WOOSTER, Ohio (April 10, 2019) -- Salve Regina University senior outfielder Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) was selected as the Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) for Division III baseball.
For the sixth time in seven weeks, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Div. III Rookie of the Week went to a freshman from the Mideast Region, while a no-hitter and a six-long ball week took home the Pitcher and Hitter of the Week honors for games spanning April 1-7.
HITTER OF THE WEEK
Zack Smith, a senior first baseman and outfielder for Salve Regina University, enjoyed an absolutely prolific power week with six home runs and 12 RBI in six contests. Smith, who added four doubles and scored 12 times, batted an impressive .560 (14-for-25) with a .533 on-base percentage and a monstrous 1.440 slugging percentage. The slugger opened the week by slamming a pair of round-trippers in a 5-3 non-conference win against Rhode Island College. He added four more homers in a doubleheader split with Commonwealth Coast Conference rival Western New England University, including three in the opener. In conference play, Smith batted .786 (11-for-14) with four home runs, six RBI, and a 1.929 slugging percentage in three games.
"To say Smitty was locked in the past week would be an understatement," says his head coach Eric Cirella. "He literally hit everything hard. I don't think I have ever seen a power display like that before. And the majority of his extra base hits were in clutch spots. When he wasn't putting on a laser show he was tracking down balls in the outfield, something he has done with the best of them this season."
Cirella continued, "I told Zack in the fall that he could be one of the best hitters in New England if he stays healthy - something he has struggled to do since his freshman year. And so far I think he is proving he can compete with anyone. He has been really fun to watch and I hope he can continue to help us win games into May."
Honorable Mention Hitter: Will Welsh, Sr., OF, Lancaster Bible College – The Chargers' senior outfielder went 10-for-14 at the plate for a .714 batting average with four home runs, nine runs scored, 13 RBI, and five walks during a three-game sweep against Gallaudet University. In the final game of the weekend, Welsh went 4-for-4 with three long balls to finish the week with a 1.571 slugging percentage.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Suffolk University senior Worth Walrod tossed a no-hitter in the opening game of Sunday's Great Northeast Athletic Conference double-dip with Anna Maria College. The southpaw matched his career-high with 10 strikeouts, and needed 111 pitches to become the first Suffolk hurler to pitch a no-no since Jhonneris Mendez did so seven years earlier to the day in a 3-0 win over Lasell College.
Honorable Mention Pitcher: Cole Christensen, Sr., Concordia College (Minnesota) – Earned victories in two of Concordia's three games last week. He pitched eight shutout innings against Augsburg University on Monday and then came back to throw seven innings and only allow one run in the Cobbers' victory at Macalester College on Saturday. Christensen fanned 12 batters versus the Auggies and then 11 more against the Scots to bring his Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference-leading total to 42.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Case Western Reserve University's Nick Denove threw a complete-game shutout in a 6-0 win over New York University in the second game of the Spartans' sweep on Saturday. Denove limited the Violets to five hits and two walks, while throwing just 91 pitches and allowing only one runner past second base in the nine-inning game.
2019 NCBWA DIV. III PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week ending Feb. 24: Tre D'Amico, Frostburg State (Hitter); Keith Long, Texas-Tyler (Pitcher); Andrew Santobuono, Alfred State (Rookie)
Week ending March 3: Deauton Delgado, Louisiana College (Hitter); David Hall, Belhaven (Pitcher); Casey Jones, St. Vincent (Rookie)
Week ending March 10: Davis Mikell, Castleton (Hitter); Jake Binder, Ithaca (Pitcher); Jacob Thompson, Oberlin (Rookie)
Week ending March 17: Holden Bridge, Swarthmore (Hitter); Tyler Showers, Arcadia (Pitcher); Colton Lineman, Grove City (Rookie)
Week ending March 24: Preston Ludwick, Centenary (Hitter); Brian Johnson, Springfield (Pitcher); Mason Sefcik, St. Norbert (Rookie)
Week ending March 31: Chris DeGiacomo, Johns Hopkins (Hitter); Chris Atwood, Wis.-Oshkosh (Pitcher); Jacob Thompson, Oberlin (Rookie)
Week ending April 7: Zack Smith, Salve Regina (Hitter); Worth Walrod, Suffolk (Pitcher); Nick Denove, Case Western Reserve (Rookie)
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.