CHICAGO --- Olivet Nazarene University gained a near-sweep of its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference foes last week, but got the full sweep on Tuesday when Tiger hurler Steven Beckham (Mt. Vernon, Ill.) and teammate Ryan Kern (Bloomington, Ill.) were named the league's top baseball players for the week ending March 31.
Beckham, a junior, posted two of the team's six victories over the seven-day period in earning CCAC Pitcher of the Week recognition, while Kern blasted four home runs and drove in 10 runs in seven games to gain the league's Player of the Week honor.
Beckham (5-1) just missed going the distance in a 6-2 victory over University of St. Francis in Tuesday's second game of a doubleheader. The right-hander went 8 2/3 innings, scattering six hits, allowing the two runs and striking out three batters against one walk.
Beckham also struck out three opposite one walk in working the first five innings of Saturday's 22-4 Game 2 win over Saint Xavier University. In that contest, Beckham allowed seven hits and the four runs.
His earned run average for the week was 3.95.
Kern, who earned the honors for the second time in four weeks, batted .364 with a .955 slugging percentage over the course of the week with five of the games being against two of the top three teams in the CCAC South Division in St. Francis (first) and Saint Xavier (third). Kern totaled eight hits in 22 at bats with three multiple-hit games and scored six runs besides the 10 he drove in.
Kern closed out the week with a two-home run, four-RBI game against Saint Xavier on Saturday. He also homered in league games against St. Francis on Tuesday and Roosevelt University on Wednesday, where he authored his other multi-RBI games.
A senior first baseman, Kern leads the CCAC with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 66 total bases and 35 RBIs. Including his four home runs this week, Kern sits fourth on Olivet's career home run list with 24 round-trippers.
Olivet Nazarene went 6-1 in league play on the week keeping the Tigers in second place in the South Division (8-3) and putting them at 19-11 overall.