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Thomas, Seabold Earn Baseball Weekly Honors
Jacob Thomas and Connor Seabold excelled for their squads during opening weekend of the 2017 baseball season.
Thomas Ties Career-High For Hits Twice
UC Davis senior Jacob Thomas (Stockton, Calif./Delta College) posted back-to-back career high-tying three-hit games to earn Big West Baseball Field Player of the Week honors.
The shortstop helped the Aggies to a split of their games at the UNLV Classic during a rain-soaked weekend. He hit .667 (6-for-9) and slugged 1.333 thanks to three doubles and his first career home run.
Thomas went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored in a 6-4 loss to Saint Mary’s.
He returned against the host Rebels to fuel an 8-3 victory, finishing 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI. He singled in a run in the seventh to trim the Aggie deficit to 3-2, and slammed a two-run homer in the eighth for insurance and the final margin of 8-3.
Others nominated: Scott Hurst (Cal State Fullerton); David Banuelos (Long Beach State); Adam Alcantara (UC Irvine); Connor Cannon (UC Riverside); Clay Fisher (UC Santa Barbara); Dylan Vchulek (Hawai‘i)
Seabold Shuts Down No. 23 Stanford
Tossing 7.0 shutout innings against No. 23 Stanford, Cal State Fullerton junior Connor Seabold (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor HS) secured Big West Baseball Pitcher of the Week accolades.
The 6-3 right-hander scattered five hits, walked just one and fanned five as the Titans won 1-0 over the Cardinal in the season opener.
Seabold did not allow a runner to advance past second base in the contest. He wiggled out of jams with runners on first and second in the second and fifth frames.
Others nominated: Orlando Razo (UC Davis); Alex Fagalde (UC Riverside); Noah Davis (UC Santa Barbara); Dominic DeMiero (Hawai‘i)
Payne Leads Beach To Two Victories
Long Beach State junior Evan Payne (Akron, Ohio/Loyola Marymount) averaged 20.0 points in two wins to garner Big West Men’s Basketball Player of the Week accolades.
It is the second Player of the Week honor this season for Payne.
The 6-1 guard shot 52.2 (12-for-23) percent from the field, including 42.9 (6-for-14) percent from three-point range as the Beach defeated UC Davis (78-69 in OT) and UC Santa Barbara (66-48). Payne knocked down all 10 of his free throws as well.
In scoring 18 points against league-leading UC Davis, Payne’s most important bucket occurred with 2.6 seconds left as that tied the score at 55-55 and sent the game into overtime.
Payne then proceeded to score 11 of LBSU’s 23 points in the extra period, including eight straight free throws to preserve the victory.
He hit a pair of three-pointers against the Aggies to go along with two rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Against UCSB, Payne scored 22 points, his fourth 20-point performance of the year, and added four rebounds, three assists and three steals. He made 8-of-14 floor shots, including four three-pointers.
Payne has hit at least two treys in five consecutive games, and has drained at least one three in 25 straight contests.
Others nominated: Donovan Fields (Cal Poly); Kyle Allman (Cal State Fullerton); Siler Schneider (UC Davis); Jaron Martin (UC Irvine), Noah Allen (Hawai‘i)
Fluker Secures Third Straight Player of the Week Award
Averaging 30.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in two victories, CSUN sophomore Channon Fluker (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) captured her third consecutive Big West Women’s Basketball Player of the Week award.
For the 6-4 center, it was her fifth honor this season and the seventh of her career. The seven citations tie her for eighth all-time in Big West history, and equal the school record shared by Ashlee Guay.
Fluker was dominant in wins over UC Irvine (85-77) and Hawai‘i (60-49). In addition to scoring a combined 60 points, she averaged 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game while shooting an incredible 78.1 percent from the field. She made 25 of her 32 field goal attempts for the week.
Fluker went 10-of-13 from the field and 7-of-9 from the foul line for 27 points against the Anteaters. She added 14 rebounds to secure her conference-leading 17th double-double of the year. Her sixth rebound gave her 295 for the season, making her the school record holder and taking the mantle from Pam Spencer, who had 294 boards during the 1979-80 season.
Fluker finished the weekend with 308 career rebounds.
She notched a season-high 33 points in the road win over the Rainbow Wahine. Fluker canned 15-of-19 floor shots – the 15 field goals tying her career high – and chipped in five rebounds, a steals and five blocked shots.
Fluker’s contributions enabled the Matadors to extend their winning streak to seven straight games. The win at UH also allowed head coach Jason Flowers to collect his 100th career win.
Others nominated: Dynn Leaupepe (Cal Poly); Raven Benton (Long Beach State); Pele Gianotti (UC Davis); Brooke Bayman (UC Irvine); Michelle Curry (UC Riverside); Courtney Middap (Hawai‘i)
Hyland, Kessler Earn Softball Weekly Awards
Sierra Hyland and Kelsey Kessler helped their squads perform well in tournament action last weekend.
Hyland Leads Cal Poly at Mary Nutter Classic
Cal Poly senior Sierra Hyland (Visalia, Calif./El Diamante HS) hit .538 to lead the Mustangs at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, earning Big West Softball Field Player of the Week honors.
Her award comes one week after notching Big West Pitcher of the Week for her performance at the season-opening Kajikawa Classic.
Hyland hit safely in four games and contributed a team-leading six RBI as the Mustangs went 2-2.
She finished 1-for-3 with a run scored and a double in a 3-1 loss to No. 6. Her most productive game came against Liberty in a 9-2 victory, when she went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBI.
Hyland then helped the Mustangs close out the tournament with an 11-3, five-inning victory over Utah Valley, as she went 2-for-2 with two RBI.
Others nominated: Delynn Rippy (Cal State Fullerton); Taylor Glover (CSUN); Jessica Flores (Long Beach State); Christa Castello (UC Davis); Danielle Garcielita (Hawai‘i)
Kessler Named All-Tournament at Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Cal State Fullerton senior Kelsey Kessler (Blue Springs, Mo./Arizona State) had two solid starts at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge as she garnered her first career Big West Softball Pitcher of the Week accolade.
The right-hander was the starting pitcher in both Titan wins at the tourney as she beat teams from the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences.
Kessler halted a Titan three-game skid in a 6-1 victory over Mississippi State. In a complete game effort, she scattered nine hits and gave up an unearned run while striking out three.
She returned the next day to help topple Texas Tech, 5-3. Kessler threw 6.1 innings, allowing four hits and one run with just one walk and 10 strikeouts.
For the week, Kessler went 2-0 with a 1.87 ERA, striking out 14 batters in 15.0 innings of work.
For her efforts, Kessler was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge.
Others nominated: Sierra Hyland (Cal Poly); Christina Clermont (Long Beach State); Katelyn Kibby (UC Davis); Brittany Hitchcock (Hawai‘i)
Women's Water Polo
Virgil Ties Single-Game School Goals Record
Sophomore Paige Virgil (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) tied the school record for goals in a game and led UC Davis to a sixth-place finish at the Triton Invitational, helping her earn Big West Women’s Water Polo Player of the Week accolades.
Virgil spearheaded an Aggie overtime upset of No. 14 Long Beach State with a career-high seven goals in the tourney opener. She became just the second player in school history to reach such a total in the 11-10 victory. Virgil also provided an assist, three drawn exclusions, a steal and a block as the win vaulted the Aggies into the upper half of the tourney draw.
The utility player scored two goals apiece in a 19-9 loss to No. 5 Arizona State and 8-7 setback to t-No. 9 UC Santa Barbara. Although she did not score in a 10-9 victory over t-No. 9 and host UC San Diego, she contributed two assists, two steals and two drawn exclusions as the Aggies finished the tournament 2-2.
Her weekend totals included 11 goals, four assists, three steals, six drawn exclusions and one field block.
Others nominated: Eirini Patras (Long Beach State); Kelsey Thornton (UC Irvine); Kenzi Snyder (UC Santa Barbara)