By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Three brilliant appearances out of the bullpen propelled Tennessee Tech hurler Ethan Roberts to his first career adidas® Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week honors, sharing the weekly award with Jacksonville State's Colton Pate.
A native of nearby Sparta, Tenn., Roberts saved three of four victories for the Tech baseball team last week in helping the Golden Eagles to a 15-6 overall and 6-0 OVC start to the season. For the week he appeared in three games, tossing four and one third innings and did not allow a hit while striking out six and walking only one.
He opened the week by striking out the lone batter he faced in a 4-3 win over Illinois State. In the series opener with SIUE, Roberts came in to a bases loaded jam and recorded two strikeouts on just seven pitches to secure the victory. He closed the week by pitching the last 3.1 innings in a 3-2 win over the Cougars.
In eight appearances this season Roberts has five saves and a victory while striking out 19 in 15.2 innings of work. He currently leads the OVC and ranks 15th nationally in saves.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ben Fisher, 1B • 6-1, 215, Sr. • Richmond, Ky. • Eastern Kentucky
In five games last week Fisher hit .478 (11-for-23) with 13 runs scored, two doubles, five home runs, 15 RBI, a 1.217 slugging percentage and .586 on-base percentage as Eastern Kentucky posted a 4-1 record. The senior opened the week by going 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored against Alabama A&M. A day later against the same opponent Fisher scored four times and had three hits in another EKU victory. In the opening game of the Chicago State series, Fisher homered twice, a three-run shot and a grand slam, as he finished the game with seven RBI. On Saturday Fisher was 3-for-5 with a home run, double, two runs scored and two RBI and closed the weekend with his fifth home run of the week and two more RBI. Fisher currently ranks first in the OVC in hits (34), runs scored (31), home runs (8), RBI (31) and total bases (67), second in doubles (9) and slugging (.807) and fifth in batting (.410). Nationally Fisher is second in total bases, third in runs, fifth in home runs and ninth in hits.
Others Nominated: Dre Gleason, Austin Peay; Nick Egli, Belmont; Matt Albert, Eastern Illinois; Andrew Naismith, Jacksonville State; Brandon Gutzler, Murray State; Danny Wright, Southeast Missouri; Brock Weimer, SIUE; Ryan Flick, Tennessee Tech.
CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Colton Pate, RHP • 6-0, 177, Jr. • Lincoln, Ala. • Jacksonville State
Pate tossed seven shutout innings and struck out a career-high 14 batters as Jacksonville State topped Eastern Illinois 6-3 on Saturday to pick up its first Conference victory of the season. It marked the longest outing of his career. Pate allowed just three singles and nobody advanced past second base during his seven frames. It marked the first victory of the season for the junior in his sixth start of the season.
Others Nominated: Connor Etheridge, Belmont; Alex Stevenson, Eastern Illinois; Casey Collins, Eastern Kentucky; JC Hatcher, Morehead State; Matthew Wade, Southeast Missouri.
Photo by Tony Marable