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MAC East Division Baseball Pitcher of the Week
Andrew Chafin, R-So., Wakeman, Ohio
Collins Western Reserve
Chafin hurled a complete-game four-hit shutout and tallied a career-high 15 strikeouts with no walks as Kent State won its Mid-American Conference opening game and 2011 home opener, 1-0, Friday (March 25). He hurled 113 pitches with a whopping 88 going for strikes, sat down the side in six innings - including striking out six straight between the seventh and ninth frames - in addition to issuing 22 first-pitch strikes. The contest marked Kent State's first shutout since Brad Stillings tossed a no-hitter on April 10, 2009, at Toledo. Chafin improved his season record to 3-1 and has fired 42 strikeouts to just eight walks and has given up only two earned runs on 18 hits in 33.2 innings of work. Kent State closes out the March portion of its 2011 schedule with its first midweek home game of the season, hosting Penn State Wednesday (March 30) at Schoonover Stadium. First pitch is penciled in for 3 p.m.
MAC West Division Baseball Pitcher of the Week
Brian Stroud, Western Michigan, RJr.
Joliet, Ill. (Providence Catholic)
Western Michigan went 3-0 in its opening Mid-American Conference series with three shutout victories over Akron this past weekend. The Broncos outscored Akron 18-0 in the series. Bronco right-hander Brian Stroud set the tone early, tossing a complete nine-inning shutout against the Zips in game one Friday. Stroud (4-2) scattered eight hits and struck out seven in the first complete game of his career. He did not allow a walk. Only four Akron baserunners reached scoring position, and no runner advanced past second base. Stroud, the 2008 MAC Freshman of the Year, redshirted last season with an injury, but has returned to top form in 2011. His ERA stands at 3.10 and his record improves to 4-2 on the year.
MAC East Division Baseball Player of the Week
David Lyon, Kent State, C
Jr., Emporium, Pa. (Cameron County)
Lyon finished a spectacular three-game stretch in grand fashion in Kent State's 8-2 triumph over Toledo on Sunday (March 27), going 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored - including a three-run home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the second. Lyon finished the series batting a whopping .778 with seven hits - including two doubles and a homer - with six RBIs and a run scored. He posted a slugging percentage of 1.333 and an on-base percentage of .818.
MAC West Division Baseball Player of the Week
Daniel Russell, Eastern Michigan, Outfield
Sophomore, Grandville, Mich. (Grandville)
Russell hit .368 (7-for-19) and drove in 10 runs as he led Eastern Michigan to a 4-1 record last week. Russell recorded three multi-RBI games and had at least one in each of the team's five games. In a 9-7 win over West Virginia, the Grandville, Mich. native tied the game in the third inning with an RBI double, then followed it with an RBI single to break open a fourth inning lead, and capped it off with a run-scoring triple in the top of the last inning to give the Eagles a more comfortable three-run lead. His efforts in the Eagles' opening MAC series led to a sweep of Buffalo after he tallied five hits and six RBI in the series. Russell currently leads the team, which is off to its best start in 23 years, in batting average (.371) and RBI (23) while ranking second in hits (33).
Alex Loftin, Akron, Junior
Stow, Ohio (Stow)
Loftin had an excellent outing in Saturday's loss to Western Michigan at Canal Park. Loftin was handed the loss despite allowing just two unearned runs and limiting the Broncos to just five hits in 8.1 innings. The junior righty struck out three. After giving up two unearned runs in the first, Loftin sat down 19 of the next 20 batters in innings two through eight.
Drew Turocy, Akron, Centerfield
Junior, Canfield, Ohio (Canfeild)
Turocy batted .533 (8-for-15) in four games last week. He started the week by batting 2-for-4 and scoring twice in a 4-3 Akron win at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. He followed that up with two singles and a double in Friday's loss to WMU and then collected a trio of base hits in the final two games of the series. Turocy average rose 24 points to .395 during the week.
Cal Bowling, Ball State, Junior
Muncie, Ind. (Yorktown)
Bowling pitched a complete game two-hitter Friday afternoon in the Mid-American Conference opening victory over Ohio. Bowling picked up his second victory of the season pitching a career-high 9.0 innings and only allowing a first inning double and a sixth inning infield single. He struck out three batters and only needed 96 pitches for the complete game. He becomes the first Cardinals since Kolbrin Vitek (May 16, 2010) to posted a complete game.
Blake Beemer, Ball State, 1B
So., Dayton, Ohio (Northmont)
Beemer led the Cardinals to their first series victory of the season with two wins over Ohio ... Beemer posted a .625 batting average (5-of-8) and reached base seven times on the weekend ... He recorded five of the Cardinals' 19 hits in the blustery cold series while driving in two of the Cardinals' seven runs on the weekend.
Nick Bruns, Bowling Green, Sophomore
St. Paris, Ohio (St. Paris)
In just his ninth collegiate start, Bruns put together his best performance setting career highs in innings pitched (9.0), strikeouts (12) and a career low three hits in a single start. At one point, he retired 11 straight Huskies and 13 of the last 14 batters of the game en route to the win. Bruns allowed only one runner to reach base from the sixth inning on. Only five NIU hitters reached base and none made it past second through the entire game.
Clay Duncan, Bowling Green, 1B
Senior, Norwalk, Ohio (Norwalk)
Duncan went a combined 4-for-7 over the first two days of the series, batted in four runs and scored three times in the Falcons' two wins. He highlighted his weekend in game two on Saturday with a 2-for-4 day with two runs scored and two RBI. Duncan finished the weekend with a 1-for-4 effort, hitting a double in his first at bat of the game, one of only five hits BGSU registered in their loss.
Cameron Copping, Buffalo, Junior
Temple City, Calif. (Pasadena Community College)
Copping had his strongest start of the season against Eastern Michigan Sunday, scattering four hits and only one earned run in his seven innings of work... he also struck out three batters. Copping did not factor in the decision, but tossed his first career quality start while pitching late in to the game to preserve the bullpen.
Daniel Scahill, Buffalo, OF
Junior, Lombard, Ill. (Elgin Community Colle)
In the three-game series to open the MAC season, Scahill hit three doubles and drove in two runs as the main offensive producer over the weekend... he hit two doubles and drove in both of the team's runs in an 11-2 loss... for the season, Scahill has played in every game and has a .312 average with four home runs and 15 RBI.
Trent Howard, Central Michigan, Jr.
Hammond, Ind. (Clark )
Howard gave up one run on five hits and a walk over nine innings of work while fanning a season-best 13 batters against the RedHawks in a no-decision last week.
Corey Chaffins, Eastern Michigan, Senior
New London, Ohio (New London)
Senior right-hander Corey Chaffins tied his win total from all of last season as he defeated Buffalo in game two of a three-game series sweep, 5-1, to move his record to 4-1 on the year. Chaffins allowed just a run on three hits in five and two-thirds while striking out six and walking just two. He has a slim 2.67 ERA over his last three starts and sits just six punch outs shy of third on the all-time EMU strikeout list.
Jeremy Gonzales, Northern Illinois, Senior
Bakersfield, Calif. (Bakersfield C.C.)
Gonzales (2-4) spear-headed a three-man shutout by throwing seven innings and allowing just four hits and one walk with six strikeouts, tying a season high, in a 3-0 win over Bowling Green on Sunday. Gonzales let only two of seven leadoff hitters reach base, which played a large factor in the Falcons only having one scoring opportunity with less than two outs the entire game. The senior has gone at least six innings with four hits given up and six strikeouts in two of his last three outings, both for wins.
Tyler Melling, Miami, Senior
Bellefontaine, Ohio (Bellefontaine)
Improved to 5-0 on the season, while lowering his ERA to 2.00. Surpassed his win total for all of 2010. Retired 24 of the 27 batters he faced. All three of the hits he allowed were singles.
Bryce Redeker, Miami, Outfield (RF)
Junior, Watseka, Ill. (Kankakee CC)
Helped Miami to a three-game sweep of the defending league champions, Central Michigan... was 4-for-4 against Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday... the hit total was a season high for anyone on the team... he is tied for the team lead with nine multiple-hit games (in 23 outings) this season... has hit safely in six straight games, a streak that immediately followed the end of a 10-game run (16 of last 17)... was perfect on all eight fielding chances during the week.
Kyle Shaw, Toledo, Junior
LaGrange, Ohio (Keystone)
Shaw (2-1) worked the opening 6.2 innings at Kent State on Saturday, allowing two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts to collect the victory. Shaw has now worked at least 6.0 frames in each of his last three starts and on four occasions this season. He is now 2-1 on the season with a 3.67 ERA, limiting the opposition to a .280 batting average.
Troy White, Northern Illinois, Third Base
Junior, Chicago, Ill. (Whitney Young)
White led the Huskie offense in a three-game series against Bowling Green, compiling team highs of a .364 batting average (4-for-11), four hits, two RBI, one triple, a .636 slugging percentage and a .417 on-base percentage ... In the series opener, he went 1-for-3 with two RBI, one walk and one triple ... In Game Two, he went 1-for-4 with a stolen base ... In the finale, he went 2-for-4 with a double.
Ben Hammer, Toledo, Outfield
Junior, Wayne, OH (Elmwood)
Hammer hit a team-high .364 (4-for-11) with three RBI in the Kent State series over the weekend. Hammer hit safely in all three games and accumulated a squad-best .455 slugging percentage. He went 1-for-3 in Friday's series opener, before going 2-for-4 with a season-high three RBI on Saturday. The third-year Rocket then finished off the weekend with a 1-for-4 effort in Sunday's series finale. Hammer has now hit safely in a season-high eight-consecutive contests and currently ranks second on the team with a .297 average.
Brad Wehrmeyer, Western Michigan, OF
RJr., Holland, Mich. (West Ottawa)
Wehrmeyer had a team high .500 (5-for-10) batting average in the Broncos' three-game sweep over Akron this past weekend. Four of Wehrmeyer's five hits went for extra bases, as he pounded out three doubles and one triple. He drove in three runs and scored three runs. Wehrmeyer had a batting average of just .179 entering the series, but raised it dramatically to .263.