DALLAS - The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released the Pro-Line Athletic National Player of the Week awards for the period ending Feb. 18, today. Louisiana Tech sophomore outfielder Jericho Jones was named National Hitter of the Week, while UC Riverside junior right-hander James Simmons was named National Pitcher of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Jones, a sophomore from Corinth, Texas, hit .650 (13-20) in five games as Louisiana Tech extended its winning streak to eight in a row. He had a total of 16 RBIs, three home runs, three doubles, one triple, was walked twice and scored 11 runs during the week. Jones began the week with a 4-for-5 performance, driving in three and scoring three runs against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. In Saturday's second game against McNeese State, Tech trailed 10-1 in the seventh inning when Jones hit a three-run homer, his second of the game. In the eighth, he hit a two-run double as the Bulldogs went on to win 15-13. For the game, he was 3-for-5 with six RBIs and three runs. On Sunday, he went 2-for-3 with four more RBIs to help seal the sweep for the Bulldogs.
In his first Friday-night start of the season, Simmons tossed a four-hit complete game and tied the UC Riverside Division I record with 15 strikeouts in the 3-0 win over San Francisco. His 15 strikeouts top his previous career high of 10, achieved three times last season, and ties Chris Smith's five-year old school record. In his first complete game, the 6-4 right-hander faced just four batters over the minimum and threw 128 pitches, 95 for strikes. The Norco, Calif., native, who allowed just one runner to reach second, improved to 3-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 0.45.
With this week's honor, Simmons automatically is named to the watch list for Roger Clemens Award, given to the national collegiate pitcher of the year, sponsored by the Greater Houston Baseball Organization.
Fort Worth-based Pro-Line Athletic supplies the official cap to more than 100 Division I college teams and official uniforms and team wear to six Division 1 college teams. This is the third season Pro-Line has sponsored the NCBWA's Players of the Week. The sponsorship provides for plaques to be awarded to each of the weekly winners and other promotional consideration. For more information about Pro-Line, visit their Web site at: www.prolineathletic.com.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, www.ncbwa.com.
For more information, contact NCBWA Assistant Executive Director Mike Montoro (601-266-5947, email@example.com).