Noah Song Named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week; Mids Sweep PL Awards
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Following a series win over the Air Force Falcons as part of the 2018 Freedom Classic in Kinston, N.C., the Navy baseball team was fittingly rewarded on Monday as junior RHP Noah Song was selected as a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week, while the trio of Song, sophomore 3B Jacob Williamson and freshman RHP Jared Leins all garnered weekly honors from the Patriot League.
The junior right-handed pitcher had a start for the record books on Friday night in the first game of the three-game series versus Air Force. Facing off against a Falcon team that led the nation in hitting last year with a .344 batting average, Song not only silenced their bats, but he dominated them to the tune of 16 strikeouts over 6.0 innings. During this run of dominance, the Mids' defense didn't touch the ball for the first 12 put outs over the opening four innings as Song recorded every out on his own via the strikeout, including nine straight to start the game. After collecting his initial 12 strikeouts, Song struck out two Falcons in the fifth and two more in the sixth before exiting. For the game, he finished with a line of 6.0 innings, two hits, two walks, no runs and 16 strikeouts.
Song's performance ranks fifth all-time in Navy's record books and he's one of just three pitchers to reach the 16 strikeout milestone in a game since 1968. The program record is 18. As a whole, Navy's four-man pitching staff on Friday broke the school record for most strikeouts in a game with a combined total of 20. Over his first two starts and 11.0 innings this season, Song has struck out 25 batters. He ranks second nationally in total strikeouts as he trails just Fresno State's Edgar Gonzalez, who has retired 26 batters over 16.0 innings for the Bulldogs.
This is the first national player of the week award for Song in his career and first for the Navy program since Luke Gillingham on April 20, 2015. He was one of 10 players to earn the player of the week moniker on Monday for Louisville Slugger.
On the conference level, Song was the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week. That is the second pitcher of the week nod of his career at Navy, as he earned the honor on Feb. 28, 2017.
Williamson was selected as the Patriot League Player of the Week after feasting on Air Force pitching in Kinston this past weekend. Playing in his home state of North Carolina, the sophomore third baseman had multiple hits, runs and RBIs in all three games on his way to posting a .500 (8-16) batting average, 10 RBIs, six runs scored and four extra-base hits. On Friday versus the Falcons, he set personal career highs in hits and RBIs as he went 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. He followed that career day with another strong outing on Saturday with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. Williamson concluded his weekend on Sunday with two hits, two runs scored and three RBIs. The highlight of his performance on Sunday was a three-run home run in the second inning.
Another North Carolina native left his mark on the Falcons over the weekend on his way to conference honors as Leins was chosen as the Patriot League Rookie of the Week. The freshman from Raleigh had a stellar long relief appearance for the Mids in a pressure-packed two-run game before 2,675 fans on Saturday versus Air Force. Coming in for relief of starter Sean Kamhoot, who exited after 4.0-plus innings and 89 pitches, Leins settled in immediately and held the game at a 6-4 score over the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Over his 67 pitches and 4.0 innings against a talented Falcon offense, Leins allowed just three hits with no walks, while striking out seven. Both his innings and strikeout numbers were personal-highs for his young collegiate career.
These are the first three Patriot League honors for the Navy program in the young 2018 season.
The Mids will kick off the home portion of their schedule on Tuesday with a 2 p.m. tilt at Max Bishop Stadium versus UMBC.
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER'S NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (February 26, 2018)
RHP Noah Song, Navy
RHP Joe DeMers, Washington
LHP Mitchell Senger, Stetson
RHP Riley Johnson, North Dakota State
OF Brett Kinneman, North Carolina State
OF Keegan McGovern, Georgia
UT Eric Jones, Davidson
IF Ray Hernandez, Alabama State
3B Trevor Putzig, Tennessee Tech
C/1B T.J. Collett, Kentucky
3B Alex Eliopulos, UC San Diego