SWAC Sports Media
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Grambling State’s Kevin Whitaker Jr. and Alabama State’s Jeremy Rivera have been named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Baseball Players of the Week following exceptional efforts during the past week of play.
Hitter of the Week – Whitaker Jr. went 12-for-17 at the plate for a .705 batting average in games against Mississippi Valley State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The junior from Richmond, Calif. drove in six runs and scored six runs as well, collecting four extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple).
Pitcher of the Week – Rivera picked up his sixth win of the season to improve to 6-2 with a save during his freshman campaign. The freshman picked up a complete game win over Alabama A&M in the 4-2 Thursday victory for the Hornets. He scattered seven hits and allowed just two runs on the day, while striking out nine and walking just one in the process. It was the first complete game for Rivera, and the first nine-inning complete game for the Hornets this season.
Other Notable Performances:
– Grambling State’s Isaiah Torres picked up 11 hits in 19 at-bats for the Tigers, hitting .579 as the team swept UAPB over the weekend. Torres registered a .789 slugging percentage and a .652 on-base percentage in those four games. Torres had four doubles and drove in eight runs while scoring five times. Torres posted two games with three RBIs and two doubles.
– Alabama State’s Santiago Garcia hit .375 in four games including .384 in three games against Alabama A&M – picking up five of his six hits for the week in conference play against the Hornets’ arch-rival. Garcia went 4-for-10 in the Saturday doubleheader with a pair of doubles and a home run; including picking up four RBIs in the series finale to help Alabama State claim the series. He finished the week slugging .750
– Southern’s Tyler LaPorte helped Southern finish 3-1 for the week with an 8-for-17 effort at the plate (.470 batting average). LaPorte scored nine runs and drove in three more, adding four doubles.
– Southern’s Bobby Johnson helped Southern finish 3-1 for the week, hitting .500 with seven hits and eight RBIs. In the Jaguars series clinching win over Texas Southern, Johnson went 2 of 4 at the plate with a 2-RBI double in the first inning to open the game and a 2-RBI single to mercy-rule the Tigers in the seventh.
– Grambling State’s Jason Alvarez pitched six strong innings against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on April 20 (second game). He faced 25 batters and threw 120 pitches against the Golden Lions. He fanned four and scattered two hits to pick up the win.
– Alcorn State’s Kirt Cormier hit .500 over two games, going 3-for-6 with four runs scored and two walks. He scored all four runs in a blowout win over Tougaloo College which tied his career-high for runs scored in a game.
– Alcorn State’s Abdallah Salman went 6.0 innings in his first collegiate start, allowing only four hits and two runs while striking out two in a 12-4 win over Tougaloo College. Salman gave up only one hit through the first five innings of the game and improved his record to 2-1 on the season.
– Southern’s Justin Freeman tossed five complete innings and allowed one run and one earned run during his only start of the week against Texas Southern. Freeman recorded six strikeouts with two walks and registered a 1.80 ERA.