College Baseball Week 11 Standouts: Mac Horvath Turns In Stellar Offensive Week

Image credit: Mac Horvath (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There were excellent performances abound this week with multiple complete game shutouts, a top mid-major draft prospect collecting 15 strikeouts, two potential top-100 draft selections shining at the plate and a Power Five two-way player contributing on both sides of the baseball to help lead his team to a ranked series win on the road. 

Jake Shirk, RHP, Wright State

Shirk on Saturday spun not only the best outing of his collegiate career, but of any pitcher across the country this week. The 6-foot-2 righthander threw a complete game shutout in which he struck out 14, walked none and allowed just one hit—an infield single. After surrendering the first and only hit of his outing, Shirk went on to retire the last 25 hitters in a row. Shirk has a short arm action and throws from a mid three-quarter slot with an arsenal that features a fastball, slider and changeup. Both the slider and changeup have flashed plus this season, while he will pitch in the upper 80s to low 90s with his fastball. Shirk’s ERA now sits at 4.74 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 54-to-13 in 62.2 innings pitched. 

Mac Horvath, 3B, North Carolina

Horvath had the best week of any hitter in the country, as he went 9-for-16 (.563) with one double, five home runs and 19 RBIs in four games played. Horvath set the tone for his monster week with a 3-for-4, two-home run and eight-RBI performance in a midweek game against UNC-Greensboro. After a quiet game on Friday in which he went 1-for-4, Horvath exploded on Saturday and went 5-for-8 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in North Carolina’s doubleheader sweep of Virginia Tech. Horvath raised his RBI total from 37 to 56, and his average on the season is now .316. He has 18 doubles and 19 home runs to his name and has also stolen 19 bases. While a 20-home run, 20-stolen base season for Horvath is bound to happen at this point, there is also a chance for a 25-25 season. The junior from Rochester, Minn. is a likely top-100 pick in this year’s draft and has a chance to be selected in the top two rounds. 

Matt Duffy, RHP, Canisius

Duffy this weekend continued to show why he is the best 2023 pitching prospect in the MAAC, turning in seven shutout innings with 14 strikeouts and only one hit allowed. Duffy generated a whopping 24 total swings and misses in the outing, which equates to an overall miss rate of 44%. His low-90s fastball got 15 swings and misses alone, while his slider and changeup got five and four, respectively. In his last three starts (19 innings pitched), Duffy has allowed three earned runs and struck out 28. Since April 6, he has seen his ERA shrink from 4.99 down to 3.84. In 58.2 innings pitched, he boasts a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 84-to-20.

Jake Bloss, RHP, Georgetown

Over the course of this season, Bloss has pitched himself into being one of the most coveted senior signs in this year’s draft. He consistently turns in quality starts, and his outing on Saturday against St. John’s was no different. Bloss threw seven shutout innings, struck out 12 and allowed one walk and one hit. His explosive fastball topped out at 98 mph, and it is a pitch that has big-time ride and excellent shape. Bloss also features two different breaking balls—a slider and a curveball, with each grading out as plus pitches. His curveball has sharp 12-to-6 movement with plenty of depth, while his tight-spinning slider also misses bats. Bloss is enjoying a career year on the mound in which he has a 2.14 ERA with 71 strikeouts to 19 walks across 59 innings pitched. 

Tanner Hall, RHP, Southern Mississippi

For the last two seasons, Hall has been the ace of the Southern Mississippi pitching staff. He is a command-over-stuff kind of arm and while he might not have premium velocity, nothing he throws is straight and he avoids hard contact. Hall turned in one of the best starts of his collegiate career on Friday, as over the course of seven innings he allowed one earned run, three hits and set a new career high in strikeouts with 15. He was able to generate an eye-popping 29 swings and misses (56% miss rate), 27 of which came against his fastball-changeup combination. Hall’s fastball had late sink and run to it and his changeup essentially fell off a table right before it crossed home plate. While he did not throw it much on Friday, Hall also features a sweeping slider with plenty of horizontal movement that flashes plus at times. The 6-foot-1 righthander has an ERA of 2.77 with 69 strikeouts against 25 walks in 65 innings pitched. 

Caden Grice, LHP/1B, Clemson

In what was the series-deciding game against No. 18 Boston College, Grice shut down the Eagles and was the main reason as to why Clemson was able to pick up a pivotal series win. Grice on Saturday threw eight innings and allowed only two hits, one earned run and struck out nine. While Grice is known for his thunderous raw power at the plate, he has been outstanding on the mound this season to the tune of a 3.50 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 43.2 innings pitched. He throws from a high three-quarter slot with a quick arm. Grice’s fastball will top out at 95 mph, and it is an offering he will supplement with an above-average slurvy slider that has nice depth to it and a changeup with downward bite. Grice this week also went 7-for-16 (.438) at the dish with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs. His average for the season is .312 and he has hit 12 doubles, 11 home runs and has driven in 44 runs in 42 games played.  

Jay Thomason, 3B, Air Force

Across three games this week, Thomason went 10-for-15 (.667) with two doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs. While each of his three games were multi-hit efforts, the junior third baseman went 6-for-6 on Sunday with a double, two home runs and 10 RBIs. Thomason has an athletic build and an open stance with a high handset in the box. He has a bit of a leg kick, but he does a nice job of getting into his launch position on time. Thomason has plus bat speed and drives the ball with authority to all fields. This year he is hitting .320 with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 54 RBIs in 43 games.  

Luke Keaschall, 2B, Arizona State

Keaschall had a fantastic five-game week in which he went 11-for-21 (.524) with four doubles, four home runs and seven RBIs. Most notably, the junior second baseman went 5-for-5 with two doubles and a home run in Arizona State’s midweek win over Cal State Fullerton. Although the Sun Devils dropped their weekend series, Keaschall went 3-for-3 with a double and two home runs on Saturday against Oregon. His 23 doubles are the highest individual total in the country, but he is also hitting .375 with 14 home runs and 16 stolen bases. Keaschall has an advanced feel for the barrel and is consistently generating quality contact. His swing is tailored to get the ball up in the air with backspin, and he does a great job of extending through the baseball. Keaschall is a huge reason for the Sun Devils’ quick turnaround and is a likely day one selection in this year’s draft. 

Brock Vradenburg, 1B, Michigan State

The towering 6-foot-7 first baseman enjoyed an 8-for-14 (.571) week with five doubles, two home runs and six RBIs in four games played. Vradenburg recorded at least one double in each game this week, highlighted by a 3-for-3 day on Saturday in which he doubled, hit two home runs and had four RBIs. Vradenburg has been one of the best hitters in the country this season, and is currently hitting .442 with 18 doubles, four triples, 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in 41 games. What might be most impressive is that he has a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 28-to-20, a testament to his advanced approach and keen eye in the box. 

Blake Evans, SS, Georgia Southern

Evans enjoyed an extremely productive weekend series against Louisiana-Monroe, going 8-for-13 (.615) with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs. Evans’ best performance came on Saturday afternoon, a game in which Georgia Southern scored a program-record 35 runs. He went 5-for-6 with a double, two home runs and six RBIs. The veteran shortstop is currently hitting .323 with seven doubles, six home runs and 31 RBIs.

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