(Rochester, Minn.) – Entering the final month before the start of the Northwoods League season, the future Honkers’ college seasons are starting to wrap up. The Division II regular seasons are in their final weeks before their respective conference tournaments. Blake Workman (CSF) found in himself in an extended relief appearance, Kenyon Yovan (Oregon) picked a three-inning save, and Zeke Pinkham (Louisville) hit his first career home run. Here is a recap of the action.
Ryan Thompson (RHP) – Illinois (18-23)
Thompson and the Illini went on the road this weekend to take on the Minnesota Gophers. On Friday night, Ryan was sent into the game in the 8th, with Illinois trailing by three. He threw 1.1 scoreless innings, surrendering only a hit in the appearance. The Illini made a ninth-inning comeback, but it fell short 4-5. Thompson appeared in Saturday’s game two win. He threw another scoreless inning of work with a strikeout. Ryan is 2-2 with a 4.99 ERA on the season. Illinois travels to Southern Illinois tonight before a home series against Maryland.
Morgan McCullough (INF) – Oregon (25-14)
Morgan was held without a hit in the first two games of Oregon’s series against Arizona State, driving in a run in five at-bats, but he helped the Ducks’ take down the Sun Devils on Sunday. He doubled and scored the eventual winning run, leading Oregon to a 3-2 victory. McCullough is batting .256 in 38 starts. He has scored 16 times while driving in another 15. At the plate, he shown power and speed with five doubles and four triples. The Ducks take on their rival Oregon State in Corvallis in a non-conference game before traveling to Washington State this weekend.
Cameron Aufderheide (RHP) – Colorado Springs (22-24)
UCCS took on Colorado Springs’ neighbor Air Force last Wednesday. Aufderheide pitched three innings in relief against the Falcons, giving up one run on four hits. He struck out two batters with a walk. The Mountain Lions have a rematch with Air Force again later today at a neutral site. UCCS clinched the #4 seed in the RMAC Tournament. They will play #1 seed Colorado Mesa on May 10th.
Chris Ceballos (C) – Orange Coast College (31-9)
The Pirates’ catcher only appeared in one game this week, going 0-for-1, but the excitement to come. Orange Coast ended their final series of the season against Irvine Valley this weekend, clinching the #1 seed in the Southern California Region for the 2017 CCCAA State Tournament. They will play the lowest remaining seed of the region’s play-in round (15 vs. 18, 16 vs. 17). Orange Coast’s first game of the tournament will be this weekend.
Ryan Dorney (RHP) – St. Martin’s (16-26)
Dorney was out of his usual role this weekend against Northwest Nazarene. He entered in the ninth inning of game one on Saturday; St. Martin’s led the game 6-3. Two runs scored off Dorney, but he held the Saints lead for a 6-5 win and his first save of the season. The win came at a big time for the Saints, as they sit four games back from the #4 seed in the GNAC Tournament with six games remaining in the season. Western Oregon and Concordia University visit Lacey, Wash. for the final time this season to finish out the season.
Griffin Neuer (OF) – Bellarmine (31-15)
The Knight’s outfielder scored four runs in four games against Lewis University this weekend. He went 1-for-2 in game two win on Friday with a run and an RBI. Griffin also went 1-for-3 on game two the next day, scoring once with two walks and a stolen base to lead Bellarmine to a 6-3 victory. Neuer is batting .304 with four home runs and 35 runs scored. The Knights are currently tied with Southern Indiana for the #1 seed in the GLVC tournament. Bellarmine split four games with the Screaming Eagles. They currently have four games remaining in the regular season, on the road at UW-Parkside this weekend.
Manny Armendariz (LHP) — Doane (21-29)
Doane University finished their regular season this week. The Tigers traveled to Kansas Wesleyan last Tuesday, leaving with an 11-9 win. Armendariz pitched the final two innings of the game, surrendering one run on three hits with a walk on the night, but he allowed Doane to earn a much-need victory. The Tigers finished eighth in the GPAC and earned a berth into the conference tournament. They will face #1 seed Concordia to start the tournament.
Rees Rua (OF) – Lake Erie (10-34)
Rua picked up a hit in five of Lake Erie’s six games this week, totaling 7-for-16 (.438) with a double, two runs, and two RBIs. He collected two multi-hit performances against Ashland, hitting 5-11 (.455) against the Eagles in the series. The Storm has five games remaining, but is out of the running for a spot in the GLIAC Tournament. Lake Erie travels to Clarion later today before a four-game home series against Hillsdale.
Eddie Mathis (RHP) – Bellarmine (31-15)
Going into his twelfth start of the season, Mathis was riding a streak of seven consecutive starts in which he earned a win in the start. He held the opposing offense to a run or less in five of those seven starts. On Friday, Mathis pitched very well, but it was his own offense that was the reason why he took the no-decision. Eddie pitched seven scoreless innings on only five hits. He walked one batter with seven strikeouts. The Knights finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk-off 1-0.
Zeke Pinkham (C) – Louisville (38-6)
Pinkham made his 11th start of the season against Northern Kentucky at Louisville Slugger Field. The Cardinals trailed 0-4 early in the game, but Louisville heated up in the fourth. Zeke’s teammate Drew Ellis put Louisville on the board with a solo shot with one out. Three batters later, Pinkham stepped up to the plate with a runner on board. He brought the Cardinals within a run with his first career home run. The Cardinals took their first lead of the game in the fifth. Zeke topped off the night with an RBI single in the eighth to give the Cardinals a 6-4 victory. Pinkham is batting .209 with 10 RBIs and two doubles. Louisville hosts Miami (OH) later tonight before a road series at Notre Dame this weekend.
Spencer Johnson (RHP) – Wayne State College (25-21)
Johnson appeared in one game for the Wildcats. He threw one scoreless frame against Augustana, allowing one run to score on three hits. He also struck out two batters in the inning. Spencer has pitched 7.0 innings with a 0-1 record and five strikeouts. Wayne State currently holds the #4 seed for the NSIC Tournament, and leading Minot State by one game with four games remaining. The Wildcats finish the regular season at Sioux Falls.
Michael Michalak (UTL) — DMACC (25-22)
The Des Moines Area Community College is entering its second to last week of the regular season. Michalak combined to bat 5-for-15 (.333) over the week including a multi-hit performance at Southeastern on Friday. Michael hit double and home run, which batted in three runs for DMACC. The Bears enter their final week of the regular season against Southeastern, Indian Hills, and Dakota County Tech.
Kenyon Yovan (RHP/INF) – Oregon (25-14)
Yovan picked up his 13th save of the season on Sunday. The Ducks’ closer pitched the final three innings, holding the Sun Devils scoreless and guiding Oregon to a 3-2 win. Kenyon gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two batters. He is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 15 games.
Jordan Hart (OF) – Minnesota State (38-7)
The nationally ranked Mavericks have clinched the #1 seed in the NSIC Tournament this weekend with a sweep of Upper Iowa. Hart picked up a hit and a run in all four games. He homered twice with five runs against the Peacocks. Jordan is batting .348 on the season with nine home runs, 42 runs and 36 RBIs. Minnesota State travels to Sioux Falls, S.D. for the final series of the regular season against Augustana.
Highlight Player of the Week
Blake Workman (RHP) – Cal State Fullerton (26-15)
The Titans and UC Irvine were deadlocked at 2-2 through six innings on Saturday night. Workman was called into the game in seventh inning to hold the Anteaters at two. He held UC Irvine scoreless for three innings, but neither team could gain an advantage. Workman continued until he finished the twelfth inning, pitching six scoreless innings in relief. He only surrendered two hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Blake is 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 43 strikeouts, including a 1.56 ERA in conference play.
Division 1 Rankings by D1baseball.com
Division 2 Rankings by NCBWA
Division 3 Rankings by NCBWA/D3baseball.com
CCCAA (California Community College) Rankings by CCCSIA State Poll
NJCAA (Junior College) Division 2 Rankings by NJCAA DII Baseball Poll Committee