March 17, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kevin Smith
Spidell, Close, and Horvat honored in final weekly awards of 2020
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DALLAS (NCBWA) – Student-athletes from teams in the Mideast Region claimed two of this week’s National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Div. III awards, while a near no-no took home this week’s Pitcher of the Week honor. This week’s honorees were recognized for performances spanning March 9-15, and they are the final awards for the 2020 season.

Hitter of the Weel: Aaron Spidell, a senior outfielder for the 21st-ranked College of Wooster, earned the North Coast Athletic Conference’s Hitter of the Week honor after stringing together a 15-for-25 (.600) week with 11 runs, 10 RBI, three walks, two doubles, two stolen bases, and his first collegiate homer. Spidell had five multi-hit games, which were headlined by a 4-for-6 afternoon with three RBI, two runs, and a stolen base, as Wooster beat 15th-ranked Marietta College 13-12 on Saturday. Spidell went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two walks, and hit his first collegiate homer against Swarthmore College and was 4-for-4 with four runs scored against Alfred State College.

Honorable Mention Hitter: Patrick Blackall, So., 1B/3B, Rochester Institute of Technology – Hit .684 (13-of-19) in four games in Florida last week. He scored six runs and drove in eight to go along with six doubles and a home run. On Monday, Blackall went 3-for-5 with two RBI, two runs scored, a double, and a home run in a loss to Beloit College. He went 2-for-3 in a loss to Rhode Island College, and was 4-for-6 with three RBI, three doubles, and three runs scored in a win over Husson University. Blackall completed the week going 4-for-5 with two RBI, two runs scored, and two doubles in a loss to Wells College.

Pitcher of the Week: Colby-Sawyer College sophomore Kaelen Close tossed a one-hit shutout during his team’s 12-0 win over D’Youville College last week. The sophomore, who struck out 10, was one strike away from the no-hitter, but D’Youville’s Logan Lipowski singled to center to break up the bid. Close retired the next batter for the complete-game one-hitter.

Honorable Mention Pitcher: Zach Kemp, Sr., Wells College – Named the North Eastern Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week after hurling seven innings of scoreless ball in a 3-0 victory against Vassar College on Tuesday. The senior came within one strikeout of matching the school record for strikeouts in a game with 13 and allowed just five hits and walked two.

Rookie of the Week: Washington & Jefferson College’s Tyler Horvat pitched the Presidents to an 8-0 win over sixth-ranked Washington University in St. Louis during W&J’s spring break trip in Florida. He threw eight shutout innings against the Bears, only allowing five hits and two walks, while registering four strikeouts. He also smacked a single against 25th-ranked Wheaton College (Mass.) on Thursday.

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 Dick Howser Player of the Year Award, Regional Player of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors preseason All-America awards, publication and writing contests.

2020 NCBWA Division III Players of the Week:
Week ending Feb. 23: Devin Hooper, Schreiner (Hitter); Ian McCole, Misericordia (Pitcher); Jackson Balzan, Salisbury (Rookie)
Week ending March 1: Derek Hurt, Maryville (Hitter); Ryan Boyer, Pitt-Bradford (Pitcher); Ian Metzger, William Paterson (Rookie)
Week ending March 8: Michael Leri, Lebanon Valley (Hitter); Matthew D’Ambrosia, Muhlenberg (Pitcher); Rian Schwede, Endicott and Harutaro Takahashi, New England College (Rookie)
Week ending March 15: Aaron Spidell, College of Wooster (Hitter); Kaelen Close, Colby-Sawyer (Pitcher); Tyler Horvat, Washington & Jefferson (Rookie)