Baseball Player Named Commonwealth Player of the Week
(Posted March 14, 2005)
Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College junior infielder Will Russell (Tyrone/Tyrone) has been named the Commonwealth Conference baseball player of the week for his efforts on the diamond this past week. It marks the first time in his career that Russell has captured the weekly conference honor.
Russell was Juniata's most consistent offensive presence in its week-long spring break trip to Chandler, Ariz. The junior second baseman batted a team-high .425 on the week, as he pounded out 17 hits in 40 at-bats. He posted at leas one hit in nine of Juniata's 10 games, and ranked second in the team with 10 runs scored. On two occasions he knocked out three hits, including a three-hit performance in a Juniata victory over Commonwealth Conference opponent Moravian. He added four other multiple-hit games for the week, giving him a total of six. Russell finished the week with two doubles, a triple and 10 RBI as he helped Juniata post a 7-3 record during the trip.
After an injury plagued freshman season, Russell became a fixture in the Juniata lineup as a sophomore when he earned second-team All-Conference recognition. He hit .295 last season which ranked fourth on the Eagle squad, while also finishing the year tied for the team lead with three home runs. He was also tied for the team lead in 2004 with 44 hits, and finished the season with a .383 slugging percentage and 14 RBI. His emergence as the team's regular second baseman also helped solidify Juniata's defense as he committed just nine errors in 194 chances. He also showed a penchant for late-game heroics as he delivered three game-winning walk-off hits during the 2004 season.
After claiming the 2004 Commonwealth Conference Championship and earning a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament, the Juniata baseball team is off to an 8-4 start in 2005. The Eagles swept their three-game series against Commonwealth opponent Moravian in Ariz. and are averaging 7.4 runs per game through their first 12 contests. The Eagles will be back in action on Friday when they play a conference game at Messiah.
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