Stalker Earns NWC Player of the Week Honors

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior first baseman Kyle Stalker (Bellevue, WA/Sammamish HS) has been chosen Northwest Conference Baseball Player of the Week for the week ending March 2, 2008. Stalker blasted seven home runs and hit .467 during the week, including .667 (6 of 9) in NWC games. He helped Willamette go 4-1 during the week, 3-1 in a four-game series against NWC opponent Lewis & Clark College.

In WU's five games, Stalker drove in 16 runs. He had at least one homer in four of the five games. In the first game of the Lewis & Clark series on Saturday, March 1, he smacked three homers, including a grand slam.

Stalker was walked a total of 10 times and was hit by one pitch during the week. All four walks against L&C in the final game of the weekend series were intentional. Stalker was 7 of 15 at the plate overall, with all seven hits launched out of the park.

For the season, Stalker has belted a total of 10 home runs in 10 games, and needs three more to equal the Willamette record of 13, set by Tony Barron in 1987. Stalker is now Willamette’s career home run leader with 24 (old record, 21 by Grant Trenbeath, 1990-93).

Stalker also played great defense last week, as he scooped up numerous low throws at first base, while earning 39 putouts and 3 assists with no errors. For the season, he is batting .359 with 26 RBIs and a 1.154 slugging percentage.

Willamette opened last week with an 18-9 win over Hanover College (Ind.) in a game played at Sanford Memorial Stadium in Sanford, Fla. on Monday, Feb. 25. The Bearcats returned to Salem, Ore., and defeated L&C 15-13 and 8-4 in the first two games of their weekend series. WU also won the third game of the series, 9-1, before falling to the Pioneers, 10-8, in the final game. Willamette ended the week with a 6-4 overall record.

The Bearcats will host California State University-East Bay in a three-game non-conference series this weekend. Willamette and CSU-East Bay will play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 8, starting at 11 a.m. (PST) and will conclude the series with a single game on Sunday, March 9 at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Kyle Stalker hit seven home runs and was walked 10 times last week.

Kyle Stalker hit seven home runs and was walked 10 times last week.