AMHERST, MA - For their play during a 6-4 week in Florida to open the 2010 season, Amherst College baseball players Hayden Metz (Ridgefield, CT) and Will Lawton (Newton, MA) have been named the New England Small College Athletic Conference's Pitcher and Player of the Week.
Metz, a sophomore right-handed hurler, went 3-0 and boasted a 1.54 earned run average and .256 opponents' batting average last week at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. He led the charge in a pair of come-from-behind wins by making two stellar relief appearances (2-0), adding a third victory in his first start of the season. In a 12-8 win over Framingham State Mar. 13, which marked Amherst's first season-opening win since 2005, Metz allowed just one hit (1-for-10) and no runs in 3.0 innings of work, striking out three and walking none to earn the victory.
Metz next appeared for the Lord Jeffs in a 10-7 win over UMass Boston. Metz pitched 2.2 innings of relief against the Beacons, allowing one unearned run on three hits (3-for-11) to go along with five strikeouts and one walk. Metz wrapped up his week by pitching the first 6.0 innings of a 16-4 win over Suffolk, allowing two earned runs on seven hits (7-for-20) with four K's and one walk.
Earning NESCAC Player of the Week honors to go alongside Metz is Lawton, a senior co-captain. While batting second in the lineup, Lawton hit safely in eight of Amherst's 10 games, and had four games with at least three hits. In a pair of wins over Roger Williams, Lawton was a combined 7-for-7 with five runs scored, three RBIs, a double and a triple.
Heading into Amherst's northern opener on Wednesday afternoon, Lawton is sporting a .486 (18-for-37) batting average and a .757 slugging percentage. Lawton also boasts a .548 on-base percentage, with 10 RBIs and a pair of sacrifice bunts. In addition to scoring 14 runs (at least one run in eight of 10 games), Lawton did not strike out during the entire southern swing.
Metz, Lawton and the rest of the Lord Jeffs will return to action Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. for the 2010 home opener against Westfield State.