Big South Announces Baseball Players of the Week

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Liberty sophomore outfielder Ryan Cordell (Orangevale, Calif) and Rich Witten (Danville, Ky.) have been named the Big South Conference's Choice Hotels Co-Baseball Players of the Week, while Liberty senior John Niggli (Tulare, Calif.) has been named The Crons Brand Pitcher of the Week for games played April 10-15, it was announced today by the League office.

Cordell hit .692 in Liberty's series win against Winthrop over the weekend.  He posted multiple hits in all three games, including three hits in the series opener on April 13 and four hits in the final game of the series on April 15.  Cordell also scored eight out of his nine times he was on base, drove in two runs and hit two home runs to finish the series with a .692 on-base percentage and a 1.231 slugging percentage.  He also became the second Liberty player to hit two home runs in a game on Sunday in an 11-1 win vs. the Eagles.  His four hits against the Eagles marked the second time this season he has posted a four-hit contest.

Witten posted nine hits and six RBI to lead the Chanticleers to a 4-1 record last week, including a series sweep against VMI.  He posted a hit in all five games for Coastal Carolina and went for multi-hit outings against UNC Wilmington on April 10 and VMI on April 15.  In the series finale against the Keydets on the 15th, Witten went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and a walk-off homer to lift Coastal to the series sweep.  He finished the week with six total RBI, a .474 average at the plate and a slugging percentage of .684.

Niggli pitched eight scoreless innings in Liberty's 7-0 victory Friday. It was the third shutout in which Niggli has had a hand in this year.  He allowed five hits for a .185 opponent batting average and struck out five with one walk. The right-hander retired eight in a row from the second inning to the top of the fifth. Niggli has gone six or more innings in seven of his nine starts and has allowed two or less runs in six outings this season.  Niggli's line last week:  1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 SO.

Also nominated for Player of the Week:  David Olson (Campbell), Walt Quattlebaum (Charleston Southern), Ryan Hodge (Gardner-Webb), Kenny Bryant (Presbyterian College) and Jeff Kemp (Radford).

Also nominated for Pitcher of the Week:  Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina), Ryan Retz (High Point), Beau Dees (Presbyterian College) and Eddie Butler (Radford).

2012 Baseball Players of the Week
Feb. 20 - Billy Creighton, UNC Asheville
Feb. 27 - Ryan Retz, High Point
March 5 - Jake Kirkland, Campbell
March 12 - Daniel Bowman, Coastal Carolina
March 19 - Benji Jackson, Gardner-Webb
March 26 - Matt Hillsinger, Radford
April 2 - TJ Olesczuk, Winthrop
April 10 - Rob Dickinson, VMI
April 16 - Ryan Cordell, Liberty & Rich Witten, Coastal Carolina

2012 Baseball Pitchers of the Week
Feb. 20 - John Niggli, Liberty
Feb. 27 - Ryan Connolly, Coastal Carolina
March 5 - John Niggli, Liberty
March 12 - Matt Armstead, High Point & Eric Ruth, Winthrop
March 19 - Matt Pierpont, Winthrop
March 26 - Matt Sergey, Campbell
April 2 - Matt Armstead, High Point
April 10 - Zach Hagaman, Charleston Southern
April 16 - John Niggli, Liberty