SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Mercer shortstop Ryan Hagan and Furman right-hander Will Gaddis have been named the Southern Conference player and pitcher of the week, respectively, for all games from May 8-14. The selections are made by the league office.
Batting leadoff, Mercer's Hagan hit .500 with two home runs, five RBIs and five runs scored against Wofford over the weekend as the Bears locked up their third straight SoCon regular-season title. He was 7-for-10 in Sunday's doubleheader and slugged.929 with an on-base percentage of .500 on the week.
In Friday's series opener, Hagan drove in a run with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly, his team-leading fifth of the season, in Mercer's 5-4 loss. Two days later, the Sugar Hill, Georgia, senior went 3-for-4 with two homers, a single, a walk, a stolen base, three RBIs and four runs scored as Mercer locked up at least a share of the SoCon title with a 7-6 win in the first game of a doubleheader against the Terriers. Hagan continued to swing a hot bat in the second game of the twin bill, going 4-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored as the Bears clinched the title outright with the 11-7 win.
The Bears became the first SoCon team to win three straight titles since Western Carolina claimed three straight division titles from 1986-88 and added an overall title in 1989 when the league went away from division play.
The weekly award is the first for Hagan, who becomes the fifth different Bear to be recognized this season with either player or pitcher honors.
Mercer (38-12, 17-4 SoCon) will host second-place Western Carolina (26-25, 13-8) from Thursday to Saturday to wrap up the regular season. The Bears, who have already amassed their most SoCon wins since joining the league in 2015, will seek to reach 40 overall wins for the second time in school history and the first time since winning a school-record 43 in 2013.
Also nominated: Joe Sabatini (The Citadel), Blake Rowlett (ETSU), JoJo Underwood (UNCG), Ayrton Schafer (Samford), Matt Smith (Western Carolina) and McClain Bradley (Wofford).
Furman's Gaddis, the reigning SoCon Pitcher of the Year, threw eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball in the Paladins' 8-2 win over VMI on Saturday. The junior from Brentwood, Tennessee, struck out six and walked just one, facing just three batters over the minimum over his eight innings of work and retiring the final seven batters he faced in order.
Gaddis (7-3), who allowed just one runner to reach third on the day, needed just 94 pitches to lower his ERA to a SoCon-best 1.92 on the season and win his fifth straight start.
The weekly award is Gaddis' first this season and the third of his career.
Furman (27-24, 14-10 SoCon), which wrapped up SoCon play over the weekend, heads to Nashville, Tennessee, to take on Belmont to close the regular season. The teams will play a three-game set, starting Thursday.
Also nominated: JP Sears (The Citadel), Jamin McCann (ETSU), Nick Spear (Mercer), Matt Frisbee (UNCG), Cody Shelton (Samford), Ryan Bennett (VMI), Bryan Sammons (Western Carolina) and Adam Scott (Wofford).
2017 SoCon Players of the Week
Feb. 20 Chris Cook, ETSU
Feb. 27 Charlie Madden, Mercer
March 6 Will Malbon, VMI
March 13 Austin Embler, UNCG
March 20 JT Thomas, Mercer
March 27 Charlie Madden, Mercer
April 3 Bryson Bowman, Western Carolina
April 10 Taylor Garris, Samford
April 17 JT Thomas, Mercer
April 24 Matt Smith, Western Carolina
May 1 Carson Waln, Wofford
May 8 Tyler Tharp, VMI
May 15 Ryan Hagan, Mercer
2017 SoCon Pitchers of the Week
Feb. 20 Matt Frisbee, UNCG
Feb. 27 JP Sears, The Citadel
March 6 Adam Scott, Wofford
March 13 Bryan Sammons, Western Carolina
March 20 Blake Smith, ETSU
March 27 JP Sears, The Citadel
April 3 Josh Winder, VMI
April 10 Ryan Askew, Mercer
April 17 Matthew Quarles, Furman
April 24 Robert Broom, Mercer
May 1 Stephen Jones, Samford
May 8 JP Sears, The Citadel
May 15 Will Gaddis, Furman