MAC Announces Baseball Players of the Week

Updated 4/27/2001

CLEVELAND -- The Mid-American Conference today announced the East and West Division Players and Pitchers of the Week for the week ending Apr. 29. 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 Kent State's John VanBenschoten, while Ohio's Denny McGee is the Pitcher of the Week. From the West Division, Ball State's Eric Bava and Northern Illinois' Noel Danielson share the Player of the Week honors, while Central Michigan's Dan Horvath is the Pitcher of the Week.

East Division Player of the Week
John VanBenschoten, Kent State (Jr., 1B, Milford, Ohio/Milford HS) Kent State's John VanBenschoten is the MAC East Division Player of the Week for the second time this season after hitting .577 (15-for-26) with eight home runs, 16 RBIs and 14 runs scored. The junior had a string of consecutive games with a homer snapped at seven on Sunday -- one shy of the NCAA record -- and also drew eight walks. VanBenschoten, who also stole five bases, had a 1.577 slugging percentage and a .676 on-base percentage. He helped the Golden Flashes to a 6-1 record on the week, including winning three of four games on the road against Marshall. Against Findlay, he had his first three-home run game of his career, a solo homer, a two-run shot and a three-run homer.

Other Nominees: -Akron's Lou Pederi hit .476 (10-for-21) with two home runs and 12 RBIs. Pederi, who also scored five times, helped the Zips win four of six games including a non-conference win at Ohio State and three over Buffalo. The junior drove in the game-winning run against the Buckeyes and also had four-multi-RBI contests.

-Bowling Green's Len Elias was 5-for-8 (.625) with five runs scored and three RBIs in a trio of non-conference games for the Falcons. Elias led BG in runs scored and RBIs last week, including driving in three in a 12-11 win over Adrian in 10 innings.

-Buffalo's Bryan Sanchez hit a pair of home runs in the Akron series and drove in five runs last week for the Bulls. Sanchez, who has a hit in each of his last five games, hit .238 last week in six games and scored four times.

-Marshall's Jason Brooks hit .391 (9-for-23) last week in five games with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Brooks, who also scored six times, set the Marshall single season RBI mark with his 64th in the Kent State series, bettering the old mark of 60.

-Miami's Clark Mace batted .522 (12-for-23) with four doubles, seven RBIs and five runs scored. Mace, who also added three stolen bases, had at least one hit and one RBI in four of his five games last week. Mace, who broke the school record for career RBIs, drove in three runs in Sunday's finale with Ohio on a 5-for-6 performance.

-Ohio's Ryan Kyes hit .429 (9-for-21) with four doubles, three home runs and seven RBIs. The senior scored nine times and had three multi-run games and a pair of multi-hit contests. On Friday, Kyes hit two homers against Miami, one of which was the tying run and the other was the go-ahead run.

East Division Pitcher of the Week
Denny McGee, Ohio (Sr., RHP, Washington, Pa./Trinity HS) Ohio's Denny McGee is the MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season after tossing a complete game victory over Miami, 7-4 on Friday. In nine innings, the senior struck out a career-high 12 batters without giving up a walk. McGee, who allowed nine hits in the contest, faced two batters above the minimum over the final four innings and allowed one runner to reach third base, which was the result of an error.

Other Nominees:
-Bowling Green's David Barkholz was 1-0 in two relief appearances for the Falcons. In two innings, the freshman struck out two and earned his first collegiate victory in a 10-inning victory over Adrian College.

-Buffalo's Brendan Dunford pitched a complete game victory over Akron, giving up eight hits and an earned run in the 15-1 victory. In nine innings, the junior fanned nine and walked three.

-Kent State's Gus Hlebovy was 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in a pair of appearances for the Golden Flashes. The freshman struck out seven in seven innings against Cleveland State, then gave up only four hits in six innings in a 17-6 victory over Marshall.

-Marshall's Brian Shade made two relief appearances last week for the Thundering Herd, tossing five innings of three-hit ball and fanning two. The sophomore pitched one inning in a victory over Morehead State, then hurled four innings against Kent State, allowing an unearned run.

-Miami's Judd Richardson scattered four hits over eight innings in a 13-5 win over Ohio. The sophomore struck out six and walked three and had a no-hitter intact through 5.2 innings.

West Division Co-Player of the Week
Eric Bava, Ball State (Jr., OF, Riverside, Ill./Riverside-Brookfield HS)

Ball State's Eric Bava is this week's MAC West Division Co-Player of the Week after he scored 13 runs, drove in six and hit .381 (8-for-21) as the Cardinals won five of six games last week. The junior was a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen bases and also drew eight walks. Bava's late inning heroics helped give BSU two wins, as he delivered a pair of game-winning hits in the Cardinals' four-game sweep of Eastern Michigan.

Noel Danielson, Northern Illinois (Jr., OF, Butterfield, Minn./Butterfield-Odin HS)
Northern Illinois' Noel Danielson is this week's MAC West Division Co-Player of the Week after hitting .526 (10-for-19) with eight runs and six RBIs. The junior hit a pair of home runs to go with two doubles, and sported a .947 slugging percentage and a .498 on-base percentage. Danielson, who also drew five walks and was hit twice, had four multi-hit games and two three-run contests, all of which came against Toledo.

Other Nominees:
-Toledo's Mitch Maier batted .500 (9-for-18) with six runs scored and four RBIs in the four-game series with Northern Illinois. The freshman, who also stole a base and added a pair of triples and a double, had a .778 slugging percentage and a .474 on-base percentage.

-Western Michigan's Sam Flamont was 7-for-17 (.417) with seven runs scored and four home runs, helping the Broncos take three of four games >from Central Michigan. The junior knocked in five runs and slammed a pair of game-tying home runs in WMU's 10-7 win on Sunday.

West Division Pitcher of the Week
Dan Horvath, Central Michigan (So., RHP, Allen Park, Mich./Michigan State/Southgate Aquinas HS)

Central Michigan's Dan Horvath is this week's MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week after making three appearances and recording a 1.38 ERA for the Chippewas, which included a four-hit shutout of Western Michigan. In 13.0 innings, Horvath struck out 15, 10 of which came in his start against the Broncos, and allowed two walks while scattering 10 hits. The sophomore opened the week with two innings of perfect relief in a win over Michigan State, then came back after one day of rest to toss two innings and struck out four in the series finale with WMU.

Other Nominees:
-Ball State's Jason Paul registered his fourth straight win with a complete game six-hitter against Eastern Michigan. In nine innings, the junior fanned seven and walked none in an 8-1 win over the Eagles.

-Northern Illinois' Steve Hardman gave up two hits over seven innings of work in the Huskies' 17-5 win over Toledo. The senior, who entered the game in relief following an injury to the starting pitcher, fanned five and walked one while allowing two runs.

-Toledo's Mike DeLong pitched the Rockets to a 10-2 win at Northern Illinois in the series opener between the two schools. In 7.0 innings, DeLong allowed nine hits, struck out one and walked three.

-Western Michigan's Tyler Grinnell recorded saves in two of the Broncos' three wins against Central Michigan. The junior preserved WMU's 10-9 come-from-behind win on Saturday, then closed out the series on Sunday by working a perfect ninth inning. In 2.2 innings, Grinnell struck out five while allowing just two hits and no walks.