DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its NCAA Division II National Players of the Week awards for the week ending on May 1. Belmont Abbey junior infielder Ben Gobbel is the National Hitter of the Week and Point Loma graduate lefty Jack Gonzales is the National Pitcher of the Week.
Gobbel (Cuming, Ga. / Pinecrest HS) helped the Crusaders go 4-0 on the week as he hit .688 (11-for-16) with a 1.500 slugging percentage and a .750 on-base percentage. He drove in 10 runs and scored 11 with three home runs, two doubles and one triple while also drawing four walks, stealing two bases and striking out just once. In an 18-6 non-conference win over Lander, on April 26, he went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and five runs scored with a triple and a home run. He was a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI to go with two walks in the series opening 9-1 league win over Chowan, and he closed the series with a 3-for-5 game on April 30 in which he drove in five and scored twice with a pair of home runs in a 16-1 victory.
Gonzales (Oceanside, Calif. / El Camino HS) threw a 15-strikeout no-hitter against Concordia-Irvine (Calif.) in a seven-inning game in which a walk was the only base runner allowed by Gonzales. He faced 22 batters, retiring 15 of them on strikes, while the other six outs came in the form of flyouts for a 5-0 win. Gonzales now has a 7-1 record on the season with a 2.63 earned run average and 84 strikeouts in 68.1 innings pitched. He started the game by striking out five of the first six batters he faced. In the third inning, he issued a walk for the lone baserunner allowed, but got a called strikeout to end the inning. He retired all of the next 14 batters he faced, including two strikeouts each in the fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth inning, he struck out the side in order, getting the last two batters to go down swinging. He made it five strikeouts in a row in the seventh inning to get within one out of completing the no-hitter. He fell behind the last batter 3-1, but eventually got a flyout to end the game.
Division II Regional Players of the Week:
• Atlantic: Ian Hess, Gannon (Hitter); Ryan Bywaters, Shepherd (Pitcher)
• Central: Matt Miller, Missouri Southern (Hitter); Luke Tupy, St. Cloud State (Pitcher)
• East: Alex Rauso, Bridgeport (Hitter); Luke Marshall, Stonehill (Pitcher)
• Midwest: Zion Pettigrew, Illinois-Springfield (Hitter); Spencer Walker, Quincy (Pitcher)
• South: Hayden White, Delta State (Hitter); Luke Williamson, Union (Pitcher)
• South Central: Stacey Bailey, St. Edward’s (Hitter); Kevin Zapanta, Colorado School of Mines (Pitcher)
• Southeast: Ben Gobbel, Belmont Abbey (Hitter); Joshua Lanham, Lenoir-Rhyne (Pitcher)
• West: Kyle Csakan, Cal State San Bernardino (Hitter); Jack Gonzales, Point Loma (Pitcher)
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