April 24, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Montoro
Thurman, Hill each spin no-hitters to share pitching honor
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DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its National Player of the Week awards for the period ending April 22. Stanford freshman third baseman Alex Blandino was named National Hitter of the Week, while UC Irvine sophomore right-hander Andrew Thurman and Penn State junior right-hander Steven Hill were named Co-National Pitchers of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season. 

Blandino Hill Thurman

Blandino's week began with a two-run home run on Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to San Jose State. He added two home runs on Friday as a part of a 3-for-4 day with four runs and four RBI in a 19-5 win over No. 20 Arizona State. The Palo Alto native then homered on Saturday and had the game-winning RBI in the ninth of the team's 8-7 victory. Four of his first seven hits for the week, went for home runs. On Sunday, he doubled, had an RBI single in the eighth and stole third and scored on an poor throw by the catcher, for his eighth run of the week, sealing the victory and sweep of the Sun Devils.

Thurman tallied the fifth no-hitter in UC Irvine history, blanking Long Beach State in the opening game of a series. The Orange, Calif., native hit the first batter and then gave up a walk with two outs in the eighth for the only blemishes of the game. Thurman struck out five, retired 23 straight hitters in between and set down the last four hitters to achieve the first complete game of his career.

Hill threw a nine-inning no-hitter in Penn State’s 2-0 victory over Iowa. The Colleyville, Texas, native faced just two batters over the minimum and struck out three in the outing. He threw 69 of his 105 pitches for strikes and posted the first no-hitter for the Nittany Lions since 1995 and first in the Big Ten since 2009.The no-hitter was the first in the SoCon since College of Charleston combined to blank Western Carolina in 2004, and it was the first complete game no-hitter by a starter since The Citadel's T.A. Fulmer shut down East Tennessee State in 2002.

Hill had some stellar defensive play behind him. Most notably, with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Mike McQuillan hit a scorching ball to left field. Senior Sean Deegan made a great read on the ball and ran back to make a fantastic catch. Additionally, in the seventh inning with two outs, Ryan Rumph ripped a ground ball down the first base line. Steranka made a great play on the line and flipped the ball to Hill to end the inning and keep the no-hitter alive.

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 I National Players of the Week, contact NCBWA Assistant Executive Director Mike Montoro at West Virginia University at 304-293-2821.

2012 NCBWA Division I Players of the Week:
• Feb. 21: William Arnold, Central Michigan (Hitter); Robert Huber, Duke (Pitcher)
• Feb. 28: Johnny Coy, Wichita State (Hitter); Ryan Arrowood, Appalachian State (Pitcher)
• March 6: Mason Katz, LSU (Hitter); Brian Holmes, Wake Forest (Pitcher)
• March 13: Daniel Bowman, Coastal Carolina (Hitter); Michael Morin, North Carolina (Pitcher)
• March 20: Travis Jankowski, Stony Brook (Hitter); Chris Stratton, Mississippi State (Pitcher)
• March 27: Max Muncy, Baylor (Hitter); Sean Newcomb, Hartford (Pitcher)
• April 3: Alex Swim, Elon (Hitter); Bobby Wahl, Ole Miss (Pitcher)
• April 10: Richie Shaffer, Clemson (Hitter); Sam Moll, Memphis (Pitcher)
• April 17: Beau Amaral, UCLA (Hitter); Henry Sisson, Davidson (Pitcher)
• April 24: Alex Blandino, Stanford (Hitter); Steven Hill, Penn State and Andrew Thurman, UC Irvine (Pitcher)
• May 1: Derek Gibson, Southeast Missouri (Hitter); Kevin Ferguson, Northeastern (Pitcher)
• May 8: Goose Kallunki, Utah Valley (Hitter); Andrew Heaney, Oklahoma State (Pitcher)
• May 15: Pablo Bermudez, FIU (Hitter); Ross Stripling, Texas A&M (Pitcher)
• May 22: Ryan Padilla, New Mexico (Hitter); Mark Appel, Stanford and Tyler Duffey, Rice (Pitcher)