MAC Announces Baseball Players & Pitchers of the Week

Updated 4/1/2013


MAC Baseball East Division Player of the Week
Matt Honchel, Miami
Sophomore, OF, Harrodsburg, Ky. (Mercer County)
Extended his hitting streak to eight games with two hits in each of Miami's three outings. Has had multiple hits in seven straight contests, 12 of 23 this season and 43 of 82 during his career. Batted .462 during the week (6-of-13). Started all three games with a hit from his leadoff spot. Two of his hits went for extra bases (one double, one triple). Scored five runs, including three on Saturday. Walked once. Stole two bases. Was perfect on nine fielding attempts.
MAC Baseball East Division Pitcher of the Week
Taylor Williams, Kent State
Junior, RHP, Mt. Hood Community College
Williams threw his second complete game of the season to pick up his fifth win in seven starts. He allowed only one earned run and six hits while walking only one and striking out eight vs. Ball State. He had just a 1.00 ERA in the game and dropped his season ERA below 2.00.
MAC Baseball West Division Player of the Week
Alex Klonowski, Northern Illinois
Junior, RHP, Kearney, Mo. (Kearney)
At the plate and from the mound, Alex Klonowski was a presence in Northern Illinois’ lineup reaching base in every plate appearance Friday and Sunday (4-for-4), while also striking out eight in five innings for the win on Easter. Klonowski finished the weekend 9-for-12 (.750) with two RBI, three runs, one walk, a stolen base and one hit by pitch to post an on-base percentage of .786. As a hitter, Klonowski raised his batting average 68 points with his performance this weekend. From the mound, he pitched five innings, striking out eight with one walk and one earned run allowed to earn his third win of 2013.
MAC Baseball West Division Pitcher of the Week
Eli Anderson, Northern Illinois
Junior, RHP, Glenview, Ill. (New Trier)
Anderson earned his third win of the season Saturday, pitching a complete game with six strikeouts and no walks in a 2-1 win over Akron. The complete game was Anderson’s second-consecutive complete game of the season, following his complete game shutout over Kent State last Saturday. He carried a shutout into the eighth inning and ended his scoreless innings streak to 16.2. Anderson finished the game 102 pitches, 68 for strikes. 


Other Nominees
Matt LaRocca, Akron
Sophomore, 3B/1B, Ward Medville
LaRocca led the Akron offense with five hits over the weekend series against Northern Illinois. LaRocca posted a .417 (5-for-12) batting average with two RBI and two stolen bases. The native of Stony Brook, N.Y., registered at least a base hit in each of the games this past weekend, and had one multi-hit game on Friday. LaRocca extended his consecutive game hit streak to seven games with hits in all three games. 
John Valek III, Akron
Freshman, SP, Stoneman Douglas
Valek (2-4) started at pitcher on Saturday for the Zips, which resulted in a 2-1 loss to Northern Illinois. Despite being tagged with the loss, Valek pitched 8.0 innings with two earned runs allowed and five strikeouts. The native of Parkland, Fla., did not walk a single NIU batter, as he tossed 66 percent of his pitches for strikes. 
T.J. Losby, Bowling Green
Junior, C/1B, Bryan, Ohio
Losby led the Falcons offensively, batting .571 on the week with two RBI and one run scored. He also walked three times, compiling an on-base percentage of .700 during the weekend. Losby was an integral part in Saturday's win, leading the Falcons to their first road series win in Mid-American Conference play in almost two years. In that 9-5 win, Losby went 3-for-3 with two walks and two RBI.
Cody Apthorpe, Bowling Green
R-Junior, RHP, Windham, Ohio
Apthorpe collected his first win of the season on Friday, combining with Nick Bruns for the first shutout the Falcons have recorded since April 8, 2011. Apthorpe went 7.1 innings, outdueling CMU's Jordan Foley for the 1-0 victory.
Jon Mestas, Buffalo
Senior, 2B, Farmington, NM (Farmington -Seward County CC)
Mestas batted .429 (6-14) over four games for the Bulls, playing a key role in helping the Bulls to a series win at Western Michigan. On Tuesday, he started the week with a 1-2 performance against Canisius, with a single, walk, and sacrifice fly. To start out the weekend series in Kalamazoo, he went 2-5 with a steal and RBI in a 10-3 win. He helped the Bulls hold off the Broncos for a 7-5 win on Saturday to clinch the series, with three hits in four at bats, adding another steal. With the team up 5-4, he drove in the eventual game-winning run in the seventh, and iced the game with a critical insurance run in the ninth.
Zack Fields, Central Michigan
Freshman, 1B
Fields hit a pair of towering home runs during a doubleheader Saturday versus Bowling Green. Fields broke the Chippewas' two-game plus scoreless streak with a solo bomb in game one before knocking a two-run shot over the left field fence in game two. Fields' two-run bomb helped the Chippewas jump out in front 3-0 over Bowling Green in an eventual 5-3 victory, their only win of the series.
Matt Trowbridge, Central Michigan
Sophomore, LHP
Trowbridge came out of the bullpen for the final 3.2 innings and struck out six Bowling Green Falcons to earn his first win of the season Saturday afternoon. Trowbridge came on in relief and held the Falcons scoreless, giving up just a pair of hits to the Falcons over the final stretch of the contest.
Daniel Russell, Eastern Michigan
Senior, OF, Sr. (Grandville, Mich./Grandville)
Russell was EMU's catalyst in a 3-1 week which included a victory in the home opener against Concordia and a 2-1 series victory against MAC East foe Ohio. Russell hit .353 for the week including a staggering .429 (6-for-14) in the series against the Bobcats. Those totals included six runs scored, two doubles and a triple. His three-bagger was his third this season and tied him for fifth all-time at EMU with 14 for a career. Russell's best game of the series was in Sunday's 13-6 win when he went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored.
Brian Hill, Eastern Michigan
LHP, Sr., Flagstaff, Ariz. (Sinagua (Phoenix College)
Hill (2-1) won his first start of the year at Oestrike Stadium in the Eagles' 5-4 victory over the Bobcats in game two of the series Saturday. Hill tossed 6.1 innings over which he gave up three runs on just five hits while striking out one batter.  
Sawyer Polen, Kent State
Sophomore, INF, Wooster Triway
Polen hit .500 in the weekend conference series against Ball State and was one of only three Golden Flashes to pick up a hit in the team's weekday game against a No. 15 ranked Notre Dame. Against the Cardinals he went 5-for-10 and walked three times for a on-base percentage of .615 through the three games.  He led Kent State in the opening Friday game, going 4-for-4 to lead the team to a win. He also had four putouts and six assists while not registering an error starting at shortstop all three games. Although not reflected in the scorebook, Polen had a handful of sharp plays on defense, helping his pitching staff keep men off base.
Nathan Williams, Miami
Sophomore, RHP, San Diego, Calif. (Scripps Ranch)
Threw his first career complete game on Sunday, pitching Miami to a series victory over Toledo... Limited the Rockets to four hits in the 4-1 win... two of the hits came in the same inning -- a triple and double with two outs in the third... Retired the final 13 batters he faced, plus four before that if you factor in a hit that was erased by a double play... walked three and struck out three... picked up this third win in four decisions.
Jake Miller, Ohio
Freshman, RHP, Westerville, Ohio (Westerville)
Miller helped Ohio to its second win in conference play on Friday as the Bobcats defeated Eastern Michigan 5-3. Miller pitched 5.0 innings, allowed just three hits and just one earned run. He also struck out five, but did not figure into the decision. 
Ben Otto, Ohio
Senior , Third base, Westerville, Ohio (Menomonie)
In four appearances this past week, senior Ben Otto went 4-for-11 (.364) with two doubles and two RBI. He also scored five runs, posted a slugging percentage of .545 and registered an on-base percentage of .533.  In game two of the Bobcats’ conference matchup with EMU, Otto led the way for Ohio as he went 2-for-2 with a run scored, a double and an RBI.
Tyler Grogg, Toledo
Junior, OF, Holland, Ohio (Springfield)
Grogg hit a team-high .462 (6-for-13) with three runs scored, one double and two RBI in weekend series vs. Miami. Grogg hit safely in all three games and has now collected a hit in 18 of 19 games played this season. He started the weekend with a 3-for-5 effort with two runs scored, one RBI and one stolen base. The following afternoon, Grogg went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI. The fourth-year Rocket then finished off the weekend going 1-for-4. He also finished the weekend with eight putouts and no errors.
Kyle Shaw, Toledo
Senior, LHP, LaGrange, Ohio (Keystone)
Shaw was outstanding over the opening 8.0 innings vs. Miami in Friday's home opener to earn his team-high third win of the spring. Shaw allowed two runs (all earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts. The fifth-year Rocket has now worked 8.0 frames in each of his last two starts. The LaGrange, OH native did a good job with his off-speed pitch against the RedHawks and induced three double plays to help UT claim its third win in its last four games.  
Vinnie Booker, Western Michigan
Junior, OF, Lake Orion, Mich. (Lake Orion) 
Booker helped the Broncos post wins over Big Ten rival Michigan and Buffalo this week, as WMU went .500 for the week. Booker batted a team high .429 in the four games, stole two bases and doubled once. In WMU's 4-3 win over Buffalo, Booker batted 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Booker had a hit and an RBI in the Broncos' win over Michigan in midweek play. It is the second year in a row the Broncos have upended its in-state Big Ten rival, also defeating U-M, 13-6 last year in Kalamazoo. Prior to WMU's recent two-game streak, the Wolverines had taken the last 10 meetings in the all-time series.
Steve Laudicina, Western Michigan
Junior, LHP, Sterling Heights, Mich. (DeLaSalle) 
Laudicina (2-5) notched his second win of the season, hurling seven impressive innings in a 4-3 Bronco victory over Buffalo Saturday. Laudicina held Buffalo to four hits, and both runs off the southpaw were unearned. He did not issue a walk and struck out two. The seven complete innings was his longest outing of the season.