Ranking the Top 25 College Baseball Offensive Performances of the 2020 Season
Masterful performances at the plate by a single player can come in all different forms. There are games that feature multiple home runs, an obscene number of hits, boatloads of RBI, stolen base proficiency that creates runs seemingly out of thin air, and the best games are some combination of all of those.
Although it was gone too soon, the 2020 college baseball season gave us a colorful variety of those types of games from some of the stars of the sport and some lesser-known names as well.
Here are the 25 best from the abbreviated campaign.
1. Mississippi’s Cael Baker vs. Louisville - Feb. 15
4-4, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
One of the most vivid images of the entire season, Baker put the team on his back to help swing the Rebels’ season-opening series against Louisville. A day later, Ole Miss put the finishing touches on a series win and its path to the top ten got underway in earnest.
2. New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales vs. Iona - Feb. 23
5-6, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R
Gonzales lived up to every bit of the hype during the 2020 season, and this particular game against Iona stands above the rest. One day after drawing three walks against the Gaels in the second half of a doubleheader, Gonzales came out swinging and put up a cycle with seven runs batted in.
3. Memphis’ Hunter Goodman vs. Western Illinois - March 1
4-6, 2 2B, HR, 11 RBI, 2 R
Like Gonzales, Goodman was the clear focal point of the Memphis offense, and yet, he managed to rake. Of his 31 RBI on the season, 11 came in this game and a total of 22 came in this three-game series against Western Illinois.
4. Murray State’s Jordan Cozart vs. Austin Peay - March 8
5-6, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 4 R
Cozart ended the season hitting a cool. 417, and this performance, in his next-to-last game of the season, was his best. Three of his five homers and nine of his 19 total RBI came in this single game against the Governors.
5. Yale’s Jake Gehri vs. Old Dominion - March 1
5-5, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 R, SB
The Bulldogs salvaged the Sunday game in their series against Old Dominion, and Gehri was a big reason why. His two-run homer opened up a quick 5-0 lead for Yale, a two-run triple made it a 9-3 lead after ODU had clawed its way back in a bit, and a late three-run home run added icing on the cake on the way to an 18-7 victory.
6. Maryland’s Chris Alleyne vs. Bryant - March 6
6-6, 2B, HR, RBI, 4 R, SB
Going 6-for-6 in a game is nearly impossible under any circumstances, but doing it against a quality program like Bryant on a Friday night, when you’re seeing the best pitching a team has to offer, is a next-level achievement.
7. Arkansas State’s Jaylon Deshazier vs. Mississippi Valley State - Feb. 26
6-6, 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, BB
Like Alleyne against Bryant, Deshazier was locked in for this midweek game against Mississippi Valley State, which ended in a 22-2 win for the Red Wolves. ASU collected 21 hits as a team, but Deshazier had twice as many as any other player in the lineup that day.
8. Tennessee Tech’s Jason Hinchman vs. Evansville - Feb. 16
4-5, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, SB
Hinchman was already well on his way to backing up his 2019 season, which saw him hit 24 home runs, and his game against the Aces on Feb. 16 was a huge part of his scalding-hot start. It was one of two four-hit days he enjoyed and included three of his six total homers.
9. New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales vs. Texas Southern - Feb. 16
3-5, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 R, HBP
There are so many outstanding Nick Gonzales performances to choose from. This one, one of four multi-home run games for Gonzales and a high-water mark for RBI in a game, was an early highlight in a season full of them for the future first-round pick.
10. Ohio State’s Dillon Dingler vs. North Florida - March 10
3-5, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R
As the season came to a close, Dingler was really starting to heat up. This game, which featured three of his five homers, was part of a streak of the Ohio State catcher collecting multiple hits in four of his final five games.
11. Louisiana Tech’s Taylor Young vs. Maine - March 1
5-6, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, BB
In the final three games of the Bulldogs’ four-game series against Maine, Young went a combined 10-for-16, with this 5-for-6 performance coming in as the best of the bunch. The series against the Black Bears helped Young bounce back from a slow start and finish the season hitting above .300.
12. Texas Tech’s Nate Rombach vs. Houston Baptist - Feb. 15
3-4, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, HBP
Rombach’s big day was part of a massive offensive weekend for Texas Tech, and while this game was the peak for him personally, he also had a home run and two hits in each of the last two games of the Red Raiders’ four-game weekend.
13. New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales vs. Purdue-Fort Wayne - Feb. 29
3-5, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R, BB
It says all that needs to be said about how good Gonzales was during the 2020 season that he has three separate games on this list. This one, a three-homer game against the Mastodons, was his last truly huge game before things were shut down for good.
14. Louisiana-Monroe’s Ryan Humeniuk vs. Illinois State - Feb. 29
6-7, HR, RBI, 4 R, SB
Humeniuk came through in a big way in the Warhawks’ 26-8 win over Illinois State. His six hits were the most of any ULM player on that day, but teammate Trace Henry also went 5-for-5 and very well could have been included on this list as well. Humeniuk ended the season hitting .406 as part of a ULM offense hitting .316 as a team.
15. Troy’s William Sullivan vs. Northern Kentucky - Feb. 16
5-5, 4 2B, 5 RBI, 5 R
Sullivan proved to be a doubles machine in Troy’s 20-11 win over Northern Kentucky, collecting four of them while also driving in five runs. This game was part of a torrid start for Sullivan, who finished the season hitting .396 with a .468 on-base percentage.
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16. Texas-San Antonio’s Leyton Barry vs. Grambling - Feb. 29
5-6, 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R
Barry went off in his season debut on February 29, hitting two homers and driving in six runs. He stayed hot by going 3-for-4 with three stolen bases the next day, and then had two hits against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi the day after that.
17. Mississippi’s Tyler Keenan vs. Louisiana-Monroe - March 11
4-5, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R
In what turned out to be his final game of the 2020 season, Keenan went out with a bang, hitting two home runs to give him seven on the season. The early cancellation robs him of what was turning out to be a monster season. He finished the campaign hitting .403/.488/.791.
18. St. Bonaventure’s Tyler Kelder vs. Mount St. Mary’s - Feb. 22
4-6, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R
Along with Brendyn Stillman, Kelder was one of two St. Bonaventure hitters to collect four hits on this day against Mount St. Mary’s. Stillman smashed two homers, but Kelder took it one step further and had three. Kelder finished the season hitting .387 with seven homers.
19. South Carolina’s Wes Clarke vs. Northwestern - Feb. 22
3-4, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R
Clarke showed signs of being the type of middle-of-the-order bopper that can put a team on his back. While a shortened season will keep us from seeing what he can do over the course of an entire season, we caught a glimpse in this game against the Wildcats, as Clarke hit two homers and drove in seven.
20. Seattle’s Connor O’Brien vs. Boise State - March 6
5-5, 2 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB
O’Brien gave Seattle a little bit of everything in an 11-5 win against Boise State. He was on base constantly, showed some extra-base pop, drove in a couple of runs and swiped a couple of bags for good measure.
21. Miami’s Alex Toral vs. Pittsburgh - March 6
3-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Toral made a big statement in the Hurricanes’ ACC opener. Not only did he club two home runs, but the second of the pair came in a big spot. Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 11th inning, the first baseman stepped to the plate and hit one out to right to send Miami away with a victory.
22. College of Charleston’s Donald Hansis vs. Clemson - March 4
3-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, BB
Hansis came up big against in-state rival Clemson, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in six runs in an 11-2 win for the Cougars. It was the best game in a season that saw Hansis hit .289 with five home runs.
23. Arkansas’ Heston Kjerstad vs. Eastern Illinois - Feb. 16
3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R
Kjerstad was off to an outstanding start, hitting .448/.513/.791 with five doubles, six homers and 20 RBI. Consistency was the name of the game for the Arkansas outfielder, as he had a hit in every game of the 2020 season, but this game in the Razorbacks’ season-opening series against Eastern Illinois was his best.
24. Cincinnati’s Jace Mercer vs. Oakland - Feb. 28
1-1, 2B, 2 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 4 SB
Mercer’s performance against Oakland is proof that dominating a baseball game can mean a lot of different things. He had just one official at-bat, but he made the most of it with an RBI double. He also walked four times, swiped four bases, and he scored all five times he reached base.
25. Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson vs. New Mexico State - Feb. 25
0-1, 5 BB, 1 R
Torkelson went hitless in this midweek showdown with New Mexico State, but this game is a perfect encapsulation of his season. The Aggies walked him five times, including three times intentionally. Torkelson was pitched to very carefully all throughout 2020, and it would have been interesting to see if that had held up through June.