Redshirt junior catcher/infielder Dayne Leonard of the West Virginia University baseball team has been named the Co-Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, while junior right-handed pitcher Jacob Watters has been selected as one of Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s National Players of the Week, the two entities announced on Monday.
Leonard hit .400 with two extra-base hits, two runs scored and six RBI in four games last week. Additionally, he started at three different spots on the field – third base, catcher and designated hitter. The Spring Green, Wisconsin, native hit a two-run homer against then-No. 18 Texas on May 7, then went finished 2-for-3 with a career-high four RBI against the Longhorns a day later in an 8-6 win.
The Virginia Tech transfer has bumped his batting average up 54 points since April 23, going from .256 to .310.
The Big 12 honor is the first of Leonard’s career, as well as WVU’s third on the year. Earlier this season, freshman infielder JJ Wetherholt and fifth-year senior right-hander Trey Braithwaite were named the Big 12 Newcomers of the Week on Feb. 21, and April 4, respectively.
Watters was brilliant on the mound for West Virginia in its series opener against UT on May 7. He struck out a career-high 15 batters and yielded just one walk in 6.1 innings of work. He fired 115 pitches, allowing four runs on seven hits.
The Rocky Gap, Virginia, native’s 15 strikeouts were the most by a Mountaineer pitcher since Nick Snyder fanned 16 on April 30, 2019, against Marshall. He also became the first WVU player to be selected to Collegiate Baseball’s weekly list since Kevin Brophy on March 1, 2021.
The Mountaineers (28-18, 10-8 Big 12) conclude a five-game homestand with the Backyard Brawl against rival Pitt on Tuesday, May 10. First pitch at Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.