SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Samford junior first baseman Saxon Butler has been named the Southern Conference Baseball Player of the Week while Furman sophomore closer Dylan Cole has been selected as the league's Pitcher of the Week for all games from March 14-20.

Butler batted .429 (9-for-21) with two doubles, two grand slams and 10 RBIs in helping lead Samford to a 4-1 record in five games last week. Butler was a combined 6-for-13 with a double, two grand slams and eight RBIs in the Bulldogs' SoCon series win over Georgia Southern. He also went 3-for-8 with a double and two RBIs in two midweek wins over UAB. Friday's grand slam proved to be the game-winner as it came in the bottom of the eighth inning with Samford trailing GSU, 4-1. The Bulldogs ran their winning streak to seven games before falling to the Eagles in Sunday's series finale.

Cole figured prominently in each of Furman's four games last week, appearing in each contest and going 1-0 with three saves in helping key the Paladins to a perfect week. The sophomore pitched 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while recording five strikeouts. Opponents hit .176 against him. Cole recorded the first of three saves for the week in Tuesday's 4-2 triumph over No. 4 South Carolina. He then earned the win in a 3-2, 12-inning decision versus Wofford on Friday. The sophomore notched his second save in the Paladins' 4-2 win over the Terriers Saturday and bagged his third save of the week in Sunday's 3-2 win over Wofford that completed FU's series sweep.

Other hitters receiving consideration were Davidson's Andrew Barna, Elon's Neal Pritchard, Appalachian State's Jack Myers, College of Charleston's Jose Rodriguez, The Citadel's Joe Jackson, Georgia Southern's Eric Phillips and UNCG's Trevor Edwards.

Other top performers among pitchers were Davidson's Mike Frongello, The Citadel's Matt Talley, Georgia Southern's Andy Moye, Samford's Kyle Putkonen, Appalachian State's Nathan Hyatt, College of Charleston's Christian Powell, Elon's Ken Ferrer and UNCG's Tyler Hollstegge.


2011 SoCon Baseball Players of the Week
Feb. 21     Ross Heffley, Western Carolina
Feb. 28     Steve Cochrane, Georgia Southern
March 7    Neal Pritchard, Elon
March 14  Mac Doyle, Wofford
March 21  Saxon Butler, Samford

2011 SoCon Baseball Pitchers of the Week
Feb. 21      Tyler Wood, Furman
Feb. 28      Lawrence Pardo, Appalachian State
March 7     Chris Lamb, Davidson
March 14   Chris Beck, Georgia Southern
March 21   Dylan Cole, Furman