MAC Baseball Players of the Week Named

Updated 4/9/2001
CLEVELAND -- The Mid-American Conference today announced the East and West Division Players and Pitchers of the Week for the week ending Apr. 8. Each week, the MAC will honor both an East and a West Division Player and Pitcher of the Week.

This week’s Player of the Week from the East Division is Bowling Green’s Len Elias, while Miami’s Chris Leonard and Bowling Green’s Neil Schmitz share the Pitcher of the Week honors. From the West Division, Toledo’s Phil Pilewski is the Player of the Week, while Ball State’s Paul Henry is the Pitcher of the Week.

East Division Player of the Week
Len Elias, Bowling Green (Jr., OF, Mississaugua, Ontario/St. Martins HS)

Bowling Green’s Len Elias is this week’s MAC East Division Player of the Week after hitting .524 (11-for-21) with 13 runs scored, 12 RBIs and three home runs. Elias tied the school record for hits in a game with five in the series finale with Buffalo, as well as equaling the school mark for RBIs in a game with eight. The junior, who hit .688 versus the Bulls, had four multi-hit, three multi-run contests as well as a 1.095 slugging percentage last week.

Other Nominees:
•Buffalo’s Bryan Sanchez hit .350 (7-for-20) last week in five games with three home runs and nine RBIs. The sophomore, who also scored seven times, tied the school’s career home run mark of 17 with a grand slam in Saturday’s first game.

•Kent State’s Eric O’Brien was 12-for-27 (.444) with seven of his hits going for extra bases -- four doubles, two home runs and a triple. O’Brien, who currently has a six-game hitting streak, had three multi-hit games, including a 5-for-5 performance in the series finale with Western Michigan, and also stole five bases last week.

•Marshall’s Homer Renshaw hit .462 (6-for-13) on the weekend, driving in five runs including a pair in the first game with Akron and four total in the series. Renshaw also added a double and a home run.

•Miami’s Jeremy Ison batted .571 (8-for-14) with eight RBIs in the four-game series with Ball State. Ison, who had three multi-hit games, also recorded three doubles and a pair of home runs while scoring four times.

•Ohio’s Ryan Kyes was 12-for-20 (.600) with nine runs scored and eight RBIs in five non-conference games. Kyes, who also drew seven walks and had a .724 on-base percentage last week, had at least two hits in all five contests including four doubles and two home runs.

East Division Co-Pitcher of the Week
Chris Leonard, Miami (So., LHP, Columbus, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales HS)

For the second time this season, Miami’s Chris Leonard is the MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week after tossing a six-hitter en route to a victory over West Division-leading Ball State. The sophomore, who struck out eight and walked none in the 4-1 win, improved his record to 6-1 which are the most victories in the league this year.

Neil Schmitz, Bowling Green (Fr., LHP, New Riegel, Ohio/New Riegel HS)
Bowling Green’s Neil Schmitz shares the MAC East Division pitching honors with Miami’s Leonard after appearing in two games for the Falcons, picking up a win over Buffalo and posting a 0.90 ERA. In 10 innings, the freshman limited opponents to two hits and struck out seven while walking two. Schmitz had a no-hitter broken up in the eighth inning en route to his first collegiate victory.

Other Nominees:
•Marshall’s Steve Fowler worked six scoreless innings for the Thundering Herd against Akron and combined for an 8-0 shutout of the Zips. Fowler, who improved to 3-0 this season, gave up his first hit in the fifth inning on a bunt single before allowing two other singles. The senior struck out six and walked two in the contest.

•Ohio’s Chris Bova picked up two wins in relief for the Bobcats, notching victories over Ohio Wesleyan and Shawnee State. In 7.2 innings, the freshman fanned six and walked two. Bova allowed six hits in the two appearances and posted a 1.17 ERA.

West Division Player of the Week
Phil Pilewski, Toledo (So., 1B, Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg HS)

Toledo’s Phil Pilewski is this week’s MAC West Division Player of the Week after registering a .615 (16-for-26) batting average in five games. The sophomore belted five home runs and drove in 15, helping the Rockets to a 4-1 week -- including a sweep of Marshall. Pilewski, who recorded a 1.346 slugging percentage, had three homers -- including the game-winning hit which was a home run -- in Friday’s first game with the Thundering Herd and also added four doubles on the week.

Other Nominees:
•Ball State’s Matt Deckman was 12-for-23 (.522) with six RBIs and five runs scored in the Cardinals’ six games last week. Deckman ripped five doubles on the week and also had a home run. The junior closed out the series with Miami by recording a career-high four hits in a 4-for-6 performance that also drove in a career-best four runs.

•Eastern Michigan’s Ryan Goleski improved his batting average by 66 points after going 9-for-19 (.474) with four doubles and two homers in four games with Central Michigan and a non-conference tilt with Michigan. Goleski also scored six runs and had a game-winning double in game three with the Chippewas.

•Northern Illinois’ Brent Coyner hit .474 (9-for-19) in five non-league games. Coyner drove in six runs and scored six times for the Huskies, who went 5-0 last week. The sophomore had three multi-hit games last week including a 4-for-5 performance versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

•Western Michigan’s Ryan Kochen was 7-for-12 (.412) with a home run and four RBIs last week. The senior scored a team-high four runs and his three-run home run in the eighth inning helped the Broncos to a 15-12 win over Kent State.

West Division Pitcher of the Week
Paul Henry, Ball State (So., RHP, Chattanooga, Tenn./Notre Dame HS)

Ball State sophomore Paul Henry is this week’s MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week after registering two saves and posting a 0.00 ERA in three appearances. Henry opened the week by recording two-innings of two-hit ball en route to picking up a save against No.6/No. 8 Notre Dame, then had a save in the Cardinals’ 6-3 win over Miami. In 5.0 innings, Henry struck out four and allowed four hits.

Other Nominees: •Eastern Michigan’s Joe Linde won his third MAC game of the season with a 10-5 win over Central Michigan. The junior, who collected his third complete game in league play, scattered eight hits in the win, allowed five runs and struck out nine while walking one.

•Northern Illinois’ Don Rodman was 1-0 in two appearances with a 1.42 ERA for the Huskies. The senior picked up his second win of the season after working six innings in an 11-1 win over St. Xavier, allowing only three hits and one run -- which was unearned -- while fanning six.