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Several Pitt baseball position players among nation's statistical leaders

Photo used with permission of University of Pittsburgh athletics department -

Throughout the baseball season, I've focused quite a bit on Pitt baseball's top MLB prospect, starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch. But a few position players are having big seasons as well.

1B/OF Nick Yarnall and catcher Alex Kowalczyk both lead the team in home runs with eight apiece and rank in the nation's Top 50 in long balls per game. And while power hitters can sometimes struggle in terms of batting average, that isn't the case here with each batting well over .300.

Third baseman Ron Sherman and outfielder Frank Maldanado are also enjoying solid years. Sherman leads the team in slugging percentage (.674) and Maldanado is second in batting average (.339). Both also have five triples, tied for ninth in the entire country.

While those guys are producing well for the Panthers, the biggest one on the national radar right now is shortstop Charles LeBlanc. LeBlanc's 54 hits easily leads the team (no one else has more than 40) as does his gaudy .432 batting average. His 20 walks are second on the team and help boost his obscenely-high .517 on base percentage - also easily best on the Panthers.

LeBlanc is not only pacing his team in terms of hitting, but near the top of the nation. His .432 average is sixth in the entire country while his .517 on base percentage is 12th.

Collectively, those guys have helped Pitt's offense put together a decent year. That was on display in the team's dominant 17-5 win on Wednesday against Youngstown State. On the season, the entire team ranks 54th in batting average, hitting .294, and 30th in total offense with more than seven runs per game.

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