MAC Announces Baseball Players & Pitchers of the Week

Updated 3/23/2011

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MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week
Andrew Brown, Akron, Junior
Painesville, Ohio (Riverside)
Brown lead Akron to a 1-0 victory over North Dakota State last Wednesday in Florida, hurling a complete game shutout. He scattered five hits and struck out seven. Brown faced trouble just once, stranding runners on first and third in the sixth. He needed just 104 pitches to complete the shutout - the first of his career. Brown then pitched a perfect inning of relief in the loss to Chicago State, striking out a pair. In the two outings Brown lowered his ERA over a run from 3.81 to 2.75.

MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week
Zach Oates, Northern Illinois, Senior
Wheaton, Ill. (North)
Oates breezed through an impressive complete-game shutout against Illinois, scattering three singles and a walk with five strikeouts to nail down his first win of 2011. Oates' performance was the first shutout hurled by a Huskie pitcher since Nick Hall turned the trick March 4, 2006 at Southern Illinois. The senior now has a sterling 2.93 ERA and is keeping opposing batters to a .233 batting average against him in 27.2 innings over four starts this season.

MAC East Division Player of the Week
Eric Bryce, Buffalo, DH
Senior, Regina, Saskatchewan (Winston Knoll)
Bryce was a force to be reckoned with at the plate for Buffalo's three game series at North Carolina Central, hitting five home runs among his seven total hits in just 12 at-bats... He drove in ten runs and scored seven times himself... hit two home runs in a 19-7 win Friday and two more in a 9-2 comeback win on Sunday... also drew five walks in the three weekend games... for the season, Bryce is batting .471 with a .609 on-base percentage and a 1.471 slugging percentage.

MAC West Division Player of the Week
Alex Jones, Northern Illinois, Short Stop
Junior, Kansas, City, Kan. (Piper)
Jones extended his hitting streak to seven games as he led the Huskies with a .462 batting average (12-for-26) and .615 slugging percentage to help NIU go 5-1 on its six-game spring break trip ... Sparking the Huskies to their longest winning streak (5) since 2007, Jones also collected six RBI, four runs, two doubles, a triple and one stolen base ... Against South Dakota, he went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a steal ... At Saint Louis, he posted a 2-for-5 day ... He went 2-for-3 with a triple, run scored and RBI against Illinois ... In the second win over Illinois, Jones exploded for a 4-for-6 performance, three runs scored and two doubles ... At Southern Illinois, he went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a walk ... In the finale of the weekend against Saint Louis, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI ... The Junior leads the Huskies with a .364 batting average, 24 hits, 12 RBI and .485 slugging percentage on the year.


Other Nominees
Drew Turocy, Akron, CF
Junior, Canfield, Ohio (Canfield)
Drew led Akron with a .375 batting average over the final four games of the RussMatt Invite in Central Florida. The junior centerfielder picked up a hit in three of the four games and had multi-hit efforts in the games against Dartmouth and Bradley. Turocy collected a pair of singles in the Dartmouth game before recording thress base knocks in the contest with Bradley. One of his hits in the Bradley game was a two-run triple to straight-away center that would bring the Zips back into the game. Drew also had a double in the game against Chicago State.

Charles Wooten, Bowling Green, Senior
Elmore, Ohio (Elmore)
Wooten made two appearances over the last seven days, one in relief and one as a starter. In his relief effort against Northwestern Ohio University he pitched a scoreless fifth inning, forcing three groundouts in the 6-5 victory. Wooten earned a start in Sunday's 3-2 extra-inning loss to the Cleveland State Vikings, tossing a career-high 6.0 innings and nine strikeouts. In each of his six innings pitched, Wooten struck out at least one Viking, three times striking out a pair. The only two runs he allowed in his career outing were unearned. He finished his day with a perfect 1-2-3 sixth inning of work.

Brandon Howard, Bowling Green, SS/OF
Freshman, Cincinnati, Ohio
Highlighted his weekend with a 5-for-5 performance against Cleveland State on Sunday (3/20), hitting five singles and scoring one of BGSU's two runs that day. All three runs batted in came on Saturday's nightcap win in a 3-for-7 performance. He had a two-RBI single up the middle in the 13th inning, scoring the eventual game-winning runs in the Falcons' 9-7 extra-inning win. His first RBI and hit of the night was part of a seven-run eighth inning that helped BGSU fight back from a five-run deficit in game two of the doubleheader.

Josh Edwards, Buffalo, Senior
Rocky Rapids, Alberta (Frank Maddock)
Edwards kept the Bulls in the game despite a slow offensive start, giving up only one unearned run over seven innings to allow the team to make a late run for a 9-2 win over North Carolina Central. A senior left-hander, Edwards earned his first win of the season thanks to scattering only six hits among the 31 batters faced in the game. He also struck out eight batters, the most in a single game by any Buffalo pitcher this year.

Zach Cooper, Central Michigan, Junior
Hartland, Mich. (Hartland )
Cooper gave up a run on four hits and a walk while fanning three over six innings of work in an 8-1 victory over Missouri last week. The junior right-hander picked up his first win of the season and has now fanned 23 batters in 27 innings this season.

William Arnold, Central Michigan, C
Jr., Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Mount Pleasant)
Arnold went 7-for-20 (.350) with seven RBI last week for CMU, including a three-hit, four RBI effort in the series finale against Missouri. The junior backstop also went 2-for-5 with two RBI in the series opener and stole a base against the Tigers.

Robert Wendzicki, Eastern Michigan, Senior
Brook Park, Ohio (Midpark)
Wendzicki turned in his best start of the season last time out, scattering four hits over seven scoreless innings while striking out five batters against Oakland. Although the Eagles pulled out the 4-3 victory in walk-off fashion, Wendzicki settled for the no-decision after the bullpen failed to hang onto a 3-0 lead. The Brook Park, Ohio native faced just three over the minimum while inducing 11 groundouts and three flyouts in the contest.

Ken Battiston, Eastern Michigan, Outfield
Senior, West Milton, Ohio (Milton Union)
Battiston earned co-MVP honors at the Inaugural Ron Oestrike Classic after hitting .455 over three games, highlighted by a 5-for-5 effort in a 7-6, 10-inning win over Alma College. Battiston totaled an RBI, two triples and three runs scored in the extra-inning win. Down 6-4 heading into the seventh, the junior tripled to lead off the frame and later scored to bring the Eagles to within a run. Then, with a runner at third in his next at-bat, Battiston singled to drive in the tying run to send it into extras where the Eagles eventually pulled out the win. He was also perfect in the field, converting on all eight of his chances. Battiston is now hitting .362 on the year, boasting a .638 slugging, a .493 on-base and perfect fielding percentage thus far this season.

Kyle McMillen, Kent State, Junior
North Canton, Ohio (Archbishop Hoban)
McMillen made two relief appearances in five days for the Golden Flashes and helped Kent State nail down victories in each game. On Wednesday (March 16), host Pittsburgh built an eighth inning rally with three runs, but McMillen entered the game to record the final out of the frame and shut down the Panthers in the ninth by inducing a double play and finishing the contest off with a strikeout to earn the save in Kent State's 10-7 triumph. McMillen earned his third save of the season Sunday (March 20) at Houston, entering the game in the bottom of the eighth and sitting the Cougars down in order. After McMillen induced a double play in the last of the ninth, the Cougars filled the bases. McMillen was able to work out of the jam, however, and earn his third save of the season and seal an 8-5 win for the Flashes.

Joe Koch, Kent State, LF
R-Jr., Youngstown, Ohio (Austintown Fitch)
Koch has been red hot at the plate for the Golden Flashes (9-8, 0-0) over the last four games, batting .412 with seven hits and four RBIs and helping Kent State post victories at Pittsburgh (March 16; 10-7) and at Houston (March 20; 8-5). Koch enjoyed his fourth multi-hit outing in six games, totaling a career-high three hits -- including a double - with two RBIs and two runs scored while leading off for the first time this season in Kent State's Sunday win over the Cougars.

Brooks Fiala, Miami, Sophomore
Carmel, Ind. (Carmel)
Earned his first win of the season, pitching 3.2 innings of relief on Sunday... allowed just two hits and walked two... tied his career high with six Ks... worked 2.1 innings on Tuesday at Xavier... kept the Musketeers off the board, allowing Miami to cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-2 late in the game... held opponents to a .190 average during the week... was 1-for-3 at the plate during an outfield start on Saturday.

Nate Bowles, Miami, Catcher
Sophomore, Dayton, Ohio (Stebbins)
Started three games, one behind the plate and two at DH... had a pair of multiple hit games, including a a career-high three against Morehead State on Sunday... drove in a pair of runs in game one of Saturday's doubleheader... currently has a four game hitting streak... batting a team-best .381 on the season.

Jason Moulton, Ohio, R-Jr.
Toledo, Ohio (Roy C. Start)
Moulton allowed no earned runs in nine innings of work with five hits and five walks to go with nine strikeouts in Ohio's 3-2, 10-inning win over Milwaukee that gave the Bobcats a 3-1 series win over the Panthers. The opposition hit just .167 against him and, for the season, they have registered just a .230 mark.

Seth Streich, Ohio, DH
Sophomore, Ridgeway, Pa. (Johnsonburg Area)
Ohio designated hitter Seth Streich had just two RBIs this week, but both were big as they were of the walk-off variety in extra innings against visiting Milwaukee. The sophomore ripped a solo homer to right in the bottom of the 11th in the first game of the series and laced a bases-loaded single through the right side to win the final game as well.

Casey Webber, Western Michigan, Jr.
Tinley Park, Ill. (Providence Catholic)
Webber tossed seven brilliant scoreless innings against Big East opponent Cincinnati, setting up the Broncos' lone win in a four-game series against the Bearcats this past weekend. Webber did not allow a run over 7.0 innings and gave up just three hits. He struck out nine batters, recording a strikeout in every inning pitched except the seventh. He recorded all three outs in the fourth with strikeouts and six of his nine K's were swinging. The crafty left-hander recorded the third out in his final inning with a pickoff at first base. The Broncos scored two runs in the top of the ninth to win the game 2-1. With the performance, Webber dropped his season ERA (spanning five games) from 3.63 to 2.76. The nine strikeouts was the second most by a Bronco pitcher this year, second only to Webber's 10 strikeout outing against St. Bonaventure on March 3.