March 5 - Five area hurlers have played key roles on what has been one of the country’s top pitching staffs as undefeated Christopher Newport has risen to No. 3 in the latest Division III rankings.
In Saturday’s 11-5 win over visiting Marietta (OH), junior right-hander Teddy Herbert (Washington-Lee) posted four scoreless frames before running out of gas in the fifth, but still earned his second win as the Captains’ lineup reached double-digits in runs for the sixth time in eight games. In Sunday’s 14-1 drubbing of Gallaudet, junior Kyle Darmstead (Brentsville District) started and went three innings, sophomore Carter Strain (Lake Braddock) followed with three scoreless innings in relief, and Tyler Jumper (Robinson) pitched a perfect ninth.
Herbert has emerged as a starter after being used sparingly over his first two seasons at the Newport News school, posting 13 strikeouts over 11.2 innings. Darmstead, Strain, Jumper and Andrew Suppa (Robinson) - who earned the save in a 4-3 win over Randolph-Macon in a top-10 match-up last week - have totaled 17 strikeouts and posted a cumulative a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings over 13 appearances.
CNU’s staff has posted a 2.00 ERA in 72 innings under pitching coach Ron Frazier, who is in the first year of his third stint with the program. The Captains are at Eastern Mennonite today, then will host Hampden-Sydney on Thursday and Catholic on Saturday.
W&L’s Volpicelli Begins Sophomore Campaign With 8-Game Hitting Streak
Jason Volpicelli (Paul VI Catholic) had an eight-game hitting streak to open the season and the sophomore entered the week hitting .486 for Washington & Lee.
A middle infielder by trade, Volpicelli spent much of last season at third base and hit .300 in 150 at-bats during his rookie campaign at the Lexington school. He’s started the 2019 season as the Generals’ regular third baseman and has been one of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s best hitters, compiling five multi-hit games and nine RBI. He was tied for eighth nationally in base hits entering last weekend.
Volpicelli had back-to-back three-hit games in wins over Averett on Feb. 9-10 and totaled four hits and a career-high six RBI in a 15-13 loss at Pfeiffer (N.C.) on Feb. 16. He connected on his second career home run, his first of the season, on Feb. 21 at Emory. His hitting streak came to an end when he flied out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning on Sunday at Ferrum.
Costello Homers Twice in The Mount’s Slugfest Win over Villanova
Zack Costello (Heritage) connected for two home runs and drove in three runs in Mount St. Mary’s 19-16 win over Villanova on Sunday in Port Charlotte, FL and the senior catcher entered today’s game against Georgetown with hits in each of the five games he’s played in.
Costello, who is 7-for-18 (.389) with six RBI, is in his second season with the Mountaineers after transferring from Frederick (MD) Community College. He hit .245 with a .388 on-base percentage and nine RBI in 98 at-bats last year. His best collegiate season came as a freshman at FCC in 2016, when he hit .270 with five homers and 35 RBI in 43 games.
Player of the Week: Zach Tsakounis, William & Mary (St. John’s/Arlington)
William & Mary freshman Zach Tsakounis (St. John’s) stymied Virginia in a midweek road victory and has been named the magazine’s Collegiate Player of the Week, sponsored by Northern Virginia Orthodontics.
The Arlington native struck out seven and allowed one run on four hits over 6.1 innings in Tuesday’s 9-3 win over the Cavaliers, and the left-hander is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings entering this afternoon’s game at Norfolk State. He was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie of the Week.
Tsakounis was a two-time first-team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection at St. John’s, helping the Cadets win WCAC titles in 2017-18.
News & Notes: Kyle Wrighte (Freedom-South Riding) went 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as William & Mary completed a sweep of High Point and improved to 8-1 with an 8-6 win on Sunday. … Logan Driscoll (Lake Braddock) hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning to give George Mason a 7-6 victory over Princeton on Sunday, giving the Patriots a series win over the Tigers. Driscoll went 2-for-3 with three runs, two walks a double and two RBI after going hitless in the first two games of the series. … Hank Biggs (Woodgrove) and Stephen Johnston (C.D. Hylton) combined to shutout New Rochelle (N.Y.), 7-0, to complete a doubleheader sweep on Saturday. Johnston also hit a grand slam in the game and is 6-for-12 with 10 RBI through four games. ... Brett Stallings (West Springfield) went 4-for-5 with a double, triple and two RBI in Frederick (MD) Community College’s 14-9 loss at Lincoln Land (IL) yesterday.
Sponsor: The magazine’s College Notebook is sponsored by the R&D Baseball Academy. For more information on the academy, visit its website at www.rdbaseballacademy.com.
Photo of Teddy Herbert courtesy of CNU Athletics