College Hot Sheet: 20 College Baseball Standouts From The Past Week (4/25/23)

Welcome to the College Hot Sheet! Like our pro hot sheets, the College Hot Sheet recognizes some of the top performers around the country in college baseball after each weekend of play. Carlos Collazo and Peter Flaherty contributed to the College Hot Sheet this week.



1. TJ Fondtain, LHP/OF, San Diego State
Class: 2023
What He Did: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 14 K

While Louisiana State’s Paul Skenes has earned comparisons to former San Diego State righthander Stephen Strasburg, it is Fondtain who will now be solidly linked with the former collegiate superstar. Last Friday against Nevada, Fondtain threw the eighth no-hitter in SDSU history and the first since Strasburg did so against Air Force back in 2009. Fondtain had a perfect game intact through eight innings, but a leadoff walk in the ninth ended his bid and forced him to settle for the no-no after 14 punchouts and 127 pitches. –CC

2. Austin Deming, 3B, Brigham Young
Class: 2023
What He Did: 12-for-17 (.706), 4 HR, 4 2B, 11 R, 15 RBI

Deming was named the West Coast Conference player of the week after going ballistic against UNC Greensboro in a weekend series. He tallied at least three hits in all three games, managed two home runs in back-to-back games to round out the series and amassed 15 RBIs. Deming now leads BYU in most offensive categories, with a .436 average, .964 slugging percentage, 34 runs and 106 total bases. -CC

3. Payton Tolle, LHP, Wichita State
Class: 2024
What He Did: 9 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K

Tolle was outstanding in his start against then-No. 7 East Carolina, throwing a complete game shutout in which he notched 10 strikeouts and allowed only two singles. He pitched in the 89-92 mph range with his fastball, which topped out at 95. Tolle’s slider was his best pitch of the day, generating nine of the 6-foot-6 lefthander’s 16 whiffs. As if his performance on the mound wasn’t enough, Tolle also went 4-for-11 (.364) at the plate with a double, a home run and eight RBIs. Tolle’s ERA shrunk from 4.26 to 3.62, and across 59.2 innings he has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 66-to-13. – PF

4. Michael Brooks, 3B, Kansas
Class: 2023
What He Did: 14-for-20 (.700), 3 HR, 5 2B, 9 R, 10 RBI

Brooks exploded for the best individual week of his collegiate career. In Kansas’ midweek series against Air Force he went a whopping 8-for-9 with two doubles, two home runs and nine RBIs in just two games played. His production did not stop there, however, as in his weekend series against Oklahoma State he went 6-for-11 with three more doubles and a home run. The redshirt sophomore saw his average skyrocket from .224 to .299 while hitting his first three home runs of the 2023 season and raising his doubles total from four to nine. – PF

5. Kiefer Lord, RHP, Washington
Class: 2023 
What He Did: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K

Lord turned in his best start of the season last Saturday against Stanford, an eight-inning shutout where he racked up 10 strikeouts and no walks. He pitched in the 91-96 mph range and touched 97 three times, and he generated eight whiffs with his fastball. He also drew whiffs on four of the eight sliders that Stanford batters swung at. After getting pieced up for seven runs in a 2.1-inning start against Arizona the week prior, this shutout effort lowered Lord’s season ERA from 4.57 to 3.83. –CC

6. Nick Kurtz, 1B, Wake Forest
Class: 2024
What He Did: 7-for-12 (.583), 3 HR, 1 2B, 8 R, 13 RBI

In his first full week back since returning from an injury, Kurtz continued his extremely productive 2023 season with 13 RBIs, and four of his seven hits went for extra bases. Most notably, Kurtz went 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and a career-high nine RBIs in Wake Forest’s 23-4 drubbing of Pittsburgh. Kurtz and teammate Justin Johnson combined for 17 of Wake’s 22 RBIs on the day, a stat that landed each on this week’s Hot Sheet. Kurtz’s long levers and advanced barrel sense make him an incredibly difficult at-bat for opposing pitchers, as he’s able to make quality contact no matter where the pitch is located. On the season he is now hitting .369 with six doubles, 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 31 games played. – PF 

7. Colten Davis, RHP, Texas-Rio Grande Valley
Class: 2023
What He Did: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K

Davis had a career day against Abilene Christian on Saturday, when he threw a career-best eight innings and struck out a career-high 12 batters. The righthander has already surpassed his previous season-high mark of 50 strikeouts with 61 in 2023, and the 3.86 ERA he is currently sitting with would represent the best of his four-year career with Texas-Rio Grande Valley. –CC

8. Cameron Hansen, RHP, Charlotte
Class: 2023
What He Did: 8.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Hansen was named the Conference USA pitcher of the week after throwing 8.1 innings of shutout baseball against Alabama-Birmingham on Sunday. He took a no-hitter into the ninth and racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts on just 101 pitches—essentially matching the Friday night effort that lefthander Wyatt Hudepohl gave Charlotte a few nights prior. –CC

9. Mason Molina, LHP, Texas Tech
Class: 2024
What He Did: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 12 K

Molina on Friday had the best start of his Texas Tech career, throwing a career-high seven innings in which he struck out a career-best 12 hitters. Each of Molina’s two hits allowed were singles, and his command was strong with just one walk to his name. The sophomore lefthander got a total of 23 swings and misses on the day, making for an impressive overall miss rate of 49%. He pitched in the 89-92 mph range, but the pitch plays up due to how well Molina hides the baseball in his delivery as well as his above-average arm speed. Molina also mixed in an above-average changeup, a curveball and a slider. His ERA now sits at 3.96 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 63-to-24 in 50 innings pitched, as he looks to continue to establish himself as one of the better collegiate starting pitchers in the 2024 draft class. – PF

10. Quinn Mathews, LHP, Stanford
Class: 2023
What He Did: 9 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K

Mathews has been a workhorse starter for Stanford all spring. After a complete game effort last Friday against Washington, he’s seventh in the country among Division I pitchers with 69.1 innings under his belt. He pitched in the 90-93 mph range, but it was a low-80s changeup that proved most effective for Mathews in this effort—the pitch generated 11 whiffs. He lowered his season ERA to 2.60 and has now posted four consecutive double-digit strikeout games and has pitched at least five innings in every start he’s made. –CC

11. Ryley Preece, OF, Morehead State
Class: 2023
What He Did: 10-for-17 (.588), 5 HR, 2 2B, 10 R, 9 RBI

The junior outfielder turned in a fantastic week, propelling Morehead State to a 3-1 record in the process. Preece had multi-hit performances in each of his four games played, but his best game of the week came on Friday against Southeast Missouri in which he went 3-for-5 with three home runs and five RBIs. Preece has consistently gotten the ball up in the air this spring, and his plus power to the pull side has led to 17 home runs. He is now hitting .357 with 10 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBIs in 38 games. – PF

12. Chris Brito, 3B, Rutgers
Class: 2023
What He Did: 10-for-17 (.588), 2 HR, 5 2B, 7 R, 9 RBI

After a slow start to his 2023 season, Brito turned in the best week of his season to date. The senior first baseman’s above-average power was on full display, as seven of his 10 hits went for extra bases. His best performance came in the Scarlet Knights’ series opener against Northwestern, in which he went 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs and four RBIs. Brito was in dire need of an explosive week, and his average jumped from .234 to .276. In addition to his .276 average, Brito also has nine doubles, nine home runs and is second on the Rutgers roster with 36 RBIs in 40 games played. – PF

13. Wyatt Hudepohl, RHP, Charlotte
Class: 2023
What He Did: 8.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 K

Hudepohl has shoved in recent weeks, and last Friday against Alabama-Birmingham he posted his second-straight double-digit strikeout game, with 12 strikeouts in 8.2 innings of work. He threw 117 pitches in the game, touched 95 mph with his fastball and made hitters look silly with a mid-80s power curve that he consistently kept down and used to generate 15 whiffs. –CC

14. Justin Johnson, 2B, Wake Forest
Class: 2023
What He Did: 10-for-20 (.500), 2 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 5 R, 11 RBI

Johnson managed a hit in all four games last week, but it was a 5-for-6 performance against Pittsburgh on Saturday that cemented his spot on this week’s Hot Sheet. The entire Wake Forest lineup beat up on the Panthers, to the tune of a 23-4 blowout, but Johnson in particular stood out. He drilled an 82 mph slider to the opposite field fence in his first at-bat, homered to left-center in his second, singled through the left side of the infield in his third, lined a single past the third baseman in his fourth and finally added his second homer of the day in his sixth trip to the plate—an inside-out homer to right field. Johnson and teammate Nick Kurtz (also on today’s Hot Sheet) broke a program record for the most RBIs by a duo in a single game, with 17. –CC

15. Kevin Bazzell, 3B, Texas Tech
Class: 2024
What He Did: 11-for-21 (.524), 3 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI

Bazzell continued his excellent 2023 campaign, collecting 11 hits over the course of five games. The redshirt freshman had at least two hits in four of the five games, headlined by a 3-for-4 effort in Texas Tech’s series-opening win over Baylor. After last week, Bazzell now leads the country with 22 doubles and is second on the Red Raiders’ roster with 44 RBIs. He also is hitting .386 and his 31 walks to 19 strikeouts have contributed to a .486 on-base percentage. Bazzell has a simple setup with a compact swing at the plate, and his hands take a direct path to the baseball. He has great feel for the barrel and sprays line drives all over the yard. – PF

16. Nicholas Rucker, 1B, Eastern Illinois
Class: 2023
What He Did: 7-for-14 (.500), 2 HR, 2 2B, 6 R, 6 RBI

Rucker made the most of his short three-game week, going 7-for-14 with four extra-base hits. His best day at the plate was in the second game of Eastern Illinois’ Saturday doubleheader in which he went 4-for-6 with a double, a home run and five RBIs. Rucker wound up going 7-for-11 in his pair of Saturday games, which is where all of his production last week stems from. While he entered the week with a .298 average, Rucker exits with a strong .324 average to go along with seven doubles and four home runs. – PF

17. Dylan Crews, OF, Louisiana State
Class: 2023
What He Did: 7-for-15 (.467), 2 HR, 1 3B, 6 R, 7 RB

After more than half of the college season, Crews has finally seen his batting average dip below .500, and that mark went down after a week that would be a standout four-game stretch for most hitters in the country. The No. 1 prospect in the class has still reached base safely in every game so far this season, and he went 7-for-13 (.538) in a three-game sweep of Mississippi, including a two-homer effort on Saturday. He does an excellent job letting the ball travel and did so on a pair of fastballs over the weekend, homering against a 93 mph heater to left-center and taking an 89 mph fastball on the outer third to straightaway center. Crews is up to just 11 home runs on the season, but his average exit velocity is among the best in the country. –CC

18. Kyle Vinci, 1B, Princeton
Class: 2023
What He Did: 7-for-16 (.438), 4 HR, 1 2B, 6 R, 15 RBI

Vinci had a loud week at the plate which included three separate games in which he had four or more RBIs and at least one home run. Following a 2-for-4, four-RBI performance in Princeton’s midweek game against Rider, Vinci went 2-for-3 with two home runs and five RBIs in the Tigers’ series opener against Cornell. He would go on to punctuate his week with a 2-for-4, five-RBI game with a home run in the series finale. While Vinci is hitting .254 this spring, he leads the Ivy League with 17 home runs, and his 47 RBIs are tied for most in the conference. – PF

19. Nathanial Tate, RHP, East Tennessee State
Class: 2023
What He Did: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 13 K

Tate spun the best outing of his five-year collegiate career on Sunday, throwing a complete game shutout with 13 strikeouts. The righthander has a three-pitch mix that features a fastball, changeup and slider. His fastball tops out at 94 mph, and he’ll sit comfortably in the 88-91 mph range. Tate’s slider and changeup have miss rates of 37% and 32%, respectively, with his slider being the better of the two offerings with sharp, late bite. After his latest start, Tate lowered his ERA from 4.74 to 4.01 and now has a 58-to-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 58.1 innings pitched this spring. – PF

20. Chase Dollander, RHP, Tennessee
Class: 2023 
What He Did: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K

Dollander’s results across the board are a tick down from his sensational 2022 season, but last Saturday against Vanderbilt the righthander struck out nine and allowed just one run across seven innings—which marked the first time he’s pitched a full seven innings this season. Vanderbilt helped him out with a number of chases out of the zone, but he generated eight whiffs with his fastball, five with his slider and two on a mid-70s curveball that looked impressive in this outing. –CC 

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