College Baseball Week Nine Standouts: Georgia’s Charlie Condon Turns In A Three-Homer Day

Image credit: Charlie Condon (Photo by Carly Mackler/Getty Images)

This past weekend brought the best pitchers’ duel of the 2023 season, multiple three-home run games, 500-foot blasts and a complete game shutout against a top-10 team in the country. With each passing game, each player’s performance is magnified and becomes that much more important to his respective ball club and its tournament hopes.

Wyatt Hudepohl, RHP, Charlotte

Hudepohl this weekend spun his second gem of the season, throwing 8.1 scoreless innings against Rice. The junior righthander struck out 13, walked only two and allowed just four hits. He flashed a four-pitch mix that featured a fastball, curveball, changeup and cutter, an arsenal that generated 18 swings and misses. While Hudepohl did not display the premium velocity we have seen in past outings, his fastball was still up to 93 mph with riding life. It is a pitch that gets plenty of carry and ride through the zone, with hitters often swinging under it. His best offering is a sharp, downer curveball that grades out as a true plus pitch. Hudepohl has blossomed at Charlotte and has pitched his way to a 3.66 ERA with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 66-to-14 in 59 innings pitched this spring. 

Parker Smith, RHP, Rice

Opposite Hudepohl on Friday was Rice righthander Parker Smith. The two treated us to the best pitchers’ duel of the 2023 season to this point, with Smith throwing eight innings in which he struck out 14, walked one and allowed just one earned run on three hits. Smith pitched comfortably in the 92-95 mph range for the entirety of his 105-pitch outing. As they have been all season, Smith’s changeup and slider were his two best pitches—they accounted for 14 of his 18 swings and misses. His slider is above-average and flashes plus at times, while his changeup has its fair share of late bite. Smith has been one of the most underrated starting pitchers in college baseball this season, and his ERA now sits at 1.79 with 60 strikeouts to 14 walks in 55.1 innings pitched. 

Christian Coppola, RHP, Rutgers

Coppola on Friday was sparkling in his first career collegiate start, turning in eight shutout innings with 12 strikeouts and no walks against Michigan. The 6-foot-5 true freshman attacks from a three-quarter slot with a fastball, slider and changeup. His fastball on Friday had two-seam action at times, but also showed nice carry through the zone when elevated. Coppola’s best pitch is his slider, and it showed up on Friday night with 10 swings and misses. Like his fastball, he can manipulate its shape well, which allows the pitch to be effective against both righthanded and lefthanded hitters. On the season it has a ridiculous 57% miss rate and looks to be a legitimate 55-grade offering, while flashing plus potential already. In 33.1 innings pitched this season, Coppola has a 3.24 ERA with 40 strikeouts to 12 walks. 

Jace Stoffal, RHP, Oregon

Stoffal turned in the best start of the season for Oregon, throwing a complete game shutout against No. 7 Stanford with eight strikeouts, one walk and only three hits allowed. Stoffal relied on his strong fastball-changeup combo, which was working for him all night. His fastball was up to 95 with noticeable run and ride through the strike zone, while his changeup had 10-11 mph of separation off his fastball with downward action. Stoffal has excellent command of the pitch, and he will throw it even against righthanded hitters. In his last 29 innings pitched (four starts), he has allowed only three earned runs and after Friday’s complete game, has thrown 18 scoreless innings in a row. Stoffal has turned himself into a potential 2023 draft pick and he currently has a 2.64 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 44.1 innings pitched. 

Rhett Lowder, RHP, Wake Forest

As he has done time and time again this season, Lowder turned in a spectacular start on Saturday and was a key reason as to why No. 3 Wake Forest became the first road team to win a series at Jim Patterson Stadium since 2021. Lowder was locked in, throwing seven shutout innings in which he collected nine strikeouts, walked none and gave up five hits against a good Louisville lineup. The junior righthander was up to 95 mph on Saturday and pitched in the 91-94 mph range. His best fastball of the day came in a big moment against the Cardinals’ toughest hitter, Christian Knapczyk. Wake was holding onto a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but Louisville was threatening with two on and two out. It was the 10th pitch of the at-bat and Lowder front-doored a 95 mph heater to catch Knapczyk looking. Lowder’s slider was his best pitch of the day, as it garnered a whopping 12 whiffs. Lowder throws the pitch from close to a low three-quarter slot and he is able to spin it tightly with two-plane break. He continues to pitch like a potential first-round pick in 2023, and now has a 1.61 ERA with 67 strikeouts to only 11 walks in 56 innings pitched. 

Charlie Condon, 1B, Georgia

The 6-foot-6 Condon continued his excellent 2023 season, going 5-for-11 (.455) against No. 2 Florida with three home runs. Most notably, he went 3-for-4 with three home runs and five RBIs in Georgia’s series-opening win. All of Condon’s home runs had exit velocities of 105 mph or higher, punctuated by a 109 mph, 446-foot blast way out to left-center field. Condon has an under control operation for someone his stature and has a loose swing that allows him to whip the barrel through the zone. He has effortless raw power to all fields and is now hitting .450 this season with eight doubles, 16 home runs and 52 RBIs. As a redshirt freshman, Condon will be eligible for the 2024 draft, and he has already established himself as a premier hitter in the class. 

Kade Kretzschmar, RF, California

Kretzschmar had one of the best individual weeks of any hitter this season, as he went a ridiculous 15-for-21 (.714) with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs across five games played. He saw his average climb from .232 all the way to .319, and the graduate transfer from Dartmouth is enjoying another strong season after winning the Ivy League player of the year award in 2022. Kretzschmar stands slightly open at the plate with a strong base and a smooth lefthanded stroke with nice hand action. California is currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the NCAA tournament, but if it can keep getting production out of hitters like Kretzschmar, it will make it a tough out in the Pac-12 tournament. 

Chuck Ingram, OF, Wichita State

Ingram had one of the best weekends of any hitter in the country, as he went 10-for-14 (.714) with four doubles, two home runs and five RBIs in three games against Tulane. In the second game of the Shockers’ doubleheader on Friday, Ingram led off the game with a majestic 501-foot home run. In his second at-bat, Ingram pulverized a breaking ball on the outer half of the plate over the batter’s eye for his second long ball in as many at-bats. The junior outfielder put a bow on his outstanding weekend by going 4-for-5 with three doubles in Wichita State’s series-clinching win on Sunday. Ingram is as strong as they come with big-time bat speed and thunderous raw power. He is now hitting .344 with 14 doubles and six home runs after this weekend. 

Tanner Tweedt, C, Abilene Christian

Tweedt turned in a great 8-for-17 (.471) week that included a game against Texas Christian and a weekend series against Grand Canyon. After going 2-for-4 with a double against TCU, Tweedt exploded on Friday, going 4-for-5 with three home runs and nine RBIs. Tweedt stands with an open front side in an almost straight upright position and is able to generate above-average bat speed. He saw his average climb from .294 to .320 this week, and he now has seven home runs and 29 RBIs this spring. 

Luke Wood, 3B, College of Charleston

The junior third baseman was the biggest bat for a College of Charleston team that scored 43 runs across three games this weekend. Wood went 8-for-14 (.571) with four home runs and nine RBIs, raising his average from .263 to .297 and more than doubling his home run total. Wood’s best performance came on Friday—he went 3-for-5 with three home runs and seven RBIs. If Wood can keep producing, it will go a long way for a College of Charleston team that is currently fighting for an NCAA tournament berth.

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