March 15, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Blair Cash
Elmhurst's Hofer, Keystone's O'Brien honored
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DALLAS (NCBWA) Infielder Zach Hofer of Elmhurst College accounted for 23 runs in four games and Blaine O'Brien tossed a no-hitter for Keystone College, earning NCAA Division III National Hitter and Pitcher of the Week honors respectively for the week of March 5-11 as voted on by a panel of D-III members of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Hofer, a senior infielder from Algonquin, Ill., batted .588 (10-for-17) with 10 runs scored, 15 RBI, two home runs, five doubles and a 1.353 slugging percentage as the Bluejays went 3-1 over the weekend. In a doubleheader sweep of Capital, he finished a combined 5-for-8 at the plate with five runs scored and seven RBIs. He added two doubles, a triple, and three stolen bases against the Crusaders. In Sunday's doubleheader split with Hanover, he finished game one with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a double and two home runs, including a grand slam. He scored three times and drove in five. In the Bluejays' 16-6 win in game two, he roped a pair of doubles, scored two runs and drove in three. Hofer was the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week.

In a week with numerous outstanding pitching performances, O'Brien, a senior from Scituate, Mass., stood out with Saturday's 2-0 win over Penn State-Behrend. The tall 6-6 right-hander worked a complete nine-inning game, allowing no hits and three walks while striking out 12. It was the first no-hitter thrown by a Keystone player since 2005. O'Brien was named the Colonial States Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week.

Honorable Mention Hitters: Cory Walden (Aurora) - .500 (12-24), 2 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 RBIs, 6 runs, 1.083 slugging pct.; Cody Stevenson (Webster) - .800 (8-9), 1 RBI, 2 runs, 2 stolen bases, .888 on base pct.; Alex Wong (Wentworth Tech) - .542 (13-24), 3 doubles, 4 triples, 9 RBIs, 8 runs, 4 stolen bases, 1.000 slugging pct.; Bruce Dunlap (Wilmington) - .581 (18-31), 3 doubles, 2 triples, 14 RBIs, 6 runs, .806 slugging pct.; Phil Valerio (SUNY-Old Westbury) - .521 (11-18), 1 double, 3 triples, 12 RBIs, 7 runs, 12 stolen bases, 1.000 slugging pct.; Christian Muscarello (Trinity TX) - .615 (8-13), 2 doubles, 1 home run, 6 RBIs, 5 runs, .706 on base pct., 1.000 slugging pct.

Honorable Mention Pitchers: Tanner Oakes (Augsburg) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 ip, 1 cg, 0 hits, 7 strikeouts; Mike Hughes (SUNY-Cortland) - 1-0, 0.77 ERA, 11.2 ip, 1 cg, 5 hits, 20 strikeouts; Chris Perry (Methodist) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9.0 ip, 1 cg, 4 hit, 13 strikeouts; Taras Letnaunchyn (Elizabethtown) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 ip, 1 cg, 1 hit, 6 strikeouts; Kyle Van Vliet (Rutgers-Newark) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9.0 ip, 1 cg, 6 hits, 12 strikeouts; Pat Havens (Baldwin-Wallace) - 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 10.0 ip, 2 hits, 19 strikeouts; Brad Orosey (Texas Lutheran) - 1-0, 0.00, 10.1 ip, 1 cg, 3 hits, 15 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. 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-America awards, publication and writing contests.

2012 NCBWA Division III Players of the Week:
March 4: Andy King, Hamline (Hitter); Mitch Hunnicutt, Hanover (Pitcher)
March 11: Zach Hofer, Elmhurst (Hitter); Blaine O'Brien, Keystone (Pitcher)
March 18: Gregg Steinman, Moravian (Hitter); Steve Maher, St. Thomas (Pitcher)
March 25: Bruce Maxwell, Birmingham-Southern (Hitter); Brian Ranta, George Fox (Pitcher)
April 1: Dan Fiorito, Manhattanville (Hitter); Jarrett Gish, Case Western Reserve (Pitcher)
April 8: Matt Thompson, McMurry (Hitter); Jhonneris Mendez, Suffolk (Pitcher)
April 15: Kyle Cook, Centre (Hitter); Kyle Cunningham-Rhoads, Wooster (Pitcher)
April 22: Edwin Moser, DeSales (Hitter); Tyler Erickson, Castleton State (Pitcher)
April 29: Tim Saunders, Marietta (Hitter); Kyle Szatrowski, UMass-Boston (Pitcher)
May 6: Brett Van Asdlen, Aurora (Hitter); Bill Oppriecht, Wisconsin-Plattevile (Pitcher)