Week 5: February 22-28

By: Ryan Murphy

As the 2016 college baseball season begins around the nation, a collection of former and now future Dutchmen continued to lead their teams to great starts. The success extended from the mound to the plate for teams across the country.

Jake Welch, Notre Dame College- In his second start of the season, the 2014 and 2015 Dutchmen pitcher tossed a complete game one-hitter in a 3-0 victory on Sunday. In the seven inning contest, Welch struck out eight hitters and faced just five more hitters than the minimum. The complete game was Welch's first victory of the 2016 campaign.

Adam Lee, Lipscomb- Lee, a utility player for the 2014 Dutchmen, scored six runs and drove in five as the Bisons recorded three victories in four games this past week. Lee recorded six hits in 14 at-bats, improving his 2016 batting average to .333. The first baseman posted a multi-hit game in three straight contests, and has helped Lipscomb to a 5-2 start.

Justin Brock, Franklin Pierce- The Ravens started the season 5-0, partially due to the help of Brock, a speedster on the 2014 Dutchmen roster. Brock scored six runs and drove in five, recording six hits in 16 at-bats. Brock's weekend ended with a home run, three runs scored and three runs batted in during a victory over Wilmington, the team that ousted Franklin Pierce from the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Mike Kaelin, Buffalo- Kaelin, who pitched for the Dutchmen in 2014, earned two saves in a series sweep over Tennessee-Martin. In Friday's opener, the righty pitched the final three innings of the contest, striking out four hitters to earn the save in an 5-3 win. The next day, Kaelin recorded the final five outs with three strikeouts to pick up his second save.

Dylan Collett, Saint Leo- Collett was again excellent for the Lions, working his second consecutive start without allowing an earned run. The 2013 Dutchmen pitcher allowed an unearned run on seven hits over 7.2 innings. He earned the victory with six strikeouts and only two walks. In his first four starts, Collett has posted a 2.08 ERA with a 2-1 record.

Slayton Vaughan, Stephen F. Austin- Vaughan has led the Jacks to a 5-3 start with a .438 batting average, tops on the team among those with at least ten at-bats. In two starts to finish the weekend series with Sacred Heart, Vaughan went 5-for-7 with two runs scored and two runs batted in. SFA swept the series.

Drew Tolson, Baylor- The 2014 Albany Pitcher of the Year moved his 2016 record to 1-0 on Saturday, working seven strong innings in a 20-4 victory over Stony Brook. Tolson allowed just one earned run on five hits, and recorded three strikeouts. In his first two starts, Tolson has struck out eleven hitters while walking just three.

Brian Ruhm, Cal Baptist- Ruhm led Cal Baptist to a four-game sweep of Saint Martin's, recording a .357 batting average for the series. His biggest hit came in the third game of the series, when the 2013 Albany outfielder launched a seventh-inning grand slam en route to a 12-6 win.

Jon Reid, Azusa Pacific- Reid had another strong start for the Cougars on Thursday, tossing seven innings with ten strikeouts. Reid allowed just one earned run on five hits, walking just one. The 2015 Dutchmen lefty was not involved in the decision, as Azusa Pacific picked up the win in extra innings. In four starts, Reid has posted a 1.80 ERA with 27 strikeouts over 25 innings.

Gavin Wallace, Fairfield- Wallace served as the Opening Day starter for the Stags, and the returning starter allowed just one run over six innings to collect a win in the season opener. Wallace struck out six hitters without walking any as the Stags rolled to a 17-3 victory over Delaware State. Wallace faced just four more than the minimum over his six innings of work.

Connor Powers, UAlbany- The newly announced outfielder for the 2016 Dutchmen hit safely in all three games of the Great Danes' series victory over North Carolina A&T. In the opener, Powers hit two home runs, giving him three for the season. He hit his home runs in back-to-back innings in a 13-4 win. Powers also drove in a run and scored twice in the series finale on Sunday, a 9-2 UAlbany victory.

Danny Crowe, Elon- Crowe helped Elon to a sweep of La Salle by picking up a win out of the bullpen on Saturday. Crowe worked a perfect eighth inning, getting two groundouts and a strikeout. The Phoenix would take the lead in the bottom of the eighth to set the 2013 Dutchmen pitcher up for the win. In three appearances, Crowe has not allowed an earned run in 2.1 innings.

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