April 25, 2011
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By Brian Ormiston
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - While UCF baseball had a huge week on the diamond by going 4-1 to improve its record to 26-15, Altamonte Springs native D.J. Hicks was just as impressive. And his efforts at the plate allowed the redshirt sophomore to be selected as a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week as well as the Conference USA Hitter of the Week.
Hicks was one of only five student-athletes in the country to be tagged as a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week Monday. The Knights have now had a national player of the week in each of the past three seasons and every year under head coach Terry Rooney and associate head coach/hitting coach Cliff Godwin (Shane Brown in 2009 and Darnell Sweeney in 2010).
It was the first time Hicks received a weekly award, and it was the Knights' second this year as Sweeney was named the C-USA Hitter of the Week Feb. 28.
Hicks was already having an incredible year at the dish before his dominance last week. In five games, he went 10-for-21 for a .476 average, sending out three home runs, driving in 13, doubling twice and scoring seven runs. Hicks completed the week with a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .542 on-base percentage.
Opening up at home against Florida Atlantic April 19, Hicks had a two-run double in the fourth and a three-run double in the fifth and ultimately finished with a career-high six RBI in a 12-0 win. One day later in front of a UCF record 3,601 fans, Hicks launched a solo homer that proved to be a huge run in the Knights' 8-6 victory over No. 5 Florida.
When UCF traveled to Memphis for the weekend, Hicks made sure his bat was still hot when he arrived. He had a pair of singles including a 10th-inning base hit that led to UCF's 5-4 game-one win, and crushed his second-career grand slam in a five-RBI day to lift the Knights to an 11-9 victory after they trailed 6-0. In the finale, a 12-7 defeat, Hicks was 2-for-3 with another dinger.
Hicks now leads UCF with a .356 average and has 10 homers, 10 doubles, 42 RBI, a .624 slugging percentage and a .428 OBP.
Hicks and the Knights are off until Friday when they open a three-game home series with Houston at 6:30 p.m. And game two Saturday will be Military Appreciation Night with first pitch set for 4 p.m.