Monday February 18, 2013UF Baseball's Zack Powers Named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week
Florida redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) was chosen as one of the Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week by Collegiate Baseball on Monday for the first time in his career after helping the No .13 Gators (2-1) to a season-opening series victory over Duke. It marked just the 11th time in school history that a University of Florida player had received the honor, first since Mike Zunino was tabbed on March 12, 2012.
Returning to action after being sidelined for the 2012 season, Powers went 3-for-6 (.500) over the three games. In Sunday’s decisive third game of the series with the Blue Devils, he joined Preston Tucker as the only Gators in school history to hit a pair of grand slams in the same game. Powers tied the score at 3-3 in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly and then clubbed his first career homer in the seventh frame to right field with three teammates aboard to expand UF’s advantage to 10-3. The Armwood High School product stepped to the plate again in the eighth with the sacks full and emptied them with another big fly to right field to finalize the scoring at 16-5 in favor of the Orange and Blue.
Powers’ nine RBI tied for the third-most in school history in a contest, behind Tucker’s standard of 11 RBI against UCF in which he belted three homers and a couple of grand slams on April 8, 2009. During his true freshman season of 2011, Powers drove in seven runs in 35 games all year.
Powers joined outfielder Danny Collins of Troy (8-for-14 ( .571) over four games with nine RBI; collected 17 total bases, two doubles, two triples and one homer; hit for Troy’s first cycle since 2009; also scored nine runs and didn't strike out); right-hander Buck Farmer of Georgia Tech (set a career high with 14 strikeouts in eight dominant innings during a 3-0 win over Akron on Opening Day; scattered four singles and just one runner advanced past first base); first baseman/left-hander Clinton Freeman of East Tennessee State (8-for-10 (.800) over three games with seven runs, five RBI, three homers, one triple, one double; in two relief appearances, he struck out three and earned a save in 1.1 innings on the mound); right-hander Trevor Foss of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (recorded 15 strikeouts while allowing only three hits and no runs in a complete-game shutout of Texas-Pan American; allowed one walk) and right-hander Jeremy Null of Western Carolina (struck out a career-high 13 batters in seven innings against Washington State; 13 strikeouts were the most by a Catamount pitcher since Matt Benedict had 13 during the 2011 season) in being recognized by the publication.
Florida begins a five-game week by facing UCF (2-1) on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at Jay Bergman Field in Orlando. Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell will call the action on the Gator IMG Sports Network. Live stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.