz had three hits, including a grand slam, a two-run double and an RBI single. He had seven RBI against the Patriots while leading the Tigers to a 13-9 victory. His seven RBI were one short of the school record for runs batted in. On Wednesday, Wertz helped the Tigers to a 6-3 victory against Mount St. Mary’s. He went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. On Friday, Wertz went 4-for-5 and tied a school record with three home runs in a 15-12 victory against James Madison. In the first inning, he hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 3-3. In the third inning, he belted a two-run homer to rightfield, pulling the Tigers to within 6-5. With the Tigers trailing by 8-6 in the fifth inning, he hit his third two-run homer of the game tying the contest at 8-8. That started an eight-run inning for the Tigers. With the Tigers leading by 14-12 in the seventh inning, Wertz hit an RBI triple to give Towson a 15-12 advantage. His 15 total bases also tied a school record set by Steve Farling in 1991. He also had his second seven-RBI game of the week. Farling also holds the single game record with eight RBI in a game.