Alex Eliopulos' Big Week Earns Him National, Regional and Conference Accolades
SAN RAMON, Calif. - University of California San Diego redshirt junior third baseman Alex Eliopulos was chosen early Tuesday as the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Baseball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 19-25.
On Tuesday afternoon, he was subsequently picked as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) West Region Player of the Week, and advances to the national ballot, with that award to be announced in a day or two.
Eliopulos, a La Jolla native and graduate of nearby La Jolla High School, led No. 7 UC San Diego (9-4, 5-3 CCAA) to its first CCAA series victory of the season, 3-1 over Cal State Dominguez Hills. He hit .600 (9-15) and slugged 1.467, with a .714 on-base percentage, four home runs, one double, six runs scored and eight driven in. Eliopulos did not strike out or ground into a double play, walking six times, including three times intentionally, while also handling five defensive chances cleanly at third.
Eliopulos produced back-to-back two-home-run games, giving him three of those already over the first 13 contests in 2018, Friday night in La Jolla and in game one of a Saturday doubleheader in Carson. He was a perfect 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, three runs and four RBI in Friday's 14-3 home rout, exiting the game after just five innings. He was then 3-for-5 with two more home runs, a walk, two runs and three RBI to kick off the twin bill with a 10-7 win.
Eliopulos is batting .426 and leads the CCAA in slugging (.870), runs (14-tied), hits (23), RBI (23), home runs (seven) and at-bats (54). In fact, the first edition of the statistical report for NCAA Division II baseball was made available on Tuesday, and Eliopulos is tied for first nationally in home runs, and tied for second in RBI.
This is Eliopulos' first CCAA Player of the Week selection, and the second for a Triton this year after junior first baseman Tyler Durna back on Feb. 13.
On Monday morning, Eliopulos earned the honor of being one of 12 standouts from across all levels of college baseball, named as a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Week. The other 11 picks were all from the Division I ranks, with a perfect game, three no-hitters, and a 17-RBI week among the performances being recognized. Eliopulos is UCSD's first such honoree since Jack Larsen last May 15, with Justin Donatella a prior selection on March 9, 2015.
Junior left-hander Preston Mott was nominated for CCAA Pitcher of the Week after striking out a career-high nine over five complete innings on Friday night, allowing a single run on five hits and one walk. Stanislaus State's Joe Ryan won the award.
UC San Diego, the 2017 West Region champion, takes on 2015 and 2016 West victor Cal Poly Pomona in a four-game, split-venue CCAA set this week. The No. 7 Tritons and 14th-ranked Broncos play a pair of primetime affairs at 6 p.m. at Triton Ballpark on East Campus in La Jolla on Thursday, March 1, and Friday, March 2. The series then shifts north to Pomona and Scolinos Field for a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, March 3. Those unable to attend on Thursday and Friday can watch in high definition on UCSDtritons.tv for a pay-per-view fee of $5.99.