By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Junior ace David Hess left Ohio Valley Conference voters little choice on who to tab as this week's adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week, as the Tullahoma, Tenn. native earned the honor for the second time in his career Monday afternoon.
Hess fanned 10 Lipscomb batters Friday night, tossing six shutout innings while leading the Golden Eagles to a 4-1 victory over the Bisons. He did not surrender a walk and allowed just two hits in the game. Dominance is really the best word to describe the performance as the right-hander set down six of the first seven batters he faced via the K. He also struck out the side twice.
The 10 strikeouts was not at all unfamiliar to Hess, as the junior became the first Tech pitcher in over 10 years to punch out 10 or more batters in back-to-back starts. He also joined Tristan Archer as the only pitchers to have five career games with 10-plus strikeouts in the past 10 seasons.
With the win, Hess moved to 8-2 on the season, tied for the most wins in the OVC and just four wins away from the all-time single-season program record of 12 set by Mark Maberry back in 1997. He now has 79 strikeouts on the year, already tied for the 10th most in single season history at Tech.
Hess took home the same honor last season after striking out 11 of the 14 batters he faced in four and one third innings of relief in an 8-5 victory over Belmont. That win clinched at least a share of the 2013 OVC regular season title for the Golden Eagles.
Here's a look at the rest of the awards in the OVC this week:
Others Nominated: Austin Coley, Belmont; Troy Barton, Eastern Illinois; Zachary Fowler, Jacksonville State.
CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cameron Berra, 1B • Sr., 5-10, 205 • St. Louis, Mo. • Eastern Illinois
In four games last week Berra hit .562 (9-for-16) with six runs scored, two doubles, nine RBI, a .650 on-base percentage and a .688 slugging percentage. The senior opened the week with a RBI single against Saint Louis before opening the Eastern Kentucky series with a 5-for-5 performance. In that game Berra had two doubles and drove in six runs as the Panthers won 10-6. He followed that with three runs scored and two hits in Saturday's 15-3 win and closed the week with a hit and two RBI in the series finale. Berra currently ranks as the fifth-toughest player nationally to strikeout.
CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Bryan Soloman, DH • Sr., 6-4, 225 • Monroe, Conn. • Eastern Kentucky
In three games last week Soloman hit .429 (6-for-14) with three runs scored, three home runs, 10 RBI and a 1.071 slugging percentage. Soloman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, two home runs and three RBI in Friday's opener with Eastern Illinois. He added a single in Saturday's game before closing out the week by going 3-for-6 with a run scored, home run and seven RBI as the Colonels topped the Panthers 17-11. After EIU had climbed within three runs on Sunday, Soloman smashed a three-run home run in the seventh inning to seal the victory. The senior currently has a 17-game hitting streak, which is the second-longest active streak in the OVC.
Others Nominated: Alec Diamond, Belmont; Andrew Bishop, Jacksonville State; Brandon Rawe, Morehead State; Taylor Mathews, Murray State; Matt Tellor, Southeast Missouri; Jake Rowland, Tennessee Tech.