A Perfect Ten
A day after watching his brother pitch impressively at Dodger Stadium in front of nearly 27,000 fans, Jered Weaver returned to the hill Friday with Jeff among the 309 in attendance as the visiting Long Beach State 49ers defeated Cal State Northridge, 15-4, in the Big West Conference opener.
Despite allowing three runs in a game for the first time this season, the younger Weaver ran his record to 10-0 in ten starts. The junior righthander was far from his best, matching his season-low with six strikeouts and allowing two walks for only the second time this year. He also gave up a home run and benefited from a couple of outstanding defensive plays by center fielder Steve Velazco. (Box Score)
After the game, Weaver told beat writer Gordon Verrell of the (Long Beach) Press-Telegram:
"I wasn't 100 percent. I didn't have my good stuff at times. But I was pitching with a lead, and you're going to pitch a little differently than if it's tied."
Coach Mike Weathers echoed Weaver's comments:
"He didn't have his great stuff. He didn't strike everybody out. But he did a good job pitching with the lead."
The All-American leads the nation in wins (10) and strikeouts (106) and is fifth in ERA (1.13).
DIVISION I PITCHING LEADERS
1 Jered Weaver, LBSU 10
1 Alan Drechsler, LeMoyne 0.84
1 Jered Weaver, LBSU 106
Source: Boyd's World
Last year, Weaver was third in wins (14) and sixth in strikeouts (144) and ERA (1.96). Only Jeff Niemann of Rice ranked ahead of Weaver in all three stats with 17 wins, 156 Ks, and an ERA of 1.70. The 6'9", 260 pound Owl got off to a slow start this year owing to minor elbow surgery last fall but has pitched well of late and is now 5-2 on the season with 60 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.68.
Weaver, Niemann, and Justin Verlander of Old Dominion are considered three of the top pitching prospects. Niemann's teammates Philip Humber and Wade Townsend are also potential first-round picks in the upcoming draft.