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Photo courtesy of Ryan Coleman/d3photography.com

Hot-hitting Fairbanks named player of the week

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University of Wisconsin-Superior senior outfielder Tom Fairbanks was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week for baseball position players.

The Yellowjacket baseball team kicked off the season during its spring trip to Arizona last week and came home with an 8-3 record, winning games over Bethany Lutheran (2), Illinois Tech, Macalester, Carroll, Mayville State (2), and Oberlin. In the 11 games the Yellowjackets pounded out 117 hits (10.6 per game) and scored 114 runs (10.4 per game), and Fairbanks played a huge role in that offensive production.

Fairbanks, a senior from Brainerd, Minn., started all 11 games for the Yellowjackets and had 24 hits in 38 at bats, good for a .632 average. He had three doubles, seven triples and six home runs and drove in an astounding 31 runs. His slugging percentage (total bases divided by at bats) for the week is 1.553. Fairbanks scored 17 runs and also drew eight walks.

Consistent throughout the week, Fairbanks had some monster performances. In the second game against Bethany Lutheran, a 23-4 win, he went 3-for-3 with two home runs and six RBS. He drove in five runs in the 16-3 win over Macalester, hit three home runs in a 24-14 win over Carroll, and had two triples and seven RBIs during a doubleheader sweep of Mayville State.

In the field Fairbanks had a perfect fielding percentage and contributed three assists from right field.

“Baseball is a game of streaks and without a doubt Tom is in the middle of a hot streak right now,” UWS coach Nick Bursik said. “He had a week like I have never seen at any level of baseball. Things are clicking for him right now. He’s seeing the ball well and got the start to his senior season that he wanted.

“Later in the week I had an opposing coach come up to me and ask if I really had a guy that was hitting close to .700 because he just couldn’t believe it, and Tom went out and had another multi-hit game against him. It was that kind of a week for him. He was in a great groove.”

The Yellowjackets (8-3) are scheduled to play at doubleheader in the Twin Cities against Bethel at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

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