May 17, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Montoro
Middle Tennessee's Benefield, Kent State's Lauer honored
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DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its National Player of the Week awards for the period ending May 15. Middle Tennesseee freshman outfielder Blake Benefield was named National Hitter of the Week, while Kent State junior left-handed pitcher Eric Lauer 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.

Benefield hit .563 (9-for-16) in four games last week, hitting home runs in three straight games at Old Dominion, becoming the first Blue Raider to hit home runs in three consecutive outings since March 2010. He had seven RBI in Middle Tennessee's 10-5 win vs. ODU on Saturday, tying for second on the school's single-game list. Each of Benefield's home runs staked MT to 2-0 first-inning leads. The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, native delivered in clutch, as 11 of his 14 RBI came with two outs, including 9-of-11 vs. ODU.

Lauer threw Kent State's 11th no-hitter in program history to help the Flashes clinch a regular season title on Friday. The Elyria, Ohio, native tied his career high with 13 strikeouts while not walking or hitting a Falcons batter. The only base runner Bowling Green had reached on an error in the third inning. Lauer became second in career strikeouts at Kent State in the performance and his season ERA of 0.81 currently stands as the lowest single season mark in program history.

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,>.

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)