SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Furman second baseman Jordan Simpson and Georgia Southern left-hander Sam Howard have been named the Southern Conference player and pitcher of the week, respectively, for all games May 5-11. The selections are made by the league office.
Simpson hit .533 with two home runs and a double to lead the Paladins to a 4-0 week and their first-ever three-game sweep of Elon. The sophomore from Cincinnati, Ohio, drove in seven runs and scored six on the week, also walking three times to post a .611 on-base percentage. He slugged 1.000 on the week.
Simpson went 1-for-4 in Furman’s 9-8, walk-off win over East Tennessee State on Tuesday before heating up against the Phoenix over the weekend.
In the first game of that series, which was suspended in the fifth inning Friday and completed Saturday, Simpson was 4-for-4 with two homers, four runs scored and five RBIs in Furman’s 14-3 win. In Saturday’s regularly scheduled game, he was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI and three walks as the Paladins took a 9-7 decision. He followed that up by going 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored in the series finale, contributing an RBI single in a six-run eighth inning that saw Furman rally from a 7-3 deficit to claim another 9-7 win.
Simpson was flawless in the field in 18 total chances and was part of turning five double plays in four games.
Furman (22-28, 10-13 SoCon), which moved from a tie for eighth in the SoCon standings into a tie for sixth over the weekend, heads to Boone, N.C., to finish off the regular season with a three-game series at Appalachian State (17-31, 10-13), starting Thursday.
Other top hitters included: Alex Leach (Appalachian State), Forrest Brandt (Davidson), Casey Jones (Elon), Stryker Brown (Georgia Southern), Drew McWhorter (Samford), Adam Martin (Western Carolina) and James Plaisted (Wofford).
GSU’s Howard threw 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball in the Eagles’ 1-0 win over Western Carolina on Saturday.
The junior southpaw from Cartersville, Ga., struck out 10 batters on the day and walked just two, allowing just five singles to the Catamounts, who came into the weekend leading the league but dropped the series to the Eagles, two games to one.
Howard faced the minimum through his first four innings Saturday and stranded six WCU base-runners over his final four.
Howard becomes the third Georgia Southern hurler to claim pitcher-of-the-week honors from the SoCon this season, joining Ryan Frederick (March 24) and Josh Wirsu (April 7).
Georgia Southern (33-20, 15-12 SoCon) wrapped up its conference slate against the Catamounts and will take on Jacksonville in a nonconference road tilt Tuesday before returning to action at the Southern Conference Baseball Championship in Charleston, S.C., on May 20-25.
Other top pitchers included: Tyler Moore (Appalachian State), Logan Cribb (The Citadel), Clark Beeker (Davidson), Alex Abrams (Furman), Cody Pugh (Samford), T.J. Fussell (Western Carolina) and Matthew Milburn (Wofford).