FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
NEW ORLEANS – Middle Tennessee’s Bryce Brentz and South Alabama’s Lance Baxter have been named the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, as decided on by the league’s member institutions. The award marks the second for Brentz this season, while Baxter earns his first citations.
Brentz pulled double duty for Middle Tennessee last week, working on the mound and in left field, as he helped guide the team to a sweep over ULM and a 3-2 record. Brentz had 12 hits on the week, eight of which were for extra bases, including a slugging percentage over 1.000 in all but one game during five game week. Brentz had a home run in each of Middle Tennessee’s games with the Warhawks which included a 3 for 5 performance on Friday night in the first game of the series; all of his hits in the game were for extra bases. Brentz also started on the mound Friday night working eight innings allowing three runs on 10 hits with a career high nine strikeouts to pick up the win. In the series with the Warhawks, Brentz had eight hits, six of which were for extra bases, six RBI and batted .667 with a 1.667 slugging percentage. In the final game of the series, Brentz doubled to lead off the ninth with the game tied at four and then scored the winning run on a single to left by junior Drew Robertson.
Baxter recorded saves in each of South Alabama’s four wins on the week. Baxter started the season as a starter, but when the Jag bullpen lost six games when leading in the ninth inning, he left the rotation to help stabilize the ‘pen. He did just that. He earned the first save of his career when he went 2.2 innings and allowed one hit with five strikeouts in USA’s midweek win over Auburn. He also made history by saving all three games of the weekend sweep at Louisiana-Lafayette. In addition to becoming the first Jag to save all three games of a weekend series, Baxter earned two of his saves on the same day, as the Jags won in the resumption of Saturday’s suspended game and went on to complete the sweep with a win in the finale just over three hours later. In each of those two games he induced a groundball double play in the ninth inning. He also struck out nine batters on the week while issuing just three walks.