Canadian Sanford a strong All-American candidate

Dartmouth Arrow alum Jake Sanford (Cole Harbour, N.S.) had an outstanding season for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Photo: WKU Athletics

Dartmouth Arrow alum Jake Sanford (Cole Harbour, N.S.) had an outstanding season for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Photo: WKU Athletics

May 28, 2019

Dartmouth Arrow and Baseball Nova Scotia alum Jake Sanford (Cole Harbour, N.S.) had a collegiate season for the ages with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers that has made him a strong All-American candidate.

Bryan Fyalkowski, the assistant director of media relations for WKU Athletics, shared the following list of Sanford’s accomplishments from the season:

-Sanford's 2019 campaign was one of the best in WKU program history. Starting all 56 games while playing every single inning in the outfield, the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native slashed .398/.483/.805 with 88 hits, 178 total bases, 22 homeruns, 20 doubles, 66 runs batted in and 65 scored. He also walked 33 times and stole six bases.

-Sanford's 66 runs batted in and 65 scored both finish ninth on WKU's single-season charts, while his 22 homeruns are fifth. His 88 hits just finished shy of cracking the top 10, with Danny Hudzina (2016) and Matt Rice (2010) tied with 89 knocks apiece. His 20 doubles also just finished shy of the record books, as three Hilltoppers are tied for eighth with 21 two-baggers.

-Sanford's D1 statistical rankings in 56 overall games as of May 26: .805 slugging percentage (1st), 178 total bases (2nd), 22 homeruns (t-6th), 88 hits (t-13th), .398 batting average (16th), 66 runs batted in (t-20th), 65 runs scored (t-21st), .483 on-base percentage (32nd), 20 doubles (t-35th)

-Sanford is the first winner of Conference USA's Triple Crown (batting average, homerun and runs batted in leader) in league history.

-Sanford's Conference USA statistical rankings in 56 overall games as of May 26: .398 batting average (1st), .483 on-base percentage (1st), .805 slugging percentage (1st), 22 homeruns (1st), 66 runs batted in (1st), 178 total bases (1st), 88 hits (1st), 65 runs scored (t-1st), 20 doubles (2nd).

-Sanford's Conference USA statistical rankings in 30 league games: .439 batting average (1st), .521 on-base percentage (2nd), .862 slugging percentage (2nd), 14 homeruns (2nd), 41 runs batted in (1st), 106 total bases (1st), 54 hits (1st), 35 runs scored (3rd).

-Sanford went 3-for-6 with 3 homeruns, 8 runs batted in and 4 runs scored at Eastern Kentucky on March 26. He became the 1st Hilltopper in 13 years (Jordon Newton in 2006) with 3 dingers in a game and the 1st Hilltopper since at least 2005 (when program game-by-game records are available) with 8 runs batted in.

-The game prior, at FIU on March 24, Sanford went 3-for-5 with 2 homeruns, 7 runs batted in and 5 runs scored. With a combined 5 homeruns, 15 runs batted in, 9 runs scored and 22 total bases, Sanford had the best 2-game span in D1 this season.

-In 18 games in the month of March, Sanford slashed .411/.476/1.041 with 14 homeruns, 4 doubles, 34 runs batted in, 30 hits and 26 runs scored.

-Sanford's 14 homeruns tied for most in March (Hunter Bishop of Arizona State also had 14) while his 34 runs batted in ranked 2nd (Christian Hodge of Navy had 35). His 14 homeruns in March set a new program record, breaking the previous record of 13, which had stood since 1985, when John Clem and Rob Tomberlin each hit 13 in a single month.

-On March 25 and April 1, Sanford became only the 3rd player in league history to earn back-to-back Conference USA Hitter of the Week honors.

-From March 2-to-8, Sanford became the 1st Hilltopper in 13 years (Jordon Newton in 2006) to hit a homerun in 4 consecutive games.

-In 17 games in the month of April, Sanford slashed .462/.573/.815 with 5 homeruns, 6 doubles, 14 runs batted in, 30 hits and 21 runs scored.

-Sanford hit AT LEAST 1 homerun in 12 consecutive weekend series to end the season, with 2 homeruns in 6 of those weekend series.

-On the base paths, Sanford had 6 stolen bases on 7 tries and only grounded into 1 double play. In the field, Sanford had 127 put-outs, 6 outfield assists and only 4 errors while playing every single inning in the outfield. Sanford had a season-high 8 put-outs while playing center field at #7 Louisville on April 30.

-Sanford became the 1st D1 hitter with 20 homeruns and 20 doubles since 2017 (Niko Hulsizer of Morehead State, Austin Listi of Dallas Baptist and Brent Rooker of Mississippi State)... Tulane’s Kody Hoese also had 20 homeruns and 20 doubles this season, but Sanford was the 1st to reach the marks.

-Sanford reached base safely in 38 consecutive games from March 15-to-May 18 and in 53-of-56 games overall. Sanford had multiple hits in 27 games and hit safely in 44-of-56 games overall. Sanford had multiple runs scored in 17 games and scored a run in 41-of-56 games overall. Sanford had multiple runs batted in on 13 occasions and drove in a run in 32-of-56 games overall.

-Sanford had a .407 batting average (59-for-145) against righties, .382 batting average (29-for-76) against lefties, .389 batting average (44-for-113) with runners on base, .407 batting average (44-for-108) with the bases empty, .444 batting average (4-for-11) with the bases loaded with 2 grand slams and 12 runs batted in and .467 batting average (28-for-60) with runners in scoring position.

-In 5 games against Power Five opponents, Sanford batted 7-for-17 with a .412/.444/.765 slash line. In those 5 games, Sanford had 1 homerun, 3 doubles, 2 runs batted in and 4 runs scored.

-When Sanford batted vs. the D1baseball Top 100 pitchers, he slashed .438/.500/.813:

1-1 (HR) vs. Aaron Ochenbein #2 RP

1-1 (1B) vs. Zach Schneider #51 RP

0-0 (BB) vs. Colton Neel #63 RP

1-1 (2B, IBB) vs. Hunter Gregory #85 RP

1-3 (KS, 2B, 3UA) vs. Matt Canterino #16 SP

1-4 (KS, KS, KS, 1B) vs. Logan Allen #27 SP

1-3 (2B, 43, 63) vs. Mason Hickman #91 SP

1-3 (1B, KL, FC) vs. Evan Kravetz #95 SP