By Neil Hilts
The majority of seasons are underway for Dawgs players in college, and a number are off to great starts.
University of British Columbia:
The only player to start all 20 games so far this season, Bruce Yari is Mr. Reliable as usual for the Thunderbirds. He’s batting .449 with a team-best three homers and 17 RBIs. He’s also got three steals to go along with 50 total bases.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rose started slow but his numbers are starting to climb. Rose has a steal, four RBI and 11 hits in as an everyday outfielder. The year has also been tough for Jeremy Newton, who is 0-2 in five appearances. He’s averaging more than a strikeout per inning, but looks to be having a difficult transition as a starter.
Niagara Purple Eagles:
Joel Brophy has started seven of eight games this year and is hitting well, posting a .320 average while leading the team in homers (two) and RBI (seven). This past weekend against North Carolina, Brophy went 4-10 with three RBI. He started the year with a bang, bashing two homers and four RBI in the season-opener.
Colby Community College:
Outfielder Garrett Kirkwood has put the league on notice in his freshman year at Colby Community College with a .413 average, three steals, one homer, eight RBIs, two triples and 19 hits. Twin brother Drake has yet to make and appearance with the squad.
Northeastern Junior College:
JT Patterson’s freshman campaign probably could not have started better. He’s hitting .533, leading the team, plus through the first four games he has three runs and three RBIs. Graeme Cherry and Nick Vickers both have made one appearance. Cherry has allowed just one hit and zero runs through 3.2 innings while recording a save, while Vickers was hit for three runs in his debut.
University of Arkansas Pine Bluff:
On a winless team, CJ Lewington ran into some trouble in his debut with the Lions, allowing eight runs across six innings. He managed seven strikeouts, but will be looking to rebound next outing.
University of Texas Permian Basin:
Doug Clapperton has played in 15 of 17 games, recording 11 hits, six RBIs and a team-high nine stolen bases. He ranks among the conference leaders in steals, too.
Infielder Ted Boeke is hitting .333 with a team-leading two homers and seven RBI, just like Brophy at Niagara. His .667 slugging is also tops.
Loyola pitcher Blake Redmenis 1-1 and averaging a strikeout per inning. His 2.45 ERA is the third best on the team and he’s only allowed two runs in seven innings. Right behind him in team ERA rank is Harrison Simon at 3.86. Simon has pitched in 4.2 innings while allowing two runs.
Wayne State College:
Cody Jenkins is tearing it up with his new team. He is first in average (.433), runs (eight) and hits (13), and second in RBI (seven) and total bases (19). He’s started all eight games.
University of Utah:
The 2015 recipient for the True Grit award, Kellen Marruffo, has had brilliant start with a .308 average to go with one homer and four RBIs in Utah. Paying DH and hitting off the bench, Marruffo leads the team in slugging percentage.
Tyler Burdett has pitched just two innings but is perfect with no hits or walks against in six at-bats. He’s a strong reliever for the team. Infielder Tyler Mildenberg has struggled early, but should turn around soon. He has two hits in 14 at-bats to go with one RBI and one stolen base.
North Dakota State:
Outfielder Jayse McLean sits atop the team rankings with a .409 average while also recording two steals and five RBI. He’s started all seven games and is perfect in the field.
Oregon State University:
Playing under the watchful eye of head coach Graham, Scotland Church has come out of the bullpen to much success, as he carries a 1.80 ERA and just one run allowed in five innings.