MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released its National Player of the Week awards for the period ending May 20, today. New Mexico freshman outfielder Ryan Padilla was named National Hitter of the Week, while Stanford junior right-handed pitcher Mark Appel and Rice junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Duffey were named Co-National Pitchers of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Padilla, a freshman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, hit .588 (10-of-17) for the week as the Lobos beat Rio Grande Rival New Mexico State and swept Air Force to earn a share of the 2012 Mountain West regular-season title. Padilla recorded multiple hits in all four games, scored five runs and drove in 10. He only struck out once in 17 at-bats.
In Tuesday’s 12-10 come-from-behind win against the Aggies, Padilla went 2-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs, a run, and a walk. In a 22-4 win over Air Force on Thursday, he went 2-for-4 with three runs, five RBIs and was hit by pitches twice. His home run was the Lobos’ first grand slam since Feb. 28, 2009. Against the Falcons in Friday’s 9-1 win, he reached base in all five plate appearances with four singles and a hit-by-pitch. He drove in one run as well. On Saturday, with a share of the conference title on the line, he went 2-for-4 with a run scored, two RBIs, a double, a walk and made a diving catch in right field in the 11-5 win.
Appel struck out 13 at Utah on Friday, retiring 12 in a row at one point and falling one punchout shy of his career high in strikeouts. The Houston, Texas, native threw a complete-game shutout, as Stanford beat the Utes, 6-0, marking his fourth complete game of the season. It was his seventh game with double-digit strikeouts and the second consecutive week he has struck out at least 10. Appel now is 7-0 with a 2.12 ERA in nine Pac-12 starts.
Duffey made three appearances, totaling 5.1 innings pitched and did not allow a run or a hit. More impressive, he struck out 13 of the 17 batters that he faced, including nine in a row at one point. The Houston, Texas, native fanned three batters in 1.2 innings pitched in a shutout victory at Sam Houston State on Tuesday, then turned in a pair of brilliant performances in the two wins at UCF. In the game two win on Friday, he struck out all five batters he faced. On Saturday, Duffey struck out the side in the eighth and fanned the first batter in the ninth to give him nine straight strikeouts of nine batters over a two-game span. The streak was snapped with a base-on-balls, and after an Owl fielding error on a fielder’s choice play, UCF suddenly had the potential tying run at the plate. Duffey was able to get the Knights to fly out and then threw a game-ending strikeout to preserve the 5-2 win for Rice’s 17th consecutive conference championship.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association’s official Web site, www.ncbwa.com. For more information, contact NCBWA Executive Assistant Director Mike Montoro (304-293-2821, firstname.lastname@example.org).