CLEVELAND, OH? Bowling Green’s T.J. Blanton (baseball) and Buffalo’s Jake Madonia (track & field) were named the MAC Male Scholar Athletes of the Week on April 16, 2009.
Blanton (centerfielder, Jr., 3.33, health science, Sandusky, Ohio) hit .429 last week as the Falcons went 3-1, including a perfect 3-0 in MAC games. He had six hits in 14 at-bats, scoring a team-leading seven runs in the four games. He scored a run in the Falcons' midweek game, a non-league contest versus Eastern Michigan. Blanton was 6-for-13 with six runs scored in the three-game weekend sweep of Ball State. He went 1-for-2 with a run scored in the opener, a 3-2 win. In that game, Blanton had a bunt single and came around to score what would prove to be the winning run. He had a hit and scored two runs in a 7-6 win in the second game against BSU. He reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored on a base hit in the sixth. Blanton had a hit and scored another run in the eighth. He had three hits and scored three runs in the final game of the series, including a single and a run scored in the eighth inning. Then, in the 10th inning, Blanton led off with a single and scored on a walk-off HR in a 9-7 victory. On the season, he is hitting .351 to rank fourth on the team. He has scored 25 runs, the second-highest total on the team. The Falcons are 16-14 overall and 7-4 in the MAC.
Madonia (throws, Jr., 3.391, psychology, Rome, N.Y.) won the men’s shot put with a toss of 52-10.75 (16.12 meters) at the Northeast Ohio Invitational as the Bulls finished third among five squads. It was his first shot put victory this season after the junior posted second-place finishes at the Seahawk Invitational and Colonial Relays.
The MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week honor is presented to a MAC male and female student-athlete who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and performs well during that week's competition. The winners are selected by a group of the conference's faculty athletic representatives.
Other Male Nominees:
Central Michigan: Greg Pilling (track and field, Jr., 3.35, sport studies, London, Ontario) was CMU's highest place finisher at the prestigious Sea Ray Relays, taking fourth in the discus with a throw of 175-2. Pilling posted a regional qualifying mark for the second straight week, improving his mark by more than three feet from last week.
Eastern Michigan: Marty Jeppesen (golf, Jr., 3.02, marketing, Saline, Mich.) carded a final score of 223 (74-73-76), good for a share of sixth place overall at the 40th Annual Robert Kepler Invitational hosted by The Ohio State University. He was the highest finishing student-athlete from the Mid-American Conference in the event, as EMU’s Christopher Ross tied for 11th and Kent State’s John Hahn tied for 14th place. The top-10 showing was Jeppesen's first of the season and the second of his career. His previous best finish was a tie for seventh place with a 72-hole total of 294 at the 2008 Mid-American Conference Championships, May 2-4, 2008, at Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio.
Kent State: John Hahn (golf, So., 3.20, pre-business management, Hudson, Ohio) earned his sixth top-20 finish of the season as he tied for 14th at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. Posting rounds of 77-72-76, the 2008 MAC Golfer of the Year finished with a 225 to lead the Golden Flashes into a fourth-place finish.
Northern Illinois: Andrew Frame (golf, Jr., 3.91, liberal arts & sciences, Manteno, Ill.) fired rounds of 73, 72 and 75 at the adidas Hoosier Invitational to earn a top-20 finish in the tournament as he tied for 19th with a 54-hole total of seven-over par 220. Frame led NIU through the first two rounds as he played the par-71 IU Champions Course in three over par with his two lowest rounds of the spring season. The 19th-place finish was his first top-20 finish of the spring and he ranked second among Northern Illinois golfers in the event.
Western Michigan: Kazuya Komada (tennis, yr., gpa, major, hometown, state) was undefeated on Saturday, as he and partner Michael Calderone fought back to defeat Ball State's Jose Perdomo and Zane Smith 8-6 in No. 1 doubles, and helped WMU to it's third consecutive MAC title. In singles competition, Komada defeated BSU's Perdomo 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 2 spot.
Previous Male Winners
Week 1 (Sept. 4) Chandler Harnish, NIU (football)
Week 2 (Sept. 11) Tim Hiller, WMU (football)
Week 3 (Sept. 18) Tim Hiller, WMU (football)
Week 4 (Sept. 25) Jacob Lawrence, BGSU (soccer)
Week 5 (Oct. 2) Jon Brost, NIU (football)
Week 6 (Oct. 9) Andy Schmitt, EMU (football)
Week 7 (Oct. 16) John Eick, MIA (swimming)
Week 8 (Oct. 23) Brian Brunner, CMU (football)
Week 9 (Oct. 30) Javier Bernabe, NIU (tennis)
Week 10 (Nov. 6) Brian Brunner, CMU (football)
Week 11 (Nov. 13) Tim Hiller, WMU (football)
Michael McDowell, UB (swimming & diving)
Week 12 (Nov. 20) Kyle Knotek, NIU (soccer)
Week 13 (Nov. 24) Andy Schmitt, EMU (football)
Week 14 (Dec. 4) Cody Basler, BGSU (football)
Week 15 (Dec. 11) Jordan Rantz, BSU (swimming & diving)
Week 16 (Dec. 18) Joe Jakubowski, BGSU (basketball)
Week 17 (Jan. 8) Jonathan Amos, Toledo (basketball)
Week 18 (Jan. 15) David Kool, WMU (basketball)
Week 19 (Jan. 22) Kevin Smith, UB (wrestling)
Week 20 (Jan. 29) Vince DiDona, CMU (wrestling)
Week 21 (Feb. 5) Michael Calderone, WMU (tennis)
Jared Miller, UT (tennis)
Week 22 (Feb. 12) David Kool, WMU (basketball)
Week 23 (Feb. 19) David Brent, EMU (track & field)
Week 24 (Feb. 26) Don Ellison, EMU (swimming & diving)
Week 25 (Mar. 5) Oz Lifshitz, CMU (track & field)
Week 26 (Mar. 12) Zack Leonard, EMU (baseball)
Week 27 (Mar. 19) Michael McDowell, UB (diving)
Week 28 (Mar. 26) Hayden Johnston, OH (baseball)
Week 29 (Apr. 2) Kevin Sikora, EMU (baseball)
Week 30 (Apr. 9) Marc Krauss, OH (baseball)
Week 31 (Apr. 16) T.J. Blanton, BGSU (baseball)
Jake Madonia, UB (track & field)