DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball
Writers Association (NCBWA) released its National Player
of the Week awards for the period ending March 11, today. Western
Kentucky junior outfielder Jacob Rhinesmith was
named National Hitter of the Week, while Auburn
junior right-handed pitcher Casey Mize was named
National Pitcher of the Week.
The NCBWA Board reviews candidates from each Division I Conference
each week and names winners each Tuesday throughout the season.
Rhinesmith hit .550 (11-for-200 with a 1.250 slugging percentage
in four games, leading the Hilltoppers to a perfect 4-0 week). The
Shakopee, Minn., native hit four home runs and two doubles, scored
10 times and drove in eight runs. He had at least three hits, two
runs and two RBI in three of the four games, including a career-high
four hits and four runs scored in the series finale vs. Bowling
All four of his hits in game two of WKU’s doubleheader Saturday
were extra-base hits (two home runs and two doubles) for 12 total
bases, tying the most by a Hilltopper since game-by-game records
began in 2005, but was the first to do so since 2010. In a 15-7
win at Belmont and a 17-5 win vs. Bowling Green, WKU scored 15-plus
runs in consecutive games for the first time since March 19-20,
2010, a span of 440 games in-between. A three-game sweep of Bowling
Green over the weekend was the Hilltoppers’ first of a non-conference
opponent since 2015.
The Springville, Ala., native dazzled in a 6-0 win against the
Huskies en route to securing the Tigers’ first no-hitter since nine
pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter against UAB on Mar. 19, 2002
and the first complete-game no-hitter since Eric Brandon did so
against Murray State 17 days earlier. It was the Tigers' ninth no-hitter
in program history.
Mize struck out a career-high 13 batters and faced one over the
minimum with the lone Huskie reaching on a fielding miscue in the
top of the fourth inning. His strikeout total was the highest by
an Auburn pitcher since Jon Luke Jacobs also struck out 13 against
Alabama State on Feb. 28, 2012.
Mize came out of the gates dealing as he struck out the side
in his first inning of work and retired the first 10 batters he
faced – six via the strikeout.
The right-hander trotted out to start the ninth inning with 88
pitches on the night. Set to face Northeastern's eight, nine and
one hitters, Mize induced a trio of groundouts to end the game in
no-hit fashion while only throwing 105 pitches, 77 of which were
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of
college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and
publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit
the association's official Web site,
For more information on the NCBWA Division I National Players
of the Week, contact NCBWA Assistant Executive Director
at West Virginia University at 304-293-2821.
2018 NCBWA Division I Players of the Week:
• Feb. 20: Jake Brodt, Santa Clara (Hitter); Nick Sandlin, Southern Miss (Pitcher)
• Feb. 27: Brett Kinneman, N.C. State (Hitter); Joe DeMers, Washington (Pitcher)
• March 6: Luke Heyer, Kentucky (Hitter); Payton Kinney, Omaha (Pitcher)
• March 13: Jacob Rhinesmith, Western Kentucky (Hitter); Casey Mize, Auburn (Pitcher)
2018 NCBWA Division I Players of the Month:
• February: Brett Kinneman, N.C. State (Hitter); Brady Feigl, Ole Miss (Pitcher)