Feb. 23, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Montoro
Vanderbilt's Kendall, North Dakota's Muckenhirn honored
Bookmark and Share

DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its National Player of the Week awards for the period ending Feb. 21. Vanderbilt sophomore outfielder Jeren Kendall was named National Hitter of the Week, while North Dakota junior left-handed pitcher Zach Muckenhirn 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.

Kendall started 2016 with a bang on Friday vs. San Diego, belting two home runs as part of a career-high, four-hit game, while driving in a career-best five runs. The Holmen, Wisconsin, native drove in three more runs on Saturday, going 3-for-5, including a clutch two-run, two-out single in the Commodores' seven-run sixth inning. Kendall capped his massive weekend with three more hits on Sunday, adding an opposite field home run off the scoreboard as part of a three RBI, three-run game. He finished the opening week batting .667 (10-for-15) with a double, three home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs scored.

Muckenhirn stymied the No. 12-ranked Southern California Trojans Friday, throwing a three-hit shutout in a 1-0 opening day win. It marked his second career shutout as he punched out a career best nine batters and walked just one in the school's first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent. Muckenhirn needed just 103 pitches to blank the top offense in the Pac-12 from a season ago. He set down the final 15 batters in order as North Dakota turned heads nationally with a series win over the Trojans, also winning Saturday, 5-4. The Delano, Minnesota, native mixed all four of his pitches for strikes en route to his ninth career win.

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.

2016 NCBWA Division I Players of the Week:
Feb. 21: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt (Hitter); Zach Muckenhirn, North Dakota (Pitcher)
Feb. 28: Brandon Gutzler, Murray State (Hitter); Logan Shore, Florida (Pitcher)
March 6: Darik Hall, Dallas Baptist (Hitter); Lucas Humpal, Texas State (Pitcher)
March 13: Joe Cronin, Boston College (Hitter); Jesse Scholtens, Wright State (Pitcher)
March 20: John Jones, South Carolina (Hitter); Seth Romero, Houston (Pitcher)
March 27: Tyler Chadwick, Coastal Carolina (Hitter); Ryan Hingst, Arizona State (Pitcher)
April 5: Tanner Kirwer, Niagara (Hitter); Andrew Wantz, UNCG (Pitcher)
April 12: Michael Davis, Texas Tech (Hitter); Zac Gallen, North Carolina (Pitcher)
April 19: Greg Guers, Penn State (Hitter); Shane McCarthy, Seton Hall (Pitcher)
April 26: Logan Gray, Austin Peay (Hitter); Cody Sedlock, Illinois (Pitcher)
May 3: J.B Woodman, Ole Miss (Hitter); Chad Donato, West Virginia (Pitcher)
May 10: Brandon Soat, IPFW (Hitter); Kyle Simonds, Texas A&M (Pitcher)
May 17: Blake Benefield, Middle Tennessee (Hitter); Eric Lauer, Kent State (Pitcher)
May 24: Dillon Cooper, Alabama State (Hitter); Sam Perez, Missouri State (Pitcher)

2016 NCBWA Division I Players of the Month:
February: Taylor Braley, Southern Miss (Hitter); Brendon McKay, Lousiville (Pitcher)
March: Seth Beer, Clemson (Hitter); Seth Romero, Houston and Clarke Schmidt, South Carolina (Pitcher)
April: Hunter Melton, Texas A&M (Hitter); Will Hibbs, Lamar (Pitcher)
May: Daniel Johnson, New Mexico State (Hitter); Dakota Hudson, Mississippi State (Pitcher)