Cal Poly senior John Schuknecht (Palm Desert, Calif./Palm Desert HS) earned Big West Baseball Field Player of the Week accolades after hitting .467 with five runs scored and five RBIs.
The right fielder produced three consecutive two-hit games in a crucial three-game sweep of No. 9 UC Santa Barbara that vaulted the Mustangs into a tie for first place in the Big West standings.
He also went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and a run scored in a 7-1 non-conference victory against Fresno State.
Schuknecht, who slugged .800 with two doubles and a home run helping his cause, opened the UCSB series with a 2-for-4 performance. His two-run double in the fifth increased Cal Poly’s lead to 3-0 and his seventh-inning single extended the advantage to 5-0. Schuknecht finished with three RBIs in the 7-0 win.
Belting his fourth home run of the year in a 10-5 victory on Saturday, Schuknecht went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. He unloaded on a 2-2 pitch from Gaucho starter Noah Davis for a solo shot in the fifth that gave the Mustangs an 8-4 lead.
He finished with a pair of singles and a run scored to help Cal Poly polish off the sweep with a 4-3 victory on Sunday. Schuknecht also swiped a pair of bases for good measure.
Others nominated: Tanner Pinkston (Cal State Fullerton); Yusuke Akitoshi (CSUN); Luke Rasmussen (Long Beach State); Cameron Olson (UC Davis); Vince Fernandez (UC Riverside); Jonathan Weeks (Hawai‘i)
Smith Combines For Two-Hit Shutout Of No. 9 UC Santa Barbara
Cal Poly sophomore Kyle Smith (Torrance, Calif./Torrance HS) tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings and combined on a two-hit shutout of No. 9 UC Santa Barbara, collecting Big West Baseball Pitcher of the Week honors.
The southpaw equalled his career high with nine strikeouts and did not allow a hit after the second inning. He set the tone with seven of his strikeouts through the first four frames.
Smith retired the potent Gaucho offense in order twice, and prevented any UCSB baserunner from reaching third base. In fact, only two UCSB runners reached second.
Smith improved to 5-3 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.49.
Others nominated: Connor Seabold (Cal State Fullerton); Angel Rodriguez (CSUN); Robert Garcia (UC Davis); Alonzo Garcia (UC Irvine)