Week 2: February 20-26

By: Ryan Murphy

Dominic DiCaprio (Rice) [Photo credit: Broken Bat Blog]

The second full week of the college baseball season saw numerous Dutchmen alumni continue to guide their teams to undefeated starts to the 2017 campaign. Many of these performances came at the Division I level, where former Dutchmen are shining across the country.

NCAA Division I-

Dominic DiCaprio, Rice- DiCaprio has had a ridiculous first two weeks of the 2017 season, hitting .545 for the Owls with a .633 on base percentage. The 2015 Dutchmen catcher went 8-for-13 in four games this week, driving in three runs and scoring another four. In a loss to Southeastern Louisiana on Friday, DiCaprio went 2-for-3, and hit the first home run of his collegiate career. The sophomore is currently in the top five in Conference-USA in both batting average and on base percentage.

Nate Harris, Louisiana Tech- Louisiana Tech's 7-0 start has been in no small part due to the pitching of Harris, who has earned either a win or a save in each of his four outings this season. Harris' first win of the season came on Wednesday, when he pitched two hitless innings in a 4-2 win over Little Rock. He also picked up two more saves, giving him three for the season. In total, Harris allowed only two hits and no runs over five innings this past week, extending his season scoreless streak to eight innings, in which he has struck out eleven hitters.

J.J. Shimko, USC-Upstate- Shimko, the reigning Dutchmen Co-Player of the Year, helped lead an offensive assault for the Spartans, who scored 44 runs over four games (3-1) this week. He had seven hits and drove in eight runs over that four game stretch. His biggest game of the week came in Upstate's 12-0 win over Georgetown on Friday, where the outfielder went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in. He came a home run short of the cycle, and drove in runs on both a two-run double and a two-run triple. Through seven games, Shimko is hitting .355 with a team-best ten runs batted in.

Ernie Clement, No. 23 Virginia- A 7-0 start for the Cavaliers has been keyed by Clement, who leads the 2015 National Champions with 14 hits. This past week, Clement added another eight hits, and drove in eight runs in a 4-0 week that included a three-game sweep of Rutgers. He capped his week by going 3-for-5 with four RBIs on Sunday, led by the third home run of his career in an 18-2 triumph. Clement also scored five times at the top of Virginia's lineup.

Gavin Wallace, Fairfield- The two year Dutchmen righty was brilliant in his first start of the season, tossing eight strong innings in a 6-2 win over Lamar, which earned a series split for the Stags. Wallace allowed just one run over his eight innings, and scatted seven hits. The junior did not walk a hitter, and struck out six in his first win of the year. The win was the ninth of Wallace's Fairfield career.

Drew Robertson and Troy Montemayor, Baylor- Baylor's bullpen duo, who both pitched for the Dutchmen this past summer, have been nightmares for opposing hitters and have led the Bears to an 8-0 start. The two have not allowed a run over 8.1 combined innings, and have struck out 14 hitters with just two walks. Montemayor added two saves to his total this week, and Robertson earned his first win of the season and pitched four scoreless innings.

Jack Gethings, Fairfield- An infielder from the 2016 Dutchmen, Gethings paced the Fairfield offense in a four-game split with Lamar. Gethings led the Stags in batting avergae, runs, hits, runs batted in, walks, and on base percentage during the opening series of the season. On Saturday, Gethings went 5-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs despite the Stags falling 19-9 to Lamar. His five singles accounted for the first five-hit game of Gethings' career.

NCAA Division II

Justin Childers, Ohio Dominican- The other reigning Dutchmen Co-Player had a blistering start to his 2017 season. The infielder had two hits in each of Ohio Dominican's three wins over West Liberty State, and logged a .600 batting average in the sweep. Childers scored six runs and drove in another five of ODU's 30 runs. He doubled twice, and drew three walks to post a .692 on base percentage over the first three games. Childers' production came hitting in the third position for the 3-0 Panthers.

Demetrius Webb, Univ. of Indianapolis- Webb, who caught for the Dutchmen during the summer of 2014, has made three starts for Indianapolis this season, and has started the season 5-for-10 with five RBIs. This week, the catcher drove in two runs and had two hits in a 13-6 victory for the Greyhounds over Missouri St. Louis on Saturday. He drove in his runs with an RBI single and an RBI groundout. Webb's efforts have helped Indianapolis to a 6-2 start this season.

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