NEW ORLEANS – Middle Tennessee’s Nathan Hines and FIU’s Corey Polizzano have been named the Sun Belt Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, as decided on by the league’s member institutions.
Hines helped hand Middle Tennessee two wins over Arkansas State on their way to a sweep of the series. Middle Tennessee’s Friday night game against the Red Wolves was suspended due to weather with the outing tied at five in the seventh inning. Trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth Hines hit a solo home run to knot the game at seven and force the 10th inning. In the bottom of the 10th, Hines hit a two-run walk-off home run to hand the Blue Raiders a 10-8 win. It was the first time since May 8, 2008 that a Middle Tennessee player hit home runs in consecutive at-bats. On Sunday, Hines drove in six of Middle Tennessee’s 10 runs in a 10-3 win which gave the Blue Raiders the sweep over Arkansas State. Hines ended the day a single short of the cycle as he led the Blue Raiders at the plate throughout the game. Hines went 3 for 4 with a double, triple, home run, six RBI and scored two runs.
On the season, Hines is hitting .313 with five doubles, a triple, four homers and 22 RBI.
Last weekend, Polizzano had his season-best outing, striking out a career-high 11 Trojans to help FIU capture game three and the series from UALR. The lefthander pitched a complete game as the contest ended in the seventh inning due to the run-rule. Polizzano struck out the side in the second inning, and he ended the game by striking out two in the seventh, including the final batter of the game. The senior kept hitters off balance all day as 10 of his 11 punchouts were swinging.
On the season, Polizzano owns a 2.65 ERA with a 1-1 record and 18 strikeouts in his 17.0 innings of work.
Polizzano’s pitcher of the week citations marks the second-straight week, a member of the league-best FIU pitching staff picks up the award, as the senior starter follows teammate Tom Ebert.