New Orleans pitcher Turpin takes home Southland baseball weekly honors

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FRISCO, Texas – New Orleans hurler Chris Turpin earns Pitcher of the Week honors and Houston Baptist’s Brandon Bena is the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week, the league announced Monday. Southland Conference Players of the Week are presented by MidSouth Bank.

Turpin forced a Sunday afternoon rubber match between New Orleans and McNeese, picking up his team-leading fourth win in a 2-0 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday. The Privateers finished the week 2-2, dropping an extra-inning contest to Southern on Wednesday before a 2-1 series loss to McNeese over the weekend.

New Orleans (17-19, 5-13 SLC) looks to get back on track against Tulane at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before visiting Missouri State for a three-game slate beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Bena extended his hitting streak to 15 games and his multi-hit streak to five games with four-straight two-hit performances as the Huskies picked up a midweek win over UTRGV before taking two-of-three from Abilene Christian over the weekend. He hit .471 on the week and tallied nine RBI and four runs scored.

Pitcher of the Week – Chris Turpin, New Orleans – Junior – Pitcher – Belle Chasse, La.
Turpin tossed eight innings of scoreless baseball in game two of the weekend series with McNeese, allowing just four hits and one walk to the Cowboys. The junior struck out 14 batters, the most by a Privateer pitcher since Bryan Warzek sat down 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi batters on strikes on March 30, 2018.

The Belle Chasse, La., native faced the minimum through the first two frames and struck out the side in the third and fourth innings. Already at eight punchouts through four innings, Turpin struck out a pair in each of the next three innings before handing the ball over to Reeves Martin for the save.

Honorable Mention: Kyle Gruller, Houston Baptist; Cullen McDonald, Northwestern State; Noah Sills, Lamar.

Houston Baptist (12-23, 5-10 SLC) begins a five-game roadtrip with a matchup against Texas State at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday, followed by a three-game series against Incarnate Word, which opens with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch on Thursday.

Hitter of the Week – Brandon Bena, Houston Baptist – Junior – Outfielder – Omaha, Neb.
After going 2-for-4 and accounting for four runs in a 13-7 win over UTRGV, Bena recorded two more base hits and knocked in half of HBU’s output in a 21-6 loss in the series opener against ACU.

He was responsible for the game-winning run with an RBI single to put the Huskies ahead 2-0 in a 5-1 game two triumph. In the finale, Bena’s three-run home run in the first inning gave HBU the lead for good en route to taking the series.

Honorable Mention: Logan Berlof, Lamar; Colton Cowser, Sam Houston State; Nathan Pilutti, Southeastern Louisiana.

Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.

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