Panthers lead D3 in stolen bases per game
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Following the finalization of the 2018 NCAA baseball statistics, Plymouth State University has been named the NCAA statistical champion in stolen bases per game.
The Panthers, who have embraced the aggressive style of third-year head coach Clay Jenkins, finished the year with an even 4.00 steals per game. Hood College (Md.) finished a distant second averaging 3.53 per game. Eastern Connecticut State averaged the second-most steals per game among Little East Conference (LEC) schools with 2.07.
Plymouth State shattered the school record with 140 stolen total bases in 2018, the fourth-highest total in the country. The previous season mark of 117 steals was set in 2016, Jenkins' first season at the helm. PSU was caught just 21 times for an .870 success rate that was better than every team in the nation with at least 110 steals.
PSU set a school record with 12 steals in its season-opening, 6-1 win over Framingham State on Mar. 6. The Panthers matched that output with another dozen swiped bags on Mar. 28 during an 11-4 win over Lyndon State. Plymouth State also stole ten bases in a 7-1 win over Colby on May 7.
In the three years since Jenkins took over as head coach PSU has stolen 347 bases, averaging nearly 116 per year, with an .824 success rate.
"We are very proud of this accomplishment, considering it has been a major point of emphasis for us," said Jenkins. "Our players train to steal bases during every practice, and our player's efforts increased the pace-of-play through their aggressive athleticism and speed. I rely heavily on assistant coaches Brandon Cox, Ryan McIntosh and Mike Laflamme to teach and educate our baserunners how to always be looking for the next base. Their vision and implementation of our running game is incredibly impressive, and they deserve an enormous amount of credit for bringing their goal of leading the nation to reality."
The Panthers finished the 2018 campaign with a 16-19 overall record, including wins over three nationally-ranked opponents. PSU went 5-9 in LEC play and made its tenth appearance in the Little East Tournament.
– 30 –