MAC Announces Baseball Players & Pitchers of the Week

Updated 5/7/2012
MAC Baseball East Division Player of the Week
Sawyer Polen, Kent State
Fr. INF Wooster, Ohio (Wooster Triway)
 Polen batted a team-best .571 with a team-high eight hits to help the Kent State baseball team (30-17, 18-3 MAC) complete a three-game weekend sweep at Ohio and clinch the Mid-American Conference East Division title. The Flashes weathered a lightning suspension that pushed their Friday (May 4) series opener into Saturday (May 5) to post a 4-1 win over Ohio, then followed it up with an 8-1 triumph in game two. Kent State completed the sweep of the Bobcats with a decisive 13-4 win in the Sunday (May 6) finale. Polen recorded multi-hit efforts in all three games, saving his best for last by going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. The rookie infielder is hitting .357 (second on the team) in conference play with 25 hits - including two doubles, a triple and a home run - to go along with 14 RBIs and 16 runs scored.

MAC Baseball East Division Pitcher of the Week
Tyler Skulina, Kent State
So. RHP Strongsville, Ohio (Walsh Jesuit)
Skulina, the reigning Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Week, was dominant on the mound for a third straight weekend. He earned his team-high seventh pitching victory of the season, improving to 7-2 thanks to nine strikeouts over 6.1 innings as the Kent State baseball team (30-17, 18-3 MAC) complete a three-game weekend sweep at Ohio and clinch the MAC East Division title. He surrendered two earned runs on six hits and a walk. Over his last three starts, Skulina has piled up a team-high 25 strikeouts against five walks.

MAC Baseball West Division Player of the Week
Patrick Duncan, Western Michigan
Jr., OF, Arlington, Texas (Lamar) 
Duncan led Western Michigan with a .615 batting average in a three-game series sweep over Ball State this weekend. Duncan went 8-for-13 with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored. WMU entered the Ball State series on a five-game skid before taking all three from the Cardinals.

MAC Baseball West Division Co-Pitchers of the Week
Dietrich Enns, Central Michigan
Junior, LHP, Frankfort, Ill. (Lincoln Way East)

Enns pitched a three-hit complete-game shutout versus Northern Illinois Sunday to help Central Michigan extend its longest winning streak of the season to five games and earn its first sweep of the season. Enns, who was making his first start of his season and just the third in his career, didn't allow a hit until through the first five innings and ended the day with a season-high seven strikeouts. The start was his first since May 1, 2010 at Northern Illinois and was capped when he struck out two Huskies in the bottom of the ninth to secure his first career shutout.

Steve Weber, Eastern Michigan
Jr., SP, North Royalton, Ohio (North Royalton)

Weber (6-3) pitched his second complete-game shutout in three starts as the Eastern Michigan University baseball team rolled to another win, 6-0, over Bowling Green Saturday, May 5. Weber moved to 5-0 in his last six starts and now has two-career complete games and has dropped his season ERA from a 7.78 mark after his April 7 outing at Western Michigan to 5.40. In his last three appearances, the 6-foot-6 righty is 3-0 with a 1.07 ERA and has pitched 25.1 out of a possible 27 innings. He finished the day against Bowling Green allowing four hits—three of which were weakly-hit infield singles—and struck out five while walking three.

Other Nominees
Andrew Brown, Akron
Sr., RHP, Painesville, Ohio (Riverside)
Andrew tossed yet another complete game on Friday - his fifth in seven MAC starts - taking a hard-luck loss at Miami. Brown allowed just two earned runs in the outing, while scattering seven hits.

Billy Wellman, Ball State
R-So., 1B, Portland, Ind. (Jay County)
Redshirt sophomore first baseman Billy Wellman posted a .571 (8-of-14) batting average and a 1.071 slugging percentage in the Cardinals’ three-game series over Western Michigan … Wellman drove in five runs, scored three runs, hit two home runs and notched a double in the three games … He posted three multiple-hit games in the series as he opened the weekend with three hits Friday, tallied two hits Saturday and recorded three hits Sunday … He hit a pair of home runs Sunday afternoon to become the first Cardinal this season with multiple home runs in a game … He raised his batting average 60 points on the weekend to a team-high .319 in 21 games. 

Nick Bruns, Bowling Green
Jr., RHP, St. Henry, Ohio (St. Henry)
Bruns, who only appeared once in relief, picked up the win in his longest outing of the season. Normally the closer, Bruns came on in long relief on Sunday, going five innings for the win. Bruns came into the game in the third inning with two on and nobody out, and proceeded to set EMU down one-two-three to end the inning. Bruns struck out five batters in his five innings of work to pick up his third victory of the season.

Cameron Copping, Buffalo
Sr., RHP, Temple City, Ca. (Pasadena CC)
Cameron Copping threw 8.1 innings and allowed just three hits and one run in a 5-1 win over West division leader Toledo Friday afternoon. Copping allowed a one-out hit in the bottom of the first inning, but then held the Rockets hitless until the seventh, when he allowed a single to the first batter in the inning before inducing a double play just two batters later to end the inning without harm. He finished the game with four strikeouts and just three hits and the lone run. Now 4-3 this season, he has a 2.85 earned run average and is limiting his opponents to just a .212 batting average in seven conference starts.

Tyler Hall, Central Michigan
Senior, CF, Rockford, Mich. (Grand Rapids CC)
Hall batted .417 (5-for-12) with five runs scored, two doubles and two RBI over the weekend to help Central Michigan sweep Northern Illinois and move just one game back of the MAC West division lead. Hall went 2-for-3 in the series opener with three runs scored before finishing the series Sunday with a 2-for-5 performance in which both of his hits were doubles. He finished the weekend with a .583 slugging percentage, .500 on-base percentage and played flawless defense in center field with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Tucker Rubino, Eastern Michigan
Sr., IF, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon (Glendale C.C.)
 Rubino provided EMU's most consistent bat during a 2-1 weekend against Ball State, notching at least one hit in every game and going 5-for-10 with an RBI for the series. He went 2-for-5 Sunday and 2-for-3 on Friday with a pair of runs scored and one RBI and provided steady defense for EMU all weekend at shortstop. His .643 on base percentage over the weekend was tops among EMU players.

Mac Thoreson, Miami
Junior, RHP, Knoxville, Tenn.
Improved to 6-3 on the year with a 6-0 win over Akron Saturday… pitched 7.1 innings of the combined shutout, his first of the year… allowed eight hits… walked two and struck out five… Lowered his ERA to 5.37.

Matt Honchel, Miami
Freshman, OF, Harrodsburg, Ky.
Hit safely in all three games this weekend, helping Miami to a sweep of Akron, its first in MAC play this year… extended his hitting streak to five games and his on-base streak to eight… hit .455 during the week with five singles in 11 at-bats… has two hits on both Saturday and Sunday, giving him a team-best 25 multi-hit games… drove in two runs and scored once… stole a base in the series finale… was successful on a sacrifice in Friday’s opener… fielded seven attempts perfectly.

Brent Choban, Ohio
Senior, LHP, Rittman, Ohio (Archbishop Hoban)
Senior Brent Choban pitched 6.0 innings in the Bobcats’ 4-1 loss at home to Kent State on Friday, but kept the Bobcats without in striking distance throughout as he allowed just one earned run. He also struck out four and limited the first-place Golden Flashes to a team batting average of just .231. In each of his 12 starts this season, Choban has not gone fewer than seven innings.

Scott White, Ohio
Sophomore, OF, Springboro, Ohio (Springboro)
White led the team this past week with a .333 batting average as he went 4-for-12 with a run scored in his four starts.

Matt Kuna. Toledo
Senior, RHP, Griffith, Ind. (Griffith)
Kuna limited Buffalo to three hits over 7.0 innings and led Toledo to a 3-0 shutout victory on Saturday afternoon at Scott Park. Kuna (6-1) faced the minimum of three batters in a frame on five occasions and the most Bulls he matched-up against was five two times to claim his team-tying best sixth victory of the spring. The right-handed hurler has now won three consecutive starts and worked at least 7.0 innings in two of those appearances.

Mark Lapikas, Toledo
Sr., 1B, Youngstown, Ohio (Ursuline)
Lapikas hit a team-high .455 (5-for-11) with two runs scored, one double, one home run and one RBI in Buffalo series over the weekend. Lapikas also tallied a squad-best .455 on-base percentage and a team-high .818 slugging percentage. He hit safely in all three contests, including a pair of multi-hit efforts. The Youngstown, OH native opened the weekend with a solo roundtripper. The following afternoon, Lapikas hit 2-for-4 with one run scored. The 2011 second-team All-MAC honoree then wrapped up the weekend with a 2-for-4 effort in the series finale. Lapikas has now hit safely in a season-tying best five straight contests.

Will Nimke, Western Michigan
Fr., RHP, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Saline) 
Nimke went the deepest of all three Bronco starters this weekend in Western Michigan's sweep over Ball State. Nimke hurled 7.1 innings, scattering eight hits and allowing four runs to earn the win on Sunday. He struck out two and walked one. With the victory, Nimke evened his record to 3-3 on the year.