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College  | Story  | 3/27/2023

College Player, Pitcher of the Week

Vincent Cervino      Craig Cozart     
Photo: Dylan Crews (LSU Athletics)
March 27

Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Week:

Dylan Crews, LSU

When you come into the season as the projected No. 1 pick in the upcoming MLB Amateur Draft, the typical player would feel immense pressure and may struggle with the expectations. Dylan Crews is the odds-on favorite to be that guy but has taken his game to otherworldly heights. The 6-0/200 junior from Longwood, Florida is the heart and soul of the No. 1 team in the land as he hits in the middle of one of the scariest offenses in college history. During his clubs (3-1) week, he went 11 for 16 to bat .688 while launching 4 home runs, score 9 runs and collect 9 RBIs with an OB% of .684. As impressive as his week was, his season stats are even more mind blowing. So far in 24 games, his slash line is .531/.988/.658 with 10 doubles, 9 home runs and 32 RBIs while walking 26 times and only striking out 12.

Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week:

Rhett Lowder, Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons have gone through quite a transformation on the mound in the last few years and the face of that evolution has been Rhett Lowder. The 6-2/200 RHP from Albemarle, North Carolina was the 2022 ACC Pitcher of the Year and starred with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer. Lowder is the ace on a pitching staff that leads the nation in team ERA, Ks per 9, is 2nd in the nation in hits allowed per 9 and 3rd in K:BB ration. To set the tone for Wake Forest’s first ever sweep of ACC rival Miami Hurricanes, Lowder went 7.0 IP, allowing 3 hits, no runs, 2 walks and he struck out 9 batters. For the season, he has made 6 starts accumulating a 5-0 record with an ERA of 1.42 over 38.0 IP, surrendering just 25 hits, 6 earned runs, 7 walks while punching out 48 batters.

March 20

Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Week:

CJ Kayfus, Miami

The University of Miami has surged to the top of the ACC standings at (5-1) after the first two weeks of league play. CJ Kayfus the 6-0/195 infielder from Wellington, Florida was a major reason for the Hurricanes perfect week where they scored a total of 44 runs in 4 games. On the week, he went 12-for-16 for a .750 BA, while scoring 7 runs, as he was walked 4 times, stole 2 bags, hit 3 home runs, and drove in a total of 8 RBI. After a slow start by his standards, Kayfus is now batting .355, slugging .658 with 6 doubles, 5 home runs and 15 RBI for the year. The Canes are playing their best ball of the season and are in the driver’s seat in the conference standings.

Perfect Game/Rawlings Co-Pitchers of the Week:

Hunter Owen, Vanderbilt

The Vanderbilt Commodores have made their way into the top-5 in our latest poll and are off to a flawless start in SEC play. The pitching staff has been leading the way in 2023, with Owen, the 6-6/260 LHP from South Portland, Maine, emerging as the staff ace. On Saturday in his outing against Ole Miss, he threw a complete game shutout on only 96 pitches, surrendering just 2 hits, 1 free pass while striking out an impressive 11 batters. Owen has now made 5 starts in 2023 and is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.20 over 28.2 IP, allowing 19 hits while walking 9 and punching out 35. The Commodores are off and running in SEC play, so expect to see more from Owen in the coming weeks.

Brandon Sproat, Florida

Brandon Sproat, the 6-3/215 RHP from Pace, Florida is off to an All-American start to the 2023 season and is already (4-0) in 5 starts thus far. His last start against the Alabama Crimson Tide was his best to date as he went 9.0 shutout innings and only allowed 1 hit, 2 walks and struck out 11 batters on 106 pitches. His club has surged to No. 2 in the country, are off to a good start in SEC play and look like national title contenders with Sproat leading the way on Friday nights. For the year, along with winning 4 of his 5 starts, he has an ERA of 2.73 over 29.1 IP, only allowing 12 hits, 14 walks while striking out 43 all told.

March 14

Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Week:

Connor Tate, Georgia

The University of Georgia had a great week as they went (4-1) and have been on quite a run lately with the offense leading the way. Connor Tate, the 6-3/210 outfielder from Bishop, Georgia, has been right in the heart of the action and a major reason the Bulldogs scored 63 runs this week alone. Over the 5-game schedule Tate went 12 for 20, scoring 9 runs with 4 walks, a double, 4 home runs and he collected 12 RBI. On the year, the graduate is batting .516, slugging .919, with an OBP of .610 to go with 7 doubles, 6 home runs and 22 RBI. The Bulldogs are clicking on all cylinders as they head into SEC play this weekend.

Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week:

Wyatt Hudepohl, Charlotte

The Charlotte 49ers have had mixed results so far in the early season but if Wyatt Hudepohl’s outing from last weekend is any indication, they are trending in the right direction. The 6-4/220 right-hander from Cincinnati, Ohio turned in a solid, complete game performance where he went 9 innings, allowing 5 hits and only 2 earned runs. But the most impressive part of the outing was the fact that he struck out 17 batters without surrendering a single walk and did all of this on just 108 total pitches. As the 49ers head into C-USA play this weekend, look for Hudepohl to lead the way on the mound.

March 7th

Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Week:

Wyatt Langford, Florida

For the second week in a row a Florida Gator is named Player of the Week as Wyatt Langford takes home the award coming off a monster 5 game stretch. The junior outfielder from Trenton, Florida was instrumental in his team’s series victory over instate rival Miami Hurricanes. Langford carried a batting average of .500 (10-20) on the week, scoring 9 runs, adding in 2 walks, 2 doubles, 4 home runs and a total of 8 RBI. Considered by the industry to have one of the most comprehensive 5-tool skill sets at the collegiate level, he continues to push himself towards the top of the upcoming 2023 MLB Amateur Draft.

Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week:

Kiefer Lord, Washington

The Washington Huskies are off to a tremendous 9-2 start to the season and Kiefer Lord has been a major factor in his team’s success. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander from San Carlos, California has really come into his own this spring, anchoring a pitching staff that is one of the nation’s most complete. In his last start, Kiefer threw 6 perfect innings, retiring 18 straight batters and 10 of those outs came via the strikeout. He uses his lively mid-90s fastball, which has approached 100 mph, to dominate hitters and backs that up with a sharp two-plane breaker. On the season he is 2-0 in 3 starts with an ERA of 1.59, only allowing 9 hits over 17 innings pitches with a sparkling 26:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

February 27th

Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Week:

Jac Caglianone, Florida

When there is talk of the next coming of Shohei Ohtani when referring to the skill set Jac Caglianone possesses, there must be some loud numbers to back it up. Well, based on the show he put on this week, the comparisons are quite honestly warranted. During their 5 games last week, he hit .476, scoring 7 runs, collecting an amazing 6 home runs, and driving in 10 runs. The power numbers are monstrous, and it is worth noting that that all three round-trippers he hit on Sunday registered at 100+ mph off the bat, the highest of which was an impressive 118 mph. By the way, he was also the starting pitcher for the Gators on Sunday and the southpaw was living in the upper-90s with his fastball.

Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week:

Noah Hall, South Carolina

Doing the heavy lifting in their 1-0 victory over Penn this weekend, Noah Hall was flawless as he went 8 innings pitch, allowing 3 hits, no runs, no walks, while striking out 12 batters on 98 pitches. After being drafted in the 20th round by the Brewers last spring, Hall decided to return to Columbia and made significant gains in every aspect of his craft. He has used his mid-90s heater, tight slider, and wipeout changeup to dominate opposing hitters this season so far. After two starts, he is 2-0 with an ERA of 0.68 in 13.1 IP, only allowing 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and he has struck out 16. Hall is a big reason his club is (8-0) in 2023 and a team in consideration for our top-25.

February 21

Perfect Game/Rawlings Player of the Week:

Nick Kurtz, Wake Forest

As a pre-season Perfect Game All-American and one of our staff’s picks to win this year’s Golden Spikes Award; Nick Kurtz had plenty of anticipation surrounding him on Opening Weekend. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound lefty more than lived up to the billing as he slashed .500/.684/1.500, launching 4 home runs, driving in 10 runs and his 7 walks are more than twice his strikeout total already. By the way, with his length and glove work, he is one of the best defenders in the nation as well. Kurtz and company went 4-0 on the weekend, as they scored 45 runs, hit 13 home runs, and only committed 1 error on defense.

Perfect Game/Rawlings Pitcher of the Week:

Paul Skenes, LSU

Talk about pressure and expectations, Paul Skenes had it coming from every possible angle this weekend. Being the most high-profile transfer in the nation, the Opening Day starter for the No. 1 team in the land and taking the mound in front of over 10,000 fans and countless MLB representatives in the stands, that can be daunting. All the 6-foot-6, 245-pound right did was go 6.0 IP, allowing 3 hits, no runs, 1 free pass while striking out an incredible 12 batters on 98 pitches. By the way, his first pitch of the game was a fastball at 99 mph and his last of the day was a heater at 98 mph. That is surely living up to the hype.