SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The West Coast Conference announced its weekly baseball honors Monday, and Santa Clara's Stevie Berman has been named WCC Rawlings Baseball Player of the Week for April 28, 2014. Berman is the first freshman to win the player of the week award this season, which has now been handed out 11 times.
In his first at-bat of the week, Berman hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first against Stanford at Schott Stadium April 22.
During Santa Clara's weekend series, the catcher from Saratoga, Calif. went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double, two home runs, four RBIs, four runs scored and three walks. Berman played an integral part in the team's success as part of a two-games-to-one series win over the second-place Loyola Marymount Lions. He slugged at a 1.091 clip and notched a .571 on-base percentage. Berman also excelled behind the plate, committing no errors and limiting the conference's stolen base leader in LMU to 2-for-4 in the three-game set.
"This weekend was what Bronco baseball looks like," Berman said. "We all stuck to our approaches and made mid-game adjustments which allowed us to be successful. A lot of people will say this is an individual award, but it is very far from that. My coaches put countless hours into our team which most wouldn't. Also, I have great hitters around me who make my job easier and get me better pitches to hit. Overall, this weekend was a good team series win."
On April 26, Berman hit home runs in his first two at-bats and added a single and two walks to reach base in all five of his trips to the plate in a 10-2 victory. He hit a two-run double to put to Broncos on the board in the first inning April 29 in an 8-7 win, and went on to go 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a walk and a run scored.
"This award is very special, especially because we have great players in our conference," Berman said. "Individual awards are pretty unique and awesome, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not why you play. I'm very honored to win, but in the end, the most important thing is winning ball games."
FROM THE COACHES
Head Coach Dan O'Brien
"Stevie was as relaxed and confident at the plate as I've seen him all year. At this point in the season, hitting is a blast. You're prepared, battle tested, and typically over the analytical stage of the season. You've just learned to relax, concentrate and be patient to your pitch. Stevie consistently did that all weekend and it certainly paid off."
"Stevie's success so early in his career is a direct result of his upbringing and pre-college coaching. His parents, first and foremost, are outstanding parents and people. In addition to that, his dad was a great college and pro player and along with his travel ball and high school coaches, Stevie has been surrounded by great baseball mentors and winners."
Hitting Coach Keith Beauregard
"Stevie is the best. He deserves everything that comes his way in baseball and life. You'd be hard pressed to find a kid that works harder and is more loved by his teammates. He's a special talent and it's been an exciting experience to watch him grow over the past eight months. He's the type of kid you pay to see play."
"His ability to make adjustments has made him the player that he has become. His knowledge of the game and baseball IQ are exceptionally high for a freshman. He has been stringing great at-bats together throughout the process of the entire season, so for him to have the weekend that he had didn't surprise me, anybody on the staff or any of his teammates."