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Hiura, Uelmen Earn Baseball Weekly Honors
UC Irvine junior Keston Hiura and Cal Poly junior Erich Uelmen flourished in their final performances of the 2017 season for the baseball weekly awards.
Hiura Finishes As Nation’s Batting Champion
UC Irvine junior Keston Hiura (Valencia, Calif./Valencia HS) capped off an incredible year at the plate as the conference and NCAA batting champion, hitting .737 (14-for-19) over four games to collect Big West Baseball Field Player of the Week honors.
The outfielder finished the campaign with a .442 average. He began the week with a four-hit effort against UCLA, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored and three RBI as the Anteaters won 12-4. He added a double and stolen base in the contest.
Helping the ‘Eaters to a series win against UC Davis, Hiura had 10 hits in 13 at-bats, including his second career five-hit game in the season finale. He finished 5-for-5 with a run scored, doubled for the fourth consecutive game and had three RBIs in the 11-9 loss.
Hiura strung together four consecutive multi-hit games as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI in game one against UC Davis, a 2-1 victory, and 3-for-4 with two runs scored in a 6-5 triumph in game two.
Hiura capped the week with five runs scored and seven RBIs. He finished the season with a conference-leading 24 doubles, tying him for first on the UCI single-season list. His 54 career doubles is an ‘Eater program record.
Others nominated: Ryan Hooper (UC Davis); AJ Sawyer (UC Riverside); Josh Rojas (Hawai‘i)
Uelmen Tosses Shutout Against UC Riverside
Cal Poly junior Erich Uelmen (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran HS) finished the season with a six-hit shutout of UC Riverside as he captured Big West Baseball Pitcher of the Week accolades.
He fanned a career-high 12 batters and walked only one in his complete game effort, the first of the season for the right-hander. Uelmen helped the Mustangs to a seventh series win in eight tries as Cal Poly finished second in the Big West. It was his second career shutout and third career complete game.
Uelmen, who retired the last eight Highlanders of the game, lowered his season ERA to 2.93 – No. 5 in the Big West. He retired the side in order four times. His 100 strikeouts rank No. 2 in the conference.
Others nominated: Connor Seabold (Cal State Fullerton); Chris Rivera (Long Beach State); Matt Blais (UC Davis); Alex Fagalde (UC Riverside); Neil Uskali (Hawai‘i)
Hurst, Smith Earn Baseball Weekly Honors
Scott Hurst tied the Big West single-game home run record, and Dave Smith threw the longest stint of his career as this week’s baseball honorees.
Hurst Hits Four Homers In One Game
Cal State Fullerton junior Scott Hurst (Glendora, Calif./Bishop Amat HS) earned Big West Baseball Field Player of the Week accolades as he tied both school and conference single-game records with four home runs against CSUN.
The outfielder had a 5-for-5 day at the plate, setting career highs in RBI (7) and runs scored (6) as the Titans enjoyed a 16-7 victory. With his four homers, Hurst tied the school record by Sam Favata, who initially set the mark of April 23, 1980 against La Verne. Hurst also joined UNLV’s Gus Kennedy (1994) as the only two Big West players to hit four homers in a game.
Hurst led off Saturday’s game connecting on a 3-2 pitch and launching it over the right field fence with a solo shot and a 1-0 lead. He blasted another homer to right in the third to extend the Titan advantage to 3-0. After doubling and walking in his next two at-bats, Hurst punctuated a four-run uprising in the seventh with a three-run opposite field jack on another 3-2 count.
At that point, the Titans weren’t done and neither was Hurst. After the Matadors got seven runs back over their next two at-bats, Hurst provided one more highlight as he slammed a towering solo shot over the right field scoreboard for CSF’s 14th run in the ninth.
Hurst joins Louisville’s Brendan McKay as the only two players to hit four homers in a game this season. Hurst’s seven RBI fell one short of the school record of eight by David Olmedo-Barrera on April 4, 2015.
He had at least one hit in each of the three other games on the week, including a 3-for-4 performance with one run scored on Tuesday against Saint Mary’s. He hit .556 (10-for-18) with eight runs scored and seven RBI – the four homers and one double helping him post a 1.278 slugging percentage.
Others nominated: Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly); Justin Toerner (CSUN); Mason Novak (UC Davis)
Smith Helps Long Beach State Clinch Big West Title
Adding to the celebration of Senior Day, Long Beach State senior Dave Smith (Elk Grove, Calif./Cosumnes River JC) threw a career-best 8.0 innings in a title-clinching victory, leading to his selection as Big West Baseball Pitcher of the Week.
The right-hander allowed just six hits and one run to help the Dirtbags to a 2-1 victory over Hawai‘i and a three-game sweep. The win on Sunday, coupled with Cal State Fullerton’s loss to CSUN, enabled the Dirtbags to capture their first Big West title since 2008, and their first outright crown since 2003.
Smith showcased his typical command as he did not walk a batter for the seventh time in 10 starts this year. He also struck out two batters. He stranded five runners and the only blemish was a solo homer by Adam Fogel in the seventh inning. LBSU earned its ninth Big West championship, and the first under head coach Troy Buckley.
Smith improved to 8-1 on the year and lowered his conference-best ERA to 1.70.
Others nominated: Spencer Howard (Cal Poly); Connor Seabold (Cal State Fullerton); Tei Vanderford (CSUN); Justin Mullins (UC Davis)
Bush, Mullins Earn Baseball Weekly Honors
Austin Bush whacked four homers to extend his conference lead, while Justin Mullins contributed to a four-hit shutout as the duo received the baseball weekly awards.
Bush Powers Gaucho Offense With Four Homers
UC Santa Barbara junior Austin Bush (Turlock, Calif./Turlock HS) notched his second career Big West Baseball Field Player of the Week award after an impressive power display.
The first baseman had four homers and a double among his six hits in a 1-3 week for the Gauchos. Bush drove in seven of the 18 runs the team scored over the four games.
Bush’s four homers extended his Big West lead to 14. He now ranks sixth in UCSB single-season history for homers, and eighth on the career list (28). He is UCSB’s single-season and career leader in home runs in the BBCOR era.
He slugged homers in three consecutive games, beginning with Tuesday’s non-conference matinee at Saint Mary’s. His solo homer in the fifth inning put the Gauchos up 4-3, as he matched his career-high of 11 set last year.
Bush uncorked a towering two-run shot over the center field fence to give UCSB a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the conference opener against Cal State Fullerton Friday. He wasn’t done, as he drilled two more homers in Saturday’s 6-3 victory that evened the series at one apiece. Bush gave the Gauchos a 2-0 lead with a fifth-inning two-run jack over the right field netting, and provided a pair of insurance runs in the ninth with an opposite field bomb. Bush finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs.
For the week, he batted .400 (6-for-15) with four runs and seven RBIs. He had a 1.267 slugging percentage.
Others nominated: Scott Hurst (Cal State Fullerton); Nolan Bumstead (CSUN); Lucas Tancas (Long Beach State); Ryan Anderson (UC Davis); Mark Contreras (UC Riverside); Adam Fogel (Hawai‘i)
Mullins Combines On Four-Hit Shutout
UC Davis senior Justin Mullins (Napa, Calif./Vintage HS) combined on a four-hit shutout of UC Riverside to secure his first career Big West Baseball Pitcher of the Week award.
The right-hander tossed 8.1 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits against the Highlanders before leaving after a walk with one out in the ninth. He struck out a season-high six batters in the 2-0 victory. That tied his highest strikeout total since sitting down the same number in a win over Sacramento State on May 10, 2016.
It was the longest outing and finest performance of the season for Mullins, who earned the fourth Pitcher of the Week award by an Aggie this season, joining Orlando Razo (Feb. 27 and Apr. 17) and Robert Garcia (May 8). He held UC Riverside to .148 hitting in the game, and retired 11 consecutive hitters at one point.
Others nominated: Spencer Howard (Cal Poly); Connor Seabold (Cal State Fullerton); Samuel Myers (CSUN); Dave Smith (Long Beach State); Calvin Faucher (UC Irvine); Brendan Hornung (Hawai‘i)
Horvath, Mayer Notch Softball Weekly Awards
Savannah Horvath slugged a pair of homers and Lena Mayer shut down the Big West champions from the circle – the duo earning softball weekly honors.
Horvath Homers Twice To Lead CSUN Offense
CSUN junior Savannah Horvath (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial HS) pounded out four extra base hits, including a pair of homers, to claim Big West Softball Field Player of the Week accolades after her performance at UC Davis.
Horvath batted .444 (4-for-9) with three runs scored and five RBIs to lead the Matadors to a 2-1 series victory. She had two doubles and two home runs, helping her finish the week with a 1.333 slugging percentage.
Horvath homered in both ends of a Saturday doubleheader sweep as the two wins pushed CSUN’s record to 31-22, marking the fourth straight 30-win season for the program. The Matadors had not accomplished that feat since 1996-99.
The shortstop provided all the runs CSUN would need with one swing in game one of the doubleheader. She blasted a grand slam in the third inning for a 4-0 CSUN lead in an eventual 4-2 victory. It was her 12th home run of the season. She also doubled in the game.
In the rubber game of the series, Horvath roped a solo shot in the fifth to provide the Matadors with a 5-1 advantage. She scored twice in the 8-3 victory. Her 13th home run of the year also was the 35th of her career, placing her No. 8 outright in Big West history.
Horvath’s five RBIs allowed her to finish the season with a conference-high 41. She led the Big West in slugging percentage and was second in total bases.
Others nominated: Sierra Hyland (Cal Poly); Shianne Brannan (Cal State Fullerton); Jessica Johnston (UC Santa Barbara); Danielle Garcielita (Hawai‘i)
Mayer Earns Two Wins Against Champion Cal State Fullerton
UC Santa Barbara junior Lena Mayer (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley HS) threw 12 scoreless innings and picked up two wins against the conference champs, earning Big West Softball Pitcher of the Week honors.
The right-hander led the Gauchos to a series victory over Cal State Fullerton, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. She walked two and struck out one in her 12 innings of work.
Down 3-0 after two innings, the Gauchos called on Mayer in relief, and she stymied the Fullerton bats the rest of the way. UCSB won the game, 4-3, on a sixth inning grand slam by Jessica Johnston.
Mayer received the start in the series finale, and responded with her first career seven inning shutout in a 2-0 victory. She wiggled out of a seventh inning jam, retiring the final two batters with a pair of runners on base. The four hits she allowed in the complete game effort tied the fewest Fullerton had tallied during conference play. It was the first time Fullerton had been shutout in 18 games.
Others nominated: Sierra Hyland (Cal Poly); Kelsey Kessler (Cal State Fullerton); Cheyenne Noli (CSUN); Anessa Cepeda (UC Riverside); Brittany Hitchcock (Hawai‘i)
Track & Field
Honorees Excel at OXY Invitational
A trio of performers had strong performances at the Oxy Invitational to earn the final Big West Track and Field Athlete awards of 2017.
Cal State Fullerton senior Darion Zimmerman (Oxnard, Calif./Weber State) collected his second Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Week award this season after finishing fourth overall – and first among collegians – in the 400-meters. He clocked his fastest time of the year, 47.28, which ranks No. 3 in the Big West.
UC Santa Barbara junior Jenna Hinkle (Cottonwood, Calif./West Valley HS) received her third Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Week award when she placed first in her heat in the 800-meters. Hinkle came with .10 of her personal best as she finished in 2:07.86 to be the fastest collegian of the meet. Hinkle is No. 2 on the Big West best marks list this year.
UC Santa Barbara junior Kiely Gode (Auburn, Calif./Del Oro HS) garnered her first Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honor as she improved her PR in the hammer by six meters. Gode had a breakthrough 177-03 (54.02m) heave to move up to No. 7 in the Big West, and enter the UCSB top-10 all-time list at No. 6.
There were no nominees for the Men's Field Athlete of the Week award.
Others nominated (Men’s Track): Carlos Lopez (UC Riverside)
Others nominated (Women’s Track): None
Others nominated (Women’s Field): None