COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –- Nevada third baseman Austin Byler and Fresno State right-hander Derick Velazquez have earned Mountain West Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week honors for games played from Feb. 25-March 4, 2013. It is the first MW honor for both student-athletes.
Byler, a sophomore from Peoria, Ariz., hit .615 (8-of-13) for the week as the Wolf Pack went 3-1, including a series win against Holy Cross. Byler came off the bench in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at Sacramento State before starting against the Crusaders on Saturday. He delivered game-winning hits twice in the Holy Cross series. In Game One of Saturday’s doubleheader, Byler was 3-of-3 with three RBI, a run scored and two doubles in the 8-1 victory. His three-run homer in the eighth inning of Game Two was the game-winner (12-10) for the doubleheader sweep. Byler finished Game Two hitting 4-of-5 with nine RBI, three home runs, a double and three runs score. In the series finale, Byler provided a game-winning bases-loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to seal the 7-6 victory. It was his only hit of the game after being walked twice. He finished the week with a slugging percentage of 1.538 and on-base percentage of .706.
Velazquez, a sophomore from Los Banos, Calif., pitched a complete game to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 win on Saturday over USC in his third career start. Velazquez had a shutout going until the final out of the contest when an unearned run crossed the plate on a walk. He surrendered seven hits and two walks to go with five strikeouts, becoming the first Bulldog pitcher to go the distance this season.
2013 Mountain West Baseball Players of the Week
Feb. 18 – Tim Zier, Jr., 2B, San Diego State
Feb. 25 – Alex Bast, Sr., OF, Air Force
March 4 – Austin Byler, So., 3B, Nevada
2013 Mountain West Baseball Pitchers of the Week
Feb. 18 – Bubba Derby, Fr., RHP, San Diego State
Feb. 25 – Kenny Oakley, Fr., RHP, UNLV
March 4 – Derick Velazquez, So., RHP, Fresno State