Francis Jr., Karaba are NCBWA Division II National Players of the Week

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its NCAA Division II National Players of the Week awards for the week ending on March 19, 2023. Erskine College sophomore first baseman Dale Francis Jr., is the National Hitter of the Week and Lewis University (Ill.) junior hurler Jake Karaba is the National Pitcher of the Week,

Francis Jr., (Fort Pierce, Ala. / Alabama State) finished Erskine’s four games last week hitting .667 (10-of-15) with 13 RBI and eight runs scored. He had two four-hit games in addition to seven extra-base hits with four home runs and three doubles. Francis owned a 1.667 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .737. In Erskine’s 21-9 game one win over Barton, Francis finished the game going 4-for-5 with eight RBIs and four runs scored. He had three home runs in the contest.

Karaba (Naperville, Ill. / Neuqua Valley HS) tossed seven-inning complete game shutout in the second game of the Flyers’ doubleheader against No. 5 Illinois Springfield.  He struck out 12 batters, while allowing just two hits and zero walks and was one out away from perfect game in seventh inning.

Division II Regional Players of the Week:

  • Atlantic: Justin Byler, Shippensburg (Hitter); Kevin Vaupel, Seton Hill (Pitcher)
  • Central: Jake Hjelle, Minnesota Crookston (Hitter); Mason Philley, Arkansas-Monticello (Pitcher)
  • East: Anthony Fontana, Queens (N.Y.) (Hitter); Jeffrey Praml, Southern New Hampshire (Pitcher)
  • Midwest: Michael Gould, Maryville (Hitter); Jake Karaba, Lewis (Pitcher)
  • South: Sam Kuchinski, Montevallo (Hitter); Jacob Smith, West Alabama (Pitcher)
  • South Central: Jake Williams, Metro State (Hitter); Kade Bragg, Angelo State (Pitcher)
  • Southeast: Dale Francis, Jr., Erskine (Hitter); Mitch Farris, Wingate (Pitcher)
  • West: Matthew Piotrowski, Cal State-Los Angeles (Hitter); Eddie Curley, Holy Names (Pitcher)

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