Allen, Imhof Earn Big West Conference Player of the Week Honors
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Matt Imhof, whose 14-strikeout performance has triggered a flurry of national awards, and Jimmy Allen, who knocked in six runs in Cal Poly's season-opening three-game series sweep over No. 22 Kansas State, have earned the first Big West baseball awards for the 2014 season.
Allen (Vista, Calif./Rancho Buena Vista High School) was named Field Player of the Week while Imhof earned Pitcher of the Week honors from the conference.
Allen (pictured at right) knocked in one-third of Cal Poly's runs in the series. The senior third baseman hit .417 (5-for-12) to spark the Mustangs to 3-0, 5-2 and 10-1 victories at Baggett Stadium.
Allen smacked a two-RBI single to break a 0-0 tie in the sixth inning and spurred Cal Poly to the win in the season opener Friday. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI single Saturday and drove in three more Sunday with a pair of RBI singles and a sacrifice fly. Allen delivered his second multi-hit game of the series, going 2-for-4 for the second straight game.
Allen, who was 14-for-28 over the final two weeks of the 2013 season, has 19 hits in his last nine games.
Imhof (Fremont, Calif./Mission San Jose High School) established a new career high with 14 strikeouts Friday night. The 14 punchouts eclipsed his previous best of 12 against Cal State Northridge a year ago and Imhof also struck out 11 twice in 2013.
The junior southpaw allowed just two singles and three walks in seven innings against the Wildcats, an NCAA Super Regional team in 2013. Imhof retired the side in order twice, struck out the side twice and recorded two strikeouts in three other innings. He allowed two runners to reach second base.
Also on Monday, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper tabbed Imhof (pictured at left) as one of its eight National Players of the Week. Web site CollegeBaseballCentral.com named Imhof's effort on the mound as one of the top five starting pitching performances from the opening weekend of play.
"Imhof was absolutely dominant against one of the better offenses in the country," the Web site noted. "The Wildcats boast a gritty lineup of veteran hitters who know how to pressure a pitcher, but their tenacious assault was quelled in the season opener by the 6-5, 200 pound southpaw with relative ease.
"Imhof commanded his fastball very well and baffled hitters with his slider, a pitch he is known to use as an out-pitch."
Cal Poly plays 11 of its next 12 games on the road, starting Tuesday night at Santa Clara. The Mustangs also visit defending national champion UCLA this weekend at Jackie Robinson Stadium.