DENVER – NM State's Joseph Ortiz and UT Rio Grande Valley's Ryan Jackson have been named Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for April 8 – April 14.
Ortiz, a junior infielder from Garden Grove, Calif. (Pacifica HS), was a menace at the plate, going 8-for-19 with six extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. He opened the week with a double and run scored in a loss to 11th-ranked Texas Tech. In the Aggies' weekend series against Northern Colorado, he was 7-for-14 from the plate with a home run in each contest. He saved the best for last, hitting for the cycle with eight RBIs in a 19-9 win on Sunday afternoon. On the season, Ortiz ranks second in the WAC in batting average, hitting .431 with a WAC-high 66 hits and 63 RBIs.
Jackson, a senior right-hander from McAllen, Texas (Nikki Rowe HS), played a pivotal role in the Vaqueros' three-game road sweep of Grand Canyon, making appearances in all three wins. On Friday night, he struck out four without allowing a hit over two innings for his sixth save of the season. He picked up his seventh save on Saturday, striking out one in his only inning of work in an 8-5 win. On Sunday, he allowed his first two hits of the weekend, allowing one run but still recording a strikeout to earn the win in a 9-7 UTRGV victory. He is now the only pitcher in program history with multiple seasons of seven-plus saves and his 14 career saves rank him second in UTRGV history.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees: California Baptist's Chad Castillo hit a team-high .462 over four games last week, including a three-game sweep over CSU Bakersfield … CSU Bakersfield's Tyler Jorgenson hit his first career home run on Sunday at California Baptist … Chicago State's Gabe Coburn was 5-for-11 with four runs scored to help the Cougars earn a crucial WAC road series win at Utah Valley … Grand Canyon's Quin Cotton was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs scored in a 14-13 loss to in-state rival Arizona … Sacramento State's Matt Smith continued his hot streak, earning a hit in each of the Hornets' three games at Seattle U … Seattle U's Austin Lively hit .700 on the week, going 7-for-10 at home against Sacramento State … UT Rio Grande Valley's Christian Sepulveda helped lead UTRGV to a road sweep at Grand Canyon, hitting 5-for-14 with four RBIs against the Lopes … Utah Valley's Trevor Howell hit an even .600 on the week as the Wolverines earned their lone win of the week on Friday night against Chicago State.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees: California Baptist's Andrew Bash struck out eight Washington hitters in a no-decision on Monday before returning to the hill and striking out eight CSU Bakersfield hitters to earn the win on Sunday afternoon … Chicago State's Dylan Cumming allowed just one hit over 4.2 innings to earn the win at Utah Valley on Sunday … Grand Canyon's Pierson Ohl went 7.1 innings with three strikeouts in a 3-2 loss to UTRGV on Friday … NM State's Justin Dehn threw 7.2 shutout innings to earn the win on Saturday against Northern Colorado … Sacramento State's Parker Brahms threw eight innings of two-run ball to pick up his third win of the season at Seattle U … Seattle U's Josh Thompson struck out 10 in four innings in a no-decision against Sacramento State … Utah Valley's Jake Carr struck out 11 to earn the win on Friday's 16-6 victory over Chicago State.