National Collegiate Baseball Writers April 22, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Russ Anderson
Minnesota hurler shines in Big Ten play

CHICAGO (NBCWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released its National Hitter and Pitcher of the Week awards for the period ending April 20.

Eastern Kentucky junior third baseman Neil Sellers and Toledo senior second baseman Taylor Eckel were named Co-National Hitters of the Week, while Minnesota freshman LHP Glen Perkins was named National Pitcher of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.

Sellers helped Eastern Kentucky to a 3-1 record last week, including its second straight OVC series win in as many weeks. The Robards, Ky., native batted .667 (10-for-15) with 15 RBI and seven runs scored in four games as Eastern Kentucky took two of three from Tennessee-Martin and won a non-conference meeting with Xavier. Against UTM, the junior third baseman rapped out four extra-base hits as part of a 6-for-9 effort, driving in nine runs and scoring five more. For the week, he slugged 1.533 and posted a .660 on-base percentage with three walks and no strikeouts in 20 plate appearances.

In six games last week, Eckel hit .731 (19-for-26) with 12 runs scored, five home runs and 14 RBIs. Eckel, who also had three doubles and a pair of stolen bases, posted a 1.423 slugging percentage and a .767 on-base percentage. He opened the week with a three home run performance against Dayton, en route to a 4-for-5 outing with five RBIs and three runs. After going 4-for-4 versus Siena Heights, Eckel notched six hits and drove in four runs in a doubleheader with Central Michigan. He then closed the series with the Chippewas by hitting a pair of homers and ended the day 4-for-4 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored.

Perkins pitched his first career complete-game shutout in the series opener against Illinois, striking out a career-best 15 batters with only one walk in nine innings to earn Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors. The freshman lefthander struck out nine of the last 10 batters he faced to improve to 4-0 in Big Ten play with a 2.03 ERA, which ranks fourth among all League hurlers.

2003 NCBWA Players of the Week:
Feb. 4: Ryan Baty, Kansas (Hitter); Jered Liebeck, Arizona State (Pitcher)
Feb. 11: Jonny Kaplan, Tulane (Hitter); Wes Littleton, Cal State Fullerton (Pitcher)
Feb. 18: Travis Metcalf, Kansas (Hitter); Sean Rierson, Arizona (Pitcher)
Feb. 25: C.J. Smith, Florida (Hitter); Kyle Sleeth, Wake Forest (Pitcher)
March 4: Jeff Cook, Southern Miss (Hitter); Alan Johnson, Mississippi State (Pitcher)
March 11: Ronnie Prettyman, Cal State Fullerton (Hitter); Jeff Garner, Central Michigan (Pitcher)
March 18: Anthony Raglani, George Washington (Hitter); Jarrett Gardner, Arkansas (Pitcher)
March 25: Michael Aubrey, Tulane (Hitter); Tom Robbins, Southwest Texas (Pitcher)
April 1: Ryan Braun, Miami, Fla. (Hitter); Matthew Luca, UNLV (Pitcher)
April 8: Mike DeLorenzo, Saint Joseph's (Hitter); Wade Townsend, Rice and Dennis Bigley, Oral Roberts (Pitcher)
April 15: Matt Lauderdale, College of Charleston (Hitter); Scott Lewis, Ohio State and Greg Prenger, Ohio State (Pitcher)
April 22: Neil Sellers, Eastern Kentucky and Taylor Eckel, Toledo (Hitter); Glen Perkins, Minnesota (Pitcher)
April 29: Jordan Foster, Lamar (Hitter); Stephen Head, Ole Miss (Pitcher)
May 6: Ryan Garko, Stanford and Mike Costello, Towson (Hitter); Matt Torra, Massachusetts (Pitcher)
May 13: Phil Rothkugel, Central Connecticut (Hitter); Jered Weaver, Long Beach State (Pitcher)