SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara sophomore catcher/designated hitter Sam Cohen has been named the Big West Field Player of the Week, the league announced on Monday morning.
Cohen was UCSB's top offensive performer in a series win over rival UC Irvine this past weekend, as he batted .500 (6-12) and slugged 1.167 over three games. His offensive exploits helped the Gauchos win their first Big West series of the year, improving their record to 15-18, 4-5.
The Coto de Caza, Calif. native was at the center of an 11-3 rout in the series opener, driving in a team-high four runs and smashing a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth inning. He added an RBI triple in an 8-7 loss on Saturday.
Cohen was a central contributor in Saturday's comeback victory as well. After UCI plated six runs in the top of seventh to go ahead 7-3, Cohen shifted momentum back in the Gauchos' favor with a leadoff homer in the eighth. With UCSB trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth, Cohen started off a walk-off rally with a one-out single to center. The Gauchos completed the comeback later in the inning with a double, walk, and sac fly.
With a pair of homers on the week, Cohen moved into a tie for second place in the league with six roundtrippers on the season. He is tearing the cover of the ball this month, slashing .393/.414/.964 in April.
Cohen is the third Gaucho to pick up weekly honors from the Big West this season. Junior left-hander Kyle Nelson was named Pitcher of the Week on Mar. 27 after allowing just three hits in an 8-0 win over New Mexico State, and junior second baseman Colton Burns was tabbed as the league's Field Player of the Week on Feb. 27 after reaching base 16 times in 19 plate appearances against Tulane and CS Bakersfield.
The Gauchos return to action on Tuesday afternoon with a 3:00 p.m. contest at Pepperdine before returning to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for a three-game set against San Diego State starting Friday.