Morehead State's Kuntz, Florida's Neely are Dick Howser Trophy National Players of the Week

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 March 10. Morehead State senior designated hitter Roman Kuntz named National Hitter of the Week, while Florida junior right-handed pitcher Brandon Neely was named National Pitcher of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.

In five games last week, Kuntz hit .455 (10-for-22) with 10 runs scored, two doubles, five home runs, 14 RBI, a .538 on-base percentage and 1.227 slugging percentage. The senior homered in four of five games (each of which was a MSU victory) as the Eagles averaged 16 runs per game during the week. He scored twice and drove in three runs in the team's midweek win over Ohio.

In the first game of a weekend series with Eastern Michigan, the New Carlisle, Indiana, native was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI before combining to go 6-for-9 with five runs scored and eight RBI in a Saturday doubleheader sweep. Overall Kuntz scored 10 of the 12 times he reached base. Kuntz leads the OVC in home runs/game (0.50), RBI/game (1.55) and slugging percentage (.734). 

Neely pitched in three of Florida's four games last week, going 1-0 with one save and 10 strikeouts over 6.0 shutout innings of relief. The Florida closer twirled 3.0 scoreless frames to earn the save in game one vs. Texas A&M, then returned to the hill for 2.0 shutout innings on Sunday to pick up the decisive, game-three victory.

The Seville, Florida, native also made a Tuesday appearance against undefeated Florida State, blanking the Seminoles across his lone inning of work. Neely concluded the week with a miniscule .105 batting average against.

Neely was tied for the SEC weekly lead in strikeouts (10) and ERA (0.00). He allowed just two hits and two walks in his six innings on the bump.

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