March 12, 2014
DALLAS, Texas — Senior outfielder Josh Coker has been named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association’s Hitter of the Week for the week ending on March 9. Coker is the first NCBWA National Hitter of the Week selection in the history of the Lincoln Memorial University baseball program.
Coker has collected Railsplitter of the Week, South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week and now NCBWA National Hitter of the Week after leading a potent Railsplitter attack that combined for 55 hits and 49 runs while going 4-1 this past week. Included in that, Lincoln Memorial (15-7-1, 10-4 SAC) took two out of three from the Catawba Indians for the first time in program history.
The 6-0, 210-pound slugger went 7-for-15 with seven runs scored, 12 RBI, a double and four home runs, finishing the week with a gaudy 1.533 slugging percentage. Additionally, Coker racked up three saves to catapult his league-leading total to seven, which ranks second among all NCAA Division II players and ties the school’s single-season record.
Coker opened the week by going 3-for-5 with three runs, five RBI and a home run in 6-5 and 21-1 wins over the Kentucky State Thorobreds last Wednesday at Lamar Hennon Field. It was game two that saw Coker at his best as he collected four RBI with a home run while reaching base safely in three of his four plate appearances.
The finale of Wednesday’s double dip was only a prelude to Coker’s outing on Friday night in LMU’s 13-12 win over the Catawba Indians as the left-hander went deep twice while racking up five RBI. That effort carried the Railsplitters to their first victory over the Indians since 2010.
Coker compiled only two hits in Saturday’s doubleheader, but both were home runs as the Murphy, N.C., native finished the week carrying a four-game home run streak, an eight-game RBI streak and a 12-game hitting streak.
While Tuesday didn’t factor into the National Hitter of the Week voting, Coker extended his hitting streak to 14 games in a double-header split at Bellarmine. His RBI and home run streaks ended in LMU’s 4-3 win over the Knights, but he restarted both of those streaks with a solo home run in the nightcap.
Josh Coker’s robust batting split currently reads .382/.882/.467 as he leads the Railsplitters in each of those categories while ranking fourth, first and fourth in the SAC. He has racked up 10 home runs, eight doubles, 28 RBI and 67 total bases.
The Railsplitters break from South Atlantic Conference play this weekend, instead traveling to Savannah for a three-game slate at Armstrong Atlantic. Lincoln Memorial opens against the Pirates with a double-header beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.