ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

(After games of Tuesday, May 22)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.


Ben Hartz, Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh)

The senior pitcher-first baseman led the Indians on the mound and at the plate in a 4-3 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League Class AA first-round 4-3 playoff victory over Waynesburg (Pa.). Hartz struck out 14 batters in a four-hit effort and helped his own cause with two hits and a pair of RBIs. The four-year starter has been impressive his last three seasons with a combined .520 batting average, 77 RBIs, 16 pitching wins and 150 strikeouts.


Blaine Crain, Spanish Fort (Ala.)

Crain was named MVP of the Class 5A state championship series after going 3-for-6 with two RBIs to help Spanish Fort defeat Southside (Gadsden, Ala.) in a two-game sweep. It was Spanish Fort's third straight state title. Crain, who had a game-winning RBI in the team’s victory that sent them to the state finals, played despite very difficult personal circumstances. Six weeks ago, his father, Kurt, a former All-American linebacker at Auburn and an assistant football coach at South Alabama, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


Eric Veglahn, La Crescent (Minn.)

The senior left-handed pitcher had an inning to remember in a 4-1 victory over Hayfield (Minn.), striking out five batters to close out the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. He fanned the first two batters, but the next two strikeout victims reached base on passed balls by the catcher. He then wrapped up the victory with his fourth and fifth strikeouts of the inning plus the 12th and 13th of the game.


Tate Matheny, Westminster Christian (Town & Country, Mo.)

The son of new St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny is in the midst of a monster senior season. Earlier this week, in Westminster’s 3-0 win over Orchard Farm (St. Charles, Mo.) in the Class 3 sectional tourney, Matheny belted a two-run homer, his 11th of the season. Last week in a 11-1 romp in five innings against MICDS of St. Louis, Matheny went 3-for-3 with a double and homer. Prior to the game against Orchard Farm, he was batting .614 with 10 homers, 10 triples, 52 runs scored and 47 RBIs. Matheny’s team also improved to 26-3 after that win and upped its winning streak to 23 games.


Troy Conyers, El Capitan (Lakeside, Calif.)

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound left-handed pitcher struck out 16 and pitched a four-hitter in El Capitan’s 7-1 win last week against Monte Vista (Spring Valley, Calif.). Conyers also went 1-for-3 with a double at the plate. He pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in his previous start and has led the Vaqueros to a 27-5 record and No. 37 FAB 50 national ranking. Heading into this week, Conyers was batting .395 with 24 RBIs and had an 8-1 mound record with 114 strikeouts and a 0.72 ERA. He was the San Diego Union-Tribune Player of the Year as a junior and has signed with the University of San Diego.