DENVER – Utah Valley's Paxton Schultz and New Mexico State's Tristan Peterson have been named Western Athletic Conference Pitcher and Hitter of the Week, respectively, for March 18 – March 24. The honor marked the first of the season for UVU as well as the first of the career for Schultz.
Schultz, a junior right-hander from Orem (Orem HS), delivered one of the top starts of the week, going eight shutout innings to earn the win in a 4-2 victory over Seattle U on Saturday. He helped the Wolverines earn their first WAC win of the season by striking out seven and scattering six hits without allowing a run. The start marked Schultz's second outing of the season in which he has gone 8.0 innings or more and his fifth in which he has lasted into the seventh inning. On the season, Schultz now holds a 3.51 ERA with 40 strikeouts through 41.0 innings pitched.
Peterson, a junior infielder from Tucson, Arizona (Canyon del Oro HS/Howard JC), was the top hitter in the WAC during the opening weekend of conference play in a series win against CSU Bakersfield and chipped in a solid nonconference game at Arizona as well. On the week, he was 12-of-19 from the plate with 13 RBIs, five home runs and seven runs scored. All five home runs and 10 of those RBIs came in a three-game series against CSU Bakersfield as the transfer helped the Aggies outscore the 'Runners 44-14. Through the first three games of WAC play, he is hitting .643 with a 1.786 slugging percentage.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees: California Baptist's Luke Navigato hit. 421 on the week as the Lancers went into Phoenix and lost a slugfest with Arizona State before winning their WAC-opening series at Grand Canyon … CSU Bakersfield's Jake Ortega hit .571, going 8-for-14 in a series loss at NM State … Chicago State's Gabriel Coburn hit .421 on the week and helped lead the Cougars to wins over Northern Illinois and Northern Colorado … Grand Canyon's Preston Pavlica was 2-for-3 in an 11-2 win over Utah on Monday … Sacramento State's Dawsen Bacho earned a hit in all four games on the week and was 5-for-13 in a series win over UT Rio Grande Valley … UT Rio Grande Valley's Anthony Gomez hit his third home run of the season in a 6-2 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday … Utah Valley's Drew Sims led the Wolverines offensively, hitting .462 on the week as UVU took a road series at Seattle U.Comment on this story
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees: California Baptist's Logan Rinehart threw five no-hit innings and earned the win in an 8-0 victory at Grand Canyon on Saturday … Chicago State's Anthony Leedle picked up a pair of wins on the week, striking out four over five innings in a 10-8 win over Northern Illinois and allowing just one hit in 5.1 innings against Northern Colorado … Grand Canyon's Kade Mechals struck out six and allowed three hits over six innings in a 3-0 win over California Baptist on Friday night … NM State's Justin Dehn earned the win in a 23-1 win over CSU Bakersfield, allowing three hits and one unearned run while going the distance in the run-rule contest … Sacramento State's Tanner Dalton saw action in three games this week, striking out four without allowing a hit over four innings pitched … UT Rio Grande Valley's Juan Carreon II earned his first career win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, striking out two over 2.2 innings in a 6-2 victory.
Schultz and UVU will now return home to host a midweek contest against the Oregon Ducks on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at UCCU Ballpark. The Wolverines will then return to conference play by welcoming the preseason favorite Grand Canyon Lopes to town for the three-game series beginning Friday.