National Collegiate Baseball Writers March 2, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Montoro
Notre Dame catcher has sparkling debut

CHICAGO (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released its National Hitter and Pitcher of the Week awards for the period ending Feb. 29.

Stanford sophomore infielder Jed Lowrie and Notre Dame freshman catcher Sean Gaston have been named National Co-Hitters of the Week, while Richmond junior RHP Derek Duclos and Memphis junior RHP Derek Hankins were named National Co-Pitchers of the Week. The NCBWA board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.

Lowrie achieved a rare feat and tied an NCAA single-game record when he tripled three times in Stanford's series-opening 12-9 victory at California on Friday to begin a three-game series sweep of the Golden Bears. Lowrie also drove in a career-high-tying four runs in the first game of the series and was 3-for-3 with two walks and was hit by a pitch to reach base in all six of his at bats. Lowrie finished the series with a .700 batting average (7-for-10) to go with six runs scored, a double, three triples, seven RBI, three walks, a hit-by-pitch, two sacrifice flies, a stolen base, a 1.400 slugging percentage and a .688 on-base percentage. Lowrie also fielded all 16 of his defensive chances cleanly. In addition, Lowrie extended his hit streak to a career-high 11 games and raised his team-high batting average to .472 with three homers and 22 RBI in the team's first 15 contests.

Gaston opened his collegiate career by going 10-for-12 (.833) with six RBI, seven runs scored, three doubles, a 1.083 slugging percentage and two stolen bases as Notre Dame posted a 4-0 record. The freshman sparked the Notre Dame offense by batting 5-for-6 with three RBI and three runs as the Irish rallied to defeat No. 25 Minnesota (19-7) and win the FAU Classic. He is the third Irish freshman to post five or more hits in a game.

Duclos tossed six no-hit innings in combining with senior Matt McLoughlin to record Richmond's first no-hitter since 1957 as the Spiders defeated Coastal Carolina on Feb. 29, 2-0. Duclos fanned six and improved to 2-0 this season with a 0.68 earned run average.

In just his second career Division I start, Hankins tied school and conference records for strikeouts in a game with 17 against Murray State on Feb. 28. In seven innings pitched, he struck out 17 of the 25 batters that he faced, allowing one run on two hits (both in the first inning) and walking two. Hankins struck out the side in the third, fifth and sixth innings and fanned seven straight during one stretch.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Howser Award Player of the Year, Regional Player of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors preseason All-American awards, publication and writing contests.

2004 NCBWA Division I Players of the Week:
Feb. 10: Josh Brady, Texas Tech (Hitter); Jered Weaver, Long Beach State (Pitcher)
Feb. 17: Seth Johnston, Texas (Hitter); David Purcey, Oklahoma (Pitcher)
Feb. 24: Brian Bixley, Eastern Michigan (Hitter); Adam Gold, California and Jason Urquidez, Arizona State (Pitcher)
March 2: Sean Gaston, Notre Dame and Jed Lowrie, Stanford (Hitter); Derek Duclos, Richmond and Derek Hankins, Memphis (Pitcher)
March 9: Ryan Frith, Southern Miss and Stephen Head, Ole Miss (Hitter); Clay Dirks, LSU and Jim Ripley, Kansas State (Pitcher)
March 16: Connor Robertson, Birmingham-Southern (Hitter); Cliff Russum, Southern Miss (Pitcher)
March 23: Jonathan Batts, UNC Wilmington and Rielly Embrey, San Diego State (Hitter); Jarame Beaupre, Delaware and Matt Daley, Bucknell (Pitcher)
March 30: Warner Jones, Vanderbilt (Hitter); Steve Grasley, Creighton and Jered Weaver, Long Beach State (Pitcher)
April 6: Grant Richardson, Washington State (Hitter); Dennis Bigley, Oral Roberts (Pitcher)
April 13: Brad Corley, Mississippi State (Hitter); Brian Bogusevic, Tulane (Pitcher)
April 20: Todd Kimling, Eastern Michigan and Daniel Stovall, New Mexico (Hitter); Tim Layden, Duke and J.P. Howell, Texas (Pitcher)
April 27: Nic Crosta, Santa Clara and Richard Gianotto, Miami (Hitter); Matt Campbell, South Carolina and Zack Zuercher, Rhode Island (Pitcher)
May 4: Brian Hall, Stanford and Kurt Suzuki, Cal State Fullerton (Hitter); Zac Cline, West Virginia and Arik Hempy, South Carolina (Pitcher)
May 11: Justin Holmes, Georgia and Lee McLean, UNC Wilmington (Hitter); Tim Lincecum, Washington and Jered Weaver, Long Beach State (Pitcher)
May 18: Steve Cavarati, Ohio State and Eric Nielsen, UNLV (Hitter); Mike Rogers and Vern Sterry, N.C. State (Pitcher)
May 25: Josh Ford, Baylor and Andy Hudak, Bowling Green (Hitter); Greg Bunn, East Carolina and Jason Windsor, Cal State Fullerton (Pitcher)