Northern Illinois junior shortstop Alex Jones was named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.
Jones was nearly unstoppable in NIU’s 2-1 series win over Toledo as he went 8-for-11 (.727) with three doubles, two RBI and two runs, and was perfect in the field in 13 chances.
Compiling a 1.000 slugging percentage and .692 on-base percentage, Jones started the series by going 3-for-4 with a run, RBI, double and walk in the Huskies’ 4-3 walk-off win in the first of a doubleheader. In Game Two, the Kansas native went 2-for-4 with a double in an 8-1 loss. In the finale, Jones was a perfect 3-for-3 with a run, double, RBI on a sacrifice fly in an 8-7 victory.
The three-year veteran’s big weekend kept alive his eight-game on-base streak and four-game hitting streak as he was a primary reason that the Huskies won their fourth straight Mid-American Conference series for the first time since 2007.
In getting the series win, NIU claimed its first series against Toledo since 2005 and moved into sole possession of first place in the MAC West Division as the Huskies improved to 19-8 since starting the season 0-10.
“This is great news for Alex and NIU baseball,” said NIU head coach Ed Mathey of Jones, who leads NIU in batting average (.338), RBI (28), hits (52), and slugging percentage (.494) this season. “Alex was tremendous this week. His performance helped us do what we needed to do against Toledo. I’m happy for Alex and hope he can continue to play well. We need him during this stretch run; he’s a big part of our program.”
With Jones earning the award for the second time in his career and 2011 season, the Huskies have garnered the honor in four consecutive weeks. Troy White picked up NIU’s first of the season on March 1, and three weeks later (March 23), Jones and Zach Oates swept the weekly hitting and pitching accolades. Then, the Huskies were represented in all four weeks of April as Joe Etcheverry (April 4), Jeremy Gonzales (April 11) and White (April 18) were recognized.
With Jones claiming NIU’s seventh MAC weekly award of 2011, the Huskies broke the previous single season high mark of six, which was accomplished in each of the 2007 and 2004 campaigns. Overall, 30 players (16 hitters, 14 pitchers) have achieved the accolade under Mathey.