MEAC / Spartan Men

MEAC baseball tournament preview: Spartans set sights on MEAC title

The Norfolk State baseball team opens play in the 2016 MEAC Baseball Championship this Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md. NSU (27-19), which receives a first-round bye, will face the winner of a Thursday opening round game between Bethune-Cookman (South No. 2) and Coppin State (North No. 3).

The Norfolk State baseball team opens play in the 2016 MEAC Baseball Championship this Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md. NSU (27-19), which receives a first-round bye, will face the winner of a Thursday opening round game between Bethune-Cookman (South No. 2) and Coppin State (North No. 3).

MEAC Championship Central Page

NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State baseball team opens play in the 2016 MEAC Baseball Championship this Friday, May 20, at 3:30 p.m. at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md. NSU (27-19), which receives a first-round bye, will face the winner of a Thursday opening round game between Bethune-Cookman (South No. 2) and Coppin State (North No. 3).

The tournament consists of six teams and is played in a double-elimination format at Perdue Stadium, home of the single-A Delmarva Shorebirds. Tickets are $8 per day or $25 for a tournament pass.

NSU and Southern Division regular-season champion Florida A&M have Thursday off by virtue of winning their divisions. Delaware State earned the No. 2 seed from the North, while CSU is third. FAMU, Bethune-Cookman and North Carolina Central round out the field from the South. Maryland Eastern Shore, North Carolina A&T and Savannah State did not qualify for the championship.

The Spartans won the MEAC Northern Division regular-season title for the second year in a row. NSU matched last year’s team for the most overall wins (27) and MEAC victories (19) in the program’s Division I era, and has won 14 of its last 17 games entering the tournament. NSU is still seeking its first-ever MEAC tournament title and accompanying berth in the NCAA Division I Championship. NSU has advanced to the MEAC Championship finals six times previously (1998, 2001, ’05, ’08, ’11, ’14) but has yet to win the title.

Live statistics for all tournament games will be available at the championship central page at http://www.meacsports.com and linked to the baseball schedule page at www.nsuspartans.com. Live Twitter updates will be available @SpartanBSB.

Outman MEAC’s Top Pitcher, Heads up 6 All-MEAC Spartans
Matt Outman was named the MEAC’s Pitcher of the Year for the second straight year and is one of six Spartans who were named to the All-MEAC baseball team. Outman and brothers Jonathan and Alex Mauricio were named to the All-MEAC first team. RelieverMichael Parmentier and outfielder Denathan Dukes were named to the second team, and designated hitter Kyle Vaas was voted to the third team. Read the full release here.

National Rankings
The Spartans as a team and several NSU individuals rank highly in the latest NCAA Division I baseball statistics:
• Michael Parmentier – 14th in strikeouts/9 innings (11.6)
• Denathan Dukes – 5th in stolen bases/game (0.71), 12th in runs scored per game (1.14)
• Matt Outman – 29th in complete game (3), 76th in wins (7), 116th in ERA (2.62)
• Jonathan Mauricio – 29th in complete games (3), 54th in ERA (2.22)
• Brian Beard – 48th in stolen bases/game (0.45)

As a team, NSU ranks….
• 4th in shutouts (9)
• 9th in stolen bases/game (1.78)
• 11th in strikeouts/9 innings (9.1)
• 18th in hit by pitches (70)
• 56th in scoring (6.7 runs per game)
• 59th in ERA (3.71)
• 65th in on-base percentage (.381)
• 70th in doubles/game (1.93)

The Staff Has the Stuff
The 2016 regular season has featured some dominant pitching from the Spartans’ staff. NSU has already set the single-season school record for strikeouts by its pitching staff, with 385 so far. The Spartans have also tied the school single-season record for most shutouts (9) and are on pace to record the lowest team ERA in NSU’s Division I era. NSU’s ERA stands at a MEAC-best 3.71 entering the tournament. The previous low for the Division I era was 3.93 in 2007.

The last time NSU had a better ERA than it has now in a single-season came in the Division II era, with a 3.63 mark in 1994.

In MEAC-only games, the Spartans’ have posted a 2.54 team ERA, helping a school-record four Spartan pitchers earn first or second-team All-MEAC honors.

Chasing History
Senior LHP Matt Outman has pieced together a stellar three-year career at NSU after transferring from Lynchburg College and sitting out the 2013 season. Outman enters the MEAC tournament needing one win to set the school’s all-time career record for pitching victories. He is currently tied for first with J.R. Wilkerson (1987-90), with 23.
Here’s where Outman ranks in various NSU all-time records:

WINS No.
1. J.R. Wilkerson / Matt Outman 23
W-L PERCENTAGE
1. Aaron Bowman .950 (19-1)
2. Pete Key .889 (8-1)
3. Lonnie Snead .823 (14-3)
4. Matt Outman .793 (23-6)
STRIKEOUTS
1. Joey Seal 269
2. Claudell Clark 249
3. Stanley Hurt 232
4. Andry Renshaw 224
5. Matt Outman 206
EARNED RUN AVERAGE
1. Jarrell Wilkerson 2.42
2. Dwight Cherry 2.54
3. Stanley Hurt 2.76
4. Nimmond Lockhart 2.78
5. Matt Outman 2.90
INNINGS PITCHED
1. Joey Seal 334.0
2. Andy Renshaw 310.2
3. Justin Bhatti 256.0
4. Jason Barker 255.1
5. De’Mece Williams 246.1
6. J.R. Wilkerson 236.2
7. Matt Outman 230.0

Outman isn’t the only Spartan pitcher closing in on a school record. Senior RHP Cooper Jones is tied for first in school history with 78 appearances in his four-year career. Jones has made at least 17 appearances in each of his four years, with a career-high of 21 in both 2014 and 2015.

Two-Way Threats
NSU has not had many players play a dual role (pitching and playing a primary position) over the last few years. But the Spartans are blessed with two such players this year in sophomore Alex Mauricio and freshman Chase Anderson. Mauricio, currently on the 18-man watch list for the John Olerud National Two-Way Player of the Year award, leads the MEAC with five saves and is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched. He has also started 40 games in the field, mostly at third base, and is hitting .295 with a team-high tying five home runs.

Anderson, a four-time MEAC Rookie of the Week selection, is 5-3 on the mound in 16 appearances. He has 36 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched. Anderson has also seen time at second base, third and shortstop, and is hitting .269 with 11 RBI.

National Recognition
NSU has two players in consideration for national awards:
• Alex Mauricio is on the 18-man watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, given by the College Baseball Hall of Fame to the best Division I player who pitches and also plays an everyday position. The list will be revised twice more before a winner is name. The award will be presented in early July.
Matt Outman is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, given to the Division I player who has significant achievements in the classroom, character, community and in competition. Fans can vote at http://www.seniorclassaward.com through June 6. The fan voting accounts for 1/3 of the final vote tally.

Fleet of Foot
NSU has gotten the job done on the base paths this year, swiping a MEAC-leading 82 bases in the regular season and getting caught just 12 times thus far. Despite missing 11 games due to injury earlier in the year, Denathan Dukes leads the MEAC with 25 stolen bases and has been caught just once. Brian Beard is third in the league in steals (19-20) and Justin Lee (12-15) is also in double figures.

Going Yard
The Spartans haven’t been known as a home run-hitting team in recent years, and still rank just sixth out of nine teams in the MEAC in four-baggers this year. But after finishing the previous four seasons with single-digit totals in homers, the Spartans have hit 20 as a team this year, most for an NSU team since the 2010 squad hit 26. NSU spreads the wealth when it comes to the long ball – eight Spartans have hit at least one, and no one has more than five (Alex Mauricio and Syeed Mahdi tie for the team-lead).

Originally published on NSUSpartans.com

Print Friendly Version
Advertisement