MORGANTOWN, W.Va - The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA)¬ released its National Player of the Week awards for the period ending March 31, today. LSU senior first baseman Mason Katz was named National Hitter of the Week, while Oregon freshman left-handed pitcher Cole Irvin was named National Pitcher of the Week. The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Katz, a native of Harahan, La., batted .611 (11-for-18) in the Tigers’ four wins last week with one double, one triple, three homers, 12 RBI and five runs scored. He hit .571 (8-for-14) in LSU’s three-game sweep at Missouri with one triple, three homers, eight RBI and four runs.
His solo homer in the fourth inning of Friday’s game at Mizzou proved to be the winning hit in LSU’s 2-0 victory. On Saturday, Katz hit another solo shot and delivered a two-run triple to highlight LSU’s 8-0 win. Katz drove in four runs on Sunday, including a three-run blast in the third inning that reduced Mizzou’s lead from 5-1 to 5-4 and sparked LSU to a 6-5 comeback victory. Katz is hitting .419 on the year, and he leads the SEC with 13 homers and 49 RBI.
Irvin pitched Oregon’s first complete-game shutout of the season and only allowed two runners to advance past first base in the Ducks’ 6-0 victory over Washington on Saturday. He allowed just four hits, while striking out a season-high 11 batters and registering one walk.
The Yorba Linda, Calif., product found his rhythm early, fanning seven batters through the first four innings, and never let up. He struck out one in the sixth, another in the seventh, and notched a pair of punch outs in the ninth. Irvin, who owns a 3.00 season ERA, improved to 5-1 with the win. In 48.0 innings of action, the freshman has collected 27 strikeouts and has allowed just one home run.