SPARTANBURG, S.C. – VMI outfielder Matt Pita and Samford left-hander Samuel Strickland have been named the Southern Conference player and pitcher of the week, respectively, for all games Feb. 25 to March 5. The selections are made by the league office.
Pita was locked in at the plate this week, going 11-for-20 (.550 avg.) with three home runs and 10 RBIs. The junior from Richmond, Virginia, scored nine runs and stole four bases as the Keydets went 2-2. Pita began his stellar week with a pair of hits and runs in a loss to No. 14 Virginia on Tuesday.
In the first two games against Oakland, Pita collected four hits, driving in six runs while scoring three of his own as VMI split a doubleheader with the Golden Grizzlies. Pita capped off his week in dominant fashion, going 5-for-6 with two home runs, four RBIs and three stolen bases in an 11-8 victory. For his efforts, Pita was also named one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week.
VMI travels to Richmond on Tuesday before hosting Massachusetts for a three-game series beginning on Friday.
Samford’s Strickland turned in his second straight pitcher of the week performance after tossing six innings and striking out 10 in a victory at Kennesaw State. Strickland did not allow a single hit or a run as the Bulldogs edged out the Owls 2-1 on Sunday. The freshman from Birmingham, Alabama, has now thrown 13 innings without allowing a run and has struck out 19 batters, allowing just two hits in his last two starts.
Samford is 6-6 on the season, hosting Troy on Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST.
Also nominated for Player of the Week: Aaron Maher (ETSU), Ben Anderson (Furman), Cesar Trejo (UNCG), JT Thomas (Mercer), Austin Edens (Samford), Matthew Koheler (Western Carolina) and Cody Miller (Wofford).
Also nominated for Pitcher of the Week: Alex Bialakis (The Citadel), Grant Schumermann (Furman), Matt Frisbee (UNCG), Christian Vann (Mercer), Zak Kent (VMI), Jake Niezen (Western Carolina) and Grant Byers (Wofford).
2018 SoCon Players of the Week
Feb. 19 Jake Crawford, Furman
Feb. 26 Matt Dunlevy, VMI
March 5 Matt Pita, VMI
2018 SoCon Pitchers of the Week
Feb. 19 Micah Kaczor, ETSU
Feb. 26 Samuel Strickland, Samford
March 5 Samuel Strickland, Samford