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Southland Baseball Players of the Week

Nathan Longs 15 strikeouts marked a career high and was one shy of the UTA school record

Nathan Long's 15 strikeouts marked a career high and was one shy of the UTA school record


FRISCO, Texas – Northwestern State first baseman Justin O’Neal has been named the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week and UT Arlington right hander Nathan Long has been named the Southland Pitcher of the Week, the league office announced Monday. It is the first weekly award this season for each player.

O’Neal had a career week after going 13-for-18 (.722) in four starts and helping the Demons to a 2-2 week, including wins in two of three games at Sam Houston State. The senior from Ruston, La., tied career highs with four hits against the Bearkats in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader and again in the series finale on Sunday. O’Neal also tied a career high with four runs batted in on Sunday. In the weekend series, he hit 11-for-14 (.786) with six RBI and scored six runs. He also had a pair of doubles and a home run. O’Neal is second on the team with a .340 batting average and has yet to commit and error in 200 fielding chances.

Long was one strikeout away from tying a UT Arlington school record when he struck out a career-high 15 batters in 7 1/3 innings as he led the Mavericks to a 7-2 victory over Nicholls State on Saturday. His 15 strikeouts are the most by any pitcher in the Southland Conference this season. The senior from Fort Worth, Texas, struck out every starting Nicholls position player at least once while tallying 15 of the 21 outs the Mavs recorded while he was on the mound. Long currently leads the Southland Conference with 50 strikeouts and he now has 25 strikeouts in his last two conference outings. He fanned 10 vs. Northwestern State last week.

Honorable mention for hitter of the week goes to Texas State outfielder Spenser Dennis, Southeastern Louisiana first baseman Joe Sparacino, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi outfielder Jonathan Reyes and McNeese State right fielder Lee Orr. Honorable mention for pitcher of the week goes to Texas State right hander Zach Tritz, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi right hander Trey Hernandez, Southeastern Louisiana right hander Ryan Boudreaux and Lamar right hander James Brandhorst. To receive honorable mention, a player must receive votes from 25 percent of the Southland baseball sports information contacts.

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 Hitter and Pitcher of the Week

Date Hitter Pitcher

Feb. 23 Michael Choice, UT Arlington Lance Dupuis, Nicholls State and Ricky Testa, Lamar

March 3 Shon Landry, McNeese State Jimmy Heard, Northwestern State

March 10 Jose Hernandez, UTSA Jeremy Cloud, Central Arkansas

March 16 Chris Murrill, Nicholls State Ryan Collins, Southeastern Louisiana

March 23 Jose Hernandez, UTSA Andy Sauter, UT Arlington

March 30 Justin O’Neal, Northwestern State Nathan Long, UT Arlington

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