College Catch-Up: How Braves players have done in March

Kodey Shojinaga

The NCAA college baseball season is upon us, and, for fans of the Cape Cod Baseball League, that means summer baseball is almost here.

The back-to-back reigning champion Bourne Braves currently has 42 players on its anticipated Opening Day roster.

Through March the Braves roster features 17 players on teams represented in the USA TODAY Sports Baseball Coaches Poll.

Here is a check-in on how some of this season’s Braves are faring in the month of March.

A broken wrist has ended the spring season for first baseman Garrett Michel (Virginia Tech). The Hokies announced on March 1 after a 6-3 win against Stony Brook. Through nine games this season, Michel was batting .400 with five doubles, four homers, and an OPS of 1.361.

A statement from the team, according to Tim Thomas of the Tech Lunch Pail, concluded with the following statement: “He is slated to return to the Bourne Braves for the 2024 Cape Cod Baseball League season.”

Speaking of the Hokies, sophomore Griffin Stieg, had five starts in March and earned four wins. He threw 7.2 innings, allowing one earned run while striking out six in a win at Louisville on March 17. That St. Patrick’s Day game also featured lefty reliever Justin West (Louisville), who pitched 1.2 innings and allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out three. He’s appeared in five games in March, pitching 7.2 innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out 13 and issuing one walk for the Cardinals.

Freshman righty Zack Konstantinovsky (Rutgers) has found a groove in his last two starts but doesn’t have a win to show for it. In his last two starts against UConn and Michigan State, Konstantinovsky has pitched 11.1 innings, allowing one run on 13 hits and three walks while striking out 10.

Marek Houston (Wake Forest) ended March riding a seven-game hitting streak. He’s gone 15-for-35 in that stretch, including a 2-for-4 performance against North Carolina on 3/31 that included a home run, a double, three RBI, and two runs scored. Houston is hitting .358 with three homers, 13 RBI, and 29 runs scored for the Demon Deacons.

While Houston ended March with a hitting streak, Kodey Shojinaga (Kansas) began the month with a nine-game hitting streak, highlighted by a 4-for-6 performance against Cincinnati that included four RBI, a double and one run scored. So far this season, Shojinaga is hitting .300 with an OBP of .412 while slugging .528 for the Jayhawks.

Freshman righty Aidan Knaak (Clemson) ended March in dominating fashion. He threw seven innings of two-hit baseball—and striking out 10—in a shutout win against Miami on 3/30. He also struck out nine and allowed two runs (one earned) over 6.1 innings during an 8-6 road win against Duke on 3/17.

Adonys Guzman (Arizona) went hitless in just two of 12 games in March and has had a hit in nine of his last 10 games for the Wildcats. The catcher, formerly of Boston College, is hitting .339 on the year thus far.

The hits keep on coming for sophomore Blake Barthol (Coastal Carolina). He recorded 11 multi-hit games, including six straight. He had four three-hit games in March, including a 3-for-4, three-homer, six-RBI performance against Michigan on 3/9. On the season, Barthol is hitting .348 with eight homers, 14 RBI, 38 hits, and 44 runs scored for the Chanticleers.

In six of his last eight appearances, Gabe Gaeckle (Arkansas) has held opponents scoreless across 10.2 innings. Despite a blow-up against Auburn on 3/23 and allowing a run on two hits against Central Arkansas on 3/5, Gaeckle has shut down opposing hitters in March—allowing no runs on three hits while striking out 15.

Top photo of Kodey Shojinaga