March 14, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kit Strief
Tarleton State's Rodriguez and Colorado Mesa's Leahy honored 
Bookmark and Share

DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released the 2018 NCAA Division II National Players of the Week awards for the week ending on March 12. Tarleton State senior outfielder Francisco Rodriguez is the National Hitter of the Week, while Colorado Mesa junior pitcher Kyle Leahy is the National Pitcher of the Week.

Rodriguez (Punta de Mata, Venezuela), had arguably the best weekend by a Texan in program history as the senior from Venezuela hit .643 and broke or tied three single-game records while leading Tarleton to three wins over Cameron in Stephenville last weekend. Rodriguez started the weekend with a 5-for-5 performance, including three home runs in his first three at bats of the series Friday afternoon. In that game, Rodriguez tied the school record for hits (5) and home runs (3) in a single game and set a new program standard for total bases (16). He also boasted the second-most RBI in a single game (9). He followed up with at least one RBI in each game the rest of the series. For the weekend, Rodriguez hit .643 with nine hits, six runs scored, and 12 RBI while slugging 1.500. He earned five free bases on three walks and two hit by pitches to go along with two sacrifice flies and four stolen bases. In addition to his work at the plate, Rodriguez worked a flawless centerfield with a 1.000 fielding percentage on five putouts and one assist.

Leahy (Boulder, Colo.) pitched a complete-game, four-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over UCCS. The junior struck out a career-high 17 batters in the win. The Mountain Lions hit just .129 against him in the game.

Division II Regional Players of the Week:
Atlantic: Drew Bene, Shippensburg (Hitter); Colby Gainer, West Virginia State (Pitcher)
Central: Reed Hjelle, Minnesota-Crookston (Hitter); Aaron Rozek, Minnesota State (Pitcher)
East: Giovanni Dingcong, St. Thomas Aquinas (Hitter); Evan Walsh, Bentley (Pitcher)
Midwest: Jacob Gleason, Grand Valley State (Hitter); Roscoe Blackburn, Malone (Pitcher)
South: Bryce Peterson, Rollins (Hitter); J.J. Niekro, Florida Southern (Pitcher)
South Central: Francisco Rodriguez, Tarleton State (Hitter); Kyle Leahy, Colorado Mesa (Pitcher)
Southeast: Jeffrey Chandler, North Greenville (Hitter); Michael Livingston, Young Harris (Pitcher)
West: Andrew Bash, California Baptist (Hitter); Layne Henderson, Azusa Pacific (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.

2018 NCBWA Division II Players of the Week:
Week ending Feb. 19: Austin Norman, Fairmont State (Hitter); Dillon Cate, Carson-Newman (Pitcher)
Week ending Feb. 26: Chance Bowden, Catawba (Hitter); Jumpei Akanuma, Lee University (Pitcher)
Week ending March 5: Andrew Taft, LeMoyne (Hitter); Dan Wirchansky, Pace (Pitcher)
Week ending March 12: Francisco Rodriguez, Tarleton State (Hitter); Kyle Leahy, Colorado Mesa (Pitcher)
Week ending March 19: Zack Shannon, Delta State (Hitter); Josh Gaworski, Concordia-St. Paul (Pitcher)
Week ending March 26: Nick Atkinson, Shepherd (Hitter); Adam Riggleman, Glenville State (Pitcher)
Week ending April 2: Matt Honeycutt, Mars Hill (Hitter); Dalton Morrow, Southwest Baptist (Pitcher)
Week ending April 9: Mikey Gangwish, Colorado School of Mines (Hitter); Kyle Flessner, Purdue Northwest (Pitcher)
Week ending April 16: Ted DeSanti, Indiana, Pa. (Hitter); Ryan Murphy, LeMoyne (Pitcher)
Week ending April 23: Griffin Baker, Belmont Abbey (Hitter); Clay Casey, Delta State (Pitcher)
Week ending April 30: Mondesi Gutierrez, Northwest Missouri State (Hitter); Grant Wolfram, Davenport (Pitcher)