FROM NCBWA RELEASE
DALLAS - The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released the Pro-Line Athletic National Player of the Week awards for the period ending April 24, today. Oakland senior first baseman Ryan Heath was named National Hitter of the Week, while St. John's sophomore left-handed pitcher Scott Barnes was named National Pitcher of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I conferences each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Heath was 9-25 (.360) with 10 runs scored, two doubles, four home runs and 18 RBI for the week. In Saturday's doubleheader against Western Illinois, he hit a combined 5-7 at the plate with four home runs-including three grand slams-a double, 14 RBI and five runs scored. The Ostrander, Ohio, native was 3-3 with two grand slams, a double, a career high nine RBI and three runs scored in game one. He followed that by going 2-4 with a grand slam, a solo home run, a walk, five RBI and two runs scored in the nightcap. Prior to that day, Heath had not hit a home run this season and had never hit a grand slam. His 14 RBI more than doubled the 12 runs he'd driven home in the 30 games leading up to his career day and his nine RBI in the first game surpassed his previous best of four which he had done twice last year.
Barnes threw the first no-hitter in St. John's Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer's 12-year tenure at the school as he blanked Georgetown, 16-0, and finished with 14 strikeouts, tying his career high. He was three walks from a perfect game and threw 130 pitches in the complete-game shutout. Barnes became the first St. John's pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Gerry McKiernan did it in 1976. The Chicopee, Mass., native punched out the final batter he faced with his 130th pitch of the night on Friday, completing his no-hit bid and earning the Red Storm's second-straight shutout. He worked five 1-2-3 innings, struck out the side three times and helped his own cause by saving a hit in the Georgetown sixth.
With this week's honor, Barnes automatically are named to the watch list for Roger Clemens Award, given to the national collegiate pitcher of the year, sponsored by the Greater Houston Baseball Organization.
Fort Worth-based Pro-Line Athletic supplies the official cap to more than 100 Division I college teams and official uniforms and team wear to six Division 1 college teams. This is the third season Pro-Line has sponsored the NCBWA's Players of the Week. The sponsorship provides for plaques to be awarded to each of the weekly winners and other promotional consideration. For more information about Pro-Line, visit their Website at: www.prolineathletic.com.
The Duke Blue Devils are continuing to win baseball games as they knocked off St. John’s 4-2 at the East Carolina Invitational. The Blue Devils were led by a very good pitching performance from Andrew Walcott who threw six innings and only gave up one run. Jonathan Nicolla and Gabriel Saade each had two hits to led the Blue Devils offense. Duke will be back in action on Sunday when they will try to head to 10-0 with a game against East Carolina.
The Big East Conference released the Pre-Season poll in which St. John’s was given 7 out of the possible 11 first place votes. The University of Notre Dame received four votes with the Cardinals of Louisville getting the other vote. Notre Dame sophomore Kyle Wieland was picked as the Pre-Season Pitcher of the year and Rutgers junior Todd Frazier was the Pre-Season Player of the year. The full release is available here.
I think you should not sleep on USF and Duke transfer Danny Otero as they are my team to watch in the Big East.