March 4, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

BELTING IT:  Alabama senior Kent Matthes has started the season with a power surge, setting the school record for home runs in consecutive games with six straight following a two-run round-tripper in the Tide’s 6-2 loss at Troy on March 3.

The right fielder from Orlando, Fla., was fresh off a week that saw him hit for the cycle, post a .500 batting average with 15 RBI, six homers and a 1.650 slugging percentage.  Matthes was named National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association National Hitter of the Week for his outstanding play.

Matthes leads the Tide with a .467 batting average, seven home runs and 17 RBI.  He will look to extend his home-run hitting streak against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the 2009 Whataburger Classic this weekend.

WORK OF ART:  University of Texas sophomore Brandon Workman tossed the 21st no-hitter in school history in a 9-0 victory over Penn State on March 1, and has collected a plethora of awards for his sparkling performance.

The right-hander from Bowie, Texas, faced the minimum 27 batters, while allowing just two walks and one base runner to reach on an error against the Nittany Lions.  Workman struck out 10 batters in the contest.

Workman, who has yet to allow a run in 16.0 innings pitched this season, was named NCBWA National Co-Pitcher of the Week, Big 12 Pitcher of the Week and Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for his efforts.

Second-ranked Texas, which rallied for a 6-5 win over Texas State on March 3, is off to a 10-0 start this season.

CATCH THE FEVER: New Mexico State catcher Jeff Farnham garnered Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors after batting .786 in a four-game sweep of Chicago State last weekend.

The senior from Las Vegas, Nev., collected 11 RBI in the series, including a career-high six RBI in one game.  For the week, Farnham slugged 1.286 with an on-base percentage of .850, while he was perfect in the field.

Farnham followed his sensational week with a single as the Aggies fell to New Mexico, 7-2, in their first loss of the season on March 3.  He continues to lead the Aggies with a .586 batting average.

RIDE THE WAVE: No. 12 Pepperdine posted its first win at UCLA in over 10 years as junior Colin Rooney’s solo home run in the ninth inning lifted the Waves to a 5-4 victory on March 3.

In the fifth inning, Rooney slapped his first hit of the game, ripping a two-run single to tie the contest at 3-3.  Rooney’s home run was the junior’s first at Pepperdine after transferring from Saddleback College.

The Waves improved to 6-2 and will host Evansville for a three-game series beginning March 5.

BEAR MAXIMUM:  Missouri State junior first baseman Ben Carlson turned in a .500 batting average with 11 RBI and four runs scored to help the Bears to a 2-2 record at the Sam Houston State Hillcrest Ford Bearkat Baseball Classic last weekend.

The native of Topeka, Kan., belted a three-run homer against Nebraska on Feb. 28, and then tallied seven RBI during a 4-for-6 outing in a win against St. Mary’s.  It was the most RBI by a Bear since 2001. 

Carlson was selected Most Valuable Player of the tournament, and then received State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week honors for his efforts.