The calendar has turned to March, which means the college baseball season is in full swing. With teams from Minneapolis to College Park hosting midweek games, soon teams will be spending spring break playing four, five, and upwards to six games a week, with conference play to commence shortly thereafter.
But before the first games of March are played, this week’s power rankings highlights each teams MVP for the games played in February. From freshman emerging on the scene, seniors having breakout seasons and veterans pitching to their tried and true form, he’s a look at who led the way in February.
Previous power rankings: Week 1
#1 Indiana (6-1) Last Week: 1
Pauly Milto. The junior right-handed pitcher has opened the 2018 season with a 15-inning scoreless inning streak, giving Indiana a much needed stabilizer in a weekend rotation that has been inconsistent around him. Holding the opposition to a .104 average, Milton has struck out 13 batters and walked only two.
#2 Purdue (6-1) LW: 2
Nick Dalensandro. Dalesandro doesn’t lead Purdue in average, home runs or RBI, but the junior catcher has a team-leading .484 on-base percentage to headline a stout all-around effort. Dalesandro is batting .360, has stolen three bases and thrown out four baserunners in nine attempts.
#3 Minnesota (7-2) LW: 9
Jeff Fasching. Tossing 7.1 innings over three February outings, Fasching has yet to allow a run in leading a revamped Gopher bullpen. Minnesota’s Big Ten-leading .327 average will have them in the title chase, but strong pitching will be vital to a lengthy postseason run. Fasching is settling into the role of key relief with an 8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
#4 Iowa (6-1) LW: 7
Nick Allgeyer. The Hawkeye coaching staff was eager to see what a healthy Allgeyer would bring to a completely new weekend rotation. It’s easy to see why. In 12 innings over two starts, Allgeyer has allowed only one run, for a .75 ERA, eight hits and has struck out 15 batters against three weeks. Allgeyer has nicely stepped into Iowa’s ace role.
#5 Ohio State (5-3) LW: 6
Noah McGowan. Matching his 2017 production, McGowan’s 19 RBI through two weeks leads the Big Ten and is second in the country. With a .429 average, four doubles and three home runs, the senior first baseman has become the ideal cleanup batter for Ohio State.
#6 Nebraska (5-3) LW: 5
Luis Alvarado. Stepping into the Friday role for the Huskers in only his second season pitcher, Alvarado has been the ace Darin Erstad needs, especially as Nebraska’s pitching depth continues to be ravaged by injuries. Alvarado holds a 2.53 ERA over 10.2 innings, striking out 14 batters and walking three.
#7 Illinois (3-3) LW: 10
Bren Spillane. While preseason All-10 Innings picks Jack Yalowitz, Michael Massey and Zac Taylor have had slow starts, Spillane is enjoying a breakout season in helping Illinois stay afloat in February. Boasting a .391 average, the junior first baseman has showed some speed, with three steals, and some pop, with three doubles.
#8 Maryland (4-4) LW: 3
Taylor Bloom. A four-game losing streak saw Maryland tumble in this week’s power rankings. But with Bloom pitching the way he has, prolonged losing streaks should be few and far between. Bloom has been steady, pitching seven innings in both of his two Friday starts, allowing four runs for a 2.57 ERA.
#9 Penn State (3-3) LW: 4
Justin Hagenman. First-year Penn State pitching coach Josh Newman has to be delighted with the results of his new ace. Hagenman has allowed only one run over two starts, striking out 12 batters in 11 innings. The junior right-hander has issued only two walks and scattered nine hits.
#10 Michigan State (2-5) LW: 13
Ethan Landon. It’s been a bounce-back season for the right-hander who was removed from the Spartan rotation last season. Starting a third straight year as Jake Boss’ Saturday starter, Landon is off to a strong start, allowing three runs over 11.1 innings. Pitching to a 2.38 ERA, Landon has struck out 15 batters while yet to issue a walk.
#11 Michigan (2-5) LW: 8
Alec Rennard. The right-handed pitcher has done his part to ensure his senior season in Ann Arbor isn’t a rebuilding year. Michigan’s Friday starter, Rennard has allowed two runs over 11 innings, conceded nine hits, issued one walk and struck out seven batters. Rennard’s first two starts are the outings Michigan needs as a green team finds its form.
#12 Rutgers (3-4) LW: 11
Eric Heatter. College baseball hasn’t been too difficult for the freshman left-hander so far. After earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for a four-inning scoreless outing against Miami, Heatter allowed three runs over six innings against Boston College in his first career start. With 10 strikeouts and one walk, Heatter gives RU a strong starting option.
#13 Northwestern (2-4) LW: 12
Willie Bourbon. Bourbon has 24 at-bats through the Northwestern’s six games. Bourbon’s nine hits, for a .375 average, break down as: two singles, two doubles, two triples, three home runs. That adds up 24 bases. That equals a 1.000 slugging percentage.