Johnny Five is Alive! Five Earn Weekly Conference Awards

Jon Leroux (Albany 2010) was one of two former Albany Dutchmen to earn a weekly conference award. (Photo courtesy Northeastern athletics/
Five players from teams in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League have earned weekly awards from their respective conferences for the period ending May 14. Three different PGCBL clubs are represented and three of the five award winners competed in the PGCBL last summer. 

America East Pitcher of Week
Austin Chase (Albany 2011-2012), UAlbany

Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week
Jon Leroux (Albany 2010), Northeastern

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week
Brett Houseal (Amsterdam 2011), Marist

Northeast Conference Player of the Week
J.P. Sportman (Oneonta 2011/Coop. 2011-2012), Central Conn. State

Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week
Sam Mahar (Amsterdam 2012), Kentucky

University at Albany senior Austin Chase (Albany 2011-2012) was chosen as the Pitcher of the Week in the America East conference. Chase, a 2011 PGCBL All-Star Game selection, threw a complete game five-hitter in UAlbany’s 4-1 victory over Binghamton on May 13. Chase allowed one unearned run on five hits, walked none and struck out four in the seven-inning contest. He faced five batters over the minimum and shut down the Binghamton offense through the final six innings. After the Bearcats scored in the first inning, Chase faced no more than four BU batsmen in a frame. Entering into the final week of the regular season, Austin leads UAlbany in earned run average (4.22) and innings pitched (70.1).

The Colonial Athletic Association tapped Northeastern University junior catcher Jon Leroux (Albany 2010) as its Player of the Week. Leroux powered the Huskies to a conference sweep of Old Dominion and a 3-1 week overall. The junior backstop batted .563 (9-for-16) with three home runs, 11 RBI, eight runs scored and three doubles. Leroux amassed a 1.313 slugging percentage with six total extra-base hits. He mashed at least two hits per game, scored at least once and drove in one run in all four contests. Leroux totaled four multi-hit and three multi-RBI games. Leroux slammed his fifth home run in six games, a three-run belt, against UCONN on May 8. He hammered out three hits and scored three times in the series’ opener against Old Dominion. After drilling a key three-run double in the second game of the ODU set, Leroux capped off the series with a two home run game and four RBI. The Auburn, Mass., native leads the Huskies in home runs (11) and runs batted in (47).

Marist College junior Brett Houseal (Amsterdam 2011) was named the Co-Pitcher of the Week in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Houseal, a 2011 All-PGCBL first team pitcher, shared the weekly prize with Manhattan’s John Soldinger. The Marist starter pitched a complete game two-hit shutout to pace Red Foxes in a 2-0 home victory over Canisius on May 12. He spread out two Golden Griff singles, walked two and struck out six in the seven-inning conference game. Houseal faced just two batters over the minimum and forced 12 groundouts in an 81-pitch gem. The Marist junior retired the side in order in three of his seven frames. Through 12 appearances, Brett is 4-5 with three complete games and a 4.18 earned run average.

J.P. Sportman (Oneonta 2011/Coop. 2011-2012), a sophomore utility player from Central Connecticut State University has been honored as the Player of the Week by the Northeast Conference. Sportman led the Blue Devils to a four-game NEC sweep of Mount St. Mary’s. The second-year outfielder batter .667 (12-for-18) with one home run, seven RBI and nine runs scored. He recorded at least two hits and one RBI in all four CCSU games and scored at least two runs in three of the four tilts. Sportman totaled four multi-hit efforts and was part of an offense that racked up 48 runs in four games. The sophomore opened the series with three hits, including a two-run home run and three RBI. Sportman posted two hits in the second game and then erupted with a 4-for-4 performance and scored four times. The Schenectady, N.Y., native closed the series with three hits, two RBI and three runs. He enters the NEC tournament with a .357 batting average, seven home runs and 32 RBI.

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) tapped University of Kentucky freshman Sam Mahar (Amsterdam 2012) as the SEC Freshman of the Week. Mahar is a relief pitcher for the second nationally-ranked Wildcats. He made three appearances for Kentucky last week and did not allow an earned run in four innings pitched. Mahar retired 12 of the 15 batters he faced, walked none and struck out three. The Kenosha, Wisc., native fanned two and tossed a scoreless ninth to earn a save in UK’s 6-5 road victory at Indiana. In a pressure-packed situation against SEC foe Alabama on Saturday, Mahar seated the two batters he faced in a come-from-behind win over the Tide. Sunday, the 2011 Gatorade Wisconsin Player of the Year tossed 2.1 shutout innings of relief to earn his second save of the week and the season in a third-straight win versus Alabama. Sam has made 20 appearances from the UK bullpen and he boasts a 3-3 record, two saves and a 2.75 earned run average.

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