For only the third time in the pitching-rich tradition of the Mount Vernon Nazarene College baseball program, one of the Cougar pitchers has been honored by the NAIA by being selected as the associationís National Pitcher of the Week.
Andy Heimbach, a junior right-hander from Wheelersburg, Ohio, received the honor after posting a 2-0 record with two shutouts during the week of March 29-April 4. With the two shutouts, the former All-Ohioan from Wheelersburg High School tied the NAIA national record for career shutouts with 14, equaling the mark previously set by Ron Norman of Pembroke State (NC) University from 1971-74.
Heimbach is currently 5-1 on the season with a microscopic 0.79 earned run average. He leads the American Mideast Conference in both ERA and strikeouts per nine innings (14.82), while also ranking among the conference leaders with his .833 winning percentage. His only loss of the season came against Embry-Riddle (FL) University, currently ranked #1 in the NAIA, when the opposing pitcher tossed a perfect game against the Cougars.
The only other times an MVNC pitcher has received the NAIA weekly honor was Jeff Kuder in 1988 and Marty McLeary in 1997. Both of those pitchers went on to be drafted in the Major League Baseball amatuer draft.
MVNC is currently 17-7 overall. The four-time defending conference champions have also started off AMC play with a 6-0 record that includes five shutouts. The Cougars will return to action on Thursday when the team will host the University of Findlay in a non-conference nine-inning game at 3:30 p.m.