April 8, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern claimed a pair of weekly baseball awards, the Big Ten office announced on Monday. Junior Jake Straub has been named the conference's Player of the Week, while freshman Zach Jones has been tabbed as the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week.
Both Straub and Jones both put forth prolific performances at the plate as they helped the Wildcats to win four-of-five games last week, including two-of-three Big Ten contests on the road at Purdue.
Straub batted a robust .667 (10-for-15) with seven RBI and five runs scored against St. Francis (IL), UIC and Purdue. Against the Boilermakers alone, he hit .727 (8-for-11).
The junior started his week with a pair of RBI singles against the Fighting Saints on Tuesday afternoon before really heating up against the Boilermakers on Saturday. Straub entered the game on April 6 in the fourth inning as a pinch hitter and he proceeded to rack up a career-high four hits at Alexander Field. The lone Indiana native on Northwestern's roster matched a career high with three RBI and added a stolen base to help the Wildcats defeat Purdue, 10-6.
The catcher continued to perform at a high level in the series finale at Purdue on Sunday, April 7. He collected three hits and another two RBI in NU's dominant 13-4 triumph. With runners on first and third with one out in the second inning, Straub delivered a single to centerfield after showing bunt that allowed Jones to score and tie the game at one. The base hit sparked a five-run rally that helped Northwestern take a commanding lead early on in the ballgame.
This is the first career weekly award for Straub. He is the first Wildcat to be named Big Ten Player of the Week since Paul Snieder
won the award on May 16, 2011.
Jones batted .522 (12-for 23) with four RBI and five runs scored as he started at first base and hit safely in all five games last week. His 12 hits and 13 total bases led the Wildcats during that period. Jones picked up at least three hits in three of the five games and he recorded a career-best four hits on Sunday, April 7 at Purdue. He scored a career-high three runs vs. St. Francis on April 2 and drove in a career-high three RBI at Purdue on April 6.
This is the second weekly honor this season for Jones. He was also named the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on March 18. The Glenview, Ill., native is the first Northwestern player to be named Freshman of the Week twice in one season.
This week marks the first time since Feb. 13, 2007 that two Wildcats have garnered weekly honors simultaneously from the Big Ten. Six years ago Jake Goebbert was named the Player of the Week and Dan Schwartz earned Pitcher of the Week accolades.
Northwestern will return to nonconference play on Tuesday, April 9 against the Valparaiso Crusaders at 6:30 p.m. The game will be held at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood, Ill., the home of the Frontier League's Windy City Thunderbolts. The ballpark is located at 14011 South Kenton Ave., Crestwood, Ill., 60445. Admission will be FREE for the ballgame.
Tickets are on sale now for NU's game at Wrigley Field on Saturday, April 20. The 'Cats will take on Michigan in less then two weeks at the Friendly Confines with the first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775) or click here!
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