Vanderbilt lefthander Corey Williams has gotten ESPY buzz for his spectacular play after a line drive shattered his kneecap a few weeks ago. Yesterday, Fordham's Brian Kownacki delivered another play of the year nominee in a 12-9 win against Iona. Watch Kownacki leap entirely over the catcher on this play at the plate in the eighth inning.
One other note to pass along. As I posted on Twitter, Rice coach Wayne Graham said today that the Owls are finally going to move preseason All-American Rich Hague off shortstop following his four-error performance yesterday against Texas A&M. Hague now has 22 errors on the season. He will likely DH this weekend, and first baseman Jimmy Comerota will slide to short. I'll have more on the Owls in Weekend Preview tomorrow.
On to this week's mailbag:
James Madison closer Kevin Munson had a dominant weekend against a good UNC Wilmington team and improved his season numbers to 6-0, 0.76, 6 saves, 35 innings, 51 K, 17 BB, and .150 opponents' average. What are you hearing on his current projection for the June draft or possible All-America consideration?
In a great year for college closers, Munson has been largely overshadowed by the likes of Chance Ruffin, Matty Ott, John Stilson, Neil Holland, Dan Klein and Kevin Chapman. But Munson's season stacks up well with any of them, and so does his stuff.
Munson was named Colonial Athletic Association pitcher of the week after picking up two wins and striking out seven over 6 1/3 shutout innings last week. He played a key role in helping JMU win a huge conference series against UNCW.
On Friday, he entered in the seventh inning with the score tied 11-11 after the Seahawks had rallied back from a 10-3 deficit. He came in with a runner on base and retired seven of the eight batters he faced in a 12-11 win. Then, on Sunday, Munson took the mound in the sixth with a runner on base and the Dukes trailing 5-4. He proceeded to work his longest outing of the season, striking out four over the next four innings in JMU's 6-5 win.
Munson, James Madison's all-time saves leader with 19, is very valuable, and he's a strong candidate for All-America honors. His success is nothing new; he posted a 2.84 ERA and four saves as a freshman, then put up a 2.85 ERA with nine saves as a sophomore. He showed 95 mph heat and a good slider in the Cape Cod League last summer, where he posted a 1.80 ERA.
He has shown similar stuff this year, and he should be one of the first college relievers drafted this spring.
"His fastball's 92-94, and he's got a solid-average slider," a National League crosschecker said. "His control is fair, but I think he's like a third-to-fifth-rounder. I think he's probably a setup guy—he probably does not have a dominant pitch to close, but he can be a seventh- or eighth-inning guy in the big leagues. He brings the same stuff out there every time."
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