DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its National Player of the Week awards for the period ending Feb. 19. Youngstown State junior first baseman Andrew Kendrick was named National Hitter of the Week, while LSU senior left-handed pitcher Jared Poché and Elon junior right-handed pitcher Robbie Welhaf were named 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.
Kendrick’s five hits were over three games at the Riverview Inn Governors Challenge in Clarksville, Tenn. All five hits went for home runs as he drove in 11 of YSU’s 13 runs at the tournament. The Springfield, Mo., native hit a solo home run in the season opener against Austin Peay, and followed that up with two homers – a solo shot and a three-run home run – against Indiana State on Saturday. He concluded the week by hitting a grand slam and a solo home run as part of a six-RBI day against Illinois State. He already has more home runs in three games than he did all of last season (four). In fact, only one Penguin, Phil Lipari in 2014, has hit at least five home runs in an entire season in the last four years.
Poché, the Lutcher, La. native, fired the sixth individual no-hitter in LSU history, as he recorded a seven-inning gem against Army in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday. He recorded no walks and four strikeouts over 79 pitches in LSU’s 6-0 win. Army’s only baserunner in the contest reached on an error in the LSU outfield in the fourth inning. Poché’s no-hitter was the first by an LSU pitcher since 1979, when Bobby Landry accomplished the feat in a seven-inning game against Southern Miss.
Welhaf needed just 100 pitches to throw the first no-hitter of the 2017 NCAA Division I baseball season in Saturday’s 7-0 victory over Longwood. It was the first no-hit performance by an Elon pitcher at the Division I level. In just his third career start, Welhaf faced just one batter over the minimum and retired 16 consecutive Longwood hitters at one point in the nine-inning outing. The Doylestown, Pa., native struck out a career-high eight hitters and walked just one batter.
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