DALLAS, Texas — After one of the most prolific offensive performances by a WKU
Baseball player in recent memory, junior right fielder Jake Sanford was named
Conference USA Hitter of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
“Congrats to Jake on being named Conference USA Hitter of the Week. He has
been very consistent in his approach and work ethic since the day he arrived on
The Hill back in the fall,” head coach John Pawlowski said. “It’s great to see him
being recognized for a tremendous week while helping the Hilltoppers continue
our quest in 2019.”
In Sunday’s 15-1, run-rule, series-clinching victory over FIU, the Dartmouth, Nova
Scotia, native produced a career performance 3-for-5 with two three-run homeruns,
one double, five runs scored and seven batted in.
It was the first run-rule victory for WKU since a 17-2 win — also at FIU — on April
Sanford’s five runs scored were the most since Jared Andreoli also had five at
Vanderbilt on March 16, 2010, as he became the 20th player in Division I to score
five runs in a game this season. His seven runs batted in were the most since Matt
Hightower also had seven vs. Albany on March 1, 2009. Meanwhile, his multi-dinger
day was the first for the Hilltoppers since Rhinesmith had two on March 10, 2018,
vs. Bowling Green.
For the week, Sanford went 5-for-15 in three games at FIU and a midweek vs. Austin
Peay with three homeruns, eight runs scored and eight runs batted in. He also added
three outfield assists and nine put-outs from his right field position. A
.333/.444/1.000 slash line for the week and his enormous day at the plate on Sunday
led the Hilltoppers to a 2-to-1 series win over the Panthers to improve to 5-1 in
It is WKU’s best start in league action since joining the conference prior to the
Sanford now has nine homeruns and 65 total bases on the season, as well as a .765
slugging percentage to lead all C-USA hitters, while his 18 extra-base hits (eight
doubles and one triple) are tied for first and 27 runs batted in rank third. His
four homeruns and 12 runs batted in across six league games both top the charts as
well, while his .880 slugging percentage ranks second.
On a national scope, he ranks tied for ninth in homeruns, 14th in slugging
percentage, 15th in total bases, 38th in runs batted in and 69th in runs scored
across Division I.
The weekly award is presented by Top of the World. It is the seventh C-USA Hitter of
the Week honor by a Hilltopper over the past five seasons, and the first since
Rhinesmith on March 12, 2018. Current WKU designated hitter Dillon Nelson was also
honored last year on Feb. 26.