NEWPORT NEWS, Va. —Rhode Island junior Chris Hess has been named Atlantic 10 Baseball Player of the Week, while Davidson senior Durin O’Linger and VCU senior Sam Donko shared the Co-Pitcher of the Week award. La Salle freshman Matt Holt was named the league’s Rookie of the Week. The awards were announced Monday and are for games played April 17-23.
An All-Conference second baseman, Hess made his career debut behind the dish Wednesday at Hartford, becoming the fifth Ram to catch this season as Rhody has been plagued with injuries at catcher. The North Kingston, R.I., product hit .438 on the week, going 7-for-16 with an .875 slugging percentage and a 4-for-4 effort in stolen bases. He drove in seven runs and scored four of his own, while drawing two walks and a hit by pitch for a .500 on-base percentage. Hess combined to hit .500 (6-12) in three games at George Washington, including three doubles and a home run, including the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning of Sunday's first win over the Colonials. Then hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game two to give Rhody the 5-3 victory and a doubleheader sweep.
O'Linger shined on Friday, picking up Davidson's first complete game and shutout of the year, as he led the Wildcats to a 6-0 victory on the road over North Carolina A&T. O'Linger faced just two batters over the minimum as he matched a career-high with nine punch outs, including three looking. The righty did not allow a walk and limited the Aggies, who entered the weekend ranked 36th in the nation in batting average, to just three singles. The Tampa, Fla., native used just 91 pitches in the win and was awarded with an honorable mention in d1baseball.com's Player of the Day. With the victory, O'Linger and his nine classmates become the winningest class in program history (106).
Donko earned his keep in VCU Baseball history this week, as the right-hander from Youngstown, Ohio, became the program's all-time leader in saves with 31 total on his career. He passed Adam Bryant (1991-94) to become the title holder with his 11th save of the season Saturday afternoon at Fordham. Overall, Donko notched three saves in a 4-0 week for the VCU Rams, not allowing a single run in 4.2 innings pitched, coming in key situations against both VMI and Fordham in the 8th inning. His 11 saves puts him back in the Top 10 in the NCAA in total saves.
Matt Holt started for La Salle when the Explorers defeated Penn in the Liberty Bell Classic Championship at Citizens Bank Park, lasting seven innings and striking out seven. The right-handed pitcher from Suffolk, Va., walked none and allowed just one earned run. Later in the week, he made a relief appearance in which he struck out three in 1.1 scoreless innings against A-10 opponent UMass. He finished the week with a 10 to 0 strikeout to walk ratio.