ATLANTA, Ga. - NJIT's Paul Franzoni and North Florida's Max McKinley guided their team to series victories to open the 2019 season and have been named ASUN Conference Baseball weekly award winners, announced by the league offices on Monday.
Franzoni claimed Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career after leading NJIT to a 3-0-1 start to the season. Against Eastern Michigan in Hoover, Ala., Franzoni combined to hit .400 with three home runs and eight RBIs in a four-game set. Included in his work at the plate was a walk-off two-run home run in the first game of the season, lifting the Highlanders to a 5-4 victory to give the Highlanders a 1-0 start for the first time since 2012. The sophomore backstop followed with another homer on Saturday while slugging a two-run shot in the top of the first inning in an eventual tie vs. EMU on Sunday.
McKinley grabbed Pitcher of the Week honors after leading North Florida to victory vs. Missouri in his debut with the team. A transfer from Santa Fe College, the righty went seven innings vs. the Tigers while giving up just two runs with one of them earned. Striking out eight as well, McKinley held the Missouri offense off the board after some early struggles, allowing UNF to come back and steal the victory and claim the opening series.
ASUN Conference Baseball Player of the Week - Feb. 18th
Paul Franzoni, NJIT
Sophomore | Catcher | Robbinsville, N.J. | Business
- First Career ASUN Baseball Player of the Week honor; second for NJIT in history
- Batted .400 over four games; added three home runs and eight RBIs
- Hit two-run walk-off home run to lift NJIT to opening day win
- Crushed two-run homer in the top of the first in eventual tie vs. Eastern Michigan
- Helped NJIT to 3-0-1 season start; best as a Division I program in NJIT history
Other Nominees: Jay Hayes, FGCU; Angel Camacho, Jacksonville; Jaylen Smith, Kennesaw State; Will Wagner, Liberty; Davis Elliott, North Alabama; Wesley Weeks, North Florida.
ASUN Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week - Feb. 18th
Max McKinley, North Florida
Junior | Pitcher | Tallahassee, Fla. | Economics
- First Career ASUN Baseball Pitcher of the Week award
- Picked up the victory vs. Missouri, improving to 1-0 this season
- Struck out eight over seven innings of work for a 10.29 K/9 mark
- Limited Missouri to two runs over seven innings; allowed just one earned run
- Helped UNF take the opening series and improve to 2-1 on the season
Other Nominees: Brooks Buckler, Kennesaw State; Noah Skirrow, Liberty; Chris Kachmar, Lipscomb.