The University of Illinois baseball team came crashing back to earth this weekend, losing all three games to Western Kentucky University. Kelly Norris-Jones started behind the plate in Saturday’s game and went two-for-four with a double and a run scored. He’s hitting .273 with one RBI in 11 at-bats this season, but his most impressive statistic is his .429 on-base percentage, which is the second-best mark on the team. The Fighting Illini (6-7) are scheduled to play three games next weekend against Southern Illinois University.
Although he only had a pinch-hit appearance in the two midweek games against the Oregon Ducks, Seattle U’s Griffin Andreychuk played second base in two of the three weekend games against #11 Cal Poly. For the week, the Nanaimo native went two-for-seven at the plate, knocked in a pair of runs, scored a run and even chipped in with a stolen base. Unfortunately, he also committed his seventh error of the season to give him an .837 fielding percentage on the year. The Redhawks (6-10) play a pair of midweek games against the University of Portland and a three-game series against Chicago State next weekend.
Nick Rutckyj continues to play regularly in left field for the Cuesta College Cougars. He picked up a double in nine at-bats this week, as the Cougars dropped all three games and saw their record drop to 4-12. Rutckyj is hitting .148 with two homers and seven RBI in 54 at-bats on the season. Cuesta College plays three games this week, including a pair against Santa Barbara City College.
Once again we have no Brandon Feldman news to share this week, because the boxscores from this weekend’s four-game set against Northeastern Junior College aren't yet available. In Otero Junior College’s first 15 games, Feldman is hitting .133 (15 AB). Although Feldman is expected to pitch for the HarbourCats this summer, he has not made any appearances on the mound for the Rattlers.
- Gabe Clark had a monster week for the 5th-ranked Oregon State Beavers. In five games, Clark went 9-for-21 with 9 RBI and five extra-base hits and he appears to have established himself as the team’s cleanup hitter. He now is hitting an incredible .464 with a .595 on-base percentage and a team-leading .750 slugging percentage. Keep in mind that he only has 28 at-bats under his belt so far in 2014, but we may be witnessing the beginning of a major breakout campaign for Gabe Clark.
- Bret Helton raised his record to 2-0 with the University of Utah by pitching a gem against Missouri State on Sunday. Helton threw six strong innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits while walking two and striking out eight batters. He now sports a 1.59 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in his 22 ⅔ innings pitched this year.
- Newly signed HarbourCats infielder Bryce Greager hit his first homer for the University of Nevada on Friday, a two-run shot to help lead the Wolf Pack to their only victory on the weekend. He has a .167 batting average and a .375 on-base percentage in 12 at-bats this season.
- Will Dennis ran into some difficulties this week after starting the season in a dominant fashion. The lefty sidearmer gave up a run in 1 ⅔ innings pitched and took the loss against the University of Oregon on Tuesday. In Saturday’s wild 15-14 win over Cal Poly, he gave up four earned runs on four hits, a walk and three consecutive hit batsmen in 2 ⅔ innings on the hill. In spite of getting knocked around, he still picked up the win thanks to four timely Seattle U runs in the bottom of the seventh. Dennis is now 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA and two saves in seven appearances.