After setting the tone for a three game sweep at Houston with a brilliant performance on Thursday night, Southern Miss senior righthander Ryan Belanger has been named Conference USA Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 14-19. Hitter of the Week honors went to Rice sophomore outfielder/designated hitter Aaron Luna, who had an outstanding weekend at the plate as the Owls increased their winning streak to 18 games with a three-game sweep of Memphis and a non-conference win over Baylor.
Belanger pitched the first complete-game of his two-year Southern Miss career and limited Houston to four hits, one walk and struck out eight batters to lead Southern Miss to a 6-0 victory over the Cougars in game one of the series at Cougar Field on Thursday night. Belanger finished with 120 pitches, gave up one walk in the first inning, two hits in the third inning, one in the fourth inning and one in the eighth inning. Only one runner advanced to second base in the game and he retired the side in six of the nine innings. His eight strikeouts matched his season high that he collected against Kent State on March 16. This is the second time this season that Belanger has been named C-USA Pitcher of the Week.
Luna batted .500 (7-of-14) with three multiple hit games, drove in a team-high six runs and shared the team lead with five runs scored to help the Owls go 4-0 on the week. Luna slugged a double and a home run for a .786 slugging percentage. He also drew two walks for a .563 on-base average. In addition to a team-leading seven base hits, he also contributed a sacrifice bunt and was error-free in eight total defensive chances in the field. This is Luna’s second C-USA Hitter of the Week honor this year.