DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) released its Dick Howser Trophy National Player of the Week awards presented by The Game Headwear for the period ending April 30. North Carolina junior third baseman Mac Horvath was named National Hitter of the Week, while West Virginia graduate student right-handed pitcher Blaine Traxel and Illinois junior right-handed pitcher Jack Wenninger were named National Co-Pitchers of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Horvath batted .563 in a 3-1 week for the Tar Heels and drove in an eye-opening 19 runs in the four games – including eight in last Tuesday night’s win over UNC Wilmington and seven versus Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Rochester, Minnesota, native hit a pair of three-run homers versus UNCW. His seven RBI versus Virginia Tech came on a grand slam and three-run homer and highlighted a day in which he keyed a doubleheader sweep by going 5-for-8 with 11 RBI.
Horvath’s eight RBI versus UNCW were the most by a Tar Heel player since 2004, and his 19 RBI were the most by any player over a four-game stretch in UNC history. His 19 home runs and 56 RBI this season stand as career highs, and he ranks among the ACC season leader in both categories.
Traxel registered a dominant performance against Baylor, throwing a complete-game shutout. He struck out six, walked none, and allowed just six hits to pick up his nation-leading fifth complete game of the season. The Burbank, California native now has 10 complete games in his career after throwing five at CSU Northridge and is also the first Power 5 pitcher to throw five in one season since Taylor Bloom of Maryland in 2016.
Wenninger earned his fifth win of the season on Saturday by turning in the best pitching performance of his career. He tossed a complete-game, one-hit, shutout of Ohio State, striking out seven and not issuing any walks. He retired the first six batters he faced before allowing the lone baserunner to reach to start the third. The Cary, Illinois, native then retired the final 21 batters he faced to give Illinois the 7-0 victory.
He became the first Illini pitcher to throw a complete game since Ty Weber on April 15, 2018, vs. Rutgers, and Wenninger also became the first Illinois pitcher since Kevin Duchene on May 10, 2013, vs. Penn State, to throw a complete-game shutout allowing two hits or fewer.
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