After hitting .591 in five Matador victories over the past week, junior infielder Fred Smith has been named Big West Conference Field Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday. The hot hitting Smith picked up four multiple-hit games against the likes of UCLA, William & Mary and UConn to help CSUN post a nine-game winning streak, its longest in 14 seasons.
“Fred put together a fine week,” said head coach Greg Moore. “He’s playing hard. More importantly he’s playing steady, DORS Baseball.”
Originally from Honolulu, HI, Smith has been a difference maker in his first season with CSUN. Smith has hit safely in all 17 games this season and he leads the team in batting (.429), hits (33) and stolen bases (6) to go along with 14 runs, 10 RBI and a .427 on-base percentage.
This past week, Smith proved to be a tough out each and every time he stepped up to the plate. While also serving as a table setter at the top of the lineup, Smith had a hand in 12 of CSUN’s runs during the week. Along with a .591 average at the dish, he posted four multiple-hit games, 13 total hits, five runs batted in, three doubles and a .727 slugging percentage. He also tallied seven runs in the five games, helping boost a Matador offense that scored 56 runs.
Against nationally-ranked UCLA on Tuesday, Smith went 3-for-6 with two runs scored, three runs batted in and a double to help CSUN post its first home victory against the Bruins since 2005.
The leadoff-hitting Smith served as offensive catalyst all weekend long against both William & Mary and UConn in CSUN’s round robin tournament. Smith drove in an RBI, scored three runs and batted .556 versus the Tribe in two victories including going 4-for-6 on Saturday. A day later, Smith continued to swing a hot bat, tallying five hits in seven at bats for a robust .714 batting average in the Matadors’ doubleheader sweep of the Huskies.
During CSUN’s nine-game winning streak, Smith has enjoyed his best stretch of the season, racking up 21 hits, 10 runs, seven RBI, three doubles and three stolen bases. He has also compiled six multiple-hit performances including posting three or more base hits in five of those games.
Smith becomes the third Matador in as many weeks to receive a Big West Conference weekly honor. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Kenny Rosenberg received the nod on February 29 while senior right-hander Angel Rodriguez received pitcher of the week on March 7.
The Matadors will look to post the team’s first 10-game winning streak since 1996 when CSUN hosts Houston Baptist on Friday afternoon at Matador Field for the first of a four-game series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.
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