Zimmer, Backlund earn NCBWA award

More news about: Alvernia | Whitman
Joe Zimmer, Whitman
Whitman athletics photo

Whitman’s Joe Zimmer and Alvernia’s Matt Backlund earned National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association Division III accolades for the period
of Feb. 29-March 6.

Zimmer, a sophomore infielder from Billings, Mont., finished Whitman's 3-1 weekend with an incredible .765 batting average, .800 on base pct., and 1.000 slugging pct. as he collected four doubles in his 13-for-17 work at the plate.  The Northwest Conference Hitter of the Week also had seven RBIs, 10 runs scored and three walks while fanning only once. 

He began by going 3-4 with two doubles and three runs scored in a 6-5 loss to Marian (Wis.), then went 3-6 with a double, four RBIs and a run in a 17-5 win over Hamline.  He was perfect in a 20-18, 14-4 sweep of Bethany Lutheran, going 2-2 with three walks, an RBI and four runs in the first game and 5-5 with a double, two runs and two RBIs in the second.

Matt Backlund, Alvernia
Alvernia athletics photo

Backlund, a senior right-handed hurler from Yardville, N.J., put together a pair of strong outings for the Crusaders going 13 innings without giving up a run. The Middle Atlantic Conference’s Commonwealth Conference Pitcher of the Week allowed just two hits over six innings of work in a no decision against Johns Hopkins. The sophomore then threw a one-hit complete-game shutout win over Baruch. Backlund struck out seven, allowed one walk and two hits against Johns Hopkins. He struck out six batters with two walks and one hit in the win over Baruch. 

National Players of the week for:
February 29-March 6: Joe Zimmer, Whitman and Matt Backlund, Alvernia
February 22-28: Andrew Waters, Trinity (Texas) and Andrew Stull, Rose-Hulman
February 15-21: Tommy Vitaletti, Christopher Newport and Greg Schneider, Frostburg St.

Honorable Mention Hitter: Kyle Goodwin, sr., OF, Salisbury (Md.) - Hit .667 (10-for-15) with eight RBIs, eight runs scored and three home runs in a 2-1 week for the Sea Gulls. In a win over Johns Hopkins, Goodwin tallied half of the team's hits and accounted for over half of its runs. He also hit two doubles and one triple, slugged 1.533 and notched 23 total bases on the week. 

Honorable Mention Pitchers: Rich Power, jr., LHP, Gettysburg (Pa.) - Opened the year with 13 consecutive scoreless innings, striking out 13 while earning a pair of victories. In the team's season-opening 12-0 win at Hood, the southpaw tossed six scoreless frames to pick up the win. He followed up with a sparkling performance in Gettysburg's 12-0 victory versus Rivier in Florida, firing a three-hit, seven-inning shutout while racking up a career-high 12 strikeouts. He did not walk a batter and faced just three over the minimum.

John Ruhlman, jr., LHP, Roanoke (Va.) - Threw the first no-hitter in Roanoke program history in a conference contest against an Eastern Mennonite team that was hitting .360 heading into the game. Ruhlman also had 10 strikeouts on the day.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Player of the Year Award, Regional Player of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors preseason All-America awards, publication and writing contests.