National Collegiate Baseball Writers May 1, 2001
For Immediate Release
Contact: Russ Anderson
Kent State's VanBenschoten, SEMO's Pennington garner honors

CHICAGO (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released its National Hitter and Pitcher of the Week awards for the period ending April 29th. Kent State junior first baseman John VanBenschoten earned Hitter of the Week honors, while Todd Pennington of Southeast Missouri State received the Pitcher of the Week award. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.

Kent State's John VanBenschoten
SEMO's Todd Pennington

VanBenschoten hit .577 (15-for-26) with eight home runs, 16 RBIs and 14 runs scored in seven games last week. The junior had a string of consecutive games with at least one home run snapped at seven on Sunday one shy of the NCAA record and also drew eight walks. VanBenschoten, who drew eight walks and stole five bases on the week, had a 1.577 slugging percentage and a .676 on-base percentage.

He helped the Golden Flashes to a 6-1 record on the week, including winning three of four games on the road against conference foe Marshall. Against Findlay, he had his first three-home run game of his career, clubbing a solo homer, a two-run shot and a three-run homer.

Pennington went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA last week, allowing just six hits (all singles) and no runs over 12.0 innings, while striking out 17 and walking just three. He hasn't allowed a run in 25 consecutive innings.

Pennington threw the first five innings of an 11-9 win at Southwest Missouri State on April 24, striking out nine and walking none, while allowing just three hits. He then tossed a complete game in a 1-0 win at conference foe Austin Peay, striking out eight and walking three.