The James Madison University baseball team is off to another good start this season, and one of the main reasons is former All-Metro Player of the Year Matt Deuchler.
The junior catcher from Centennial is hitting .364 for the Dukes (18-5), who figure to be in strong contention for an NCAA tournament berth for the third straight year.
Deuchler also has a .568 slugging average this season, six doubles and eight RBIs while batting .363 (16-for-44). A strong defensive catcher, he has committed only two errors this season.
Deuchler and senior Dustin Bowman are once again sharing the catching duties this season, which is coach Spanky McFarland's style.
"It feels good to know we are going to put a very good college catcher behind the plate every game," McFarland said.
JMU has a 91-50-1 record during Deuchler's career in Harrisonburg, Va. The former Howard County standout hit .315 his freshman year and .257 last year.
Weiss tries to break through
Last year at this time, Brent Weiss was a hitting machine for the St. Paul's baseball team.
Now the freshman is the third-string catcher and reserve left fielder for Notre Dame, and is still waiting for his first hit of the season (0-for-11).
Never fear, said Irish coach Paul Mainieri this week.
"We think Brent's going to be a great player for us," Mainieri said. "He is the heir apparent to Brian Stavisky [the team's leading hitter] in left field. He just has to be a little patient. I told him when I recruited him he would be our starting designated hitter if some guys went to the pros, or he'd be right where he is."
The All-Metro first-team choice batted .450 his senior year and broke Justin Singleton's career record of 17 home runs at St. Paul's.
Benner: more strikes
Radford's Deana Benner, a former softball player at Northeast-Anne Arundel, has struck out 42 batters and walked 21 in a team-high 47 innings this season.
But Benner has a 1-4 record and a 4.32 ERA.
Benner, a junior, is struggling with a .234 average, but she does have 13 RBIs for the 6-24 Highlanders.
Keith Brunst (Severna Park) is battling an early season slump after an outstanding junior year at Radford (Va.) University.
The senior first baseman is hitting .242 through 19 games, but he does have two home runs and eight RBIs. As a junior, Brunst batted .317 with nine home runs and 39 RBIs.
Freshman catcher Scott Headd (Dulaney) has started three games and played in 10 for the University of Virginia baseball team. Headd is batting .222 (4-for-18) for the Cavaliers (15-9, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Freshman Jasmine DeGross (Notre Dame Prep) finished seventh in the 100-yard butterfly at the NCAA Division II swimming championships two weekends ago in Orlando, Fla., for the University of Tampa. DeGross also qualified for the championships in the 200 fly and 50 free.
Junior Bobby Bergin (Mount Hebron) was named an All-American at the NCAA Division III indoor track and field championships. He finished second in the high jump (6 feet, 11 3/4 inches).
Senior captain Matt McFarland (Severn) and freshman Trip Deeley (St. Paul's) combined for nine goals and eight assists in the first six Dickinson College lacrosse games.
Freshman catcher Stephanie Adams (Northeast) is hitting .270 in 22 games for Radford.
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