DALLAS – After turning in key performances on the mound that helped their schools secure spots in The First Conference USA Baseball Championship presented by Air Force, Marshall junior RHP Michael Guerrero and UTSA senior RHP Karan Patel have been named co-Conference USA Pitchers of the Week. Southern Miss junior OF Matt Wallner hit four home runs last week to become the school’s all-time homer leader and take home the C-USA Hitter of the Week award. All Conference USA weekly awards are presented by Top of the World.
Patel logged the longest outing of his career (8.0 innings), registering a career-best 13 strikeouts to help the Roadrunners secure a spot in the Conference USA championship. He scattered seven hits, walked two and allowed two earned runs in picking up his fourth win of the season. Patel became the first UTSA pitcher in program history to record 100 strikeouts in a single season, finishing the regular season at 102. He has also moved up to fourth place in school history with 248 career punchouts.
Guerrero came on in the clutch for the Thundering Herd as he picked up a pair of victories in relief against Rice in the final regular season series. He pitched perfect 10th and 11th innings in game one of the series on Thursday, allowing no base runners on an efficient 21 pitches to six batters with a strikeout to his line. In Friday’s 10-inning victory, Guerrero allowed no hits in the ninth and 10th innings, allowing just two Owls to reach on walks and striking out three batters. Guerrero is the team’s closer and his dominating efforts in these non-save situations helped Marshall reach its first C-USA Championship since 2016.
Wallner became the school’s all-time home run leader with 54 career round-trippers in only three seasons, after belting No. 18 and No. 19 in the regular-season finale against UAB. He surpassed Marc Maddox, who collected 53 from 2003-06. Wallner’s final homer, one of four over the weekend, came in his likely final at bat at Pete Taylor Park – he is expected to be a high draft pick in next month’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. Wallner homered in all three games of the UAB series and he is one of two Golden Eagles all-time to belt double-digit homers in three-straight seasons. Saturday marked his third two-homer game of the year and fifth of his career. Wallner reached base in his final 10 plate appearances of the UAB series, spanning two doubles, three homers, one hit by pitch, two walks and two intentional walks. UAB even intentionally walked him with two outs and no one on in the series finale. With his four walks, Wallner now has 133 and is tied for second on the school charts for that category. He has homered 13 times over his last 21 games.
Hitter of the Week – Feb. 18 – Trei Cruz, SS, Rice; Feb. 25 – Colton Schultz, OF, UAB; Mar. 4 – Andrew Dunlap, OF, Rice; Mar. 11 – Shane Hanon, OF, Marshall; Mar. 18 – Francisco Urbaez, 2B, Florida Atlantic; Mar. 25 – Jake Sanford, OF, WKU; Apr. 1 – Jake Sanford, OF, WKU; Apr. 8 – Myles Christian, OF, Middle Tennessee; Apr. 15 – Tanner Huddleston, 3B, Louisiana Tech; Apr. 22 – Joe Montes, 3B, Florida Atlantic; Apr. 29 – Harris Yett, C, Charlotte; May 6 – Andru Summerall, OF, Florida Atlantic and Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Old Dominion; May 13 – Mason Mallard, 1B, Louisiana Tech; May 19 – Matt Wallner, OF, Southern Miss.
Pitcher of the Week – Feb. 18 – Zach Keenan, RHP, Middle Tennessee; Feb. 25 – Walker Powell, RHP, Southern Miss; Mar. 4 – Jackson Parthasarathy, RHP, Rice; Mar. 11 – Logan Allen, LHP, FIU; Mar. 18 – Ryne Moore, RHP, Old Dominion; Mar. 25 – Logan Allen, LHP, FIU and Walker Powell, RHP, Southern Miss; Apr. 1 – Mike Ruff, RHP, Florida Atlantic; Apr. 8 – Braxton Smith, RHP, Louisiana Tech; Apr. 15 – Logan Allen, LHP, FIU; Apr. 22 – Evan Kravetz, LHP, Rice and Karan Patel, RHP, UTSA; Apr. 29 – Matt Canterino, RHP, Rice and Walker Powell, RHP, Southern Miss; May 6 – Christian Santana, RHP, FIU; May 13 – Evan Kravetz, LHP, Rice; May 19 – Michael Guererro, RHP, Marshall and Karan Patel, RHP, UTSA.