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Baseball Pitcher & Player of the Week No. 7

April 24, 2012
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information
Photo by Jim Smith

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A.J. Work of The Master's (Calif.) has been named the NAIA National Baseball Pitcher of the Week and Ben Alison of MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) has been tabbed National Baseball Player of the Week, the national office announced Tuesday. Work and Alison were selected based on their performances from April 16 - 22 and were chosen out of a pool of conference/independent/unaffiliated groupings.

Work, a native of Boise, Idaho, finished the week 2-0 after leading the Mustangs to victories against Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) rivals Vanguard (Calif.), 9-1, on April 16 and then-No. 12 Concordia (Calif.), 2-1, on April 21. Against Vanguard, the junior lefthander scattered five hits over 7.1 innings, while allowing one run, striking out four and walking one. Work continued his stellar week against the nationally ranked Eagles, allowing one run on six hits over seven innings. The performance marks the ninth time in 14 appearances that he has thrown at least seven innings.

On the year, Work leads the squad with a 9-2 record and ranks second on the team in earned run average (2.02), innings pitched (89.0) and strikeouts (50).

Alison, a native of Ankeny, Iowa, hit .500 (7-for-14) with four home runs, seven runs scored and 15 RBIs to lead the Pioneers to a pair of doubleheader sweeps against Culver-Stockton (Mo.) on April 18 and Graceland (Iowa) on April 21. In the victories against Graceland, the senior right fielder went 3-for-5 with two home runs and a season-high tying seven RBIs in game one before going 2-for-3, including a home run and four RBIs, in game two.

On the year, Alison ranks fifth nationally with a program single-season record 15 home runs, while also appearing amongst the top 20 in RBIs with 53. Additionally, he leads the team with a .721 slugging percentage, while ranking second in stolen bases (20) and third in batting average (.350). Alison is the only player in the NAIA with at least 15 home runs and 20 steals this season.

For a complete listing of all the national statistical leaders, click here.

The next NAIA Baseball Pitcher and Player of the Week announcement will be on May 1.

Pitcher Nominees: Teddy Nowell, Northwood (Texas); Jacob Cook, Campbellsville (Ky.); Tyler Deutscher, Sterling (Kan.); Kody Mcfarland, Bellevue (Neb.); Bryan Duncan, Peru State (Neb.); Gary Ward, Bethel (Tenn.); Elliot Rowe, Bethel (Ind.); Kacy Gardiner, Jamestown (N.D.); Abraham Carrasco, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Trevor Corns, Alice Lloyd (Ky.); Todd Griffiths, College of Idaho; Adam Paulencu, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); Julien Soucy, Missouri Baptist; Jose Samayoa, Lee (Tenn.); Derek Peluso, Point Park (Pa.); Rey Rodriguez, Robert Morris (Ill.); Joey Duncan, Montreat (N.C.); Nathan Roth, Doane (Neb.); Brandon Bargas, Rogers State (Okla.); Jeremy Gooding, Madonna (Mich.).

Player Nominees: Colby Tessendorf, Tabor (Kan.); Brandon Thompson, Bellevue (Neb.); Jeremy Boyd, Southern Poly (Ga.); Robert Prieto, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); Kyle Pearson, LSU Shreveport (La.); Ethan Zartman, Bethel (Ind.); Max Boe, Jamestown (N.D.); Spenser Popinga, Waldorf (Iowa); Trey King, Alice Lloyd (Ky.); Steven Blum, Corban (Ore.); Jake Roe, Aquinas (Mich.); Jake Stone, Tennessee Wesleyan; Joe Riley, Missouri Baptist; Ricky Claudio, St. Thomas (Fla.); Randy Guite, Georgetown (Ky.); Tom Birko, Point Park (Pa.); Jason Schmidt, Mount Marty (S.D.); Emmanuel De La Cruz, Rogers State (Okla.); Drake Fages, Biola (Calif.); Matt Mchenry, Judson (Ill.).

2012 Composite Award Winners (Pitcher; Player)
Week 1: Kris Hall, Lee (Tenn.); Ignatius Mackenzie, Indiana Tech
Week 2: Tyler Garkow, Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.); Daniel Hall, Sterling (Kan.)
Week 3: Drew Sain, Davenport (Mich.); Ryne Otis, Taylor (Ind.)
Week 4: Daniel Jones, Brewton-Parker (Ga.); Adam McCormick, Tabor (Kan.)
Week 5: Kemonte Keesee, Bryan (Tenn.); Bryan Lucas, The Master's (Calif.)
Week 6: Andy Kovarik, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Brad Myjak, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Week 7: A.J. Work, The Master's (Calif.); Ben Alison, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)