(Rochester, Minn.) – For a number of future Honkers, playoff baseball has arrived. Some players ended their collegiate seasons this week, but many are helping their teams move on. Mathis earned his ninth win of the season from the mound, Hildebrandt hit his first career home run, and Hart continues to produce for Minnesota State. Here is a recap of this week’s action:
Zach Stone (RHP) – UC-Davis (17-26)
After giving up a walk-off hit in a 2-3 at Pacific on Tuesday, Stone bounced back in the weekend series against UC Riverside. He pitched the last two thirds of Friday’s game, scoreless, allowing the Aggies to hit a walk-off of their own in the bottom of the tenth to win 4-3. Zach pitched again the next day, two-thirds scoreless with a strikeout to help UC Davis shutout the Highlanders 2-0. The Aggies travel to Reno, Nevada to take on future Honker Mike Echavia and Nevada before a home series against Grand Canyon later this week.
Johnathan Fleek (INF) – Western Illinois (18-28)
Fleek has put together a four-game hitting streak after a three-game series at North Dakota State. He combined for 4-for-12 (.333) with a double and two RBIs. The Leathernecks find themselves in fourth place in the Summit League standings with one more series remaining. Western Illinois finishes the regular season at home against the conference-leading Oral Roberts.
Kenyon Yovan RHP/INF Oregon (26-21)
The Ducks closer made one appearance this week, despite being swept by rival and top-ranked Oregon State. Yovan threw 1.1 scoreless innings in relief. He walked two batters and struck out three. Despite holding the Beavers scoreless, the Ducks fell in the game 0-1. Oregon hosts Loyola Maramount this Wednesday before a road series at USC this weekend.
Tristan Hildebrandt (INF) – Cal State Fullerton (31-18)
The Titans infielder broke out in Sunday’s 12-3 win over UC-Santa Barbara. He hit his first career home run, a two-run blast to help Cal State Fullerton take the series over the Gauchos. Tristan is hitting .135 for the season with six runs and four RBIs. The Titans travel to Cal. State Northridge this weekend.
Ryan Thompson (RHP) – Illinois (22-26)
Thompson threw three scoreless innings in a 7-5 road win at Rutgers on Saturday. He gave up three hits with a walk and two strikeouts. He has held his opponents scoreless in four of his last five appearances, with five strikeouts in the stretch. Ryan is 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA this season. The Illini finish up the regular season at home against Iowa later this week.
Blake Workman (RHP) – Cal State Fullerton (31-18)
Blake appeared in two games against UC Santa Barbara. He pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts in Friday’s 8-4 win. Two days later, he pitched a long relief outing of four and two-third innings, giving up two runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts, helping the Titans to a 12-3 win. Workman has 1.93 ERA in conference play with 23 strikeouts.
Honkers’ in Postseason Play
Chris Ceballos (C) – Orange Coast College (35-10)
After sweeping the #17 seed Southwestern in round one of the CCCAA Tournament last weekend, #1 seed Orange Coast faced off against #14 seed Santa Ana, who just upset #3 seed College of the Canyons in three games. Santa took the first game 3-1, but Orange Coast rallied to win the next two games 5-1 and 9-4. Ceballos did not play in the series. The Pirates take on #5 seed El Camino next weekend.
Michael Michalak (UTL) – DMACC (29-27)
Des Moines Area ended their season following their second loss in the Region 11 NJCAA Tournament, but Michalak had success from the plate keeping the team alive. Michael went 2-for-5 in a round one loss against Kirkwood on Thursday. The team bounced back the next day, winning 9-5 over Ellsworth. Michalak went 2-for-4 with a double, three runs, an RBI, and a walk in the win. Unfortunately, DMACC lost the next game against Southeastern 0-8.
Garrett Cobb (RHP) – Seminole State (Okla.) (40-15)
Seminole State won the Division I NJCAA Region 2 Tournament this week. They defeated Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Eastern Oklahoma State, and Connors State to advance to the Region 2 final on Sunday against Arkansas Baptist. The Trojans piled on 15 runs in the eighth inning to secure a 23-6 win. Seminole State outscored their opponents 50-26 over the tournament. Cobb did not play in any of the games this week. Seminole State will face Delgado Community College on Friday in the South Central District Tournament.
Griffin Neuer (OF) – Bellarmine (34-19)
Neuer put up multi-hit games in the first two games of the GLVC Tournament this weekend. In Thursday’s 13-2 win over Missouri S&T, he went 2-for-5 with a double, run, two RBIS. He followed the performance with three hits and an RBI in 6-7 loss against Drury. Bellarmine lost the next game as well to Saint Joesph’s to drop out of the tournament. Bellarmine earned a #5 seed in the Division II NCAA Tournament. They will play #4 seed Drury University in the Midwest Region.
Jordan Hart (OF) – Minn. State Mankato (44-9)
The Maverick right fielder earned a hit in three out of the four games in the NSIC Tournament this weekend. Jordan went 2-for-3 with a double, home run, two RBIs, and walk in a 10-0 win over Minnesota Crookston. Minnesota State swept the tournament, defeating Wayne State (Neb.) and the host St. Cloud State twice to win the tournament. Hart combined to go 4-for-15 (.267) with two doubles, four RBIS, and three walks. Minnesota State earned the #2 seed in the Central Region. They will face #7 seed Central Oklahoma in the first round.
Highlight Player of the Week
Eddie Mathis (RHP) – Bellarmine (34-19)
The Knight’s ace helped Bellermine earn their lone win in the GLVC Tournament. Eddie started game on against Missouri S&T, pitching a complete game for a 13-2 win. He gave up two runs on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. The win improved his record to 9-3 on the season with a 2.74 ERA and 71 strikeouts, all best on the team.
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