MAC Announces Baseball Players of the Week

Updated 3/15/2011
MAC East Division Baseball Pitcher of the Week
David Starn, Kent State, Jr.
Hudson, Ohio (Walsh Jesuit)
Starn was nothing short of dominant and had a no-hitter going until Notre Dame senior right fielder Herman Petzold cracked a two-out single to center in the top of the eighth. The southpaw fanned 10 batters - matching Kent State's season-high for strikeouts established by redshirt sophomore lefty Andrew Chafin (Wakeman, Ohio) March 4 at Louisville - and surrendered just one walk in eight innings. Starn departed the game with a no decision. He now sports a season ERA of 0.93 with 26 strikeouts through 29 innings of work. Starn has allowed just four runs - three earned -- and 13 hits and five walks in 2011.

MAC East Division Baseball Player of the Week
Tom Murphy, Buffalo, Catcher
Sophomore, West Monroe, N.Y. (Central Square)
Murphy swung for the fences in the team's four-game weekend series at Longwood, hitting two home runs and adding two doubles while batting .467 and driving in seven runs. In a doubleheader Saturday, Murphy batted 5-8 to spark the offense, scoring four times and driving in three runs in each game. In the Sunday doubleheader, Murphy was a menace on the basepaths, stealing two bases in the team's 5-4 loss. For the weekend as a whole, the sophomore catcher stole three bases. Murphy has a .458 on-base percentage with only four strikeouts in the first 11 games of the season.

MAC West Division Baseball Pitcher of the Week
Trent Howard, Central Michigan, Jr.
Hammond, Ind. (Clark)
Howard threw a two-hit, 10-strikeout shutout against Indiana for a 3-0 CMU victory last week, never allowing a Hoosier to reach second base in the contest. Howard was dominant, facing just two over the minimum, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. It's the second time this season the junior has taken a no-hit bid into at least the fifth inning. It is also the second-consecutive outing he's fanned at least 10 batters.

MAC West Division Baseball Player of the Week
Daniel Russell, Eastern Michigan, Outfield
Sophomore, Grandville, Mich./Grandville
Russell hit a team-best .615 (8-for-13) at the plate in leading the Eagles to a series win over Kansas by taking two out of three games. Russell added five RBI and three runs scored on the weekend with two doubles for a slugging percentage of .769. Combine that with a .667 OBP and Russell posted a 1.436 OPS. The Grandville, Mich. native recorded multi-hit games in each contest against the Jayhawks including a 4-for-5 effort with a walk, a run scored and four RBI in EMU's 10-4 series finale victory.


Other Nominees
Cal Bowling, Ball State, Jr.
Muncie, Ind. (Yorkton)
Bowling led the Cardinals to an upset victory at Charlotte Friday aftenroon as he tossed 6.2 shutout innings against the 49ers who were receiving votes in multiple national polls ... Bowling limited Charlotte to just four hits while striking out five batters as the Cardinals gave the 49ers just their third loss of the season.

William Arnold, Central Michigan, C
Junior, Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Mount Pleasant)
Arnold came up with clutch hits throughout the week for Central Michigan, including a game-tying bases loaded triple in the ninth inning against Navy that led to a CMU comeback victory over the Midshipmen. Arnold went 4-for-13 (.308) with a .692 slugging percentage and 1.192 OPS, driving in five with a triple and a home run on the week.

Steve Weber, Eastern Michigan, Sophomore
North Royalton, Ohio (North Royalton)
Weber went 1-0 in his only start last week after pitching seven scoreless innings in an 8-1 win over Kansas. The North Royalton, Ohio native worked from behind in the count time after time in his outing, but managed to allow just three hits while holding the Jayhawks to a mere .130 batting average against him. Weber improved his record to 2-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.57 through 22.2 innings on the mound for the Eagles this season.

Jimmy Rider, Kent State, Shortstop
Junior, Venetia, Pa./Peters Township
Rider extended his hitting streak to 13 games and posted a .417 batting average and a .417 slugging percentage with five hits, one RBI, two runs scored and two doubles over three games of the Caravelle Resort Classic last weekend (March 11-13) in Conway, S.C. The junior shortstop posted a single in Friday's 2-0 win over No. 24 Coastal Carolina, led the Golden Flashes with a 2-for-4 performance with one RBI and two runs scored in Saturday's 7-1 victory over UAB and recorded a double and a single to lead the team in Sunday's game against Notre Dame. Rider is now batting .397 on the season, leads the team with five doubles, is tied for the team lead with 23 hits, is second on the team with two triples and is third on the team with 10 RBIs.

Tyler Melling, Miami, Senior
Bellefontaine, Ohio (Bellefontaine)
Pitched Miami to an 8-1 victory over Illinois State on Saturday, ending the RedHawks' four-game losing streak... the Redbirds entered the game with a 9-4 record and were coming off a split against nationally-ranked Miami (Fla.)... allowed just two hits in 7.0 innings pitched, his longest outing of the season... both hits -- a double in the second inning and an infield single in the seventh came with two outs and were followed by an inning-ending play (groundout, strikeout)... hit a batter, also with two outs, but induced a fly ball from the next batter... lowered his ERA to 0.72... his 4-0 record matches his win total from all of last season (win No. 4 came against Ohio on May 21)... has one walk and 21 Ks on the year, plus he is holding batters to a .159 average.

Kyle Weldon, Miami, Infield
Sr., Mason, Ohio/Mason
Had hits in three of Miami's four games, tying a career high for the second time this season on Satuday (vs. Illinois State)... drove in two runs with a single in the fifth that day

Jason Moulton, Ohio, Junior
Toledo, Ohio (Roy C. Start)
Moulton pitched a complete game shutout for the Bobcats in a 5-1 win over Marshall Sunday afternoon. The game also clinched a 3-1 series win over the Thundering Herd. The redshirt junior allowed seven hits and no walks with three strikeouts in the 101-pitch victory. Painter hit .333 this week, with four runs, six RBIs, to go with a double, triple and home run. He also slugged .733 with 11 total bases. In the field, he played errorless ball in seven chances.

Eric Heckaman, Western Michigan, Sr.
South Bend, Ind. (John Adams)
Heckaman pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief in Terre Haute, IN to earned the save against Indiana State as the Broncos defeated the Sycamores 4-2. Heckaman was handed the baseball in the sixth inning with two outs and a runner on base and proceeded to record four strike outs, 2 in the 9th inning, and 0 walks in route to earning his second save of the season. The senior has yet to give up an earned run this season in 13.1 innings of work and is 1-0 with 2 saves on the season. The Broncos went 3-0 on the weekend defeating Western Illinois 11-4, and the Sycamores twice, 4-2 and 3-2 to improve to 9-8. It is the first 3 game weekend sweep for the Broncos since May of 2008.

Ryan McMillin, Western Michigan, 3B
Jr,, LaGrange, Ill. (Lyons Township)
McMillin continued his hot streak, batting .545 over three games this week, all wins for the Broncos. He was 6-for-11 from the plate with two RBIs. Half of those hits were doubles. He had a .818 slugging percentage and a .643 on base percentage, also drawing a walk and twice being struck by a pitch. McMillin was stationed at third base 27 of 28 innings and did not commit an error.