New Orleans’ Howard, Sam Houston’s Wesneski Take Home First Weekly Honors of the Season

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – New Orleans outfielder Pearce Howard is the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week and Sam Houston State hurler Hayden Wesneski earns Pitcher of the Week honors, the league announced Tuesday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank.After the Privateers dropped the season opener to Michigan State 8-4, Howard helped UNO to wins on Saturday and Sunday to take the series. The Silver Spring, Md., native hit .600 (6-for-10) at the plate with a home run and four RBI.New Orleans hosts four opponents this week, beginning with South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by matchups with Chicago State, Rutgers and Butler Friday-Sunday in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Baseball Classic.For the second-straight season, Wesneski tossed a gem in his season opener to lead the Bearkats to a 4-3 road victory over Stetson, a team that went 48-13 a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.Wesneski will likely get the nod in game two of a three-game home slate against Louisiana, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. tilt on Friday. Hitter of the Week – Pearce Howard, New Orleans – Sophomore – Outfielder – Silver Spring, Md.Picking up right where he left off in his rookie campaign, Howard was a tough out for Michigan State pitchers as he was retired only once in the final two games of the series and drew three walks over the weekend.The sophomore slugger went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and an RBI single in a 4-1 triumph over the Spartans on Saturday and capped off the weekend with a 3-for-4 performance in a 6-4 win on Sunday. Howard was the difference-maker with a solo home run in the fourth to put UNO on top 3-1 and a RBI base hit in the seventh to take a 5-3 lead.Honorable Mention: Hunter Hearn, Sam Houston State; Nathan Pilutti, Southeastern Louisiana; Clayton Rasbeary, McNeese.Pitcher of the Week – Hayden Wesneski, Sam Houston State – Junior – Pitcher – Cypress, TexasThe righty from Cypress, Texas, allowed just one run and set down 11 Hatters on strikes in 7.1 innings of work against 2018 NCAA Super Regional participant Stetson. Of his 97 pitches, 74 crossed the plate for strikes, and he didn’t allow a walk until his final batter of the game.In the third inning, Wesneski pulled off an “immaculate inning,” striking out the side on nine pitches. His 11 punchouts are the most by a Southland Conference player on opening weekend and surpassed his previous career high of eight, set in his 2018 opener against Kent State.Honorable Mention: Jaxon Covington, Stephen F. Austin; Shane Mejia Jr., Nicholls; Luke Taggart, Incarnate Word.Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.last_img