March 17, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kit Strief
806-651-4430
Azusa Pacific's Tovalin, West Texas A&M's Payne honored
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NCBWA NAMES DIVISION II
NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its NCAA Division II National Players of the Week awards for the week ending on March 15. Azusa Pacific junior third baseman Adrian Tovalin is the National Hitter of the Week, while West Texas A&M senior pitcher Joshua Payne is the National Pitcher of the Week.

Tovalin (San Diego, Calif./Otay Ranch HS), exploded in No. 5 APU’s four-game series split with Fresno Pacific, hitting .538 (7-13) with six home runs, six runs scored and 16 RBI. After starting the series 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly, Tovalin went 7-for-11 over the final three games. He went 4-for-4 with three home runs and nine RBI in the third game, and hit two more homers in the finale. Tovalin leads the PacWest in home runs (10) and doubles (7), and is second in RBI (31) and slugging percentage (.912).

Payne (West Haven, Utah/Freemont HS) pitched a gem of a game against No. 10 Texas A&M-Kingsville as he tossed a complete game shutout allowing two hits in nine innings, while walking one and fanning a career-high 16 Javelinas in a 7-0 win on Saturday. It was Payne’s first complete game shutout as a Buff and TAMUK hit just .069 against him. After allowing two hits in the first three innings, Payne retired the next 12-straight and a walk in the eighth was the only other base runner for the Javelinas the rest of game. Payne’s performance gave WT the second win of the series en route to the sweep.

Division II Regional Players of the Week:
• Atlantic: Nick Wilson, Charleston (Hitter); Joe Shaffer, Seton Hill (Pitcher)
• Central: Lucas Lorenz, Northern State (Hitter); Seth Holman, Emporia State (Pitcher)
• East: Ronnie Grant, Felician (Hitter); Chris Cepeda, St. Thomas Aquinas (Pitcher)
• Midwest: Austin Szink, Walsh (Hitter); Tyler Jandron, Northwood (Pitcher)
• South: Peter Nicoletto, Rollins (Hitter); Jacob Ramos, Shorter (Pitcher)
• South Central: Christian Bitar, Regis (Hitter); Joshua Payne, West Texas A&M (Pitcher)
• Southeast: Nick Beinlich, Belmont Abbey (Hitter); Charlie Hecht, Georgia College (Pitcher)
• West: Adrian Tovalin, Azusa Pacific (Hitter); Jeff Bain, Cal Poly Pomona (Pitcher)

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Howser Award Player of the Year, Regional Player of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors preseason All-America awards, publication and writing contests.

2017 NCBWA Division II Players of the Week:
• Week ending Feb. 22: J.D. Osbourne, Tampa (Hitter); Donovan Armas, Lynn (Pitcher)
• Week ending March 1: Jake Walters, Quincy (Hitter); Thomas St. Clair, Lenoir-Rhyne (Pitcher)
• Week ending March 8: J.D. Osbourne, Tampa (Hitter); Trevor Abshire, Point Loma Nazarene (Pitcher)
• Week ending March 15: Adrian Tovalin, Azusa Pacific (Hitter); Joshua Payne, West Texas A&M (Pitcher)
• Week ending March 22: Andrew Webster, Barton (Hitter); Gus Varland, Concordia-St. Paul (Pitcher)
• Week ending March 29: Ryan Rogers, Lubbock Christian (Hitter); Garett King, California Baptist (Pitcher)
• Week ending April 4: Tyler Walters, Slippery Rock (Hitter); Steven Bower, North Georgia (Pitcher)
• Week ending April 11: Justin Graff-Rowe, Central Missouri (Hitter); Will Myers, Alabama-Huntsville (Pitcher)
• Week ending April 18: Cole Brooks, Saginaw Valley State (Hitter); Jason Blank, Augustana (S.D.) (Pitcher)

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