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Hammer Wins Player of the Week

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Senior OF Ben Hammer was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week for the period of April 22-28, the league office announced on Monday. Hammer's selection marks the fourth time this season that a Rocket has been picked as either the division's top hitter or hurler, tied for third most in the division.

 Hammer is also garnering this distinguished accolade for the first time in his collegiate career.

The fifth-year Rocket batted a flashy .611 (11-for-18) with a squad-tying best six runs scored, one double, a team-best two home runs and a squad-high 12 RBI in four games last week. Hammer also accumulated a whopping 1.000 slugging percentage and a team-high .650 on-base percentage to help the reigning MAC West Division champions win three of the four contests. The Wayne, OH native hit safely in every game, posting three multi-hit efforts.

Hammer opened the week with a perfect 4-for-4 effort with a season-high four runs scored, a collegiate-best two round trippers and a season-high five RBI against Big East member Notre Dame on Tuesday, April 23. He followed up that tremendous performance with  a 1-for-5 effort and one RBI at Western Michigan in Friday's MAC series opener on April 26. The following afternoon against the division rival Broncos, the Wayne, OH native finished 3-for-5 with one run scored and two RBI. Hammer then wrapped up the outstanding week going 3-for-4 with one run scored, one walk and four RBI.

The 2011 second-team All-MAC selection has now hit safely in 15 of the 18 league contests, batting a team-high .379 (25-for-66) with a team-high 20 RBI.

Overall this spring, Hammer is hitting .335 (53-for-158) with 27 runs scored, a team-high 10 two-base hits, one triple, a squad-tying best three home runs, a team-high 37 RBI and five stolen bases in 41 starts in center field. He currently ranks second in the conference in RBI, sixth in total bases (74), seventh in slugging percentage (.468), eighth in batting average, 10th in hits (53) and tied for 10th in walks (21).

Hammer and the Rockets (17-25, 8-10 MAC) will return to the diamond this weekend, May 3-6, with an important three-game series vs. MAC West Division frontrunner Northern Illinois (18-23, 13-5 MAC) at Scott Park. Friday's first pitch from the corner of Hill Ave. and Parkside Blvd. is slated for 3:05 p.m.

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