Northern Illinois center fielder Jamison Wells was named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week, the league announced Tuesday in the awards’ final week.
Earning the honor for the first time in his career, the sophomore’s bat caught fire over NIU’s 3-2 week as he hit .667 (14-for-21) with 11 runs, two doubles, one home run, three RBI, .905 slugging percentage, .682 on-base percentage, one walk and four steals. He also extended his hitting streak to a career-long nine games by getting at least one hit in all five contests.
In a win at Milwaukee in Game One of a doubleheader, the Wisconsin native went a perfect 4-for-4, scoring four runs, driving in two on a double and home run and stealing one bag. In the second game, he went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a steal.
In Game One at Western Michigan, he had an RBI, single and two steals. In a Game Two triumph at WMU, he tallied another perfect 4-for-4 game with four runs scored and a double. In the finale win, he was 2-for-5 with a run scored against the Broncos.
“This is great news for Jamison and the NIU baseball program,” said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. “I thought he had a great week; it’s good to see him rewarded for that. He’s been coming out as of late. We hope that continues in the conference tournament. The week he had, setting the tone at the top of the lineup and being a threat on the base paths, is a good indication of what he’s capable of.”
The two-sport Huskie student-athlete (football) has enjoyed a breakout year thus far, ending the regular season with several career highs. His .311 batting average, 53 runs scored, 70 hits, 15 doubles, two home runs, 22 RBI and 26 stolen bases easily eclipse his rookie season numbers (.255 AVG, 15 R, 25 H, 4 2B, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 12 SB), and there’s only a nine-game difference in games played (50 in 2011, 41 in 2010).
Wells’ doubles total is tied with Alex Jones for the team lead, while his runs scored and stolen bases totals pace the Huskies and rank first and second, respectively, in the conference.
Winning the honor for NIU’s eighth of the season, Wells joins five of his teammates on the list. Jones (April 25, March 23), Troy White (April 18, March 1), Jeremy Gonzales (April 11), Joe Etcheverry (April 4) and Zach Oates (March 23) all were honored previously. The Huskies were represented on either the Player or Pitcher of the Week list in each week of April.
The eight weekly league honors easily breaks the previous single season high mark of six, which was accomplished in each of the 2007 and 2004 campaigns. Overall, 31 players (17 hitters, 14 pitchers) have achieved the accolade under Mathey since taking the reins in 2003.
“This year’s team breaking the record is a good indication of what’s going on with this group,” Mathey said. “They feed off each other and work well together. This is a nice accomplishment for the 2011 NIU baseball team.”