March 30, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Blair Cash
Trinity's Sowyrda, Southwestern's Mendel honored

DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has announced its fourth NCAA Division III National Players of the Week for the 2006 season, with top honors going to a pair of Texas athletes, first baseman/designated hitter J.B. Sowyrda of Trinity University (Texas) and right-hander Matt Mendel of Southwestern University for March 20-26.

Sowyrda, a senior from Kingwood, Texas, was named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for leading the 18th-ranked Tigers to a 7-1 record during the week, including three wins in a four-game series with Rhodes over the weekend. For the week, he hit .500 (14-28), with 15 RBI, nine runs scored, and a .563 on-base percentage. Among his 14 hits, he cracked two doubles, a triple, and three homers for a slugging percentage of .964. Sowyrda raised his batting average from .191 to .281 over the past week, and has scored 25 runs and driven in 30. He is tied for the team lead with three triples and is tied for second on the team with four home runs.

Mendel, a junior from Spring, Texas, was named the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete game nine-inning no-hitter to defeat visiting Carleton College. In halting an eight-game losing skid by the Pirates, he struck out a season-high 10 batters as the Pirates trimmed the visiting Knights 7-0. Mendel's no-hitter is the first of the season for Southwestern, and his 10 strikeouts is also a team season-high. For the season, Mendel is 13th in the SCAC in ERA at 3.34 and has allowed opposing hitters just a .241 batting average (seventh in the SCAC). He has worked 35.0 innings, struck out 36 (tied for fourth in the SCAC) and is 2-1 in eight appearances.

Honorable mention hitters: Zac Bireley (Manchester) .600 (12-20), 8 runs, 8 RBI, 8 double, 1.000 slugging pct.; Blake Bullis (College of New Jersey) .545 (12-22), 10 runs, 5 RBI, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs, 1.091 slugging pct.; Chris Dunbar (Puget Sound) .412 (7-17), 12 RBI, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 grand slams, hit for cycle; Kurt Bednarcyk (Rochester) .643 (9-14), 3 runs, 3 RBI, 1 double, 3 steals, .714 slugging pct.

Honorable mention pitchers: Jon Oliver (Wooster) 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 ip, 9 strikeouts, no-hitter vs. Oberlin; Dan Leslie (St. Thomas MN) 2-0, 1.28 ERA, 14 ip, 10 hits, 14 strikeouts; Matt Daley (Gwynedd-Mercy) 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 ip, 5 strikeouts, no-hitter vs. Eastern; Jeff Stith (SUNY New Paltz) 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13 ip, 7 hits, 23 strikeouts.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site,

For more information on the NCBWA Division III Players of the Week, contact Blair Cash at George Fox University at 503-554-2926.

2006 NCBWA Division III Players of the Week:
March 9: Nathan Roberts, Franklin College (Hitter); Mark Moriarty, College of St. Scholastica (Pitcher)
March 16: Troy Beaver, Juniata (Hitter), Matt Woods, Sewanee (Pitcher)
March 23: Gerard Haran, College of New Jersey (Hitter); Phil Kielma, Illinois College (Pitcher)
March 30: J.B. Sowyrda, Trinity [Texas] (Hitter); Matt Mendel, Southwestern (Pitcher)
April 6: Rob Pietroforte, Johns Hopkins (Hitter); Matt Sample, Lincoln (Pitcher)
April 13: Jake Bell, Mississippi College (Hitter); Chuck Huggins of Trinity [Texas] (Pitcher)
April 20: Rob Bittner, Guilford and Adam Laplante, Wheaton (Hitter); Daniel Besa, Texas Lutheran (Pitcher)
April 27: Danny Ruth, Hardin-Simmons (Hitter); Alex Chapple, Aurora (Pitcher)
May 4: Chris Mayerski, Wilkes (Hitter); Josh Thomas, Gwynedd-Mercy (Pitcher)
May 11: Gerard Haran, College of New Jersey (Hitter); Cody Flynn, Edgewood (Pitcher)