FRISCO, Texas – UT Arlington first baseman Michael Choice has been named the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week while Nicholls State right-handed pitcher Lance Dupuis and Lamar right-hander Ricky Testa have been named the conference Co-Pitchers of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday.
Choice helped the Mavericks to a second-place finish at the UTA/Hilton Invitational with a pair of wins over Siena and another win against Arkansas State. The sophomore from Mansfield, Texas, hit a three-run home run with two outs in the Mavericks’ season opener against Arkansas State to help them defeat the Red Wolves 5-4. In the final game of the Invitational, Choice led UT Arlington in going 4-for-5 with four RBI. Choice, who batted .529 (9-for-17) with nine RBI in the four games, also drove in two runs with his second multi-hit game of the weekend against Siena Sunday evening in the Mavs’ 13-0 victory. The 13-0 victory was the first shutouts for the Mavericks since Opening Day in 2008.
Dupuis threw six solid innings for the Colonels on Opening Day, a 15-0 shutout of Chicago State. The senior from Crowley, La., struck out 11 of the 20 batters he faced and scattered two hits through six innings. He allowed two hits and did not allow a walk in earning his first win of the season. Dupuis did not allow a runner to advance into scoring position. Nicholls went on to sweep Chicago State for a 3-0 start to the season.
Testa struck out a career-high 10 batters in the Cardinals’ 1-0 victory over Austin Peay in the season opener. The senior from Mesquite, Texas allowed just one hit, walked two and retired 11 consecutive at one point. He did not allow a runner past first base in his first career start. Lamar, which won Testa’s start with a walk-off home run, is one of two 4-0 teams in the Southland after the opening weekend sweep.
Honorable mention for hitter of the week goes to Nicholls State second baseman Keith Kulbeth, McNeese State catcher Taylor Freeman, Lamar outfielder Tyler Link and Sam Houston State infielder/outfielder Nick Zaleski. Honorable mention for pitcher of the week goes to UTSA’s Zach Calhoon and UT Arlington’s Rett Varner. To receive honorable mention, a player must receive votes from 25 percent of the Southland men’s basketball sports information directors.
Each school’s SID nominates and votes for the players of the week, though is not permitted to vote for his or her own player.
2009 Southland Conference Players of the Week
February 23 – Hitter: Michael Choice, UT Arlington; Co-Pitchers: Lance Dupuis, Nicholls State and Ricky Testa, Lamar