The Team of the Week is D3baseball.com's weekly honor roll, in its seventh season of recognizing the top performers at each of nine positions from the previous week. Players are selected from nominations from their school's sports information directors. This is the first Team of the Week of the 2018 season.
Games of January 29 - February 11, 2018
C Ryan Grubbs, Jr., Christopher Newport
Grubbs reached base in three of his five plate appearances as Christopher Newport defeated Ferrum, 11-4. He batted .500 (2-for-4) with one RBI and two runs scored. Grubbs also stole a base and picked up eight putouts behind the dish.
1B Joseph Nelms, So., Brevard
Nelms opened Brevard's season with three extra-base hits hits in three games. The Tornado first baseman hit .636 (7-for-11) with a run scored and three RBIs. All three extra-base hits were doubles, giving Nelms a .909 slugging percentage. He stole three bases.
2B Seth Sparks, Fr., Southwestern (Tex.)
Sparks went an impressive 7-for-11 (.636) from the plate through three games. He posted a .818 slugging percentage with two doubles two runs scored and two RBIs.
SS Josh Abalos, Jr., University of Dallas
Abalos produced a hit in all three games this past weekend series with Mississippi University for Women. He totaled six hits, five runs, five RBI, three walks, and one stolen base. He currently leads the SCAC with a .650 batting average.
3B Christopher Stern, So., Emory
Stern started all five games for the Eagles as Emory opened the 2018 slate with a 2-3 record with wins over Piedmont and Covenant. Stern was phenomenal for the Eagles at the plate, racking up a team-high .632 batting average (12-for-19) including a triple and one home run to go along with a team-best 10 RBI. Through five games, Stern also tops the team in runs scored (6), total bases (17) and slugging percentage (.895). In the season opener, Stern tied the Emory single-game record for hits, going 6-for-6 with a career-high four RBI as Emory defeated Piedmont, 13-6.
OF Brandon Mulrooney, Jr., Whittier
The Poets had this past weekend off but during their opening weekend they played four games in three days and Mulrooney had a career performance leading the Poets to a 3-1 start. He batted .462 with six hits, which included a double and a home run. He collected seven RBIs and scored seven times, walked three times, had an OB% of .588 and slugged .769. In the outfield he was perfect with a 1.000 fielding percentage with 19 put outs.
OF Brett Shapcott, Jr., Guilford
Shapcott reached base all five times he was at the plate with a walk, four hits (1.000 batting average) and a double in a loss to Greensboro. He added two RBIs and two stolen bases.
OF AJ Valencia, Sr., George Fox
In the first two weeks of the season, Valencia has been on fire, recording at least one hit in five of the Bruins opening seven games, batting .588 (10-for-17). He scored six runs and drove in eight. Valencia has stolen seven bases and walked three times.
DH Mitchell Watson, Fr., Caltech
Watson started his career with a three game hitting streak. The freshman designated hitter batted .636 (7-for-11) with three runs scored and three RBIs. With a triple and a home run, Watson finished the week slugging 1.091.
SP Alex Baez, Jr., Whittier
Baez was near perfect in his first start of the 2018 season. He was nursing an injury leading up to the game but came out strong against Willamette and threw a complete game shutout, holding the Bearcats to just four hits, while recording double digit strikeouts (10).
SP Ty Engelhardt, Sr., Hardin-Simmons
Engelhardt opened the season with a three-hit shutout of Hendrix. He struck out five and walked two in the 97-pitch gem, in which he did not allow a baserunner past second base. All three hits were singles.
SP Kaleb Kirk, Sr., Centenary (La.)
Kirk is 2-0 to begin the year and has not allowed an earned run, while striking out 13 in 11.2 innings pitched. Kirk has allowed 11 base runners (7 hits, 3 BB, HBP) in his two starts.
RP Cole Kanazawa, Sr., Pacific (Ore.)
Kanazawa had a hand in all four Pacific wins, this week. The senior right hander came out of the bullpen to pick up a win after a 3 inning effort, striking out five Pacific Lutheran batters. He followed that up with two innings of one-hit relief for his first save of the season against Whitworth. Kanazawa came back the next day, pitching 1.1 innings of two-hit relief for his second save of the weekend. He ended the weekend, getting the final two outs with the bases loaded and his third save of the weekend in the win over Whitman. For the weekend, he had a win, three saves, a 0.00 ERA and eight strikeouts in seven innings of work.