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Chase Burns, Hagen Smith Highlight NCAA Week 14 Standouts (Hot Sheet)

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Image credit: Chase Burns (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

The College Hot Sheet has returned for the 2024 season. Like our pro Hot Sheet that runs during the minor league season, we’re recognizing some of the top performers from around the country in college baseball after each weekend of play. Carlos Collazo and Peter Flaherty contributed to the College Hot Sheet this week. Players are listed in alphabetical order.

You can find our updated 2024 draft rankings here. All of our college coverage each week during the season can be found here.

Jake Babuschak, RHP, Sacred Heart

Class: 2024

What He Did: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K

After a rocky April, Babuschak allowed just four runs across his last three starts (22 innings) of the regular season. The senior righthander last Thursday spun his second complete-game shutout of the season and allowed just two singles with a career-high 10 strikeouts. Babuschank generated 17 whiffs and induced at least three swings-and-misses with all four of his offerings. His fastball tops out at 93 with some life at the top of the zone, but hit slider and changeup are his go-to swing-and-miss pitches with miss rates of 31% and 29%, respectively. Babuschak this season has a 4.24 ERA with a career-best 74 strikeouts to 23 walks across 80.2 innings. -PF

Chase Burns, RHP, Wake Forest

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 13 K

Burns finished the regular season with four straight games featuring 13 or more strikeouts and sits as the national leader with 169 strikeouts through 14 starts and 89 innings on the season—19 more than No. 2 Hagen Smith. You know the recipe at this point. Burns sat in the upper 90s with his fastball and used an upper-80s slider and low-80s curveball to make hitters look silly. His overall miss rate through 14 starts per Synergy Sports is an insane 50%, including a 38% miss rate on his fastball, 64% miss rate on the slider and 62% miss rate on the curveball. –CC

Ian Cooke, RHP, Connecticut

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K

Cooke on Saturday spun his third quality start in four weeks, as across seven innings he allowed just one run and collected 10 strikeouts. The physical righthander relied heavily on his low-80s slider, a pitch he threw 53% of the time and generated 11 whiffs with. It flashed two-plane tilt with more depth than sweep, and was especially effective against lefthanded hitters. Cooke supplemented his slider with a low-90s fastball that showed carrying life through the zone. This season, he pitched his way to a 4.50 ERA with a career-high 81 strikeouts to 23 walks in 60 innings. -PF

Anthony Eyanson, RHP, UC San Diego

Class: 2025

What He Did: 9 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

After throwing a career-high 8.2 innings on April 19th, Eyanson on Friday fired his first complete-game and allowed one run on four hits. He started the game with four hitless innings before surrendering a leadoff double in the fifth. Eyanson generated just 10 swings and misses, though seven came on his slider. It is a pitch Eyanson has an advanced feel for, and he does a nice job of manipulating its shape. He pitches with his fastball in the low-90s and also features a high-70s curveball that flashes depth and some downward bite. Eyanson has a low-effort, under control operation on the mound with a clean arm stroke. He has some physicality in his lower-half and is an advanced strike thrower who looks the part of a starter at the next level. Eyanson this season has pitched his way to a 3.07 ERA with 85 strikeouts to 24 walks across 82 innings. He has top-five round upside in next year’s draft. -PF

Carter Gaston, RHP, Portland

Class: 2025

What He Did: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Gaston capped off what was a fantastic regular season by throwing his first complete-game shutout. He allowed five hits—all of which were singles—walked a pair and collected six strikeouts. Following a leadoff single in the fifth inning, Gaston settled in and finished the game with five-straight hitless innings. His bread-and-butter pitches are a high-70s changeup and a low-80s slider that have generated whiff rates of 40% and 33%, respectively. Gaston throws his changeup to both right and lefthanded hitters, and it flashes fade to the arm side—especially against lefthanded hitters—as well as plenty of late tumble. His slider has flashed above-average, and at times will show late sweeping life. Gaston’s 11 wins this season rank second nationally and his 2.38 ERA is tops in the WCC. He is an intriguing draft follow for next year. -PF

Brian Holiday, RHP, Oklahoma State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 14 K

Holiday matched his season-best with 14 strikeouts against Houston on Saturday, which upped his season total to 111 strikeouts—good for second-most in the Big 12 behind only TCU’s Payton Tolle. The 5-foot-11 righthander sat around 92 mph with his fastball but threw the pitch for strikes at a 74% clip in this game and racked up 14 whiffs on the heater and 14 more with his low-80s slider. He has a 3.32 ERA through 14 starts and 95 innings with a 29.3% strikeout rate and 4.7% walk rate. –CC

Jacob Jenkins-Cowart, OF, ECU

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7-for-14 (.500), 11 RBI, 5 R, 3 HR, 1 2B, 0 BB, 2 K

Jenkins-Cowart had a strong finish to the regular season and had a pair of multi-hit games in a three-game series against Rice. The highlight game was a 4-for-5 effort that featured two home runs and a double, pushing Jenkins-Cowart’s home run total to 11 on the season—two shy of the 13-homer mark he reached as a freshman in 2022. All three of Jenkins-Cowart’s home runs went to the opposite field which has been a bit of a theme for him this year. Five of his 11 homers have gone to left field. He’s slashing .348/.395/.566 with a career-low 14.3% strikeout rate and 7.1% walk rate. –CC

Eddie King Jr., OF, Louisville

Class: 2024

What He Did: 6-for-10 (.600), 8 RBI, 4 R, 5 HR, 1 BB, 3 K

King Jr. was the Cardinals’ catalyst this weekend in their sweep of Notre Dame. He belted at least one home run in each of his three games, bookended by a pair of multi-homer efforts. King Jr. on Thursday kept Louisville in the game, as his two long balls between the second and fourth innings erased a two-run deficit to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. On Sunday, the junior outfielder picked up right where he left off and hammered a solo home run in his first at-bat. King Jr. has a lean, athletic frame and stands almost completely upright in the box. There is some length in his operation, but King Jr. has done a nice job this season of creating leverage in his swing. He has set new career-highs in nearly every major offensive category, and finishes the regular season slashing .324/.410/.684 with seven doubles, 14 home runs and 43 RBIs. -PF

Aidan Knaak, RHP, Clemson

Class: 2026

What He Did: 6 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K

Knaak has had a tremendous freshman season with Clemson and capped the regular season with a six-inning shutout against Boston College with a career-best 11 strikeouts. He was hit around a bit but didn’t allow a walk and managed to keep the Eagles off the board. He sat around 92 mph and touched 94 in this game while mixing in an upper-70s changeup and curveball around 80 mph—each of which he used to pound the strike zone. He has a 2.96 ERA through 13 starts and 73 innings with a 32% strikeout rate and 8.6% walk rate. –CC

Chayton Krauss, 1B, Dallas Baptist

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8-for-14 (.571), 6 RBI, 8 R, 3 HR, 1 2B, 2 BB, 4 K

It was an impressive weekend for DBU’s entire offense who put up 35 runs across three games, but Krauss led the charge. On Thursday, he blasted two home runs in the first inning before crushing another in game two of the twin bill. Krauss doesn’t have the most aesthetically pleasing operation in the box, but his big-time natural strength enables him to drive the baseball with authority to all parts of the field. Krauss heads into the postseason hitting .350/.408/.631 with 14 doubles, 15 home runs and a team-leading 58 RBIs. -PF

Austin Kryszczuk, 1B, UNLV

Class: 2024

What He Did: 4-for-9 (.444), 11 RBI, 5 R, 4 HR, 1 BB, 1 K

The fifth-year senior made the most of his two games this week, turning in a pair of multi-home run performances en route to an 11 RBI weekend. While Kryszczuk crushed two late-inning homers on Thursday, his game on Saturday in the regular season finale was his best of the season. After setting the tone with a three-run shot in the first inning, Kryszczuk hammered a grand slam in the third to up his single-game RBI total to seven. He plays bigger than his 5-foot-8 frame might indicate and has some quickness in his hands with above-average power to the pull side. Kryszczuk has enjoyed a career year to the tune of a .372/.477/.779 slash line with 20 doubles, 19 home runs and 75 RBIs. -PF

Roman Kuntz, 1B, Morehead State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 7-for-16 (.438), 9 R, 9 RBI, 3 HR, 4 BB, 1 K

For much of the season, prominent draft names like Jac Caglianone, Travis Bazzana and Braden Montgomery were the closest home run threats to Georgia’s Charlie Condon. After the conclusion of the regular season though it’s only Condon and Morehead State first baseman Roman Kuntz who have cleared the 30-homer mark. Kuntz homered three times last week against SIUE, including a 3-for-4 Thursday game with two homers, to get to 31 homers on the season. He finished the regular season with a .361/.463/.861 slash line with an 11.2% strikeout rate and 14.2% walk rate. –CC

Josh Kuroda-Grauer, SS, Rutgers

Class: 2024

What He Did: 5-for-14 (.357), 2 R, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K

There were louder individual offensive weeks than what Kuroda-Grauer managed in a three-game set against Ohio State but it’s also worth pointing out his five hits were enough to push him into the national hits lead over Charlie Condon. Kuroda-Grauer now leads D-I hitters with 95—two ahead of Condon—and is looking at a career-best offensive season across the board with a .428/.492/.590 slash line including five home runs, 19 doubles and 24 stolen bases. –CC

Chipper Menard, LHP, Louisiana-Monroe

Class: 2024

What He Did: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Menard didn’t get the start against Arkansas State last Friday but he had the workload of a starter with 5.1 shutout innings of relief that included a season-best 10 strikeouts while allowing just one walk and one hit. That’s a heck of a way to go out in the final appearance of his college career. He posted a 4.60 ERA through 18 appearances and 47 innings with a career-best 26.8% strikeout rate and 8.2% walk rate. –CC

Zander Sechrist, LHP, Tennessee

Class: 2024

What He Did: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Sechrist on Saturday spun six shutout innings to help lead Tennessee to its second regular season SEC title in the last three seasons. The pitchability lefty allowed only four singles and pounded the strike zone with his fastball-slider combination. What Sechrist lacks in pure stuff, he makes up for in plus control and the ability to stay off the barrel of opposing hitters. He attacks from a low three-quarter slot, and his slider is his best pitch—particularly against lefthanded hitters—as it flashes long, sweeping life. Sechrist this season has worked a 4.01 ERA with a career-high 52 strikeouts to just 10 walks across 49.1 innings. -PF

Jaxon Shineflew, LHP, South Alabama

Class: 2026

What He Did: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Shineflew pitched mostly out of the bullpen for South Alabama in his freshman season but got his second start of the year last Friday and made the most of it. He shutout Louisiana over six complete innings and racked up a career-best 10 strikeouts—four more than he managed in any other outing this season. Shineflew pitches in the upper 80s with his fastball and will touch 91-92 at peak velocity but did a nice job attacking the top of the zone with the fastball in this game and racked up 12 whiffs, all of which were in the upper two thirds of the zone or above it. He posted a 4.43 ERA through 16 appearances and 40.2 innings with a 25.6% strikeout rate and 11.6% walk rate. –CC

Hagen Smith, LHP, Arkansas

Class: 2024

What He Did: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 14 K

Smith had a fun final regular season outing against Texas A&M and shut out one of the better offenses in the country over six innings. He tallied his third 14-strikeout or more game of the season and also faced potential top-five overall pick Braden Montgomery three times and struck him out in each at-bat—getting three different swinging strikes with left-on-right sliders. While Burns leads the country in total strikeouts, Smith finished the regular season with a slight edge in strikeout rate at 50.2% compared to Burns’ 49.6% mark. –CC

Jacob Tobias, 1B, Arizona State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8-for-13 (.615), 13 RBI, 7 R, 3 HR, 1 2B, 3 BB, 1 K

Tobias had the most productive weekend of any hitter in the country and drove in a whopping 13 runs across three games. After driving in six runs in last weekend’s series finale against Stanford, Tobias on Thursday picked up where he left off and went a perfect 5-for-5 with two home runs and a career-high eight RBIs. Tobias wasn’t done, though, as in his first at-bat on Friday he drove a two-run home run out to centerfield. He put the cherry on top of what was arguably the best weekend of his college career by hitting a walk-off single to cap off a six-run ninth inning. Tobias has a simple setup in the box with a bit of an uphill bat path and present power to the pull side. He tapped into more power this year and finished the regular season with new career-highs in average (.329), doubles (14) and home runs (18). -PF

Connor Walsh, OF, Pepperdine

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8-for-16 (.500), 12 RBI, 5 R, 3 HR, 2 2B, 4 BB, 4 K

The well-traveled outfielder drove in 12 runs between Thursday and Friday to lead Pepperdine to a sweep of Gonzaga. In the series opener, Walsh drove in seven runs—four of which came on a seventh-inning grand slam—before swatting two more home runs and an RBI double on Friday. Walsh has a crouched setup in the box with a minimal load, small stride and quick hands. Since April 30, Walsh has raised his average from .238 to .299 and finishes the regular season with 15 extra-base hits. -PF

Jackson Wentworth, RHP, Kansas State

Class: 2024

What He Did: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K

Wentworth pitched most of the season as a reliever but has spent the last month or so in a starting role. He finished the season with his best outing of the year: an eight-inning, 11-strikeout game against BYU that was a single-season high in strikeouts and put him at 100 strikeouts on the year. In this outing he pitched heavily off his low-80s power curveball and used the pitch to record 11 whiffs and finish five of his strikeouts. He averaged 92 mph on the fastball and mixed in an upper-80s cutter and mid-80s changeup. –CC

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