April 18, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Montoro
Virginia pitcher records school's first no-hitter in 40 years

DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released the Pro-Line Cap National Player of the Week awards for the period ending April 18, today.

Pro-Line Cap: The Choice of Champions.Vanderbilt freshman third baseman Pedro Alvarez was named National Hitter of the Week, while Virginia senior left-hander Mike Ballard 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.

Alvarez, a native of New York, N.Y., went on a home run barrage, hitting six homers with 17 RBI to lead Vanderbilt to a 4-1 week. He was 9-for-18 (.500) on the week with seven runs scored. Of his nine hits, six were homers, one was a double and the other two were singles for a 1.556 slugging percentage. Of the two singles, one was the game-inning RBI hit in Vandy's 5-4 win on Saturday against Georgia. He had a bases-clearing double earlier in the game and accounted for four of the Commodores five runs in the win.

Alvarez hit a homer in the first four games of the week including two in both midweek games and one against Georgia on both Friday and Saturday. He also walked six times and scored seven runs. The only hit he had this week that did not result in a RBI was a single in Sunday's win. In his last 11 games, Alvarez has 10 homers and 27 RBI. He also played a flawless third base with no errors in 14 chances this past week.

Ballard, a senior lefty from Virginia Beach, Va., tossed a complete-game no-hitter as Virginia posted a 5-0 win over Boston College in game three of its ACC weekend series. He registered three strikeouts, two walks and a hit-by-pitch, as he faced just four batters over the minimum. Ballard retired 17 straight batters in the first 5 2/3 innings, before allowing the first base runner in the sixth inning. The no-hitter is reported to be the first by a Cavalier since the 1966 season. It also marked Ballard's second complete game of the season and third of his career.

With this week's honor, Ballard automatically is named to the watch list for Roger Clemens Award, given to the national collegiate pitcher of the year, sponsored by the Greater Houston Baseball Organization.

The Fort Worth-based Pro-Line Cap Co. supplies the official cap to more than 100 Division I college teams. This is the second season Pro-Line has sponsored the NCBWA's Players of the Week. The sponsorship provides for plaques to be awarded to each of the weekly winners and other promotional consideration. For more information about Pro-Line, visit their Web site at www.prolinecap.com.

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 Pro-Line Cap Players of the Week, contact Mike Montoro at the University of Southern Mississippi at 601-266-5947.

2006 Pro-Line Cap Players of the Week:
Feb. 14: Aaron Luna, Rice (Hitter); Nick Schmidt, Arkansas (Pitcher)
Feb. 21: Chris Swauger, The Citadel (Hitter); Barry Enright, Pepperdine and Brad Furnish, TCU (Pitcher)
Feb. 28: Kyle Russell, Texas (Hitter); Rodney Brantley, Dallas Baptist (Pitcher)
March 7: Luke Hopkins, New Mexico State (Hitter); Joba Chamberlain, Nebraska (Pitcher)
March 14: Chris Gradoville, Creighton (Hitter); David Price, Vanderbilt (Pitcher)
March 21: Kellen Kulbacki, James Madison (Hitter); Daniel Best, Southern Miss and Miles Morgan, Texas Tech (Pitcher)
March 28: Trey McDaniel, Western Carolina (Hitter); Christian Friedrich, Eastern Kentucky (Pitcher)
April 4: Andy D'Alessio, Clemson (Hitter); Tim Lincecum, Washington (Pitcher)
April 11: Reid Fronk, North Carolina (Hitter); Adam Ottavino, Northeastern (Pitcher)
April 18: Pedro Alvarez, Vanderbilt (Hitter); Mike Ballard, Virginia (Pitcher)
April 25: Case Cassedy, Furman (Hitter); Brooks Brown, Georgia (Pitcher)
May 2: Emeel Salem, Alabama (Hitter); Bobby Blevins, LeMoyne (Pitcher)
May 9: Jacob Dempsey, Winthrop (Hitter); Nick Jones, Oral Roberts (Pitcher)
May 16: Josh Dew, Troy (Hitter); Brad Lincoln, Houston (Pitcher)

Related links:
Pro-Line Cap Player of the Week plaques