Ploeger wins hurler of the week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Arkansas-Pine Bluff senior pitcher Jim Ploeger became the first pitcher among the Golden Lions to be named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.

“It is a great honor for Jim,” UAPB head coach Carlos James said. “He has worked hard.”

James said anybody that watched Ploeger last year can tell how much his body has changed.

“He has gotten a lot leaner and has worked harder this year,” James said.

Ploeger pitched eight innings with 10 strikeouts to help UAPB pick up a 3-2 win over Prairie View A&M in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader.

“Without a doubt, Jim is our No. 1 guy,” James said. “We have started him in the first ballgame and he has grown into that well.”

UAPB (10-21, 10-4 SWAC) won the second game of the doubleheader to clinch the series. Ploeger gave up two runs (both earned) on six hits with a walk.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how he finishes the season,” James said.

UAPB will host conference opponent Southern in a doubleheader on Saturday. Its Thursday home game against Lyon College has been cancelled.

James said Ploeger is slated to start the first game.

“He has done a great job of being our go-to guy,” James said. “I’m proud of him.”

So far this season, Ploeger has an ERA of 2.52 in six starts. He has allowed 15 runs (11 earned) on 34 hits in 39 1/3 innings pitched. He has 39 strikeouts and 10 walks.