Northern Illinois first baseman/designated hitter Joe Etcheverry was named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week for the first time in his career, the league announced Monday.
Etcheverry’s flaming bat was a prime reason for NIU’s 4-1 week (March 28-April 3), as the senior hit .588 (10-for-17). Along with posting a slugging percentage of .941 and on-base percentage of .708, the Bakersfield, Calif., native scored six runs, walked six times, had three doubles and three RBI, hit one homer and stole a base in extending his hitting streak to six games.
“Joe had a very good week for us,” said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. “He swung the bat really well from the four spot. It’s real good to see when he drives the ball around the yard; it makes everyone else around the lineup more dangerous.
“As a senior, he’s done a great job of leading and preparing the guys. And it’s good to see him have success in an important time for us.”
In a 20-5 win over Chicago State on March 29, Etcheverry went 2-for-3 with a walk, double, RBI and run scored.
In losing 7-6 to Aurora on March 30, he went 1-for-3 with a solo homer, walk, and was hit by a pitch. He was a perfect 4-for-4 in a 9-4 win in game one of a doubleheader against Buffalo on April 2, adding two runs, a double, walk, steal and RBI. He followed with a 1-for-3 performance in game two’s 12-4 win, with two walks and a run scored. In a 7-0 victory to complete a sweep of the Bulls on April 3, he went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and run scored.
Because of his outstanding performance, Etcheverry helped the Huskies sweep their second road doubleheader since 2008 and sweep their third road MAC series since 2003.
The left-handed slugger is the fourth Huskie to garner a weekly award from the MAC this season. Troy White (March 1) and Alex Jones (March 23) also grabbed the Player of the Week honor, while Zach Oates (March 23) took home Pitcher of the Week. Overall, Mathey has had 14 hitters and 13 pitchers earn the weekly recognition by the MAC since 2003.
Etcheverry and the Huskies return to action at 3:05 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, to kick off a five-game home stand. NIU will face Illinois State at Ralph McKinzie Field before facing Bradley at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, and hosting Miami (Ohio) in a three-game conference series this weekend.