College baseball: 7 pitching staffs with the country's lowest ERA
The success for a pitching staff can be measured in multiple ways from the strikeout-to-walk ratio to more recent stats like WHIP.
Let’s take a look at the top seven teams leading Division I in ERA and which pitchers have contributed to their success.
Editor’s note: Stats are through April 28.
Cal State Fullerton Titans- 2.25 ERA, 359.2 IP
The Titans have gone 12-3 in April, thanks to some incredible numbers by the pitching staff.
Cal State Fullerton boasts the top ERA in the nation with only 90 earned runs in 359.2 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .203 batting average.
Sophomore Connor Seabold has kicked it into high gear during Big West play for the Titans as the right-hander has allowed only eight earned runs in 36.1 innings pitched in his 5-0 conference record.
Michigan State Spartans- 2.37, 345.2 IP
The Spartans are currently building one of the best seasons in program history behind their stellar pitching staff. Not only do they have the country’s second-lowest ERA, but the staff has held opponents to two earned runs or less in 23 games this season.
Three MSU pitchers have the top four ERAs in the Big Ten with Cam Vieaux and Ethan Landon leading the way. Vieaux returned for his junior season and ranks 19th in the nation with a Big Ten-best 1.46 ERA. Landon meanwhile ranks third in the conference with his 2.01 ERA
Houston Cougars- 2.37 ERA through 338.0 IP April 27
Houston ties with the Spartans for the second best ERA and the Cougars will look toward their pitching staff to turn around the current 5-7 record in American Athletic Conference play.
Andrew Lantrip has picked up plenty of recognition this season and rightfully so as the Cougars' top ace. The junior right-hander has given up only 17 earned runs through 74 innings pitched in 2016. His 1.86 ERA ranks sixth in the AAC and 40th overall in Division I.
Nick Hernandez has come through in clutch innings of relief for Houston and his 1.65 ERA in 19 appearances is a team-best.
Southeastern Louisiana Lions- 2.59 ERA through 358.1 IP April 24
Through 41 games and 358.1 inning pitched, the Lions staff has compiled a 2.59 ERA, which leads the 13 members of the Southland conference. Among the starters for Southeastern Louisiana, Kyle Cedotal has shined with only 16 earned runs through 71.2 innings pitched. Cedotal ranks third in the Southland Conference among all starters with his 2.01 ERA.
In six saves and 15 appearances this season, closer Kade Granier has allowed only one earned run to post the Lions’ lowest ERA at .33. Granier is one of the 40 relief pitchers named on the NCBWA’s Stopper of the Year midseason list.
St. Bonaventure: 2.66, 294.1 IP
The Bonnies have gone into a slight slump over the past week, but the pitching staff continues to boast the fifth-best ERA in the nation. Seven pitchers have an ERA of 3.00 or lower and no other team in the Atlantic 10 comes close to the staff’s 2.66 ERA (VCU is in second with 3.91 ERA).
Senior reliever Reid Van Woert has allowed only 10 earned runs for a team-low 2.27 ERA and the third-best average in the A-10. Among the Bonnies' starters, sophomore Brandon Schlimm ranks fourth in the conference with his 2.37 ERA in nine starts and 60.2 innings pitched.
Creighton: 2.67 ERA, 317.0 IP
Creighton hasn't lost a weekend series since opening weekend against Fresno State as pitching has remained a consistent threat for the Bluejays. Through the current stretch, the staff has given up only 94 earned runs this season.
Jeff Albrecht has worked his way from reliever to weekend starter with his best season in a Bluejay uniform. The junior boasts a 1.59 ERA through 39.2 innings pitched to record the 25th best in Division I. David Gerber meanwhile has a .82 ERA in his 22 appearances as Creighton's closer, which has earned him a spot on the midseason list for NCBWA Stopper of the Year.
Florida Atlantic: 2.73 ERA, 356.2 IP
Florida Atlantic has quietly produced a terrific season in 2016 and the Owls pitching staff has given up only 108 earned runs to compile its 2.73 ERA. FAU currently holds a slight .06 edge over Conference USA foe Rice in the ERA category.
Sophomore Marc Stewart is the heart of the weekend rotation and the undefeated right-hander's 2.45 ERA ranks fifth in C-USA among starters. Sean Labsan, who is known for being the top dual-threat on the mound and at the plate, has looked stellar in his last few outings as well. The junior currently holds a 5-1 record and 1.50 ERA in seven starts.
Closer Cameron Ragsdale earned NCBWA Stopper of the Year midseason recognition and has allowed only two earned runs in 16 appearances.