April 20, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Blair Cash
Guilford's Bittner, Wheaton's Laplante and Texas Lutheran's Besa honored

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association has announced its seventh NCAA Division III National Players of the Week for the 2006 season, with Hitter of the Week honors being shared between first baseman Rob Bittner of Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.) and catcher Adam Laplante of Wheaton College (Norton, Mass.), while right-hander Daniel Besa of Texas Lutheran University (Seguin, Texas) was the Pitcher of the Week for games of April 10-16.

Bittner, a lefty-swinging senior from Wilmington, Del., homered five times and drove in 17 runs while batting .500 (11-22) with a 1.227 slugging pct. in the Quakers’ 4-1 week that included three conference wins. He went 3-5 with two home runs and five RBI in Guilford’s 13-4 win over Roanoke April 11. After going 1-7 in a doubleheader at Bluefield State, he erupted for seven hits in 10 at bats, including three home runs and a double, in Guilford’s Old Dominion Athletic Conference sweep of Eastern Mennonite April 15. He was 3-4 with four runs scored and a career-high six RBI in the first game,. In game two, he belted a school record-tying three home runs and finished 4-6 with five RBI. With 12 homers and 47 RBI, he needs two home runs and five RBI to break school records in both categories. He was the ODAC Hitter of the Week.

LaPlante, a junior from Harwich, Mass., led Wheaton to a 5-0 week by batting .600 (12-20) with a 1.500 slugging pct. and a .609 on base pct., 14 RBI, nine runs scored, two doubles, two triples, and four home runs. He went 3-4 with three runs in a 5-0 win over the Coast Guard on April 11, and 4-5 with five RBI, three runs, a grand slam and a triple in a 13-7 win over Bridgewater State on April 12. After driving in a run and scoring a run in an 8-7 win over Worcester State on April13, he combined to go 4-8 with seven RBI, two runs, two doubles, a triple, and a home run in 8-5 and 17-8 victories over Clark on April 15. He was the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week.

Besa, a junior from Austin, Texas, struck out a career-best 10 batters in a nine-inning complete-game shutout of Sul Ross State University in game one of a doubleheader sweep on April 15 that pushed the Bulldogs into a first-place tie in the American Southwest Conference West Division. He took a non-hitter into the sixth before finishing with a four-hitter while allowing only two walks. It was his second complete-game performance of the season. Besa was the ASC West Division Pitcher of the Week.

Honorable mention hitters: A.J. Dote (Ohio Wesleyan) – .800 (8-10), 5 runs, 13 RBI, 2 home runs, 1.400 slugging pct.; Jake Calcei (Kenyon) – .615 (8-13), 8 runs, 10 RBI, 1 double, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 1.692 slugging pct.; Josh Smith (Ithaca) – .818 (9-11), 4 runs, 7 RBI, 5 doubles, 1.272 slugging pct.; Jon Sheppard (Ursinus) – .769 (10-13), 4 runs, 7 RBI, .769 slugging pct.

Honorable mention pitchers: Jonathan Russell (Mississippi College) – 1-0, 0.0 ERA, 8 ip, 4 hits, 8 strikeouts; John Fox (Millsaps) – 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 ip, 3 hits, 4 strikeout; Matt Fuller (St. John Fisher) – 2-0, 1.92 ERA, 14 ip, 7 hits, 14 strikeouts; Ryan Kuhlman (Johns Hopkins) – 1-0, 2.00 ERA, 9 ip, 9 hits, 13 strikeouts; Michael Krieger (Ohio Wesleyan) – 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 ip, 3 hits, 4; Eric Thibault (Rhode Island College) – 2-0, 1.69 ERA, 16 ip, 11 hits, 14 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, www.ncbwa.com.

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)